If you love warm days with lots of sunshine, beautiful modern architecture and gorgeous beaches, then you need to visit Dubai! Dubai is one, out of seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. An estimated 13.2 million people travel to Dubai each year to see its stunning, record breaking architecture, beautiful, sunny beaches, and venture out on desert safaris!
Dubai jeep safaris are very different as compared to African safaris. You won’t see savannahs full of zebra or lakes full of hippos from your safari vehicle. Instead, you’ll experience dune bashing in miles of sandy dunes, camel rides, sand boarding and incredible entertainment such as Arabian belly dancing and fire show.
What to expect on a Desert Safari
The desert safaris in Dubai don’t take place right in the city. A driver will pick you up from where ever you’re staying and drive you out of the city. Typically, the drive is an hour or more but what comes next is well worth the wait! Dubai is surrounded by deserts so depending on where the desert camp is will determine where you will go. Once your safari is over, you’ll be taken back to your hotel or where ever you’re staying, by the same driver that picked you up.
Desert safaris have a lot of different options. There are morning safaris, evening safaris, and overnight safaris. Within these different safaris, are different activities so keep that in mind when booking.
In a morning safari, a professional driver will pick you up from your hotel in the 4×4 vehicle. They’ll take you through the desert for some adrenaline filled dune bashing and you’ll get the chance to ride a camel and sand ski. This safari is generally two hours long.
Evening safaris are a very popular safari in Dubai. The driver will pick you up and take you dune bashing. You’ll have the chance to watch the sunset before reaching your camp. In the desert camp, you’ll get the chance to ride a camel and sand board. You can also get your hands painted with a henna design. After dinner you will be entertained with a belly dance performance around a campfire underneath the star filled sky. A belly dancing show is very popular among both evening safaris and overnight safaris. The evening safari is typically six hours long.
The overnight safari includes everything that the evening safaris include plus more! You’ll be offered traditional costumes to try out an click pictures in. All food and drink is included. The campsite you’ll be staying at provides you with sleeping bags and blankets for night so you can leave your camp gear at home!
All safaris offer some type of meal. Morning safaris usually offer lunch, evening safaris offer dinner and overnight safaris offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can choose to remove the meal from your morning or evening safari, which does reduce the cost, but it’s recommended that you keep the meal so you stay energized in the desert.
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Cost of a Desert Safari
Desert safaris are VERY affordable! A morning or evening safari can cost anywhere from 180-550 Emirati Dirham per person (which is around $50-$100 U.S. dollars). Overnight safaris can cost anywhere from 620-2200 Emirati Dirham (which is around $170-$600 U.S. dollars) per person.
Remember, not all safaris are the same. They have different package options and are of different duration so depending on what you’d like to experience, will determine the price you get. There are a lot of different tour operators conducting these tours, and invariably all can be found online. Alternatively you can also book them at your hotel.
What to wear during Desert Safari
It is recommended that you limit what you bring since the safari SUVs don’t have a lot of bag space in them. If you’re staying in a hotel and taking part in any safari, ONLY BRING ESSENTIALS and leave the rest at the hotel! You don’t want to be crammed while you’re hitting top speeds in the middle of the desert.
It’s suggested that you wear comfortable clothes no matter who you are. Guys are recommended to wear shorts or loose pants. Women can wear trousers and a T shirt or a traditional outfit called Salwar Kamiz.
Dubai does have a dress code among men and women. See through clothing is not allowed. Also, bathing suits worn anywhere but the pool or beach are not allowed. Women also need to be dressed appropriately. Yes, it will be hot but if you want to be mindful to the Arabic culture, you should avoid wearing crop top and short shorts. For men, shorts must not be any higher than the knee and a bare chest is not allowed anywhere but the beach or pool. You may be asked to leave wherever you are if you’re not dressed accordingly or look inappropriate so just be cautious in your wardrobe choice.
Can children join Desert Safaris
Desert safaris sound intense, is it safe or a good idea to bring young children or even infants? The answer is both yes and no. Most safari tours will accommodate younger children and offer car seats to be rented for dune bashing. Depending on the company or tour, there may be an age limit so always double check before arriving. Dune bashing is safe and the drivers are professionals, however, you’ll be going top speeds in the desert. Younger children may get scared, cry, or even get sick during the tour. Some tours offer kid friendly activities and others do not. You may also be able to skip on the dune bashing and just stay at the camp if your children do not want to participate. Check with the tour operator because all camps are different.
Luxury Desert Safari
Desert safari choices within Dubai would not be complete without there being a luxury safari category. One of the most popular luxury desert safari tour operator is called Platinum Heritage. Platinum Heritage runs trips all year around but some of the options are only available during a certain part of the year. Your accommodation during the luxury safari will be in a private oasis called the Royal Desert Retreat within the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. The retreat offers a falconry demonstration and avoids dune bashing, which can be harmful to the desert environment. Platinum Heritage offers a safe, relaxed, wildlife spotting drive through the dunes. They also offer hot air balloon rides, helicopter tours, an astronomy experience, and of course, a camel safari.
Here is a video preview.
Dubai’s desert safaris offer many different options to experience the beauty of the city. Desert safaris can either be an adrenaline rush or calm and relaxing. There is a lot of culture and fun mixed in to any of the different safaris and it’s an experience you’ll not want to miss.