When we decided to start our Big Trip around the world in Dubai, there were a few things that had to be on our Dubai itinerary. Besides the obvious highlights (Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, Palm Jumeirah and the Burj al Arab) I really wanted to make a desert safari, because I had never been to the desert before.
Wide deserted landscapes are kind of my thing, so besides exploring the glitter and glamour of Dubai I really wanted to get out of the city and into the desert. And so we did! We went on a Dubai desert safari with Happy Adventures and it was awesome!
Also read my Abu Dhabi travel guide.
First up on the desert safari itinerary was dune bashing. I didn’t know it until I did it, but I love dune bashing?. It was such a thrill to drive through the desert, drifting over the tall sand dunes and feeling your stomach lurch after a steep drop over the top of a dune.
Our driver really knew what he was doing and rightfully so, this isn’t something you can do yourself without proper training! It would be very cool to learn though…
Anyway, after the adrenaline high of dune bashing, we drove to the desert camp where it was time for the next activity: quad riding!
You might not suspect it (sweet innocent girl that I am;-) but I can get very competitive in racing games. Once I went go-carting with my family and almost drove my sister of the track in a desperate attempt to finish first.
However, not wanting to wreck the quad on my first try, I kept my racing alter ego in check. I completely understand quad riding through the desert is a favorite pastime for people living in Dubai!
There was more riding to be done after the quad, from the mechanical race-monster we switched to a calmly swaying camel and got a bit of a feel of desert life.
Having thanked the camel (well, mostly his handler) we explored the rest of the recreated desert camp.
Bedouin or badawī in Arabic refers to people who live a nomadic lifestyles outside cities and towns.
I don’t want a permanent tattoo but I really liked my henna one, so pretty! The tattoo first turns orange but changes to a darkish brown after a while, it lasts for approximately 2 weeks.
Behind the camp, there were a few higher dunes and we installed ourselves on the top of one to admire the sunset over the stretched out desert. Sitting on a dune with Frank I realized again how lucky I am to be able to travel the world with my husband. It’s a privilege for sure…
Darkness fell swiftly after the sunset and the temperature noticeably dropped. Not that it was cold, but I was happy I brought a sweater (and a scarf, as usual, my #1 travel item!).
We walked back to the camp and sat down on a slightly elevated platform with a table and benches dressed with beautiful table cloths. From our seat, we had an excellent view of the stage.
That was a good thing as there where several cultural performances: belly dancing, the traditional Tanura dance, and a fire show!
While watching these cultural performances, delicious food was being served. Dinner consisted of samosas, BBQ chicken, salad, hummus, fresh fruits and more tasty treats.
When the performances were finished and our tummies were full it was time to leave. But not before looking up to the sky and admire the stars. I can only imagine what the sky must look like a little further into the desert where it’s pitch black except for the shiny stars…
Altogether it was a wonderful day: it was my 1st time in the desert, the 1st time I went dune bashing, the 1st time I drove a quad and the 1st time I rode on camel. An awesome start of our Big Trip around the world!
Practical information about going on a Dubai desert safari
- We were picked up from our hotel at 1.30 pm and returned around 9.30 pm.
- Take a warm layer with you as it gets a little colder during the evening.
- Water, soft drinks, coffee, and tea are available for free at the camp. If you’re hungry there are some snacks you can purchase.
- Prices of the different desert safari packages can be found here.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Happy Adventures on their evening desert safari. Nevertheless, all pictures and opinions are my own.