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Desert Safari: Must Do in Dubai
Dubai has the potential to be a once-in-a-lifetime destination for many travellers. The cityscape boasts towering skyscrapers and opulent luxury that money can provide. But amidst all the modernity, it is essential to include a desert safari in your travel plans. This experience will allow you to immerse yourself in Arabic culture and witness nature beyond the artificial emirate cities.
Let's delve into our story about Dubai desert safaris, especially the one arranged by Rayna Tours. By reading our tips, you can ensure a flawless safari experience that exceeds your expectations.
There are more than 10 million annual travellers in Dubai so it is easy to guess that arranging desert safaris is a big business. There are countless companies and everyone is claiming and advertising to offer the best desert safari experience.
One downside of having a wide array of options is the significant variation in quality. There are numerous affordable desert safaris available; however, it is important to some of these are organized by poorly managed tour operators. We firmly believe that sacrificing a few euros for a subpar experience is not worthwhile. Consequently, we highly recommend thoroughly comparing safari operators to ensure you make an informed decision and have an enjoyable and fulfilling experience.
We have had a desert safari in Dubai twice ourselves. Our first tour was arranged by Happy Tours, but unfortunately, was not that "happy" experience. The transportation of individuals was a complete mess due to poorly executed schedules. The communication was poor all the time. When the event had concluded in the desert, long queues awaited us for cars to fetch together with hundreds of tourists amidst the cold and windy late evening. The said tour was still exciting probably because it was our first time but surely we can say it was a little stressful due to the long queues. Our second tour was arranged by Rayna Tours whose planning and organizing of the whole itinerary was comparably better.
If you are looking for the cheapest desert safari in Dubai, we would like to warn you based on our first safari experience. We are sure you will find almost all free safaris but they can become awful experiences. The capacity does not always meet the real number of passengers and communication can be poor. Why stress yourself to save pennies? We advise booking only tours with good reviews.
Another important thing is safety. Driving on the dunes has risks. The car must be in good condition and the driver must be skilled. With low prices, you the company can't take care of all the responsibilities. Naturally, you must have travel medical insurance because minor incidents happen now and then.
Pay a few euros more to get a relaxing and safe tour.
Review of Rayna Tours Desert Safari
Our second safari was arranged by Rayna Tours and it was a success. We share the story regarding the reservation and the actual safari adventure.
In light of our disappointing previous desert safari experience, we resolved to conduct thorough research before finalizing our next tour. Ultimately, we opted for Rayna Tours, a company boasting a reliable-looking website and the added convenience of live chat support.
After thoroughly perusing their web pages and engaging in informative discussions with their representatives via online chat, we grew confident in the quality of this tour operator. Although not the most economical option available, we were determined to prioritize a memorable experience over saving a few euros and potentially enduring another subpar tour. As such, despite taking a risk, we decided to proceed with booking an afternoon safari through this operator.
Our transaction was facilitated seamlessly via Rayna Tours' online chat platform. We provided our contact details along with our desired schedule and requested pick-up from our hotel. While it is worth noting that budget-friendly tours typically offer bus transportation solely from select locations to the safari area, opting for hotel pick-up proves far more convenient at only slightly higher prices - thus making it an advantageous choice worthy of recommendation.
Pick-up from the hotel is not much more expensive but more convenient for customers.
The safari booking process proceeded smoothly, with a provided link for credit card payment. However, the confirmation email contained incorrect dates. We immediately reached out to Rayna Tours regarding this issue, and they assured us that the dates would be rectified. Subsequently, all the erroneous information was corrected without providing a new confirmation voucher; instead, we were simply informed that everything was in order. Ultimately, the booking went ahead without any problems after the necessary corrections were made. Although we do wish that communication could have been slightly improved following these changes.
Pick-up from the Hotel
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 the pick-up. The estimated time was from 2.30 pm to 3.00 pm but we were expecting to be picked up last because we stayed in a hotel in the Deira area closer to the dunes. We were fetched about 10 minutes late but this was not a big problem. Finally, the friendly driver came inside the hotel lobby to pick up us in his jeep.
