A trip to Dubai will never be complete without the desert safari experience. When I think of Dubai, I think of the desert so it’s a must that anyone who visits the country tries it at least once. Safari means an expedition or journey and what better way to experience the desert than some off road driving and dune bashing.
Desert safari is probably the number one itinerary of a visitor in Dubai and there are several tour operators offering the service to tourists. I think the activities are best experienced with a group of friends or the whole family and the best time to do it is in the afternoon, around 3pm.
If you’re new and do not have friends yet, you can go by yourself if you want to. The operators will let you join other teams so you can make up for the total number of passengers. The price per person is around 120DHS and you can even get a better price when you search for promotions from marketing service companies like Groupon or Cobone where they offer their subscribers daily discount coupons.
A tour starts with a visit to the camel farm where you can have a picture with the camels. You will then be transported to another location where you will ride a large sport utility vehicle and go on a dune bashing adventure for about 30 minutes. You’re lucky if you can get a “cool” driver as it will add to the excitement of the trip. Ours had a playlist of new party songs so we are all singing and laughing as the car had us twisting and turning.
After an exhilarating ride in the sand, you will then be transported to the camp site in the middle of the desert. At the site, you can have a henna painting session, have a shisha or arabic coffee, ride a camel, try the national costume, have a picture with the falcon or maybe try sand skiing.
At night, there is a show featuring a belly dancer, tanoura dancer (Sufi whirling), and even a fire dancer. The show runs around 30-40 minutes max.
The desert safari experience concludes with a buffet where you can have unlimited arabic food and soft drinks or water. It is definitely a must for everyone who is visiting or even staying in the UAE and it’s even a good place to meet new friends and tourists alike.