Dubai Creek is a natural salt water creek

9 Must-do things on a Dubai desert safari

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Dubai offers more than vibrant shopping malls, luxurious resorts, glitzy hotels, and fun activities typical of any urban landscape. Although these elements undoubtedly attract and fascinate tourists worldwide, there is yet another world within Dubai—one with timeless tradition, glamour, and old-school charm. From picturesque golden dunes that stretch to infinity to once-in-a-lifetime adventures and experiences. Moreover, going on a desert safari in Dubai has become the number one must-do experience.

If serenity, exciting thrills, and unique adventures are on your bucket list for a Dubai vacation, then here are some fun suggestions to do on a Dubai desert safari.

#1 Go on a desert safari in Dubai

The Dubai desert safari offers adventure, entertainment, and much more so that you can have a variety of experiences. For example, if you want to enjoy an off-road experience, there is dune bashing. Or if you want to be an explorer, then a safari on a quad bike is for you.

In addition to the above, the desert safari offers camel riding, sand boarding, henna painting, a falconry show, exciting belly dance performances, and sumptuous dinners.

Bernie getting ready for dune bashing
Bernie getting ready for dune bashing
A Dubai holiday is guaranteed to be filled with laughter and fun
A Dubai holiday is guaranteed to be filled with laughter and fun
There are so many cultural art pieces to admire in Dubai
There are so many cultural art pieces to admire in Dubai like this spectacular lantern
The magnificent Burj Khalifa in Dubai
The magnificent Burj Khalifa in Dubai

#2 Go dune bashing with an SUV

If you love off-roading, you will enjoy dune bashing like a child with a new toy. In fact, Dune bashing is a must-do activity on a desert safari. The best part about this adventurous ride is that somebody else will control the powerful SUV, and you will be sitting back and enjoying the exciting experience. Safety is a big concern, and therefore, you will be securely strapped in, so there is no need to hold too tight onto your seat. Taking a ride through the desert landscape that rises and falls without any warning is an adrenaline rush experience. There is nothing more exciting than the twists and turns of the vehicle on the dunes and the wind brushing through your face and flapping your hair. Don’t forget to soak in the beauty of Dubai’s desert while enjoying the roller-coaster ride.

Sultanate Of Oman, Wahiba Sands, Dune bashing in an SUV

#3 Join a quad biking trip in the desert

If you want to enjoy the Dubai desert like a professional explorer, we suggest you do the quad bike experience, which will allow you to accelerate at your own pace. The speed of the powerful quad bike and the soft breeze brushing your face will give you an adrenaline rush of note. Again, safety is always a concern, therefore you will be given a helmet and a pair of goggles to protect your eyes from the sand. If you’re not confident about riding the quad bike on your own, you may opt to be a pillion rider and let the experienced instructor ride the bike so you can enjoy the magnificent natural scenery. Whether you ride the bike or participate as a pillion rider, one thing is sure about this quad biking experience – you will have the best time speeding over the dunes. Most riders experience a sense of freedom while admiring the breathtaking scenery around them.

Quad bike ride through the desert

#4 Ride a camel in the desert

If you are interested in experiencing the rich cultural heritage and one of the oldest transportation modes (dating back several millennia), then don’t miss the opportunity to ride a camel on a desert safari.

Even though it may not be as thrilling as dune bashing, it is a perfect way to admire the beauty of the desert at leisure. Taking a camel-back ride on a morning desert safari allows you to witness the beauty of the sunrise in the desert. The feeling of the morning breeze caressing your hair and the first ray of the sun painting the desert in golden hues will rejuvenate your soul. Then again, riding a camel on an evening desert safari will allow you to appreciate the spectacular sunset view of the desert.

#5 Try sandboarding

Sandboarding is similar to snowboarding in terms of the adrenaline rush. The only difference is that sandboarding is performed on desert dunes.