Driving on the Dunes
Driving to the edge of the dunes took about 1 hour. There was one stop at a small store where we were able to buy drinks and use restrooms. The air pressure was also lowered on the jeep's wheels.
After the stop at the store, the real driving on the dunes started. The driving was comfortable and nobody felt any motion sickness. The dune driving lasted about 20 minutes which 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 at Bedouin camp. Rayna Tours has its camp that is not the case with all operators. We recommend you choose an operator which has their camp and avoid reselling companies to avoid chaos resulting from a crowded camp.
Rayna Tours had their camp on the dunes. They were not sharing it with any other company so they had full control over what happened 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 we were able to buy alcoholic drinks for a moderate price. Free soft drinks were available all the time so we did not have to be thirsty in the desert.
On the camp, there were free and charged activities. Free activities included, for example, wearing Arabic costumes and camel riding and of course, one can take photos freely too. Paid activities included quad-biking among others.
Every desert safari usually offers a buffet dinner, and our experience was no exception.
The dinner included a small pre-meal, the main food from the large buffet table and a dessert. There was salad, naan bread, different style of barbecued meat, rice, pasta and many other kinds of food.
Our safari included about 1 hour of 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
Maybe the greatest separator between a good and a bad tour is how you are taken back to your hotel. 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 of lasting queues.
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 was not even a 1-minute waiting.
We rank the Rayna Tours Desert Safari as a 4-star experience. The reservation procedure was uncomplicated and beneficial, although there was slight ambiguity regarding the date. The safari itself was flawless, except for a 10-minute delay in pick-up. The return to the hotel was prompt and efficiently managed. Rayna Tours is a company that we wholeheartedly endorse as reliable and trustworthy.
Is Rayna Tours the Best Desert Safari in Dubai?
We don't know if Rayna Tours is the best safari in Dubai but at least, it is a good one. However, we recommend comparing many options and reading reviews on the internet. The price correlates quite well with the quality. Too cheap safari is sometimes badly organised.
Where to Book
Before making a reservation, it is advisable to compare the various desert safari options available. One recommended platform for comparing such options is European GetYourGuide, which offers a wide range of activities worldwide. By booking and paying for your chosen activity online, you will subsequently receive an email confirmation containing instructions on how to claim the activity upon reaching your destination.
- Where is the best place to make a reservation for a desert safari in Dubai?
- We suggest conducting thorough research on the internet before your trip to Dubai. We recommend checking options on GetYourGuide.
- How much does a desert safari in Dubai typically cost?
- You should expect to pay around 50 euros per person.
- What are the indicators of a reputable safari provider?
- Look for prices that are not too low, well-organized itineraries, and positive customer reviews.
- Should I arrange transportation from my hotel for the safari?
- We highly recommend doing so as it will make your experience less stressful.
- Will food be provided during the safari?
- Usually, all safaris include meals as part of their package.
- Is driving on dunes safe?
- Driving on dunes can be moderately safe. However, accidents can occur occasionally. Fortunately, they are rare and if any mishaps happen, cars offer protection against serious injuries.
- Can dune driving cause motion sickness?
- It is possible to experience motion sickness if you are sensitive. Most people feel perfectly fine during this activity.
There are good and bad desert safari operators in Dubai. The price is a good indicator but it does not always tell the truth. A common thing among the bad safaris is that they are overcrowded and the communication between the operator and the customer is often missing.
Be ready to pay a few euros more and book a well-organized safari. You will enjoy it a lot more. Have you been to a Dubai desert safari, comment below!
We have been following the travel industry for years, while travelling in Finland, in various regions of Europe and Asia. Our multicultural background with the extensive travel experience gives us a diverse perspective. We encourage individuals embark on high-quality yet sustainable journeys. Furthermore, we are thrilled to introduce the captivating beauty of our homeland, Finland.