The fabulous Dubai skyline is the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Dubai. While the tall structures and amazing landmarks and attractions are what attract majority of the tourists to Dubai, it is a fact that we cannot completely ignore the deserts of the city. Dubai is a desert city, and it was the humble dwelling of the Arabs before they moved to the city. While you would not find many tribes still living in the desert, Dubai has been able to preserve this heritage through the desert safari experience. Here is a detailed guide that would help you choose the right desert safari in Dubai.
What is a Desert Safari?
A desert safari is not just the best way to see and admire the vast desert of Dubai but also to have a fun time. You get to indulge in different adventurous activities and enjoy some entertaining activities as well. It would also give you a glimpse into the Bedouin culture of the Arabs. All in all, you can expect a day of fun, adventure, and entertainment, depending on the desert safari package you choose.
Factors to Consider while Choosing the Right Desert Safari
Budget: This is clearly the most important factor to consider while choose a desert safari experience. While looking for a desert safari tour, you would find ones at different price ranges. While almost all desert safaris offer similar experience, the level of hospitality and quality varies as per the price. For instance, a budget-friendly desert safari in Dubai would has all the attractions but it may not have the personalized services that you would receive in a private or luxurious desert safari.
Time of Day: Desert safaris are available in the morning and evening as well. Depending on the kind of experience you want, you can either choose morning or evening desert safari. While morning desert safaris focus more on adventurous activities, evening safaris are both adventurous and entertaining. Moreover, at the morning safari, you get to see a glorious sunrise, while the evening safari would give you the chance to see a fabulous sunset.
Adventure Levels: The level of adventure you enjoy is also a deciding factor to choose the right desert safari in Dubai for you. If you are a hardcore adventurist, it is best to go for a desert safari that focuses more on adventurous activities like dune bashing, camel riding, sandboarding, etc. On the other hand, if you want to enjoy a quiet evening amidst the beauty of the desert, you can go for a relaxing desert safari, where you can enjoy henna painting, shisha smoking, falconry, and the entertainment programs.
What to Expect at a Desert Safari?
Although each desert safari would have some differences, most of the experiences are common across all of them. Here are some of the things that you can expect at a Dubai desert safari.
Transportation: Almost all desert safaris offer transportation to and from your hotel or residence in Dubai. You would be picked up from your hotel and driven to the desert, and the same vehicle would drive you back to your hotel after the desert safari is done.
Adventurous Activities: The first and definitely the best adventurous activity to enjoy at the desert safari is dune bashing. Here, you ride in a 4×4 vehicle that skids, slides, and slides over the mighty desert dunes. The entire ride lasts for around 45 minutes and is nothing less than a rollercoaster ride. At the desert camp, you would get to enjoy camel riding, sandboarding (which is similar to snowboarding but on sand) and quad biking.
Entertainment: Entertaining activities are usually a part of evening desert safaris. At the Bedouin-style desert camps, you can get your hands painted with henna and take pictures wearing the traditional Arabic attire. Apart from these, you can also smoke a shisha and enjoy the performances of Tanoura dancers and belly dancers. Some desert safaris also have fire show and falconry as well.
Delicious Meals: One of the highlights of an evening desert safari is the BBQ meal that you get to enjoy. The buffet dinner is a 3-course meal, where you get to enjoy starters, main course, and desserts. You get to taste both the traditional Emirati dishes as well as popular international dishes as well. If you are opting for a morning desert safari, you would be able to enjoy a mouthwatering traditional breakfast complete with aromatic Emirati coffee or tea.
Different Types of Desert Safaris
There are three main types of desert safaris: morning desert safari, evening desert safari, and overnight desert safari.
Morning Desert Safari: A typical morning desert safari typically begins early in the morning, so that you can witness a beautiful sunrise. Here, the focus is more on the adventurous activities. During the 3-4 hours at the desert, you would get to enjoy all the adventurous activities, including dune bashing, sandboarding, quad biking, buggy riding, and camel riding to your heart’s content. You would also get the opportunity to check the flora and fauna of the desert. To make your morning desert safari even more memorable, opt for one that includes hot balloon ride. The morning desert safari usually ends with an Emirati breakfast.
Evening Desert Safari: This is the most popular desert safari. The evening desert safari starts late afternoon and goes on till 9 or 10 at night. During the safari, visitors get to indulge in all kinds of adventurous activities. Once the sun sets, they are entertained by the talented performances. Evening desert safari also includes a delicious 3-course buffet dinner. Evening desert safari is available in various forms. If you are not interested in the adventurous activities, you can indulge in a quiet dinner at the desert too.
Overnight Desert Safari: The overnight desert safari is a combination of morning and evening desert safaris. It starts like the evening desert safari; however, once instead of going home after the BBQ dinner, you retire into comfortable tents inside the desert camp. You can also spend some time at the bonfire enjoying some Arabic coffee and the beautiful starlit sky. Get up in the morning to welcome the sight of the amazing sunrise in the desert. The overnight desert safari ends with an Emirati breakfast served with delicious coffee or tea.
To Sum Up…
To sum up, how to choose the best desert safari, here are some points that you need to keep in mind:
- Your tour budget is one of the most important factors that determines the desert safari you choose. Booking your tour in advance or opting for combo tours would help you save some money.
- The time of the day that suits you is another important factor. If you are a morning person who loves adventures, go for morning desert safari. On the other hand, fun and laidback evening is what you have in mind, the evening desert safari is best for you.
- If you do not like to be part of huge crowds, you can opt for a private desert safari, where there are only few guests. This would ensure that you get personal attention from tour guides. However, go for it only if budget is not an issue, as such desert safaris are expensive.
The important fact about desert safari in Dubai is that whichever tour you choose, you would definitely have an amazing time. However, always go for a reputed tour operator, where you are sure that you would get value for money.