I decided to book a desert safari just the night before our last day in Dubai. After inquiring from a couple of tour organizers, one stood out. It has positive reviews on Tripadvisor, it was the first one to reply to my inquiry, and it has a complete run down of the whole itinerary. I’m definitely booking with City One Tourism & Travel.
After paying online and getting a confirmation e-mail, I received a phone call in my roaming number and was informed that our pick up time would be 3:45pm. Talk about effort! Some agencies would just send you an e-mail or a message via whatsapp.
3:30PM WAITING FOR OUR PICK UP
We decided to wait in the lobby because everyone’s so excited (secretly).
After seeing some hotel guests being picked up by their 4×4 cars, I was about to give our travel agency a call at 3:50PM and suddenly my phone rang .
“Hello Ma’am, your driver will be there in 5 minutes. I apologize for the delay.”
I have no issues with delays as long as I am being updated, and that’s exactly what City One Tours did. Few minutes later…a land cruiser parked in front of our lobby with a huge City One Tours logo on its door. We can’t be mistaken, this must be our pick up. A tall guy dressed in a traditional Emirati clothing went down the car and approached us.
“Hello, is this you?” *Showed me his phone with my name on it.
“Yes! That’s me.”
“My name is Khalid. Is it your first time to go desert safari?”
“It’s my first time to drive in a desert safari too.”
“Oh. *laughs*” Did the travel agency really sent us a first time driver? You can’t practice on us! I hope he’s not being serious!
After 20 minutes of driving, there were no more marks of Dubai’s skycrapers. We’re probably near the desert. I looked around. I have never seen so many 4×4 cars going towards one direction. There are hundreds of white Land Cruiser left and right. All going for a desert safari. It felt like we were in some sort of Toyota commercial!
QUAD BIKE | REFRESHMENTS | SOUVENIRS
The first stop is meant for quad biking in the desert if you can’t wait for the real desert safari. We skipped the quad bike and head towards the souvenir shop. My dad and I bought a red head scarf which ensembles a traditional Arab. While my mom who has an extraordinary skill in haggling probably bought all the keychains in store.
We went back to the car along with our tour mates. Two couple, one from Brazil and another one from India. They were all so nice and friendly.
Mr Khalid: “Fasten your seatbelt. Okay, everyone ready?”
While our tour mates excitedly said yes, I quickly dug inside my well organized tote bag. Where the hell is my gopro. And my phone. Oh shoot. THIS. IS. IT.
I see sand splashing in the window while Justin Bieber was singing on the background. We were surfing the sand dunes. It felt like being in a roller coaster ride. This is amazing!
We stopped at one of the high sand dunes for some photo opportunity. And the dream shot came true.
BEDOUIN DESERT CAMP
Our group was the first ones to arrive in the camp. Thanks to Mr. Khalid’s awesome driving skills. Turns out, it’s not his first time. He’s an excellent driver, photographer, and tour guide. He calls the bedouin camp, the second party. The first party was the dune bashing. If this was how the Middle Easterns used to live back in the days, they sure know how to have a good time!
We decided to start by riding the camel since it’s included in the package. I went straight to the camel and put my right leg on top of it. I was surprised to see my legs in perfect right angle. It was that very moment I realized my legs were really short.
I can’t go up. Help!
My ever supportive mom gave my butt a push and there I was. Next thing I know my mom and I were screaming like cows. Someone please teach the camels how to sit and stand gracefully!
After the hilarious camel ride, we went inside our camp. Coffee and dates were served as welcome refreshments. Mr Khalid showed us around our bedouin camp. There was a tent for customized sand art souvenirs, another one for a chance to wear Arab costume, a tent for the henna, drinks, shisha, and bar for some alcohol.
The sun was completely gone and our camp was finally filled with tourists from all over the world. Arab dishes were served for starter and main course. I didn’t really set a high expectation for the buffet but surprisingly the food selection was good! I loved the grilled chicken and lamb, the falafel and the shawarma. All while enjoying outstanding performances from three different performers. I couldn’t help clapping. These dancers were masters of their own craft! The night ended with the belly dance as the finale. Mr. Khalid dropped us back in our hotel and it was time to say goodbye to our tourmates as well.
It was a day filled with so much adventure and definitely alot of memories to share!
If ever you find yourself in Dubai, do me a favor and book a desert safari. And just in case you’re looking for a high quality tour operator you’ve found it. I can vouch that we had the best desert safari experience in Dubai. Thanks City One Tourism & Travel!
Have you tried the desert safari in Dubai? How was your experience?
This post was brought to you in collaboration with City One Tourism & Travel. All views are solely mine.