Dubai is undoubtedly one of the most eccentric cities in the world. Synonymous with skyscrapers, malls and beaches, the capital of the United Arab Emirates also has plenty of adventure to offer.
There are many exciting ways to enjoy the Dubai desert: from a leisurely camel ride to high-speed quad tours or safaris, dinner or even camping.
What is the Dubai desert?
Dubai is famous for its skyscrapers and large shopping malls, but the emirate’s most important project is preserving the region’s natural ecosystem. The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve is a protected area in the Arabian desert, covering 225 square kilometres.
To maintain a balance between the rapid and robust growth of the city and the need to preserve its natural heritage, the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates purchased the land. What was once a camel farm is now a refuge for hundreds of species of plants and animals.
The only way to explore this part of the Dubai desert is through tour operators, as they are approved.
The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve is approximately an hour’s drive inland from Dubai.
Different ways to get to know the Dubai desert
As the only ones authorised to enter the Conservation Reserve are certain tour operators, they offer a wide variety of activities so that everyone has their ideal way to explore the desert.
Here we tell you what those activities are
Go on safari
The vastness of the Dubai desert, the rich experiences amidst the dunes and a variety of exciting activities daily make a desert safari in Dubai an experience of a lifetime.
You can spend the morning getting to know the most critical places in the city and then go into the desert in the afternoon. Not only will you see the sunset, but you will also enjoy a magical evening dining under the stars.
Another option is to go on a 4×4 safari for almost an hour, practice a bit of sand boarding, among other activities, and finish with a great dinner with a show.
If you want to live the experience of spending the night in the desert, then the option you should take is the luxury safari, in which you will travel through the dunes in a 4×4 Land Cruiser. Then, just like the other options, you can do many activities, have dinner under the stars, watch the Milky Way around a campfire and sleep in a Bedouin tent.
With picture-perfect mornings, unforgettable sunsets and colourful nights, the Dubai desert safari is an excellent opportunity to seize.
Enjoy a sunrise
The tremendous Arabian desert is a fantastic place to witness a sunrise. The sun looks bigger and brighter, and the horizon seems close at hand. The dunes have a different golden aspect to the reddish hue of the sunset, and you will be able to take some of the best photos of your trip.
Hit the dunes in a dune buggy
Driving yourself a powerful buggy, you will be able to cross the dunes of the Dubai desert from top to bottom. Following the guide, you will discover natural places that you would not be able to know otherwise.
Ride on top of a camel
If you prefer something much more sedate, a camel ride is an excellent opportunity to tour the Dubai desert.
In the morning or the afternoon, you can explore the dunes above these friendly animals on a tour that lasts 40 to 60 minutes.
If you want to spend more time in the desert, you can choose the option of dinner and a show in a Bedouin camp.
Who says you need the sea to surf? Sand boarding is a unique and fun way to explore the Dubai desert. This exciting, one-of-a-kind adventure sport sees you go downhill through the massive dunes of the Great Arabian Desert.
You have to put the board under your feet, practice to gain confidence, maybe fall a few times, and voila! You will be prepared to go down at full speed and have a very entertaining moment.
Drive a quad
Driving a quad in the Dubai desert is one of the most exciting ways to explore it. After a brief explanation, you can go full speed through the dunes with your helmet and safety glasses.
Ascents, descents, speed and pronounced curves are some of the condiments of this activity full of adrenaline.
Experience a balloon ride
This way of getting to know the Dubai desert is unique. The hot air balloon ride gives you a 360-degree view of the vast Arabian desert.
From above, you will be able to observe the desert wildlife, mainly made up of animals such as gazelles and camels.
Can you sleep in the Dubai desert?
If you want to spend the night in the Dubai desert but have no intention of sleeping in a camp, there is an option for you.
There are some luxury hotels dotted around different parts of the desert. And believe it or not, some have low prices to be five stars.