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The Arab Emirates may be wildly popular for their sky-high buildings and opulence, but that’s certainly not all they have to boast about. The sprawling deserts have their own distinct charm, and when it comes to having a wholesome Emirati experience, no traveller should miss out on spending a day or two at these arid expanses.

From sand-boarding and dune-bashing to camel farms and Bedouin camps, the desert safaris in UAE pack it all to cater to the tastes of everyone, young and old.

Read on to find out how you can experience it too.

*Prices are accurate at the time of writing

Dubai

The most famous vacation destination in Middle-East, there are plenty of desert safaris and camps in Dubai for you to choose from. Here are a few of the best.

Orient Tours

This 2-day tour takes you through the city of Dubai, showing you attractions like Burj Al Arab hotel and Al Fahidi Fort, to the Arabian desert for an authentic desert experience. Juveniles can enjoy adventure activities like dune-bashing, sandboarding, and also learn about hunting at the Falcon Show. The swirling Tanoura folk dance and belly dance are presented for your entertainment, whilst you smoke a Shisha. You’ll also have plenty of time to shop to your heart’s content at the Spice Souk and Gold Souk.

Price: AED387.50

Dream Journey Tourism

Perfect for a half-day jaunt, this 7-hour itinerary starts in Dubai and proceeds to the Lahbab desert, the most remote desert place in the city. You’ll be accompanied by well-informed guides who will acquaint you with the place’s history, culture, cuisine, important monuments, and more. The tour also stops for the camel and quad-bike rides before heading towards the desert. The peak of the tour is the adrenaline-filled dune drive, followed by spirited dune-bashing.

Price: AED139.24

Platinum Heritage

Another 7-hour trip, this one takes travellers to the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, where they receive their Adventure Pack and the Sheila/Ghutra, that is, the traditional headscarf. Ride through the desert dunes on a 45-minute camel safari. The highlight of this tour is an evening at their authentic torch-lit Bedouin camp, complete with traditional Henna artists, live bread making, Arabic coffee making, camel rides, and aromatic shisha pipes. Admire the Emirati entertainment performances, like drumming and Yola, against the sunset views of the desert.

Price: AED607.70

ABC Tourism LLC

This tour begins with a warm, traditional welcome at the Majlis ABC Tours desert safari camp with Arabian treats, dates, and Ghawaa. After enjoying the camel rides and sandboarding, you can relax in the typical Majilis seating. Children can get their hands adorned by the henna designers, while adults can experience the pleasures of authentic hookah-pipes. You can also try wearing the traditional Arab attire – Abaya for women and Kandura for men.

Price : AED184.27

Abu Dhabi

The capital city of UAE doesn’t lag far behind in having must-have tourist experiences. Check out the desert tours in Abu Dhabi.

Emirates Tours and Safaris

From Abu Dhabi, guests are taken straight to the Emirates Tours Desert Camp at AL Khatim North for 6 hours of exciting desert activities. Dune bashing, sandboarding, and camel riding are all built into the package, and are sure to leave you exhilarated after the adrenaline rush. You can also taste authentic  Arabic tea, coffee, and dates, and at the end of the evening, gorge on a delicious barbeque meal. The tour also gives you a peek into the local culture through its traditional Tanoura and belly dancing shows.

Price : AED266.82

Ras Al Khaimah

Though not as popular as its counterparts, this Emirate also deserves its place on the itinerary of desert-lovers. Check out the desert tours in Ras Al Khaimah.

Events Lab L.L.C

Guests get to explore the Ras Al Khaimah desert on this tour in an off-road vehicle. If you are up for it, go for the adventurous sandboarding and dune drives, or simply unwind at the camp or the Shisha corner. Families can also dress up in traditional Arabic outfits and get clicked to carry the photographs home as souvenirs. Relish an unlimited buffet dinner, complete with dedicated shawarma and Arabic bread stations. End the evening on a cultural note with the Arabian dance shows.

Price: AED236.48

 

Sharjah

From libraries, Islamic museums, and cultural centers, to fun-filled outings at its deserts, the city of Sharjah truly has it all. Check out the desert tours in Sharjah.

Cozmo Travel L.L.C.

No trip to the cultural and literary hub of the UAE is complete without a day at its vast desert, and this 5-hour excursion makes sure you get your money’s worth. Those who crave some thrill can go for the 30-minute 4×4 dune ride or sandboarding, and those who don’t can savour the desert views on a camel-ride. Cap the evening inside the camp with a dinner of grilled meats and Arabian delicacies, while trained dancers perform the fire dance and other traditional art forms.

Price: AED220.71