dubai desert safari camel ride

Ultimate Guide to Desert Safari: All You Need to Know

Dubai is an astonishing global city, but its roots are entrenched in its humble beginnings, and its untouched desert landscape remains its iconic symbol and landmark. Visiting Dubai’s desert is as significant as the region’s other excellent attractions, such as Burj Khalifa, Palm Jumeirah, etc. So make sure you add a desert trip to your Dubai program, as this exclusive read will guide you on everything you should know about a desert safari in Dubai, such as its locations, the best time to visit, top activities and experiences, and important things to know.  


Being in Dubai means you’re in one of the safest places on the planet, so it goes without saying that traveling to its desert landscape on your own is safe. While it’s doable, you and your group members must be seasoned enough to maneuver the vehicle through the uneven, untamed, and remote desert terrain. You must have an international driving license and also be well-armed to tackle any unforeseen circumstances, like getting a wheel stuck behind the sand. If you are in Dubai for the first time or simply want to skip all the above hassles, it is recommended to book a fully guided Dubai desert safari through an experienced service provider; they will take care of every element of your desert trip, from hotel transfers and adventurous desert exploration to all desert-exclusive activities and experiences.  


Al Awir

It’s one of the most frequented desert safari locations in Dubai, mainly due to its proximity to the city center, about 35 to 40 minutes away.  


The desert landscape encompassing the Bidayer region is instantly recognizable for its mysterious red color and hence is also famed as the Big Red Desert.  


A 50-minute drive from Dubai will lead you to Lahbab’s desert region, which stands out for its unique desert terrain and bright orange-red sands.  

Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve

It’s more than a desert safari location; it is an untouched and protected area and also the country’s first national park.  


Desert safaris in Dubai range from a short morning desert safari to an evening desert safari (lasting about five to six hours) to an overnight safari in Dubai that lets you experience the thrill of both morning and evening safaris in a single tour. Whichever you choose, each of these safaris presents you with a spectacular lens to help you soak in the surprising mysteries and magic of what appears to be desolate at first glance.  


two women wearing head scarf taking selfie together
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Dune Bash

The major attraction of any desert safari is a 40- to 45-minute dune bash session aboard a powerful, well-maintained 4X4 vehicle. It is mostly conducted under the supervision of an expert driver who will guide you through the high and low dunes at high speeds, sure to amuse and exhilarate all your senses.  

Camel Ride

There is no better way to appreciate the unparalleled desert sands that stretch before you than on a classic camel ride. But it is more than that; it will transport you to an ancient era when this experience was the sole way to navigate the compelling golden sands and explore the trade routes.  

Witness Sunrise and Sunset

Watching the blazing sun rise or set against the sheer desert beauty is an indescribable experience. Take an early morning safari to catch up with the sunrise and an evening desert safari for sunset views. But if you don’t want to miss both views, consider going on an overnight desert safari.

ATV Adventures

From quad bikes to dune buggies, pick your adventure to discover the Arabian Desert’s beauty and tranquility at your pace with a sprinkle of sheer fun and thrill. The best thing is that they mostly don’t require any particular skill to ride these ATVs (all-terrain vehicles). If you don’t want to participate in intense actions, you can test your balancing skills in the desert in a sandboarding session.

Participate in Cultural Activities

A desert safari offers the rare chance to indulge in activities and experiences that reflect generations of Bedouin traditions. They are as unique and incredible as henna tattooing, Shisha smoking, and falconry, to name a few. Moreover, you can take home fantastic souvenir pictures snapped wearing traditional Emirati dresses.

Savor a BBQ Dinner

It is one of the inevitable segments of an evening and overnight desert safari, ensuring a sensory feast with many local and traditional flavors to tantalize your taste buds.

Watch Traditional Performances

It’s another highlight of the evening and overnight desert safaris, where the brilliant Tanura artists and talented belly dancers breathe life into the fascinating safari with their rhythmic live performances.  Camping Under the Stars: It is probably the most looked-forward-to segment of an overnight desert safari! Unplug from your buzzing routine as you leave all worries about the world behind and camp under the starry sky amid the silence of the desert in the cozy comforts of your modest tent.

Aerial Activities

A desert trip in Dubai is not restricted to the above activities. Depending on your preferences, you can take in the Arabian Desert from an unrivaled perspective. Sign up for a hot air balloon ride that lets you float like a cloud over the desert, or consider going on an exciting paramotor session. If you want to take it to a new level, nothing comes close to a nerve-wracking skydiving experience where you will jump out of an aircraft at over 12,000 feet. The one-minute freefall and the most magnificent views of the desert make it an unforgettable desert adventure.


people riding on camels
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  • The best time to take a desert safari in Dubai is during the winter months (November to March). The summer months, mainly July and August, are unbearably hot.
  • Dress modestly and appropriately for your desert trip; carry a shawl or a light jacket for your early morning and evening desert trips in the winter.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, apply sunscreen, and use sunglasses to protect your skin and eyes from the intense UV rays.
  • Don’t attempt to participate in activities like dune bashing, especially if you are pregnant, have undergone any surgery recently, or suffer from any kind of heart ailments.
  • Book a private desert package for an exclusive desert experience with your intimate group.


If you think Dubai’s desert is just a stretch of endless lifeless sands, visit here at least once in your lifetime, and it will forever change your perception. It’s a playground for adventurists, a spiritual heart for history and culture enthusiasts, and an unrivaled splendor for nature lovers and leisure seekers. In fact, a desert safari in Dubai is more than just getting introduced to a different side of the city; it’s like journeying yourself to a bygone era and reliving a slice of traditional, modest Arabia!

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