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The desert safari adventure is a common tourist experience in Dubai. The city is built on the desert that’s why this is one of the major things you can experience while exploring this part of the United Arab Emirates.

Dubai Desert Safari Adventure
March 17, 2013

desert safari dubai
Desert Safari in Dubai

We had an Entertainer Book (which is book with coupons and discounts) and we used one of the pages for this adventure. We got two tickets for the price of one (AED 200) which was already a great deal.

Basically, the desert safari experience in Dubai includes sand dune bashing, camel riding, and a barbecue dinner where you can watch a belly dancing show.

sunset dubai
sunset in Dubai

Drive to the Starting Point

Our call time was at 3:30pm and we proceeded to the meeting area where a van picked us up. It took less than an hour to get to the starting point of the safari experience.

drive dubai
Burj Khalifa, tallest building in the world

We transferred to an off-road vehicle as we were to start the sand dune bashing activity. We were to head to the campsite, but hop on a land cruiser for an exciting ride.

Sand Dune Bashing

The driver played loud Indian or Arabic music and put the speed on full throttle. He stopped at times and then hit the accelerator again. He swerved the vehicle and with the different slopes in the sand dunes, you have to hold on tight and pray that the car won’t topple over.

dune bashing
bashing sand dunes

sand dune bash
We were with a Thai couple who weren’t prepared when  the driver swerved the car and went downhill.

It was nice that the music complemented the drive. But I felt nauseated trying to hold my camera to capture the moment. I turned off my camera to focus on other things, less I wanted to throw up on the driver’s backseat.

Riding a Camel

We reached the campsite and the sun started to set. I saw other tourists lining up to ride a camel. There were only 2 camels at the time that could accommodate the travellers on that day. However, it was already enough since the camel ride actually lasted for less than 2 minutes. The animal was just guided to walk on a circle.

       camel ride dubai
meeting a camel and riding one

After the camel ride, we were advised to head to the campsite as everyone else was gathering in the camp for the belly dance show.

Sand Photos

However, wanting to spend more time in the sand, we stayed behind and took more photos outside. The sun was already setting and it was beautiful to finally be at the desert.

dubai feet
small feet, big feet

sunset dubai photos
the desert!

I jumped around and rolled over sand slopes just because that’s how I am when I’m able to travel to a new destination. That is, I become hyper.


How high can I get?

I’ve been to the the sand dunes in Mui Ne, Vietnam, but this felt a little different. I realized that I’m actually in the Middle East!

Gathering at the Campsite

We entered the camp and saw a lot of tourists on that afternoon. We all gathered and sat in front of a round stage. Freebies included were tea and coffee, and some refreshments. While waiting for the show to start, there are a few other services being offered. There’s a local bringing a falcon for picture-taking with a fee. You can also try wearing a candura (for men) or an abaya (for women) and have photographs taken wearing Middle Eastern dresses.

We took a table on the last row since this was the only one available. If you want to get front tables, better be early.

campsite desert
inside the campsite

BBQ Dinner

Before the show was about to start, it was time for dinner! They gave us the go signal to line up at the buffet table tp get local food. I didn’t know what I ate and the lights were dark so I couldn’t see the food clearly. I remember the grilled chicken tasted real good. That’s why they ran out of the dish easily.

            dinner buffet desert safari
Barbecue Dinner

Tanoura and Belly Dances

The show started with a Tanoura Dance where a guy performed with an unusual costume. This is an Egyptian Heritage dance and the performer wears a colorful skirt. He has a couple of props while spinning around and around. He spun so fast that I got dizzy just watching him.

            tonoura dance
Tanoura Dance in Dubai’s Desert Safari

Afterwards, the belly dancing came next. There were a couple of tourists who gave tips to the dancer while she was performing. They were handing out the money and heading to the stage. They were told off for doing so as they should let the woman finish her performance without any interruptions.

belly dance dubai
Belly Dancing

The program ended after that and we got back to our van that took us home.

