Whether you’re in Dubai just for a day layover or planning a holiday, you cannot visit Dubai and not experience the wonderful Dubai desert safari. This adventurous, outdoor excursion is packed with exhilarating activities for thrill seekers and offers a fun-filled day out for friends, couples and families. Honestly speaking, a day in the desert will leave you with unforgettable, priceless memories.
Here is my photo diary of what you should expect during the desert safari.
At 4pm, our desert tour guide picked up myself and four of my work colleagues from our hotel in a 4×4 vehicle. I am not sure why our pick up time was later on in the day as I have heard other desert tours begin at 1pm and onwards. Maybe it was to avoid us being scorched by the sun and receiving sun burn as it was 44 degrees celsius that day. Who knows?!
After a 40 minute drive, we arrived in an area of the desert where we purchased a 30 minute time slot to ride quad bikes. Quad biking costs was not included in our total safari package. Some desert packages include quad bike costs. Check with the company you are booking with to ensure it’s all inclusive. Fortunately for us, our safari guide managed to negotiate a slightly cheaper deal for us. I also had to convince sellers to reduce the cost of the scarves they were selling. I really wanted the whole desert look but their scarves were unreasonably pricey. Once I payed for my scarf and the seller fitted it onto my head and face, I then zoomed off on the quad bike for some action packed fun in the sun.
It does get extremely hot in the Arabian desert so I suggest wearing light weight outfits like shorts, t-shirts or vest tops.
SAND DUNE RIDE/ BASHING
Our tour guide/ driver then took us on an exciting yet very bumpy ride over another part of the desert. We were then given the opportunity to get out of the car to stretch our legs for 10 minutes and take pictures. This was followed by a short minute drive to where the desert show was taking place. Outside the venue stood many tourists and a few locals offering camel rides.
I will be honest with you all- the camel ride was disappointing and quite pointless. Included in our deal was a free camel ride that lasted maybe 30 seconds to a minute. It was nothing to shout about. I have ridden a camel before in Morocco and the camel ride lasted over ten minutes. I decided to pay for the second option which according to the camel owners was a better and longer ride. Again the ride was over before I knew it. They added on an extra minute. Unimpressed!
Dressed for the culture!
Finally we made it in time for dinner and the show. Upon arrival we were offered pre- snacks such as mini shwarma wraps, soft drinks and other refreshments. Luckily, we located front row seats right by the main stage and got settled in whiles waiting for the show to commence around 7-7:15pm.
We were summoned to form two queues at the main food tent before the show started. One queue was for the men so I joined the ladies queue at a different table. I found it bizarre that we all had to be separated just to be served the same meals. The food consisted of both vegetarian and non vegetarian options like kebabs, rice, salads, grilled meats, beans, hummus, breads etc. I selected my choice meal and took my seat again to join my group and devour my scrumptious food.
The whole atmosphere was delightful and electric. The live entertainment began with the exotic belly dancer who graced the staged and started moving in a slow, sultry, seductive rhythm. Once she had finished and the audience applauded her work, there was a short break before the next entertainer came on stage.
Right after the break, we watched a man twirl around in what appeared to be a vibrant and oversized multicoloured skirt. This is known as the Tanura dance- a dance originated by the Egyptians. I will admit that I thought it was silly and uninteresting at first. The Tanura dancer started picking up the pace and spun around rapidly for over 2 minutes. I was so impressed when he stopped and did not fall over or stumble. There was an opportunity for anyone in the audience to join the performer on stage and have a go at spinning around in the tanura. I had just finished eating so there was no way i was going to volunteer. I would have ended up throwing up my dinner on someone. (Not nice at all!)
There was a live fire show with a combat performer who spun fire around so swiftly to fast paced music. In conclusion, the whole show was entertaining and provided a lovely atmosphere and experience for my group and I.
In the vicinity of the venue were other smaller tents where you can opt to have shisha, get hennas done or have a drink if you wish at an extra cost. We evacuated the premises afterwards and returned back to the car to be dropped at our hotel. We safely arrived back to the hotel at 8.30pm. What a brilliant day to remember.
There are many safari tours offering a similar experience which you can google. Just type ‘Dubai desert safari’ in the google search bar and read up on reviews on each company. I booked through a private guy who offers discounts to cabin crew/ other staff who work for an airline. I paid £20-25 for the entire excursion minus the quad bikes. If you would like his contact details for the desert trip or have any questions, feel free to send me an email.