Dubai is known for its efficient and sophisticated infrastructure, along with a well-devised network of shopping, dining, and leisure attractions. Despite its futuristic attractions, traditional culture remains intact here, and for many people, visiting Dubai’s desert and discovering the ancient Bedouin lifestyle and heritage is an elevating experience. After all, there is something unusual about its untamed beauty, which is enchanting and photograph-worthy, meriting a trip in its own right. However, a trip to the desert can present you with some unique challenges. The safety tips mentioned below will help you ensure the best desert safari in Dubai.
It is feasible to arrange a self-drive desert safari tours, with the help of an experienced guide and most importantly a well-maintained 4×4 vehicles. Although Dubai’s desert is not as far away or secluded as you may imagine, it is still vital to know that without proper guidance an excursion can be dangerous. Therefore, the safest way to visit the desert is through a guided safari that arranges for you to be driven around by an expert driver. Such trips are seamlessly organized and can be as wild or tranquil as you want.
Be careful with the choice of your tour company
A visit to Dubai is said to be not complete without discovering the soulful beauty of its desert. And this is possible only with the help of a knowledgeable tour company. Many tour companies lure visitors with low-priced desert packages, only to realise that the overall experience lacks in quality. Make sure that your preferred tour company has a proven track record in the industry and is both experienced and professional.
Know the inclusions in your desert trip
There are different types of trips to choose from in Dubai, and knowing the inclusions of these safaris will help you to plan a perfect dune trip. Morning safari with dune bash is best for early risers interested in exploring the region’s sparse vegetation during day time. An evening desert safari is designed for those who wish to absorb in the beauty of sunset views, whilst enjoying thrilling activities, cultural performances and fine dining. Dinner in the desert makes an ideal safari for people who love to experience desert traditions. You can ask your tour operator to arrange an exclusive camel safari, quad or dune buggy adventure, falconry safari or wildlife safari.
A typical desert safari lasts for six to eight hours and usually includes:
- Complimentary pick-up and drop off to your Dubai hotel
- Adventurous dune drive through the majestic landscape
- 10-15 minute camel ride
- Traditional welcome at campsite with Arabic coffee and dates
- Henna design
- Falcon show
- Taking pictures wearing traditional Arabic costumes
- BBQ dinner
- Enchanting belly dance and Tanura show
Due to extreme weather conditions, you’re prone to conditions like heat stroke and hypothermia when you’re in desert. It is therefore advisable to wear loose fitting light-coloured, linen clothes that cover up as much as possible. Bring an extra sweater or cardigan if you’re out in the evening when the desert temperature can plunge rapidly.
Plan for the sun
The desert environment is extremely dry, so it pays to be prepared. Even if you love sun and sand, make sure you wear wide-brimmed hat and sun glasses along with proper clothing to escape from the intense heat of piercing sun rays. Equally important is to utilise the benefits of a high SPF sun blocking cream or lotion. Likewise, avoid walking too much in the heat. If you wish to walk or hike on sand, maintain a slow and balanced pace while taking regular breaks. It is best to put on open shoes, sandals or flip-flops.
Intense heat and dryness indicate that your main arsenal at the Dubai’s desert should be water. Take plenty of water with you and make the most of stops at desert camps which are well stocked with refreshments of bottled water and juices.
Off-roading on sand dunes
Though enjoyable off-roading can make some sick. To avoid the effects of sickness, eat as early as possible and refrain from eating or drinking too much before off-roading. Being a speedy bumpy ride involving unpredictable highs and lows, off-roading is not suitable for pregnant women and people with heart-related ailments.
Precaution at campsite
The campsite which is usually deep within the desert is generally safe, but it’s always good to exercise necessary caution once you’re here. Observe the usual rules as stipulated by the camp and follow the safety instruction of your divers and guides. Use credit cards or carry less money and don’t be tempted to over spend on expensive souvenirs and craft items. Take good care of your costly belongings like camera, smart phones, jewellery etc.
Best time to visit
It is incredibly hot during summer months (May to August), and winter months from November to April is certainly the most comfortable time to take a desert safari, mainly if you intend to experience the wildlife and unique traditions up-close or do quad biking, hiking, camel riding, sand boarding, and other desert pursuits.
If you have enough time, you should definitely stay overnight amidst the quaint wilderness of the desert to discover its magical nocturnal life. To pull up for a perfect stay under the stars, most campsites offer decent facilities including tents complete with blankets, comfy pillows, and sleeping bags. For a crème de la crème experience, you can even opt for premium safari providing maximum comfort and luxury. One thing you should not miss as part of this desert safari is the striking sunrise views next morning, which is usually followed by a steaming cup of Arabian coffee and a traditional breakfast.
About the Author
Resham has been writing articles and blogs from last few years on travel, restaurants and lifestyle topics.