Desert Safari

Cost: 200 Dirhams per person
The desert safari adventure in Dubai was a welcome experience. I was able to see a more touristy side aside from the city environment which is all about work. The whole experience felt rushed. Though I realized that it was because we only had less than six hours overall.

Regular Desert Safari Activities:

  • Dune Bashing
  • Camel Riding
  • BBQ Dinner
  • Photographs in Local Dress
  • Enchanting Belly Dancing Show
  • Tanoura Dance
  • Arabic Tea & Coffee
  • Softdrinks & Refreshments

Pick-up is at 3:30pm and drop off at 9:30pm

desert dubai soloflighted

I was told that there is a better safari experience and that is if you go a little beyond the city. This is where the sand is redder and there are fewer plants. I will be blogging about it in another post. Definitely I had more fun in that area compared to this. But for a quick Dubai introduction, this experience was already enough.

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soloflightEd.com is a travel blog by Edcel Suyo. He enjoys performing headstands and crazy stunts during his trips in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Now based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and working to earn a living, he takes time to enjoy the city and travel during weekends.
For updates, Like his page on Facebook or Follow him on Twitter.
For questions, advertising, and other concerns, shoot an email to ed@soloflighted.com.


17 comments… add one
  • Verty detailed! Wish i could visit dubai soon! 🙂

    • Thanks! Visit this place during the colder months, Around Dec-Mar. During summer, it’s painful to get out and see the desert sun! 🙂

  • How much was it? There are cheap Cebu Pac flights there pero parang di ko masyadong type ang Dubai hehe

    • Forgot to place the price. Updated the blog Aleah! Thanks!
      It’s 200 Dirhams per pax but you can get deals online for buy one take one rates. If you’re craving for sand and sand alone, dubai is it. lol

  • Sky

    This is it, riding a camel is one of 40ish list but that must be experience in Morocco. I always got fascinated with Arabian nights, and camping, bbq dinner, with belly dancing, your exprience says it all. I know KL is just 7 hours away from Dubai I wish to have more extra leaves for next year.

    • Haha, I wish I have leaves this year! I’m getting used to the one-day off per week schedule. but yes, Morocco and nearer places are just around the corner. I hope that we get to visit plenty of them this time!

  • what a complete sensory experience you had there, edcel!
    bilib ako at nakuha mo pang kumuha ng pictures habang yugyog kayo sa sand dunes! husay! kakaawa tingnan iyong thai at hilo ata!
    riding the camel & watching the belly dancing seem nice. im sure you enjoyed doing your headstand trademark. panalo, sa disyerto pa ng dubai!

    • haha, yep. the thai woman wasn’t even screaming! jana and i were already shouting like we were in a roller coaster ride but the thai was just silent but scared all the time. hehe.

  • Wah gusto ko rin nyan. Plano ko noon na mag-stopover muna for a few days sa Dubai, kaso hindi muna hehe 😀 will track your upcoming Dubai posts. Padalhan mo nga ako ng postcard :))

  • Nice!

    This reminds me of my desert safari experience also. It was pretty much the same except that I was alone and I didn’t do your signature head stand.

    And the camel poop really stinks. The poop and the odor got stuck in my shoes. I should have known. 😀

    It looks like you’re having a blast in Dubai Ed.
    Looking forward to more Dubai or Middle East articles.

    • I think everyone has the same experience lang. This is probably the most popular tourist activity you can do in Dubai! Yikes, good thing we didn’t step into any camel dung. Thanks Dylan!

  • There was a time I was toying with the idea of flying Emirates going home and stopping in Dubai to do the above but after reading your Hatta Mountain Safari, I’d really want to do the latter.

    • The Hatta safari tour was a lot better, in my opinion. More things to do and more adventurous! Just make sure you come during the winter season. 🙂

  • Desert Safari Dubai is a common experience among the tourists that sprouts a serial of entertainment and lets you to fly in the air in night when you sit in the starry sky.

  • Deserts have same attraction from all over the world but nothing can be parallel to the Desert safari Dubai. This is a places with tremendous experience and solver up your moments when you sink in the golden sand.

  • Wow! I am so jealous. I would have loved to see those views in person.

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