Is Dubai a part of your 2019 travel plan? If you are a first time visitor, you must know that a visit to Dubai is never complete without a desert safari. If you have visited Dubai before, but have not been able to experience a desert safari, you can make it your goal for this year. This is because no other tourist attraction can give you a genuine feel of Arabia than a desert safari. You have a lot to see and do in the desert and they include the sand dunes, desert camps, camel rides, authentic Arabian food, quad biking, and sand boarding, among many other things. Now, if you want to make your desert safari a truly memorable one, it is important that you choose the best provider of desert safaris in Dubai.
The popularity of Dubai desert safaris has increased tremendously over the last few years and they take place in several locations around Dubai. There are hundreds of safari providers and it is a challenging task to choose the right provider. It is, therefore, our goal to provide you with a guide so that you can make the right decision when choosing the best Dubai desert safari.
Dubai, an important emirate of the United Arab Emirates, shares borders with Sharjah (northeast), Abu Dhabi (south) and the Sultanate of Oman (southeast). Though located within the Arabian Desert, the topography of Dubai is different from the rest of the UAE’s southern parts. The landscape of Dubai made up of sandy desert patterns, while gravel deserts dominate the southern parts of the UAE. The main constituents of the fine, white, and clean sand are coral and crushed shell.
The sprawling deserts that consist of several sand dunes provide you with an opportunity to experience the life of the locals. The desert safaris are designed in such a way that the memories remain with you for a long time to come. This is achieved by combining traditional and modern amenities and incorporating adventure activities, entertainment, and dinner as part of the package.
Typically, the desert safaris start from the hotel where you have booked your accommodation. From the hotel, you will be taken to the magical desert camp. The host of activities and experiences that await you at the camp include the shisha bar, falconry, camel ride, sand boarding, buffet dinner, and belly dancing. There will be something for each one to enjoy.
While the experiences may vary from one safari to another, they all include a few typical things in common. They are as follows:
If you are wondering as to how you will get to the desert, almost all of the safari providers include transfers to and from the desert campsite in the package. The safari provider will pick you up from your hotel and drop you back after taking you through various activities that you have opted for as part of the safari. This means transportation to from the desert is covered and all that you need to do is relax and enjoy the safari!
Several adventure activities will be offered to you and you can choose the ones that you want to involve in during the desert safari. They range from dune bashing and dune buggy riding to wildlife watching, sandboarding, and camel ride. Some providers offer a quad biking experience as well.
Taste of Arabia
The traditional activities that form part of Dubai desert safaris include the entertainment shows and buffet dinner. Entertainment shows include belly dancing, tanoura dance, horse dance, puppet dance, and fire dance!
Other UAE cities also offer desert safaris, but a desert safari in Dubai provides a unique experience and is preferred by most tourists. The different types of safaris on offer include the following:
The duration of an evening safari is about six hours. You ride through the desert on an SUV with the expert and experienced driver skillfully negotiating the treacherous dunes, their crazy peaks as well as falls. It is as thrilling, if not more, as a ride on a roller coaster.
After the drive, you will be taken to the desert camp where you get to experience as to how the early settlers lived in the desert. Women can get their hands painted using Henna, both men and women can try Arabian dresses, drink authentic Arabian coffee, and smoke shisha. The safari is ended in style with performances by belly dancers and a delicious barbeque dinner with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.
The difference between a premium desert safari and a regular desert safari is the specialized service provided to you when you return to the desert camp after the exciting desert ride in an SUV. After relaxing for a while at the desert camp, you can involve in several activities such as sand-boarding on sand dunes and holding a falcon. This is followed by a sumptuous dinner with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies. The premium desert safari ends with performances by Tanura artists and belly dancers. It is the hospitality extended to you that will make it a memorable experience.
If your goal is to spend a longer period of time in the desert, then this is the safari you should be opting for. After involving in a host of activities including dune bashing, a ride on a camel, and sand-boarding in the evening, you get back to the desert camp to enjoy dinner and other activities. In the night, you will be sleeping in a tent inside comfortable sleeping bags provided with blankets. You will also be provided with as much tea and coffee as you want. You will be taken back to your hotel after a sumptuous breakfast in the morning.
