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Desert Safari: A Must Do in Dubai!
Dubai may be once-in-a-life destination for some tourists. There you can see extremely tall buildings and you may feel and see almost all the luxury that money can produce.
In addition to super-tall skyscrapers and countless ultra-modern shopping malls, having a desert safari must absolutely be included into your travel itinerary. The safari will give you a glimpse what the Arabic culture is like and how the nature looks outside this artificial emirate city.
This is our story and Dubai desert safari review of our six-hour visit on the dunes of Dubai. By reading our tips, it would help assure you to have perfect safari experience.
The Varying Quality of Countless Dubai Desert Safaris
There are more than 10 millions annual travellers in Dubai so it is easy to guess that arranging desert safaris is a big business. There are countless of companies and everyone is claiming and advertising to have offer the best desert safari experience.
However a drawback of wide selection is that the quality varies a lot. There are many cheap desert safaris in Dubai but often they are arranged by poorly organized tour operators. We are sure you definitely agree that saving a few dollars or euros to get a poor experience is not worth having and that is why we recommend you to compare safari operators very carefully.
We have taken a desert safari in Dubai twice ourselves. Our first tour was arranged by Happy Tours that unfortunately were not that 'happy' experience. Transporting people was a a big chaos because of schedules planned very badly. When the events has concluded at the desert, long ques awaited us for cars to fetch together with hundreds of tourists amidst cold and windy late evening. The said tour was really exciting probably because it was our first time but surely we can say it was a little stressful due to long ques. Our second tour was arranged by Rayna Tours* whose planning and organizing of the whole itinerary was comparably better. Continue reading our unforgettable experiences with Rayna Tours Desert Safari.
We would like to emphasize that that all opinions in this article are our own.
Rayna Tours: A Reliable Desert Safari
The Booking Process
Because our previous desert safari was not the best one, this time we decided to do more searches before booking a safari tour. We found a company called Rayna Tours that had a decent web page and also enabled with a live chat feature.
Before booking a safari check company's web page carefully. Contact them and ask questions about practical arrangements.
After browsing through their web pages and chatting with their representatives via online chat we were somehow confident that this tour operator would be a good one. The price was not the cheapest but saving a few dollars and getting a bad tour was not our wish. So we took a risk and decided to book an afternoon safari from this operator.
Our transaction transpired with Rayna Tours' online chat. We shared our contact details, told our schedule wishes and asked for a pick-up from the hotel. The cheapest tours have a bus connection to the safari area only from a few locations. Pick-up from the hotel is a lot more convenient and actually not much big difference with prices so we definitely recommend you to choose this option.
Pick-up from the hotel is not much more expensive and more convenient for customers.
The booking process went quite smoothly. We were given a link where we paid the safari by a credit card. Finally we got a confirmation email but unfortunately it had wrong dates. We contacted Rayna Tours immediately and they promised to correct the dates. All the wrong information were corrected. They did not send us any new confirmation voucher but they just told everything is okay. Well, finally we did not have any problems with the booking so they really had corrected wrong details. We just wish that the communication after those changes made could however be improved a little.
Pick-up to a Bedouin Camp by a Jeep
When our safari date finally arrived, we were waiting to be fetched at the hotel lobby. There was not any pre-communication so we just waited for pick-up. The estimated time was from 2.30pm to 3.00pm but we were expecting to be picked up last because we stayed in a hotel at Deira area closer to the dunes. We were fetched about 10 10 minutes late but this was not a big problem. Finally, the friendly driver came inside the hotel lobby to pick-up us to his jeep.
Longer Dune Driving
Driving to the dunes took about 1 hour. There was one stop at a small store where we were able to buy drinks and to use restrooms. The air pressure was also lowered in jeep's wheels.
After the stop, the real dune driving started. The driving was actually comfortable and nobody felt any motion sickness. The dune driving lasted about 20 minutes that is much more than on cheaper safaris. For example on Happy Tours the dune driving lasted only 5 minutes.
There was a photographing stop on a dune before we arrived to Bedouin camp. Rayna Tours have their own camp that is not the case with all operators. We recommend you to choose an operator which has their own camp and to avoid reselling companies to avoid chaos resulting from crowded camp. Book directly from the operator.
Operator's Own Desert Camp
Rayna Tours have their own camp on the dunes. They are not sharing it with any other companies so they have full control what happens there. The camp was not crowded either. It may be that we just chose a less busy day or it may be the normal state.
On the camp water, coffee, tea and soft drinks were all included. The camp had also a bar where you were able to buy alcoholic drink for a moderate price. Free soft drinks were available all the time so we did not have to be thirsty at the desert.
On the camp, there were free and charged activities. Free activities included for example wearing Arabic costumes and camel riding and off course one can take photos freely too. Paid activities included for example quad-biking.
Barbecued Tasty Dinner Buffet
Almost all desert safaris include a buffet dinner. That was the case with our safari too.
The dinner included a small fixed size pre-meal, main food from the large buffet table and a fixed sized dessert. There was for example salad, naan bread, different style barbecued meat, rice, pasta and many other kinds of food available.
Entertainment on the Camp
Our safari included about 1 hour lasting entertainment on the stage in the middle of the camp. There was a dance show, a great fire show and finally belly dancing. All the entertainment happened after the sunset.
Back to the Hotel Just in Time
Maybe the greatest separator between a good and a bad tour is how you are taken back to your origin. On bad safaris you are not given information when the ride back leaves. You have to try to find it yourself and when you finally find it there may be many hours lasting queue.
On good safaris you are told exact details when the ride back leaves. On our Rayna Tours safari, our driver was waiting for us after the show and the ride back to the hotel took place immediately. There were not even 1 minute waiting.
Our Suggestion for a Good Desert Safari in Dubai
We strongly suggest you to try a desert safari in Dubai. There are also longer lasting and overnight safaris. Compare which option is the best for you.
All half day desert safaris seem to have quite similar program. The differences are how they are arranged. Compare carefully information about the arrangements before booking.
If you are looking for suggestions, we recommend Rayna Tours* safari for you. They have a few thing to be improved but overall they did it very well.
Please comment below about your safari experiences.