On arrival in Dubai we booked our tours with Arabian Adventures. The Dune Safari with Arabian Adventure is one of the most popular tours that is booked. Having experience this in Abu Dhabi , I wanted to try it out again in a different Emirati. We booked our Dune Safari for a Saturday and used the My Emirates Pass for a discount.
The rep from Arabian Adventures was very helpful in explaining to us about this specific tour. As we both do not drink our packages were slightly cheaper. It roughly costs R1700 per person in a shared vehicle. We needed to wait in the reception of our hotel at 4:30pm that afternoon for our driver Antonio to pick us up for our dune safari . We opted for a shared vehicle as it was cheaper and it is always nice to meet other people when you travel.
What’s Included :
- Hotel pickup and drop off in a shared vehicle
- Safari guide
- Three-course dinner buffet with soft drinks
- Unlimited beer and wine
- All inclusive – no hidden costs
- A portion of your fee supports local conservation
Preparing for your Dune Safari
It is always important to know what the expectations are and how best you can be prepared for your tours. As it was really hot in the afternoon we needed to make sure we were protected from the sun’s rays.
Between mum and I , I packed a small lightweight backpack with the following items inside :
- sunglasses and yes I can not live without mine.
- a small pack of wet wipes.
- a small packet of tissues
- 2 soft scarves
- hand held fans
- a powerbank
- a hairband
- an empty plastic packet.
- In terms of clothing we both wore long tops with tights and sandals as it is easier to take them out and walk on the sand dunes
Exactly on time our driver Antonio from the Philippines arrived to pick us up for our adventure we were the last two people to be picked up before we headed off on our adventure. There were six of us in our vehicle which was great meeting other travellers from around the world. Our driver was very knowledgeable and had worked for the company for several years and was very experienced. Roughly an hour out of Dubai we entered the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, we waited for the other vehicles to arrive before our convoy of 24 land cruisers made their way through the dunes of this conservation area. Before we headed off the air pressure from our land cruiser tires were let out to ensure better driving control on the dunes. Everything is very organised with checks made on cruisers and spare cruisers in the convoy, photographers and almost a convoy director.
Our very informative driver ensured that we were strapped in at all times and our windows were up for safety. The cruiser also had padded safety bars on the inside. As we drove through the oasis we saw the desert wildlife in the form of the Arabian Oryx and gazelle strolling around dunes. A small beak for some photos and then the actual dune safari started. It was an amazing sight watching the convoy drive the dunes and seeing how skilled the drivers are. Sitting in the front and having done this experience before so I knew what to expect also the dunes seemed a bit smaller. It was so funny hearing the shrieks of laughter/panic/fear from everyone including my mum who I know secretly really enjoyed this experience. A pit stop for photos broke up the trip and it was great to just stand in the sand and take in the vastness of the desert all around you. Every time you thought it was over there would be another dune on the horizon as we continued our Dune Safari. We stopped for an sand boarding activity and refreshments while the sun was starting to set.A desert sunset is rather magical and something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime.
#TIP ENSURE YOU EAT A MEAL ABOUT TWO/THREE HOURS PRIOR TO YOUR DUNE SAFARI.
After catching sunset we headed to our Bedouin camp in the desert for the evening segment of our Dune Safari. At the entrance of the camp was a troop of camels all bedecked awaiting to be ridden off into the sunset , having done this experience in Tunisia many moons ago I was not going to do this again. Also the smell of camels kind of put me off. We were welcomed into the camp into the camp in true Arab style with Arabic coffee and dates. The camp was set up traditionally with cushions and carpets on the sand with low tables and lanterns everywhere.
#TIP CARRY A HAND SANITISER
A henna artist was also at the camp doing traditional henna designs for guests. There are toilets on the camp. Dinner was an Arabic inspired 3 course buffet meal. There are meat and vegetarian options for all guests.A kiddie food station is also set up so lil guests can be served quicker. The buffet consisted of traditional Arabic food and grilled bbq meat. While having dinner while sitting on the floor , we were entertained by a very talented belly dancer who had moves I wish I could do. I skipped dessert as it was very hot and by this time I wanted to head back as I had a very long day.One of favourite moments Is when the entire camp is engulfed in darkness and the desert is so still and you can actually see the stars twinkling in the night sky. When last did see the stars at night?
And just like that our Dune Safari with Arabian Adventures had come to an end and we made our way back to Dubai and now you do not go back over the dunes but instead a sandy road back to the starting point. Once we got there Antonio has to inflate our tyres before we could drive on the road again. Tummies full, tired and our heads filled with adventures everyone was silent on the way back to our hotels. We arrived after 10:45pm to our hotel as we were the last to be dropped off. I could not wait to shower and scrub off all the sand.
I am not surprised that the Dune Safari is one of the most popular tours with Arabian Adventures and everyone person travelling to Dubai or even on a stopover should try and do this experience. It is definitely worth the money and the shrieks.