This is an article about the Desert Safari in Dubai
Driving among the skyscrapers in Dubai

Dubai may be reputed for being a vacation playground for the rich and famous, but it has so much more to offer than just luxury goods, fast cars, and ritzy hotels.

Dubai is a state-of-the-art city located directly within the Arabian desert. My impulsive trip to Dubai unfortunately fell on its summer, so I had to endure the 44°C temperature every single day that I was there. Overnight lows are around 30°C, which is the average temperature in Malaysia.

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Driving towards the city centre

There is absolutely no way of escaping the heat, but you could make the most out of it by indulging in some fun. After days of shopping and struggling to fit more stuffs into my already loaded backpack, I've finally resorted to giving its renowned desert a visit:

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Desert in Dubai

While I am pretty sure I recalled my guide mentioning the name of the desert (saying "Dubai desert" is just too awfully vague"), but I could not find any information on it on the web. However, all the Desert Safari tours that you may find will lead you to this very part of the dust bowl.

What to expect in Dubai Desert Safari

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Dubai Desert Safari

The tour starts with a pick-up from your hotel after lunch hours and the journey from Dubai Marina takes a little more than half an hour. Once you are at the desert, the driver will take you on a wild and crazy spin on his 4WD, and the ride will not stop until someone in the car threatens to puke. This form of "activity" is called dune bashing. Never heard of it? Here's what to expect:

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Timid ones should go for one of these quad bikes instead

After the ride, we proceeded to an area where permanent tents have been set up. And there, we feast!

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Dinner buffet served in Dubai Desert Safari

Desert Safari in Dubai
Camel-riding in Dubai

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Horse-riding in Dubai

A 10-minute camel ride is complimentary, but you can choose to pay for longer ones if the experience appeals to you. You can also ride on horses (totally exciting!) at a cost.

Desert Safari in Dubai
what to do in dubai
Tanoura dance performance

There will be performances lined up while you dine and soak in the warm evening breeze, including the ever amazing Tanoura dance, along with belly dancing.

Other activities include:

  • Henna painting (free)
  • Hubble Bubble a.k.a shisha (free, but served only during dinner and you'd need to sit at an allocated place where the stage is out of sight. Oh you know, just another marketing trick to make you pay. Otherwise its 6 AED)
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Photography in traditional costumes
  • Unlimited drinks - mineral water and local sodas (free)
  • Sand-skiing

The desert safari tour is a perfect one-day activity if your stay in Dubai is short. If you are up for more adventures, why not sign up for the three-day camel trekking package?

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