Best Dubai desert safari - Buggy riding

10 Best Dubai Desert Safaris That Will Blow Your Mind

Discover top-rated desert safaris in Dubai and read my helpful tips to prepare for your adventure in the golden sands

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Choose among the best Dubai desert safaris for an exciting journey into the heart of the Arabian desert. Certainly, you will have plenty of activities in the city itself, but a desert safari from Dubai is a must-do. As a first-time visitor, you may find yourself awestruck by the endless expanse of golden sand dunes, shimmering under the blazing sun. It’s like stepping into a different world, one where the hustle and bustle of city life feels like a distant memory.

Among the advantages of Dubai desert trips is that they are very well-organised and full of adventurous things to do. They include the traditional and the modern, the thrilling and the serene. From high-speed dune bashing and electrifying quad biking to tranquil camel rides and mesmerising belly dance performances, there’s something for everyone.

I’ve been on many safaris in the past years. In this article, I will share my list of 10 best desert tours in Dubai that will surely leave a long-lasting impression. But first, let’s talk about a few practical things you need to know before going to the desert in Dubai.

How much is a Dubai desert safari

When planning a safari tour in Dubai, one of the first questions many travellers ask me is about the Dubai desert safari cost. The answer largely depends on the type of safari you choose and the activities included in the package. However, a Dubai desert safari price can range anywhere between AED 50 to AED 1,500 per person.

So, they are affordable, and you can choose from both budget and premium trips. Moreover, many best desert safari companies in Dubai, such as Arabian Adventures, OceanAir Travels and Platinum Heritage, regularly offer desert safari deals and discounts, especially in the off-season.

Cheap desert safaris in Dubai are perfect for those looking to experience the desert’s charm without breaking the bank. They are typically shared and include basic amenities like transportation, dune bashing, camel rides and a traditional BBQ dinner in a desert camp. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more luxurious experience, you can opt for premium Dubai safaris. These offer exclusive services such as private 4×4 vehicles for dune bashing, gourmet meals, VIP lounges and even overnight stays in Bedouin-style tents.

No matter what your budget is, rest assured that a Dubai desert trip offers excellent value for money. After all, where else can you experience such a unique blend of adventure, culture and natural beauty?

Book your Dubai desert safari here

Best Dubai desert safari - Dune bashing

Where is a desert safari in Dubai

The desert safari in Dubai usually takes place in the Arabian Desert, located on the outskirts of the city. The most popular locations for safari tours in Dubai are the Lahbab Desert, also known as the Red Dune Desert, and the Al Awir Desert. Both of these offer stunning landscapes and are perfect for a variety of desert activities.

The Lahbab Desert, with its towering red sand dunes, is a haven for thrill-seekers. Its steep dunes are perfect for adrenaline-pumping activities like dune bashing and sandboarding. On the other hand, the Al Awir Desert offers a more traditional desert experience. Besides dune bashing, it’s the ideal location for a leisurely camel ride or a night under the stars in the desert.

Top locations for best Dubai desert safaris:

  • Lahbab Desert
  • Al Awir Desert
  • Liwa Desert
  • Al Faya Desert
  • Bidayer Desert
  • Mleiha Desert
  • Sweihan Desert
  • Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve
  • Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve

Remember, the journey to the desert is as exciting as the safari itself. As you drive away from the city’s glitz and glamour, you’ll witness a dramatic change in scenery. The concrete jungle slowly gives way to a vast expanse of sand, setting the stage for an unforgettable desert adventure.

Activities and things to do during desert safari trips

A safari tour from Dubai is packed with a multitude of activities, ensuring there’s never a dull moment. Moreover, practically all safari trips include transfers to the location and back.

Popular desert safari activities in Dubai:

  • Dune bashing
  • Sandboarding
  • Camel riding
  • Quad biking
  • Henna painting
  • Shisha smoking
  • Traditional Arabic costumes
  • Belly dancing shows
  • Tanoura dance
  • BBQ dinner in the camp
  • Falconry shows
  • Sunset or sunrise photography
  • Stargazing activities
  • Overnight stays in the desert

As soon as you arrive at the desert camp, the adventure begins with a thrilling session of dune bashing. Fasten your seatbelts as skilled drivers manoeuvre 4×4 vehicles across the towering sand dunes, offering a rollercoaster-like experience.

But the excitement doesn’t end there. You can also try your hand at quad biking or sandboarding down the dunes for an additional adrenaline rush. If you prefer a more relaxed pace, hop on a camel for a leisurely ride across the desert or enjoy a peaceful hot air balloon ride at sunrise.

