Desert safari in Dubai
Imagine the scene! I scream, laugh, clasp my stomach, hope that I don’t have to throw up, try to make a video and take photos and cling to my dear life. And i love it! Yes! You may have guessed that I was in a 4×4 dune that struck the red desert sand in Dubai.
It’s Dubai’s winter season that can only mean one thing – visitors! Read on for details on an entertaining activity that involves guests and / or on your own. Not only for winter you can do this activity all year round.
Dubai Winters always mean guests in the city and this winter was no exception. My visitors wanted to go on a desert safari and asked for my help to find a suitable travel company. I went on a desert safari for the first time about fifteen years ago when I was visiting my family here and my hosts were choosing a company for me at the time, which I was grateful for as there is a wide range of companies to travel with . I started my research on the internet and was quickly overwhelmed with options and frankly did not know which company to choose or recommend. Unimpressed, I did a second search, this time in a Facebook community group called British in Dubai An excellent community of people who share a wealth of relevant and up to date information as well as some jokes. My research shortened the selection considerably and I finally decided on a company called Destination Insight with whom we booked. As a bonus they are in the entertainer So we could benefit from Buy one Get on Free. Excellent!
The adventure begins
We were picked up by our happy driver Hakeem in a 4 × 4 in the early afternoon and set off for our adventure. The first and second stations were supposed to pick up the rest of our group, which gave us the opportunity to get some good seats. I used to sit on the child seats in the back and knew from experience that they weren’t my favorite seats. A relatively short drive took us to the dunes. Hakeem was a perfect driver and host, telling us what to expect and sharing stories along the way. Before we reached the dunes, we stopped at an activity center where you have the opportunity to ride the dune buggy (for an additional charge) or to take part in a coffee and snack stop we chose!
Desert Drive / Dune Bashing
We joined a group of two other cars before reaching the dunes for about twenty minutes. I would insert the video here, but seriously, you don’t want two adult women to scream and laugh (hysterically) at the same time, do you? With the exception of the side slides, which caused stomach upset and amusement at the same time, I loved the part of the trip where dunes were hit, and I have to say that I felt that we were in good safe hands with Hakeem’s expert driving.
First stop was at Camel rock where we spent some time immersing in the magic of the dunes and making the mandatory jump in the air over the dune photo – harder than it looks but worth the effort for an instant shot! My guests also tried sandboarding – not as easy as it looks – especially if you want to look glamorous haha!
The next stop was the Bedouin campsite, which was different Upset stomach, scream / hysterical laugh, dune punch, side slipping ride away. This time we didn’t scream so much, but left our cameras in our pockets to enjoy the experience.
We arrived at our campsite shortly before sunset, which was a perfect arrival time. Before entering the camp there is an opportunity to do a short camel ride, which is perfect for photos. When we entered the camp, we packed some great seats in front of the stage area and sat on Bedouin style carpets with soft Arabic seating. The dinner came in the form of Arabic doner kebabs that were hot and just right when we arrived. We later enjoyed a selection of hot and cold Arabic mezze followed by a lavish barbecue evening with grilled meat, all of which was washed off with free flowing non-alcoholic beverages. Take cash or plastic with you as you can also buy adult drinks at the bar.
In terms of entertainment, we were entertained with belly dancing, a Thanoura show and, my favorite of all, an energetic and exciting fire dance show that was over far too quickly. Outside of the camp, there is a lot to do to get some henna, smoke shisha (if that’s your thing) and take a picture with a falcon, and visit the gift booth for a few gifts. Dinner ended with a selection of Arabic sweets, hot coffee, and a quick photo opportunity to say goodbye to the camels walking down the crest of the sand dunes behind us.
The handover took place around 8.30 p.m. after a fantastic afternoon and evening with rides, photo shoots, dune strokes, entertainment and great food.
Overall ~ I’ve done a few different safari trips during my time in Dubai and this has to be one of the best Desert safari in Dubai Group trips I did.
We did our tour Destination Insight who came highly recommended both in the British in the Dubai Group and also online with five stars TripAdvisor. We booked the 4 × 4 transfer and the Bedouin-style desert camp tour, which includes the desert safari with 45 minutes of dunes and the opportunity to sandboard. Photo opportunities in the dunes. A BBQ dinner with soft drinks, tea and coffee and dessert. Entertainment – Belly Dance, Thanoura Show & Fire Dance. Camp activities include a short camel ride, henna painting, hookah and falcon exhibition. There is a chargeable bar for adult drinks and the option to take a few dune buggy rides (additional payment) before your desert ride. The cost is 300 / AED per person and since we used the entertainer app it was 300 / AED for 2 people.
Do you want something more exclusive? Destination Insight is also running Private experiences just for you what I’ll try next time – essentially a private desert dinner cruise in your own camp. This is the trip I wanted to do, but our guests wanted to do the group trip.
Booking & payment
We booked through WhatsApp after a quick phone call to the office to confirm the details of the trip, and paid at the desert campsite at the end of the event. Simple and efficient.
Pick up and drop off
Times are confirmed to you directly on the day by WhatsApp and allow guests to be picked up on the way. Our pickup was earlier than expected, but we were able to pick up our guests and another group of guests on the way. The route is calculated so that you don’t go out of your way for too long.
Note: Pick-up and drop-off times vary slightly throughout the year to allow sunset.
Easy to book and arrange100
Well organized 100
Fun – delivered what we expected100
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