The tradition of spending time in the desert is nothing new in the Middle east. Desert safari in Dubai is by far one of the most popular tourist activities and everybody visiting this fantastic city should try it at least once. Every day, hundreds of snow-white 4×4 Land Cruisers gather outside the city line for an epic off road adventure.
How to book Desert safari in Dubai?
The process of booking a safari is simple. You have tons of options, such as tour guide at your hotel, on the beach or in the city center. You can also book online (like we did). The company we used was called Arabian Night Safari. We booked online and paid to the driver when he picked us up. The price was just 130 DHS (32 EUR) per person, which is extremely cheap considering there is dinner included! As I discovered later, you can actually get this trip even cheaper, from 50 DHS already.
The pick up was originally planned at 15:00 but was delayed by 30 minutes. We did get a call from the driver, so that was not an issue. They picked us up from the hotel, which was very convenient.
The safari experience
It was not my first time doing the dune bashing (did that in Egypt once). What can I say? It was short and sweet. The whole ride was in a new 4×4 Land Cruiser with roof protection. The dunes are not too high, though. The sand seemed very thin and the car was sliding nicely. Our driver had lots of skills and made us cream a few times. Sadly, the whole ride was hardly 5 minutes long.
Once we arrived at the desert camp, some activities were offered, such as camel riding (free), horse riding, ATV, sand boarding, henna tattoo (free). Most people were using the beautiful sunset light to take cool pictures of themselves in the desert.
As it got darker, the dinner and evening show had started. We were treated to light snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. It’s also possible to order shisha for extra cost of 50 DHS (12 EUR). First performer for the night was belly dancer, followed by Tanura dance and fire show. BBQ buffet was open, and we got to try some nice local flavors and kebabs.
The evening ended way too soon, we didn’t even finish our meals when our driver called us to hurry to the meeting point. We were picked up by another snow-white jeep and taken to the parking lot where another car took us back to our hotels.
What we didn’t like
First, after the hotel pick up, we were taken to small store outside the city where we were almost forced to buy scarves and other safari accessories for a huge price. The safari scarf was offered at 6€, which is expensive. I don’t mind buying souvenirs and always haggle, but when I named the true price of 1$, the guy quickly disappeared.
The other annoying thing, as already mentioned, was rushing through the dinner and having to leave even before the last belly dancer stopped performing. I understand there are hundreds of people who need to get transported back, but this could have been organized slightly better.
Do I recommend this tour?
Yes! Even if you are not planning to do any tours, you should probably consider this one. It’s a beautiful way to experience the desert, thrill seekers will love the ride, all the performers did very well, and the food was delicious. For the price, this is a great way to spend an evening in Dubai.