Thursday Thirteen #47: Dubai Desert Safari

An hour and a half away from the hustle and bustle of Dubai, the wide golden sand dunes awaits everyone. We went to experience a desert safari – an off road adventure you will never forget!

Here are 13 (+1) photos from our desert adventure.

dubai desert safari

Here’s what happens if you go on a desert safari:

  • The tour operator will come to your house or hotel to pick you up, depending on your location, between 3-4 pm.
  • After an hour drive, you will stop for toilet and refreshments. Also, your vehicle will wait for 15-30 minutes until all other vehicles arrive. It is the tradition that group of vehicles go together to the desert.
  • The driver checks for the tire pressure and deflate the tires (not completely, just take out some air). This is a necessary procedure for the car to run in the desert sand.


~ The driver assigned to us was a local! He gladly smiled for the camera ~

  • The driver will ask everyone in the car to buckle up and this is when the fun begins! The vehicles will go through the sand dunes, climb dune mountains, nose dive (but not quite) from atop sand hills. I can’t describe (and count) how much I screamed!


~ SUV’s in the desert! ~

dubai desert safari

~ that is a moving SUV in the sand hill ~

dubai desert safari

~ a Hummer was there too! ~

dubai desert safari

~ circling the desert ~

  • We stopped at a camel pen to take pictures.

dubai desert safari

~ camels of all sizes – there were baby camels as well ~

dubai desert safari

~ the camels were tame (but the smell is not!) ~

  • After the fun ride in the desert, we were taken to a central camp in the middle of the desert.

dubai desert safari

~ entrance to the camp ~

dubai desert safari

~ the camp ~

The tables are gathered around a big carpet. The center carpet has a purpose. I will tell you later.

The desert safari includes a buffet dinner of traditional Arabic food, Indian cuisine and barbeque. Here are the grillers preparing our dinner:

dubai desert safari

~ tandoori chicken grillers in action ~

dubai desert safari

~ Chicken Tikka skewers ~

I tell you, the delicious aroma could make your stomach growl! While waiting for dinner, desert safari participants can enjoy alcohol (you have to pay separately – not included in the cost of the safari), henna painting, camel riding, dune bashing and dressing up in traditional Arabic costume.

dubai desert safari

~ I wouldn’t even recognize my own husband with this dress! (at least when looking from the back) ~

I did henna and went to ride a camel. I wish there were plenty of time to ride a desert buggy and do some dune bashing but the queue was too long.

Dinner was served at 7:30. We were so hungry we took a dash to the buffet table – couldn’t resist the smell of barbeque!

While enjoying our dinner, music was played in the background and a belly dancer came out from her small hut inside the camp and entertained us. The center carpet was for the belly dancer!

belly dancer

Pity I wasn’t able to capture her beautiful face. The dancing was good! She also invited males on the center stage – to the delight of the audience and the invited male, of course. And you think Dubai is a strict Arab country? Look at the belly dancer, she’s practically half naked!!

The show finished at 8:45 p.m. and we headed home happy and full. Sorry for the long post. I hope you did not fall asleep reading this. 🙂

For anyone planning to visit Dubai anytime soon, desert safari is a MUST. You would like to avoid the summer months though, the desert sand will scorch your feet! All in all, our experience was great and filled with memories to keep for a lifetime.

35 thoughts on “Thursday Thirteen #47: Dubai Desert Safari

  1. Grace, I loved this post! The vastness of the desert sand does scare me a bit, though! What fun, I’d love to do that someday. We have sand dune we go to each summer at the Oregon Coast, and several family members have dune buggy type things we ride in – the kids love it!

    jennifer in OR’s last blog post..Planning & Prep


  2. Oh, I am so Jealous!!!!!!!! It’s all too cool . The belly dancing (which I thought would be boring) looks awesome! And who would imagine Tandoori chicken in the desert – isn’t that Indian food? Didn’t even recognize your Hubby in that outfit, lol! Maybe next time we’re in Dubai 😀

    Stacey’s last blog post..Did you know…


  3. wow wow wow wow wow wow wow…. WOW!! Thank you so much for sharing your adventure! And the photos!! I love the faces of the men. Were there women there? (In abajas?) Gosh what a fun trip and I’m so excited to have gone along.

    How are things there?


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