Desert Safari In Dubai

I was on my way to Chennai from Munich and I took a long layover in Dubai to catch up with an old friend of mine and explore the city. While my friend and her husband took me around to the city areas, I also managed to crunch in a tour for desert safari in Dubai. The tour lasts for about 4-5 hours and is completely worth it if you want to experience something different instead of just seeing too many buildings and malls in downtown Dubai. Most of the things in this tour were new to me and hence, I was super excited. My friend managed to book a tour for me and I just got dropped and picked up by the tour guides at Dragon Mall. I paid them in cash, about 50 AED, directly. There are way too many agencies and companies offering these tours, some of which you can even find online.

Dune Bashing

After reaching the desert area of the city, which took almost an hour from the city itself, you are asked to get into a 4WD Land Cruiser. If you are doing this trip alone, you are likely to be fit into with other groups. Dune bashing is an adventurous experience of its own kind. For about 10-15 minutes, the driver speeds the car through the ups and downs of the desert. It can be insanely scary at certain points where you feel your car may crash or fall somewhere or topple any moment. The drivers are experienced but there are reports of tragedies as well. Avoid sitting next to the driver for a less scary or more adrenalin rush experience. Be careful as to how much you eat before the drive begins else throwing up cannot be ruled out. I am someone who gets scared by such things a bit easily and hence I had no guts to make a video myself. Here is a video from someone else as to how dune bashing can be.

Camel Ride

After 10-15 minutes of dune bashing, you are dropped at a point where you can do so many things. One of them is to take a camel ride. You can find a few camels around. Talk to the person in-charge for a camel ride and wait for your chance to come.

Camel Ride in Dubai, UAE

Quad Biking

You can also rent out quad bikes for extra price for a particular duration. While I did not try this out, the price was definitely negotiable as I saw many bargaining with the concerned folks. The cost was around a few hundred Dirhams but of course, you can negotiate this.

Quad biking in Dubai, UAE

Picture With Falcon

The falcon is one of the national symbols of the UAE and is deeply rooted in the Emirati culture. Some tours let you take a picture with the falcon while some say that you may have to pay the person a few extra Dirhams. The man there asked me 20 AED for a picture and 10 AED for the traditional cloth to wear on my head. However, I bargained and closed the deal overall for just 10 AED. Yes, you can negotiate!

Picture with Falcon

Sunset

You are free to walk around to any part of the desert but the onus is on you to get to your initial point safely. I ventured to walk around aimlessly a bit too far from the crowd to soak into the beauty of desert sunset; something I never witnessed before. It was really beautiful.

Sunset in Dubai desert, UAE

Ethnic Arab Dress

Another fun thing to do is to try the ethnic Emirati outfit. People got to wear this for free and click some pictures. I managed to take one as well. Yes, I look funny.

Sunset in Dubai desert, UAE

Sandboarding

Another thing to try in the desert is sandboarding. Some areas are steep but some not so much. However, you are not going to hurt yourself here, at least not fatally. You are likely to lose balance if you are not trained and doing for fun though, and this will result in lots of sand piercing through your clothes and shoes. Take care of this. Below is a picture from Wikipedia.

Sunset in Dubai desert, UAE

Traditional dance performances

I witnessed three different kinds of dance performances; two of which were completely new to me. I have also uploaded some clips from the dance performances.

Belly Dance

I do not know where belly dancing originates from but I know it is quite popular worldwide. This was the first time I was witnessing it. What was also interesting is the fact that the dancer, at some point, was also dancing while doing some tricks with a sword.

Tanoura Dance

Apparently, this originates in Egypt. However, many tours I was researching about mentioned that there would be Tanoura dance as well. A person with a weighted skirt does the dance while making different moves completely rotating though. It was quite unique and again, something I had never seen before. I really wonder how they keep their balance, focus and not fall down out of dizziness. Phew!

Fire Dance

This guy below knew how to keep the crowd hooked throughout his performance. While I have witnessed these kinds of things during my childhood, it was interesting nevertheless to see it again.

Food, Drinks and Shisha

After so many hours of doing and experiencing different things, you are likely to feel hungry but do not keep your hopes high with regards to the food. The food is quite average and has not-so-declicious Indian and Asian food. I am not into smoking but I also saw many smoking shisha. Some of the drinks need to be paid for but some like tea (like Indian chai), if I remember correctly, were free. Dubai has many interesting places to eat. I would hence recommend to head back to the city area and have a good meal instead. I went back to downtown Dubai to a restaurant called Piccolo Mondo Avenue Cafe where my friends accompanied me. We had a lovely time eating with the backdrop of Burj Khalifa during the night time.

Sunset in Dubai desert, UAE

When you get so much for more or less around 50 AED (10 EUR / 12 USD), isn’t that amazing? A stopover and a tour of the desert safari in Dubai was completely worth my money.

Author

Ankur Sinha

Playing with data constantly, traveling when I have money and time, cooking to relieve from stress, blogging when I have something to write about.