The largest city of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is often called the land of contrasts. While the vast deserts and ancient artforms of the city tell the story of its Bedouin legacy, the sprawling skyscrapers and the massive shopping malls describe a contemporary, cosmopolitan city. Because of this very reason, this multifaceted land boasts a wealth of attractions for its visitors.
Perhaps the most interesting of all these activities is the Dubai desert safari. After all, what can be more thrilling than an adventure-filled ride into the surrounding deserts on a 4x4 vehicle? Interesting activities like dune bashing, fat bike riding, quad biking and sand boarding are the highlights of a typical Dubai desert safari. For the culturally inclined, traditional activities like henna painting and camel rides are also included.
Go through this guide and discover some of the best desert safaris in Dubai. Whether you're looking for a thrilling, adventure sports based safari or want to indulge in luxury, you'll find a safari of your choice here.
Dubai Desert Safari in a Nutshell
Desert Safari Hours
Morning- 8:30 am - 11:30 am; Evening- 4.00 pm - 10.00 pm; Overnight- 4.00 pm - 09.00 am
Know before you go
Best time to visit - The best months to go for desert safari in Dubai are from November to March. The weather generally is pleasant in the afternoons. Nights are not that chilly. The weather is just perfect for this kind of activity.
Starting Prices for Desert Safari Tickets - starting from AED 70
Suggested duration 5 to 6 hours
Location - Dubai, UAE
Types of Desert Safaris in Dubai
If your evenings are filled with shopping dates or if you do not wish to miss out on the famous Dubai nightlife, you can always opt for a morning desert safari. On the other hand, if the thought of waking up early in the morning does not appeal to you, you can choose from the various evening and overnight options available.
Similarly, the budget-conscious traveler can opt for combo tours that combine other attractions or activities with the Dubai desert safari. You will find that opting for a combo tour will save you both time and money.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city with a morning desert safari. Explore the desert and everything it has to offer as you indulge in a variety of adventure and traditional activities like sand boarding, henna painting and camel riding. End your experience with a delicious breakfast and try out many local dishes.
Your experience will begin around mid-afternoon, once the weather has become pleasant again. Take your pick from various adventure activities before heading over to the Bedouin camp where you will witness traditional artforms. End your experience with a deicious dinner with local and continental cuisines.
If you are an adrenaline junkie, you will not be disappointed with the wide array of desert adventure activities you can indulge in. Explore the desert landscape with dune bashing or take a dune buggy ride through challenging terrain. Quad biking, hot air ballooning, etc are some of the other activities that await you.
Morning Desert Safaris in Dubai
Choosing a morning desert safari has many advantages. First of all, you get to explore the desert while it is still relatively empty. The serenity of the desert is most certainly best enjoyed in solitude. As the day progresses, you will see more and more people around you.
Secondly, the weather tends to remain pleasant from the previous night, which means that this is the perfect time for you to indulge in Dubai desert adventures. You will be able to finish all your adventure activities before it gets too hot. Visitors can take their pick from a variety of activities like camel riding, sandboarding, quad biking, etc. In fact, certain activities like hot air ballooning are exclusive to the morning desert safaris.
You will also get to enjoy a scrumptious breakfast that includes many local delicacies like Rgaag with egg, balaleet and chbaab. Not to mention the world-famous Arabic coffee. Once you have had your fill, you will be taken back to the city with plenty of time left over to visit the other attractions of Dubai.
Evening Desert Safaris in Dubai
If a quintessential desert experience is what you're looking for, then an evening desert safari should be your go to choice.
Evening safaris start in the late afternoon, after the sun has started its descent. As a result, you will get to enjoy pleasant weather, allowing you to enjoy your desert safari to the fullest. You have the entire evening to relax and indulge in various adventure activities like sandboarding, quad biking, etc.
A typical evening desert safari starts with a dune bashing session which makes for a highly exhilarating experience. Don’t forget to click photos as you enjoy the desert and the sand dunes. However, an evening safari has much more to offer than these adventure activities. Head over to the Bedouin camp for a camel ride and indulge in traditional activities like henna- painting.
You will also get to witness beautiful performances by professional belly dancers. Not to forget the exquisite dinner with both local and continental cuisines. Indulge in the unique Arabic coffee and taste the famous Middle Eastern grilled meat as you enjoy the desert views.
Adventure Desert Safaris in Dubai
The relentless desert landscape makes for an ideal setting for you to experience traditional desert activities such as camel riding and modern adventure sports such as quad biking, sand boarding, dune buggy riding, fat tire biking, horse riding and hot air ballooning. If an exhilarating adrenaline-pumping experience is how you want to remember the desert, then these adventure desert safaris are perfect for you.
Desert Safaris Combos in Dubai
If you are looking for a comprehensive tour of the city, your best bet is to opt for a combo tour. The combo tours are perfect for those who are short on time and would like to make the most of their trip to the land of skyscrapers. You will get to experience the best of the city in a day or two, making sure that you do not miss out on any must-see attractions.
Another advantage of these combo tours is that they help you save money. Visiting multiple attractions individually may prove to be expensive once you take into consideration add on expenses such as transportation. A combo tour on the other hand, will prove cheaper as almost everything, from tickets to transportation is covered. These tours are especially ideal for those visiting Dubai for the very first time. If it is your first trip, make sure to take a look at Dubai travel tips.
