The Dubai Desert Safari is the flagship excursion from the radiant new megalopolis of the United Arab Emirates. Nothing is further from reality.
Realise that this is a city ultimately reclaimed from the desert and where today wonders rise the size of Burj Khalifa; not so long ago, there were only sand and more sand.
That is why it is enough to go a few kilometres from the centre of Dubai to find a wonderful sea of dunes. This kind of tourist attraction that almost no visitor wants to miss.
This time, we have hired a tour to the Dubai desert, which will pick us up at the hotel and promises us fun aboard a modern 4×4. After dark is the best time to go on this Dubai desert safari. At this time, the sun is already lower, and the heat has subsided. It is then a good time to appreciate the gold of the dunes and enjoy the sunset in the desert, something always magical as we has already had the opportunity to discover the Indian Thar desert or the Moroccan Sahara.
In addition, at the end of the Dubai desert safari, we will be transferred to a camp where we can enjoy dinner under the stars and a musical show, including belly dancing and different activities such as horseback riding. Camel, get tattooed with henna or smoke with shisha.
The Dubai desert, part of the Arabian desert
The Dubai desert is only part of what is known as the Arabian Desert, one of the immense masses of sand on the entire planet, with an area of 2,330,000 km². Although most of this desert occupies the largest country in the region, Saudi Arabia, the different ramifications comprise up to 9 other states. That is to say, practically all those that make up the Arabian Peninsula. It seems a miracle that humans have settled and survived in such an inhospitable place for thousands of years.
The Safari through The Dubai desert
At the agreed time, they picked us up at the hotel. We are accompanied by Dunia and Enric, with whom we have shared a friendship for more than 30 years. So we got into the 4×4, and in less than 40 minutes, we reached the desert.
The landscape has completely changed in a few minutes. Immediately the skyscrapers have been left behind and have given way to a panorama of sand and stones. A few meters from the road that leads to the desert rise the majestic dunes.
The car parks are in a small complex where some shops are located. It is time to reduce tire pressure and stock up on water if we wish. We have the sea of dunes in front of us, and the excitement rises by the minute.
Soon we began to go up and down dunes. It is an expert driver who drives the car, of course. It is about a 30-40 minute desert safari in Dubai, where it is easy to understand what the Dakar rally participants are against. A good adrenaline rush, of course.
After this first part of the adventure, it is time to enjoy another of the highlights of this excursion through the Dubai desert. It’s about sunset. It is the magical moment when the sun hides behind the dunes. Because if the desert safari is fun, the evening is even more beautiful.
We are several vehicles gathered in the area, of course. However, the immensity of the desert allows you to have your own living space to live in this moment with some privacy. You just have to walk a few minutes and get away from the group.
Dinner and show in the Dubai desert
After the desert safari in Dubai, it is time to approach a camp where the different groups of 4×4 seem to group. The main reason is to enjoy dinner in the desert under the umbrella of a starry dome.
In addition, several attractions are available in this place so that tourists can enjoy the moment and have a good time. First, we don’t want to leave without getting on a little camel ride. Indeed, we have already done them in Tunisia or India, but riding a camel always has your point.
Later, Isa wants to try a henna tattoo, this powder to which the bush of the same name has been reduced and used as tattoo ink in Arab countries, knowing that it lasts only a few days.
Some also decide to dress up in native clothes, but the truth is that both Isa and I are too embarrassed about that.
Dinner is abundant and based on a buffet. We found several salads and different types of meat, quite tasty and cooked on the barbecue. It can be repeated without problems. With a full plate, we look for our accommodation between carpets to have dinner and, at the same time, enjoy the show.
Perhaps belly dancing is the star show of the evening. It has enough of a show for tourists, but what are we after all? Other dancers liven up the night with different dances; the truth is that it is entertaining. You don’t have to look for an extraordinary show or one of indisputable quality either. This, I think, come on. It is about having a good time, with a perfect atmosphere, taking advantage of the breeze of the moment, under the stars and, if possible, with good company.
The Dubai desert safari ends with the night closed. The truth is that it is an activity that is very worthwhile. Not only for the adrenaline rush of going up and down the dunes in a powerful 4×4 but also to enjoy the sunset in the desert and even the evening in the camp.
One last activity that we do not want to miss is smoking shisha. Neither Isa nor I am regular smokers, but the truth is that we do like hookahs, and we don’t miss an opportunity when we visit an Arab country or one with a Turkish past to enjoy a shisha.