What is a Dubai Desert Safari?

You’ve likely heard the term desert safari before when you’re talking about Dubai or the UAE.  What exactly does it mean?  Of course, you’ll hear the word safari and start thinking about wild lions, giraffes and monkeys climbing all over the car but, in Dubai, a safari has very little to do with the local wildlife.  (By the way, don’t worry, you won’t be coming across any lions on your desert safari.  You might see a few lizards and camels but that’s about it.)

So, what is a Desert Safari?

Essentially, you’ll be taken out in a specially equipped 4×4 into the Dubai desert dunes where you’ll be taken on a thrilling ride up and over the dunes.  It’s called dune bashing and it is FUN.

You’ll be scaling the massive sandy mountains with ease as a skilled driver shows you the best routes through the desert.  If skidding and sliding across sand in the comfort of an air-conditioned 4×4 sounds like fun enough, you’d be right but, usually, there’s more involved too.

Typically, a desert safari will also include such activities as a barbecue, sand skiing, sandboarding, belly dancing and camel rides.  In one day out you’ll be driven out into the desert, do some dune bashing and eventually arrive at a campsite.  At the campsite you’ll sit down, have a barbecue, watch some belly dancing and take some beautiful photos.

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While out in the desert, some of the tour operators will offer to let you sand ski or sand board, which is a lot of fun.  It’s just like skiing or snowboarding, but you’ll be gliding across the thin layer of fine sand that sits on top of the dunes.  You can ride down the dunes just like a snowbank without any of the hassle of being cold.  Great.

Of course, there are also overnight experiences available.  You’ll stay at the campsite overnight and while you’re out in the desert, there’s little to no light pollution from the city.  If you’ve never been out away from the city’s lights and looked up at the night sky, you absolutely must do this.  The amount of stars you can see is just breath-taking and if you know where to look, you can see the actual Milky Way.  It’s such an amazing experience that will stay with you forever.