A safari into the desert is one of those must-do Dubai activities that everyone should try at least once in their lifetime. Couples can opt to experience eating dinner under the stars after a romantic camel ride through the dunes whilst more adventurous travelers can choose an exhilarating dune buggy ride or the chance to go sandboarding and shred up the sand! With so much variety on offer to suit all types of travelers, finding the best desert safari experiences in Dubai can be a challenge.
Whether you’re more interested in traditional Emirati culture or simply want some stunning photos, we have plenty of inspiring ideas for you. Here are the best desert safari Dubai options available on Tiqets.com to help you choose your ideal excursion and maximize your next trip to the UAE.
1. Looking for the full experience? Try one of Dubai’s safari tours
There are plenty of options for safaris to suit every type of traveler. For the early birds, perhaps a sunrise safari tour complete with a picnic breakfast might suit your taste? The colors of the desert in the early morning are incredible and this one includes a falcon show as well. If you’re very lucky, you might even see wild Arabian oryx and have the chance to feed them.
⭐ Good to know: This safari takes place within a conservation reserve, which is home to gazelles, kestrels, and other wildlife worth keeping an eye out for.
Speaking of falconry, a Dubai falconry experience is truly unique, as it allows visitors to learn all about the heritage of this traditional sport. Bedouins in the United Arab Emirates and the wider Arabian Peninsula have practiced falconry for 4,000 years. On this safari you’ll get to see ancient hunting practices in action and, of course, get some excellent photos holding your own bird of prey.
For those seeking a once-in-a-lifetime evening experience of the desert, it’s also possible to book a nighttime astronomy safari to wish upon the stars. This private tour features an astronomy session with your professional astronomer guide, which is sure to be an unforgettable way to experience the Dubai desert!
⭐ Good to know: If you’re short on time, it’s possible to pack quite a few activities into one desert safari while exploring Dubai. For those with only one day to spare, we recommend the half-day city tour which includes an evening desert safari. During the day you’ll get to see highlights of the city of Dubai, like the Blue Mosque, and then have dinner in the desert under the stars.
2. Looking to tackle the dunes? Try sandboarding in Dubai
Sandboarding is an exhilarating activity. It’s similar to snowboarding, except it takes place on hot sand rather than cold snow! If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at this unique sport then there’s no better place than among the massive dunes of Dubai’s desert.
Those who’ve ever skateboarded, snowboarded or surfed will likely take to sandboarding like a duck to water. Beginner? Fear not, you can always sit down on the board if you’re finding it a challenge. For the ultimate adrenaline-pumping adventure, this desert safari includes dune-bashing, a camel ride, and sandboarding.
⭐ Good to know: many other Dubai desert safaris on Tiqets.com also offer the chance to try out sandboarding along the way as well, so you can get a bit more bang for your buck.
3. Looking for speed? Try a dune buggy experience
One of the most exciting ways to experience the desert surrounding Dubai is by speeding along in a dune buggy. Instead of being cooped up inside a car, dune buggy bashing will make you feel like Mad Max in real life. Dune buggies are lower and more open to the elements than cars, so you’re guaranteed to feel the wind (and sand!) in your hair.
You can book a Dubai dune buggy experience to coincide with breakfast or dinner if you want some delicious refreshment after all the fun. Or why not combine the exhilaration of dune buggy driving with some sandboarding? Just ensure you wear all the safety equipment to avoid sand getting in your eyes, mouth, nose or anywhere else…
For an experience you’ll never forget, the “Night Raid” dune buggy safari lets you drive your own buggy through the sands under the stars!
4. Looking to soak up local culture? Try one of Dubai’s camel tours
Camels were very important in Emirati culture, used for transport, milk and meat. Today they remain a symbol of Dubai’s cultural heritage and no trip to Dubai would be complete without a camel ride through the desert.
Many of the best Dubai camel ride tours combine well with other activities we’ve already mentioned. If you’re particularly interested in traditional Emirati culture then safaris such as this one makes a great choice. It includes a falconry experience along with the camel ride and the best photo opportunities for animal lovers.
⭐ Good to know: it’s also possible to choose a safari which visits a camel farm so that you can see how the camels are cared for before going for a ride on these majestic ‘ships of the desert’. Grab tickets below for an experience that’ll also include dinner and a show, along with henna painting and Arabian costume photography.
5. Adrenaline junky? Try desert quad biking in Dubai
The only thing more fun than a camel or dune buggy to race across the sand is a quad bike. Faster than a camel and completely open to the elements, this mode of transport is nothing but fun.
Desert quad biking in Dubai is the ultimate off-road adventure, where the roar of your quad bike engine is the only sound in the desert. This quad bike tour is ideal for both beginners and experienced quad riders. The guides will give you a safety briefing (and explain everything you’d need to know if you’re a first timer) before letting you loose.
⭐ Good to know: if you’re short on time, choose one of the safaris that combine quad-biking with other exciting activities. For example, some morning safari’s allow you to add on quad biking as an optional extra.
6. Foodie? Try a Dubai desert safari with a BBQ dinner
A Dubai desert safari is an unforgettable experience, particularly if you go all out for one that includes dinner and an exciting show.
These evening safaris usually combine many of the best daytime activities on offer, like camel rides, sandboarding and dune-bashing. Guests are then whisked away to a desert campsite where they can enjoy delicious Emirati cuisine with dancers performing during dinner.
This evening Dubai desert safari features three different performances during dinner. You’ll be able to witness belly dancing, fire dancing, and Tanura while enjoying your BBQ meal. Tanura (or Tanoura) dancing is usually performed by men in fancy skirts and turbans, who spin around without getting dizzy.
On an evening or overnight safari guests will also often get to have a temporary henna tattoo and even sleep in a traditional tent after dinner and shisha. There is nothing more magical than waking up in the desert and having a breakfast of Arabic coffee with dates!
7. Looking for a unique experience? Try a Dubai hot air balloon adventure
One thing all the previous safaris have had in common is that they take place on the ground. But if you are seeking a truly once-in-a-lifetime desert experience in Dubai, you need to take to the sky!
A Dubai hot air balloon ride will see you floating in silence above the beauty of the desert. It departs just before sunrise, so you’ll get to witness the sun peeking above the sand dunes and bathing the world in light.
⭐ Good to know: you can make things even more special by combining a hot air balloon experience with a visit to a Bedouin camp with many activities to enjoy too. After witnessing the sunrise from the skies you’ll also be able to ride camels, go dune bashing, and quad biking.