Of all the attractions in Dubai, among the greatest is heading out of the city onto a Dubai desert safari to get a fun-filled day of experiences, dancing and food. There are dozens of companies offering this activity, but they’re all pretty similar. Here’s a general idea about what to expect on your safari.
BUS TO THE DESERT AND 4×4 RIDE
Your safari will start somewhere in Dubai, depending on which company you book with. A large tour bus or a more compact van may take you from the desert — just about 20 miles away. There are about two or three dozen subway decks setup, many of which can be used by multiple tour companies. Luckily, the desert sand dunes will block you from seeing neighboring camps, so it is going to feel like a truly exotic and unique experience.
When the bus drops you off the side of the highway, a group of 4x4s will be waiting to take you on your next adventure. These are not normal 4x4s — they’ve had tens of thousands of dollars of updates to make them capable of flying across the sand dunes at high rate. They will take you on a wild ride across the dunes to your camp…with a few jumps, slides and possibly a roll. I saw more than just one 4×4 onto its side or using a wheel dismissed — do not worry, everyone was safe.
When you get to the camp, a host of activities will be waiting for you before you even make it through the entry. Most of the camps have camel rides and quad bikes ride both of which aren’t exactly affordable. The quad bike tracks are not that large, but they are a great deal of fun, slipping around on the sand. The camel rides might be questionable as eco-friendly actions, but I personally look at them as a horseback ride, using the local livestock. There’ll probably also be a falcon or 2 you are able to hold onto for a photo opportunity and also a petition for more cash.
When you make it in the walls of this camp, then they will likely already have the buffet set up, although this class will just be snacks — salty pastries, sweet potato fries, etc.. The full course usually comes between the third and second dances. What’s served for supper varies by camp, and so does the quality. You can probably expect a couple of meat dishes, some pasta dishes, assorted types of salads, bread, etc.. Drinks aren’t usually included. Based upon the day you visit, you may have the ability to find alcoholic beverages (they are not served on holidays).
AN EVENING OF DANCING
By far the best aspect of this evening is the dances. I don’t know if all of the Dubai desert safaris are the same, so I will just describe the one I went to. The first dance was a belly dancer. She wasn’t as provocative as the ones I saw in Morocco or other places, but she was nevertheless impressive. The second dance was my favorite. It’s called a tanoura dancing and essentially has a priest turning around for 10 minutes straight while he changes his costume, opens up umbrellas, spins around his sleeves, and many different movements, each of which blew my head. The final dance was a flame dancer and while I have seen better ones on the shores of Thailand, which does not mean he was not good too.
BOOKING A DUBAI DESERT SAFARI
Dubai desert safaris begin around $40 and continue for at least 4-5 hours, if you don’t reserve an evening desert safari.