This post was written in partnership with OceanAir Travels.
Taking a Dubai Desert Tour, Everything you need to know
Updated March 2022, Taking a Dubai Desert Tour, Everything you need to know was originally published in May 2021
Looking for a quick escape from the glitz of Dubai? I definitely was when I was planning a three day stopover in the city to mix the landscapes up a bit. That’s where I came across OceanAir Travels’ Sunset Desert Safari.
Why Go With OceanAir Travels?
There are some definite advantages of booking with OceanAir Travels for your Dubai Desert experience, especially with what they manage to show in just a 7-8 hour time period.
Unlike most of the other tours you’ll find on offer, they will take you to experience not only the Red Dunes but the Golden Dunes as well. They also use the latest model vehicles as well to avoid breakdowns in the desert (I’ve been broke down so many times in the desert I’ve lost count over the years).
Of course, there’s one of the highlights of the trip, witnessing the sunset from the sand dunes at the Al Khayma Camp, a traditional-style camp in the Al Awer area that is exclusive to OceanAir Travels guests to avoid the crowds.
Planning a trip to Dubai? Check out my 3 day Dubai itinerary for ideas
What Will You Do On A Dubai Desert Tour?
Bashing Dunes & Sandboarding
After an afternoon pick up from your accommodation, a one hour drive will bring you to the Lahbab Desert.
Once to the Lahbab Desert, you will have a half hour long break to stretch while your driver releases the tire pressure and preps the Landcruiser before the adventure begins. Optionally you can use this time to go on a quick quad or dune buggy trip (quads/dune buggy are an additional charge).
After a half hour you will set out into the Red Dunes of the Lahbab Desert where you’ll have the opportunity to try out sandboarding as well as get to cruise around in the dunes.
Camp Al Khayma
Upon arrival at Camp Al Khayma over in the exclusive Golden Dunes, you will be welcomed with a cup of qawa, qaymat (Arabic coffee and sweets), and dates into the only traditional-style Bedouin tent in the Al Awer area. You’ll have some time here to enjoy snacks while you relax before continuing on another adventure.
Looking for other things to do in Dubai? Take a tour of historic Old Dubai to get to know the city better
Sunset Camel Ride
As the sun begins to descend toward the horizon, set off into the dusk on a camel ride or opt to explore the nearby dunes on foot.
Following the camel ride through the sand dunes, you will return to Camp Al Khayma where you will have the opportunity to try henna tattooing, pose with a falcon, or try out some shisha.
Going to Oman after Dubai? Learn about the Dubai-Oman common visa and visit Oman without the fee
Tanoura Dancing & Arabian BBQ
Finally, end your evening with a traditional Sufi Tanoura Dancing show while you enjoy a buffet-style Arabian BBQ.
Following your dinner and show you will be taken back to Dubai and dropped off back at your accommodation.
- English speaking guide.
- Transport to and from your Dubai hotel in an air conditioned 4WD vehicle.
- 4WD trip though the dunes.
- Coffee, sweets, and dates.
- Henna tattoo
- Camel riding and feeding
- Tanoura dancing performance.
- BBQ meal
- Water, tea and soft drinks.
- Optional quad/dune buggy ride
- Alcoholic drinks
Other Important Info
- The Premium Red Dunes & Camel Safari with BBQ at Al Khayma Camp trip duration is approximately 7-8 hours. Time can vary slightly depending on traffic flow in and around Dubai.
- Expect a departure time of approximately 2:15 pm from your Dubai accommodation.
What to Wear for a Dubai Desert Tour
Given the active nature of the Dubai Desert Tour, you’ll want to wear an outfit that gives you freedom of movement.
From May to September the desert around Dubai can be excessively hot, easily soaring well above 40°C so opt for something light and comfortable but still offering protection from intense sun. Even in the fall/spring months of March, April, and October temperatures remain quite hot. In winter months the desert can be quite chilly as the sun disappears, so bring a light jacket at the very least.
If you want to try sandboarding, make sure to wear tennis or sports shoes.
What to Pack
- Camera with dust protector or smartphone
- Small backpack
Where to Stay in Dubai
- Budget: For budget travelers, the Bollywood Beach Hostel comes highly recommended.
- Midrange: I opted to stay at the Al Bandar Rotana Dubai Creek, which was the perfect choice in my opinion. The room prices were in the right range and the hotel is located near the Deira and Bur Dubai highlights.
- Splurge: A favorite among those looking to splurge on a room with an epic view, the Shangri-La Hotel is where to book.
Have any questions about this Dubai Desert Tour?
Ask in the comments section below.