Adventures in the Dunes: Dubai Desert Safari Experience

Dubai desert safari


A desert safari is undoubtedly one of the top experiences not to be missed when visiting the futuristic city of Dubai. It provides a thrilling glimpse into traditional desert life amidst the endless sand dunes surrounding Dubai. From dune bashing in 4×4 vehicles, camel rides, sandboarding, and lavish barbeque dinners to cultural performances, a Dubai desert safari packs an exciting line-up of activities. It takes you away from the glossy skyscrapers into the raw and mesmerizing Arabian desert. A desert safari reveals Dubai’s rich history and bedouin roots beyond its modern facade.

Timing & Tour Options

Most desert safari tours begin in the afternoon anytime between 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm and extend into the evening. Tour operators pick you up from your hotel in air-conditioned 4×4 vehicles equipped for dune driving. Based on your preferences, there are options for half-day tours lasting about 5-6 hours or overnight desert safaris with a camp stay. Private bespoke tours offer customization while group tours provide an economical option to experience the desert.

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Popular tour activities:

– Dune bashing 

– Camel riding

– Sandboarding

– Quad biking

– Sunset photography

– Barbeque dinner

– Belly dancing & Tanoura show

– Stargazing overnight 

Dune Bashing

Dune bashing is undoubtedly the most adrenaline-pumping activity of the desert safari. It involves driving the 4×4 vehicles over rollercoaster-like sand dunes at high speeds. Expert drivers maneuver the car over steep dunes and narrow ridges beautifully.

As the vehicle slides down dunes and sways through ridges, you get a feel of the desert’s endless expanse and beauty. Dune bashing requires seatbelts to be worn at all times due to the thrilling experience. The driver takes care to provide a smooth ride.

Camel Riding

No desert experience is complete without a camel ride. Dressed in traditional attire, camels with saddle padding are available for leisurely rides along the dunes. Camel rides give you a chance to admire desert views at a slower pace. You can opt for 15-30 minute rides with a guide leading your camel. 

Camel rides require some getting used to but provide a great photo opportunity. Bigger groups can enjoy dune camel races for extra fun.


This unique desert activity involves gliding and sliding over sand dunes instead of snow-covered slopes. The tour provides sandboards and you can try sandboarding under the guidance of instructors. It provides an exhilarating experience sliding on sand.

Beginners start with smaller slopes while the more experienced can attempt steeper dunes. Sandboarding is tiring but gives an adventurous rush. Protective eye wear and gloves are provided.

Barbeque Dinner

A lavish barbeque dinner spread is arranged at campsites during overnight safaris. You can indulge in Arabic mezze platters, salads and grills like chicken tikka, lamb kebabs as you relax under the stars. Vegetarian options are also available. 

The barbecue dinner provides quality Arab hospitality and culinary flavors. Alcoholic drinks can be purchased separately.

Cultural Performances 

To showcase Emirati culture, desert camps arrange spectacular Tanoura and belly dancing performances. The Tanoura folk dance involves whirling and colorful skirts. Belly dancing shows mesmerizing technique and rhythms.

These lively cultural shows are accompanied by pulsing Arab music. Some camps even have small souks to browse through local handicrafts and souvenirs.

Overnight at Desert Camp

For overnight safaris, comfortable camps arranged in the desert provide Arabian-style tents for spending the night. Amenities include lighting, beds, linen and attached modern bathrooms. 

The night sky sparkles with thousands of stars which you can admire before retiring for the night. A surreal sunrise awaits you in the morning.

Morning Activities

If you opt for overnight camping, various morning activities are also included before returning to the city around 9 am.

You can go on a desert walk to admire vast sandscapes in the morning light. Camel riding, dune bashing and sandboarding options are also available for those wanting more adventure before breakfast.

Safety Tips

– Keep yourself hydrated at all times

– Wear comfortable shoes and full clothes to avoid sunburn 

– Do not overexert yourself

– Follow safety guidelines of instructors 

– Apply sunscreen

– Cover your head with scarves/caps

– Carry medication if required


a desert safari adventure reveals Dubais contrasting faces – the modern glitzy metropolis and it’s raw timeless desertscapes, from adrenaline-pumping dune bashing to tranquil camel rides, it packs an exciting array of activities.Scaling the endless golden dunes under a setting sun is an ethereal experience. The lavish barbecue dinner and cultural performances complete Dubai’s Arabian nights fantasy. A desert safari’s mix of luxury, culture and adventure makes it a quintessential Dubai experience. The memories of starlit Arabian nights and endless dune vistas stay etched in your mind long after leaving Dubai. Don’t miss discovering Dubai’s magical desert when visiting this global hub.

With its perfect mix of culture, adventure and nature, a desert safari is a must-do Dubai experience. The memories of endless dunes, thrilling activities and warm Arab hospitality stay with you forever.

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