To do sandboarding, you need to stand on a board with your feet strapped in while sliding gradually through the desert’s rolling landscapes. The only requirement is that you must be able to maintain some balance on the board. Due to the ease of performing the activity, it can be done by anyone from a teenager to an adult.

You are bound to get the hang of it quite quickly, as experienced trainers are on hand to show you the ropes. If you follow the experts’ instructions, you will have the best time sailing the dunes and get the biggest adrenaline rush.

People often ask what happens if they are unable to balance themselves on the board and fall. The good news is that, in the majority of cases, you will not get seriously injured because you fall on the soft dunes.

#6 Watch a falconry show

Falconry is one of the entertainment activities that also forms an integral part of the rich cultural heritage of the Emirate region. This traditional method of hunting is done with the help of a falcon. The falconry show is also a must-do experience of the desert safari because it allows you to witness the amazing skills, agility, and prowess of the falcons. During the show, you will learn why the magnificent birds are an integral part of Bedouin culture. The falconer will also provide insights into the importance of protecting these exquisite birds.

You may also volunteer to wear the gloves and watch the falcon land and fly from your hand. There is no need to be concerned about your safety or that of the handlers, as the majestic birds are trained and handled by experienced falconers wearing protective gloves. 

Bernie admiring a falcon close-up in Dubai

#7 Get photographed in Arabian attire in the desert

Many people love to wear Arabian attire because it can create great content, especially for influencers or content creators. If you’re interested, you can individualise your photoshoot wearing Arabian attire.

For tourists, tour operators, or safari companies, wearing traditional Arabian attire during a photo shoot can be a great way to experience the culture of the Emirates. Men can wear a Kandura, and women can wear an Abaya for the shoot. The best part is that the photo shoot takes place against the beautiful golden dunes.

If you’re looking for a professional and exclusive photo session, you can request the tour operator or safari company to provide a professional photographer with the necessary equipment to make the session unforgettable.

#8 Get a henna tattoo

Immerse yourself in an age-old cultural activity by getting a Henna tattoo. This traditional art form is performed by a henna tattoo artist who creates exquisite and unique designs on your hands and feet. You may share your personal preferences with tattoo artists and create unique floral designs, geometric shapes, or any design.

The tattooing is done with a natural and organic substance called ‘mehndi’, which is not permanently visible. Henna tattooing is usually performed during festivals, weddings, and any other special occasions. By having your hands and feet painted with henna, you participate in an authentic cultural experience on a desert safari.

Heena Tattooing, Dubai

#9 Learn how to belly dance

Belly dancing is viewed as a cultural element of the Middle East. It is one of the most charming and attractive forms of dancing; hence it is a vital component of the Dubai desert safari.

The belly dancing shows are performed by expertly trained and experienced dancers, and therefore, it is a magnificent way to entertain and fascinate visitors of all ages.  Visitors are amused by the intricate steps and flexible movements of the belly dancers. Because belly dancing has been a part of Middle Eastern culture for several decades, guests enjoy witnessing how people of this region used to entertain themselves.

The belly dancing shows are performed in the desert camp after dinner. This is a great opportunity to participate in the dancing when performers encourage guests to join in the celebration and festivities. This is the perfect chance to learn the art of belly dancing. 

Panoramic shot of belly dancers performing


Whether you are up for roller-coaster dune bashing, a traditional camel tour, an adrenaline-packed quad bike ride or a sandboarding experience, Dubai is the ideal location to unleash your adventurous spirit. 

For entertainment lovers and foodies, there are belly dancing shows and sumptuous BBQ dinners. Only a Dubai desert safari can create cultural memories that will last a lifetime. 

Why not ignite that adventurous spark within and gear up for an unforgettable desert safari experience in Dubai? These exciting adventures are not just a trip; it’s a doorway to the heart of the desert, offering you a taste of the spectacular, the serene, and the sublime. With each dune you crest, prepare to be captivated by the breathtaking beauty and the exhilarating thrill that only the Dubai desert can offer.

A luxury hotel pool in the Dubai desert
A luxury hotel's pool in the Dubai desert

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