Deserts are not just about sands and cactuses. There is a lot more to explore in the desert. In addition to rare fauna and flora, there are other sights as well as attractions. You can involve in sand-boarding, a fun activity, which is very similar to snowboarding. Other attractions include a ride on a camel. After spending a lot of time in the desert, you get back to the camp to relax and enjoy a delicious dinner and belly dance performed by professional artists.
A morning safari in the desert is for you if you prefer to enjoy the desert sights before it becomes too hot. All of the activities offered in a regular/evening desert safari are made available for morning desert safari as well. The morning safari starts with the dune-bashing SUV ride and is followed by a ride on a camel, quad biking, and sandboarding. A ride on a hot air balloon is also optionally provided. Above all, you get to enjoy the sunrise in the desert. A morning desert safari may also include traditional Arabian breakfast. It depends on the tour package opted by you.
It depends on what kind of experience you are looking for: the adrenaline rush that quad biking provides or a peaceful night in the desert watching the stars. If you are a morning person, you may want to see the sunrise. Sometimes, you may be looking forward to having a taste of entertainment in Arabia, belly dancing and tanoura dance, among others. A Dubai desert safari offers something for each one.
Time of the Day and Adventure Levels
Desert safaris are conducted at various times in a day. Daytime safaris primarily focus on adventure sports and include activities like dune bashing, quad biking, and sandboarding. Adventure activities may or may not be a part of evening safaris, but they often include buffet dinners, henna painting, and entertainment shows. Some evening safaris may even include sleeping under the stars.
Softer and more traditional desert safaris are also available. In such safaris, you relax in a camp in the desert. At the camp, you get to try traditional Arabic dresses, temporary henna tattoo, and shisha. After sunset, you get to enjoy a delicious Arabian dinner.
You will enjoy a desert safari only if you get to experience what you are looking for without exceeding your budget. Look out for desert safari providers that offer great discounts on desert activities. If you are visiting Dubai for the very first time and want to get an experience of the city as well as the desert, you can consider combo deals that include a desert safari, dinner cruise in the traditional dhow, and/or a visit to Burj Khalifa.
Regular Safari Provider
It is always a good idea to choose a company that provides safaris on a regular basis. Such providers directly organize safaris and through agents. They will have hands-on experience and they will accommodate modifications and even offer customization. If the company you are dealing with were an agency, their responsibility ends as soon as you book your tickets for the safari.
It is important that a guide accompanies you in the safari. The safari provider should guarantee that they conduct the safari with the help of their own staff members. An experienced person who is employed by the company should be accompanying you when you are taken on a desert safari to provide proper guidance at all times. This is because such a person will be trained in providing proper customer service and first aid. As they know the desert well, they will also ensure your safety.
Reputation of the Safari Company
It pays to ascertain the reputation of the desert safari provider prior to signing up. Take some time off to go through reviews provided by actual travelers so that you can easily decide as to which provider is good and which is not. You can also talk to your friends in Dubai or those that have visited Dubai or even to hotel concierge for recommendations.
Type of Food Served
Before signing up with any safari provider, just find out as to what type of food will be provided during the safari. If a full course BBQ dinner is being offered, find out whether a vegetarian option will also be available. If you are a vegan, you must find out whether vegan dishes will be made available to you. Another aspect to be ascertained is whether you will be provided with freshly prepared food or precooked food. Also, confirm whether a chef will be there at the camp or a catering company will bring the food.
Some of the questions you can ask in this regard are:
Shared Camps – Budget safari providers often club their camps with other providers so as to offer reduced rates. The problem is food quality and hygiene will not be up to your expectations. Further, there will be compromises on entertainment and other facilities provided.
Private Camps – This type of camps are usually large and accommodate anywhere from 50 to 600 people. Though you may not have to contend with people from other groups, the lines at buffets and in front of the toilets can be quite long.
Small Private Camps – These camps restrict the number of tourists to 100 or less. They offer personalized services. If you are looking to have a little bit of privacy and personalized services, then this is the best-suited type for you.
Some providers offer private safaris for a group of six people. In such cases, you will be provided with accommodation wherein all your needs will be well taken care of.
If you are going on a Dubai desert safari for the first time, you must be wondering as to what kind of dress you should wear. Here are some tips:
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