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Desert safari at Dubai
Desert safaris in Dubai happen on the dunes about 1 hour driving from Dubai city. Safaris include usually short but exciting dune driving.

Dubai Desert Safari: Our Story and Tips

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Desert Safari: Must Do in Dubai!

Dubai may be once-in-a-life destination for some travellers. 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 be included in your travel itinerary. A safari will give you a glimpse of what the Arabic culture is like and how nature looks outside artificial emirate cities.

This is our story about Dubai desert safaris. Reading our tips would help assure having a perfect safari experience.

Countless Desert Safaris in Dubai

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.

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 agree that saving a few dollars or euros to get a poor experience is not worth having and that is why we recommend comparing safari operators very carefully.

We have taken a desert safari in Dubai twice ourselves. Our first tour was arranged by Happy Tours, unfortunately, was not that 'happy' experience. Transporting people was big chaos because schedules were planned very badly. There was poor communication at all. When the events 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 really exciting probably because it was our first time but surely we can say it was a little stressful due to long queues. Our second tour was arranged by Rayna Tours whose planning and organizing of the whole itinerary was comparably better.

Cheapest Desert Safari in Dubai

If you are looking for the cheapest desert safari in Duba, 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 the communication can be poor. Why stress yourself to save 10 - 20 euros. Book only tours with good reviews.

Another thing is safety. Driving on the dunes have 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.

Pay a little more to get a relaxing and a safe tour.

Rayna Tours Desert Safari

Our second safari was arranged by Rayna Tours and it was a success. We share experiences about the booking and the safari itself.

Safari Booking

Because our previous desert safari was not the best one, this time we decided to do more searches before booking a safari tour. We chose a company called Rayna Tours that had a decent website and also enabled with a live chat feature.

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 not much big difference with prices so we 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 for the safari by credit card. Finally, we got a confirmation email but unfortunately, it had the 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 us everything is okay. Finally, we did not have any problems with the booking so they had corrected the wrong details. We just wish that the communication after those changes were made could have been a little better.

Another easy option to book a Dubai desert safari is to head to GetYourGuide. By booking tours labeled with Originals, the quality is more likely stable.

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 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 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 use restrooms. The air pressure was also lowered in the jeep's wheels.

Photograhing stop at Dubai Safari Camp
Before arriving at the camp, we had a photographing stop. There was still sunlight so it was the perfect time to take great photo shots.

After the stop, the real dune driving 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 to choose an operator which has their camp and to avoid reselling companies to avoid chaos resulting from crowded camp.

Operator's Own Desert Camp

Rayna Tours has their camp on the dunes. They are not sharing it with any other companies so they have full control over 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 drinks for a moderate price. Free soft drinks were available all the time so we did not have to be thirsty in the desert.

Rayna Tours Safari Camp Entrance at Dubai
Our tour was operated by Rayna Tours has its Bedouin-style camp in the desert. We felt Rayna Tours was a good operator.

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.

Barbecued Tasty Dinner Buffet

Almost all desert safaris include a buffet dinner. That was the case with our safari too.

Dinner Plate at Dubai safari Camp
Safaris usually include a buffet dinner.

The dinner included a small fixed size pre-meal, main food from the large buffet table and a fixed-sized dessert. There was salad, naan bread, different style barbecued meat, rice, pasta and many other kinds of food.

Entertainment on the Camp

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.

Bedouin camp at Dubai desert Safari at night
It gets dark at the camp during the nighttime. That is the best time to enjoy the entertainment.
Fireshow at safari camp
The entertainment included dance, fire show and belly dancing.

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 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.

Best Desert Safari Company in Dubai?

We strongly suggest you try a desert safari. There are also longer-lasting and overnight safaris. Compare which option is the best for you and find reliable desert safari companies in Dubai.

All half-day desert safaris seem to have quite similar programs. The differences are how they are arranged. Compare carefully the information about the arrangements before booking. For example, we were really happy with Rayna Tours Desert safari. We can't promise that it is the best one but according to our experiences, it was really good. We are sure there are many other good options too.

Booking a Reliable Safari

You should compare desert safari options before booking. For example, we love comparing options on European GetYourGuide, that sells activities around the world. You book and pay for your activity online and then receive an email confirmation and instructions, on how to claim the activity at the destination.

Bottom Line

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!

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Destination: Dubai

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Enjoy Complimentary Services at Lounges

Start your journey in a relaxed way in an airport lounge. Lounge Pass sells single entry passes to lounges all over the world. Treating yourself with a visit to a lounge puts you into the holiday mood already at the airport!

Get a Private Transfer

Would it be nice to know that a taxi is waiting for you at the destination? Welcome Pickups arranges private transfers according to your wishes. The private transfer service suits especially families and travel groups.

Readers' Comments (10)

  1. 06-04-2021 at 8:52pm UTC by Francis :

    WOW, what a fabulous resource! Love this article, thanks for all the super practical tips.

  2. 02-11-2020 at 12:04pm UTC by Amersons Travel :

    Adventure water sports will actually rocks in Dubai. More than being a tourists destination Dubai has more to offer. The travellers, who visit Dubai for their tours should its sightseeing Dubai city tour so they can know what the land of Merchants fisher men has now turn in to modern iconic figure.

  3. 08-02-2019 at 9:00am UTC by Desert adventure :

    Nice articel having great info for adventure of Desert

  4. 05-02-2019 at 5:23pm UTC by desert safari offers :

    I have seen so many pics of Dubai that it has been on my bucket list for really long. love the way you have explained everything in detail. hopefully one day soon i can fulfill my wish

  5. 02-19-2019 at 2:33pm UTC by henry coplyes :

    This is nice post which I was awaiting for such an article and I have gained some useful information from this site. Thanks for sharing this information.

    Desert Safari In Dubai

  6. 11-11-2018 at 3:34pm UTC by Desert Safari Dubai :

    Nice post. Glad to read on this blog post.

  7. 07-10-2018 at 6:06pm UTC by ameerhamza :

    You should take part in a contest for one of the best blogs on the web. I will recommend this site!

  8. 04-19-2018 at 8:46am UTC by Water Filter :

    amazing and very nice blog dear keep it up

  9. 12-29-2017 at 12:14pm UTC by Desert Safari :

    UAE is the home of world greatest safari adventures, where thousands of tourist came to see the adventure everyone.

  10. 12-11-2017 at 9:12am UTC by Nora :

    Seems like you had a blast on that safari! I have dreamed of visiting UAE and when I do I sure have to go to one of these safaris. They seem amazing and very different compared to anything you can explore in Europe or Americas.

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