Top Things to do at Desert Safari
If a quintessential desert experience is what you're after, it does not get better than indulging in a camel ride.
Read more on camel rides in Dubai.
A must-try for all adrenaline junkies, this breathtaking desert adventure activity will leave you gripping your seats.
Read more on dune bashing in Dubai.
One of the most sought after activities in the city, this unique adventure sport is sure to leave you wanting for more.
Read more on sandboarding in Dubai.
Experience the thrill of riding a massive bike on the extraordinary desert terrain.
Read more on quad biking in Dubai.
Fly up in the sky as you enjoy breathtaking views of the desert.
Read more on hot air balloon rides in Dubai.
Embark on a self-driven adventure and discover the desert at your own pace.
Read more on dune buggy riding in Dubai.
A Typical Dubai Safari Experience
Since these safaris take place in camps that are away from the city, a typical desert safari begins at your doorstep where you will be picked up by your safari guide. Therefore, you need not worry about getting to the desert. Similarly, once you have enjoyed your safari and are ready to go back, you will be taken back to your hotel as well.
The Lahbab desert, the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve and the Hatta Mountains host some of the most popular desert camps. Your experience at each of these camps will be different. For example, the Lahbab desert allows visitors to experience the authentic desert culture while the Desert Conservation Reserve is famous for its wildlife.
At the desert, the first experience is usually a thrilling session of dune bashing in a 4x4 - imagine Hummers, Land Cruisers and even Range Rovers. You can also participate in a variety of other desert adventure sports such as dune buggy riding, quad biking, sandboarding, hot air ballooning and the all time favourite - camel riding.
As the sun sets, you will settle down for an evening of entertainment and dinner. The dinner is usually a 3-course buffet with cuisines from all around the world. While you enjoy your dinner in the open desert air, local performers will showcase their amazing belly dancing and tanoura dancing skills, bringing the evening to a close.
How to Choose the Best Dubai Safari Experience
Take a look at all the ticket options available in the market and pick one that fits into your budget. While deciding on which tour to book, never forget to check the list of inclusions provided. You should also check out the dining options available as most of these experiences offer a free breakfast or dinner. If you book your tickets online, there is a good chance that you may get them at a discounted rate. If you have a promo code, don’t forget to avail them.
Dubai desert safaris usually offer two kinds of activities- cultural and adventure. Before you book your tickets, make sure that you take a look at the activities included. This is important because each tour offers different activities. For example, if you do not opt for an adventure safari, you may not be able to take part in activities like sandboarding and quad biking. Similarly, activities like camel riding and hot air ballooning are available only on selected tours.
As mentioned earlier, these desert safaris are available at different timings, adding to your convenience. Plan your itinerary for the day and choose from morning and evening safaris. For example, if you are also planning to visit the other attractions of the city, you can opt for a morning desert safari, which will leave you with enough time to explore the city at your convenience. Sunrise and sunset desert safaris are some of the other popular options available.
Insider Tips for Dubai Desert Safari
1. Wear comfortable clothing
Casual comfortable clothes would be an ideal choice for an evening desert safari for you to enjoy all the fun activities there. Its preferable to wear open shoes, flip flops or sandals as footwear as you will be getting in and out of the vehicle frequently onto the sand.
3. Pack light
Carry only the essential items such as sunscreen and sunglasses. If you bring along a heavy bag, it will become difficult for you to take part in the adventure activities. Lugging around a heavy bag in the desert is not a pleasant experience. Therefore, try to pack as light as possible.
2. Listen to your instructors
Dune bashing can be a rough roller coaster experience. Keep this in mind if you are old, have a small child or have certain health issues. Do listen to your instructor carefully while performing these activities, especially the adventure ones, in order to ensure that you stay safe.
4. Choose the right time to go
The best time to go for a desert safari is during a winter evening. Summers are hot while mornings quickly move from cool to hot. Evenings are the best time because you not only get to catch a wonderful sunset but the afternoon quickly gives way to the cool night.
Dubai Desert Safari FAQs
What are the different types of desert safaris in Dubai?
Morning desert safari, evening desert safari and adventure desert safari are some of the popular desert safaris available.
How do I book my Dubai desert safari tickets?
Websites like Headout offer a variety of Dubai desert safaris that you can choose from.
What should I wear for a Dubai desert safari?
Visitors should wear loose, comfortable and light clothes. For example, cotton trousers, shorts and capris are ideal for a Dubai desert safari.
What should I bring on a Dubai desert safari?
Sunglasses, hats, sunscreen etc are some of the essential items for a Dubai desert safari.
What do you do on a Dubai desert safari?
A typical Dubai desert safari will include cultural activities like camel riding and henna painting, along with adventure activities like sandboarding, quad biking and dune bashing.
How do I reach the desert for the safari?
All Dubai desert safaris will include transfers to and from your hotel.
Are Dubai desert safari tickets refundable?
Headout offers tickets for Dubai desert safaris that are fully refundable.
What kind of footwear should I wear for a Dubai desert safari?
It is recommended that you wear flip flops or other open-toed shoes for Dubai desert safari.