As the day turns into night, the desert camp transforms into a cultural hub. Indulge in a sumptuous BBQ dinner while watching traditional Tanoura and belly dance performances. Don’t forget to get a henna tattoo or dress up in traditional Arabic attire for some memorable photographs. As the night ends with a stunning display of fireworks, you’ll be left with memories to cherish forever.

What is the best Dubai desert safari? Keep reading or jump to my list below to find that out!

Best Dubai desert safari - Henna painting

When to go on a Dubai desert safari

The best season for a Dubai desert safari is typically from November to March. Can you go on a safari in Dubai in the summer? Yes, it is possible, but it depends on your heat tolerance. In the summer season, day temperatures can rise to 40-50°C.

As for the the day period, many safari trips are generally organised during a cooler part of the day:

  • Morning Dubai desert safari
  • Evening Dubai desert safari
  • Overnight Dubai desert safari

Choosing when to go on a safari tour in Dubai largely depends on your preference and the type of experience you’re looking for. Morning safaris are popular among early risers and adventure enthusiasts. They offer the chance to witness the desert’s beauty at sunrise and partake in thrilling activities like dune bashing and sandboarding.

Evening safaris, on the other hand, are perfect for those looking to experience the desert’s cultural side. They additionally include activities like camel riding, traditional dance performances, henna painting and a BBQ dinner under the stars.

If you want to immerse yourself in the desert’s enchanting atmosphere, consider an overnight safari. You’ll get to sleep in a traditional Bedouin tent and wake up to a beautiful desert sunrise. There’s nothing quite like spending a night in the desert, with the silence only broken by the occasional sound of desert wildlife.

Book your Dubai desert safari here

What to wear for a desert safari in Dubai

When it comes to what to wear for a Dubai desert safari, comfort is key. There is no official dress code for desert safari in Dubai. Opt for loose, lightweight clothing that allows for easy movement. Shorts and T-shirts are perfectly fine in cooler months. Long pants and long-sleeve tops are recommended in hotter months to protect your skin.

Finally, I recommend closed-toe shoes for activities like dune bashing and sandboarding. For other activities, you can also wear flip-flops or open-toe shoes.

Remember to carry a hat and sunglasses, and apply sunscreen to protect yourself from the desert sun. If you’re planning an evening or overnight safari, don’t forget to carry a light sweater or jacket, as the desert can get quite chilly at night. Taking a shawl is a great idea if your desert safari trip coincides with a sand storm.

Have Fun Dubai’s Tip: I recommend always checking the Dubai weather forecast before you go on a safari to dress appropriately.

Best Dubai desert safari - Quad bike

10 best Dubai desert safaris

I hope you found my tips above helpful. Now, I am ready to reveal my 10 best Dubai desert safaris for a memorable adventure.

1. Safari tour to Al Khayma desert camp

  • Safari tour company: OceanAir Travel
  • Pick-up/Drop-off: Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman
  • Safari type: Shared
  • Start time: 07:00, 08:00, 09:00, 10:00, 15:00, 16:00
  • Duration: 4 to 7 hours
  • Location: Lahbab Desert (Al Khayma Camp)
  • Travel time: 45 minutes
  • What’s included: transfer, dune bashing, sandboarding, camel riding, camel feeding, quad biking (optional), camp visit, shisha smoking, tanoura dancing, henna painting, photo stop, BBQ dinner, mineral water, soft drinks, Arabic tea and coffee, dates (activities depend on the length of the tour you select)
  • Price: From AED 128 per person

Book your safari tour to Al Khayma desert camp here

Best Dubai desert safaris - Al Khayma camp safari

2. Half-day safari to Lahbab desert with dune bashing, sandboarding and camel riding

  • Safari tour company: OceanAir Travel
  • Pick-up/Drop-off: Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman
  • Safari type: Shared (small group)
  • Start time: 07:00, 08:00, 09:00, 10:00, 15:30, 16:30
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Location: Lahbab Desert
  • Travel time: 45 minutes
  • What’s included: transfer, dune bashing, sandboarding, camel riding, quad biking (optional), mineral water, soft drinks, Arabic tea and coffee, dates
  • Price: From AED 115 per person

Book your half-day safari to Lahbab desert here

Best Dubai desert safaris - Half-day Lahbab desert safari

3. Lahbab desert safari with dune bashing, sandboarding and a photo stop

  • Safari tour company: Ammar Tours
  • Pick-up/Drop-off: Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman
  • Safari type: Shared and private
  • Start time: 08:00, 09:00, 10:00, 15:00, 15:30
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Location: Lahbab Desert
  • Travel time: 45 minutes
  • What’s included: transfer, dune bashing, sandboarding, camel riding, photo stop, quad biking (optional), mineral water
  • Price: From AED 110 per person

Book your Lahbab desert safari with dune bashing here

4. Evening desert safari from Dubai with a buffet dinner

  • Safari tour company: Desert Fun Tourism
  • Pick-up/Drop-off: Dubai
  • Safari type: Shared
  • Start time: 15:00, 15:30
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Location: Lahbab Desert
  • Travel time: 45 minutes
  • What’s included: transfer, dune bashing, sandboarding, belly dancing, tanoura dancing, fire show, henna painting, falcon photo, buffet BBQ dinner, mineral water, soft drinks, tea and coffee, sweets
  • Price: From AED 170 per person

Book your evening desert safari from Dubai with a buffet dinner here

Best Dubai desert safaris - Desert tour with buffet dinner

5. Dubai safari tour with a self-drive buggy ride

  • Safari tour company: OceanAir Travel
  • Pick-up/Drop-off: Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman
  • Safari type: Shared
  • Start time: 07:45, 08:34, 15:00
  • Duration: 4 to 6 hours
  • Location: Lahbab Desert (Al Khayma Camp)
  • Travel time: 45 minutes
  • What’s included: transfer, self-drive 2000 cc buggy ride, sandboarding, camel riding, camel feeding, camp visit, shisha smoking, tanoura dancing, photo stop, BBQ dinner, mineral water, soft drinks, Arabic tea and coffee (activities depend on the length of the tour you select)
  • Price: From AED 1,550 per group (up to 2 persons)

Book your Dubai safari tour with a self-drive buggy ride here

Best Dubai desert safaris - Buggy ride

6. Heritage safari to Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve

  • Safari tour company: Platinum Heritage
  • Pick-up/Drop-off: Dubai
  • Safari type: Shared
  • Start time: 14:30
  • Duration: 7 hours
  • Location: Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve
  • Travel time: 45 minutes
  • What’s included: transfer, gentle ride in a vintage Land Rover, camel riding, shisha smoking, henna painting, music, falconry, 4-course dinner, mineral water, soft drinks, Arabic tea and coffee
  • Price: From AED 710 per person

Book your Heritage safari to Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve here

Best Dubai desert safaris - Heritage safari tour

7. Sunrise jeep safari to Al Marmoom Reserve and Al Qudra Lakes for early birds

  • Safari tour company: Orient Tours
  • Pick-up/Drop-off: Dubai
  • Safari type: Shared and private
  • Start time: 04:15
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Location: Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve
  • Travel time: 50 minutes
  • What’s included: transfer, wildlife drive, picnic breakfast, photo stop, sandboarding, oryx feeding station, visit to Al Qudra Lakes
  • Price: From AED 170 per person

Book your sunrise jeep safari to Al Marmoom Reserve and Al Qudra Lakes here

Best Dubai desert safaris - Al Marmoom sunrise safari

8. Falconry safari to Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve

  • Safari tour company: Royal Shaheen Events
  • Pick-up/Drop-off: Dubai
  • Safari type: Shared (small group)
  • Start time: 05:00
  • Duration: 5 to 6 hours
  • Location: Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve
  • Travel time: 45 minutes
  • What’s included: transfer, dune drive, 90-minute falconry experience, breakfast (optional), visit to the Falconry Museum and the Falcon Souq, coffee, dates
  • Price: From AED 675 per person

Book your falconry safari to Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve here

9. Overnight Dubai desert safari

  • Safari tour company: Orient Tours
  • Pick-up/Drop-off: Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman
  • Safari type: Shared (small group)
  • Start time: 14:45
  • Duration: 17 hours
  • What’s included: transfer, dune bashing, sandboarding, BBQ dinner and light breakfast, tanoura dancing, belly dancing, 1-night stay in a camp tent, water, soft drinks
  • Price: From AED 470 per person

Book your overnight Dubai desert safari here

10. Private Dubai safari tour with an astronomy session

  • Safari tour company: Platinum Heritage
  • Pick-up/Drop-off: Dubai
  • Safari type: Private
  • Start time: 17:30
  • Duration: 5 hours
  • Location: Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve
  • Travel time: 45 minutes
  • What’s included: transfer, night drive in a vintage Land Rover, guided torchlight walk in the dunes, 3-course dinner, astronomy session with a telescope
  • Price: From AED 1,430 per person

Book your private Dubai safari tour with an astronomy session here

Best Dubai desert safaris - Night safari tour

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