DESERT SAFARI – THE BEST WAY TO EXPERIENCE THE BEDOUIN LIFE

DESERT SAFARI – THE BEST WAY TO EXPERIENCE THE BEDOUIN LIFE

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.Β 

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?”

“Yes.”

“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!Β 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

quad bike desert safari dubai

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.

DUNE BASHING

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.Β This is amazing!Β 

We stopped at one of the high sand dunes for some photo opportunity. And the dream shot came true.

girl wanderlust in desert safari dubai

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!

girl in bedouin desert safari camp

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!

dubai desert safari camel ride

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.

sand art souvenir dubai

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.

fire dancer belly dancer performing

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.

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17 Comments

  1. October 14, 2017 / 10:45 am

    So fun! I did my desert safari at Abu Dhabi and enjoyed every moment too, especially the dune-bashing!

    • October 14, 2017 / 11:03 am

      True! I’ll definitely do it again especially the camel ride. πŸ™‚

  2. October 15, 2017 / 2:05 am

    I did a desert safari in Dubai! I have no idea which company I used, but I felt like we were waiting for hours for our pick up without any information! I am surely exaggerating, but it ended up being a great experience once we finally got going!

  3. October 21, 2017 / 1:09 pm

    this looks like fun! Did you feel it was very touristy? The pictures in the sand dunes are awesome!

    • October 21, 2017 / 1:47 pm

      Hi Sabrina! Desert Safari tour is very touristy but a must try at least once! The desert is too big to feel crowded plus there are many camps for dinner so the tour is very comfortable. πŸ˜€

  4. October 21, 2017 / 4:39 pm

    I haven’t been on a desert safari since I was a kid – and that was in Libya with my parents (and friends) driving. Yours sounds a lot more fun! Good on you for going on the camel, I am always too scared!

    • October 22, 2017 / 2:00 pm

      Had I know that’s how camel ride goes. I wouldn’t be riding for sure. But it was a fun surprise!πŸ˜„

  5. October 21, 2017 / 5:09 pm

    Have done the desert safari in Dubai as well as Meliha (Near Sharjah ) and I found the Meliha one lesser commercialised in nature and that is why I loved it. But of course for people who like entertainment the on at Dubai is much much preferred as they have dances and all that cultural set up! πŸ™‚ You should try the Meliha one next time. It has fossils and is devoid of crowds!

    • October 22, 2017 / 2:03 pm

      Sounds nice! I think that’s a great idea for returning visitors in Dubai. May I know the tour operator you used for your desert safari? I’ll check it out when I get a chance. πŸ™‚

  6. October 22, 2017 / 1:59 pm

    The dune bashing sounds scary, but has to be done. I have ridden a Camel before, and to me it felt so strange and so unstable up there. Those performances look spectacular and is definitely part of the experience of it all.

    • October 22, 2017 / 2:06 pm

      It was actually scary for the first few minutes but definitely enjoyable once you get the hang of it. Totally agree with the camel ride😁 I wasn’t actually expecting much with the performances but it turned out as one the best part of the desert safari package.

  7. October 22, 2017 / 5:25 pm

    This sounds like an awesome experience! I would love the drive on the dunes and your photo opportunity was perfect. Having a meal and performances while in the desert would be an added bonus — sounds like a great day!

  8. October 23, 2017 / 2:26 am

    Super cool! I did this experience in Dubai too, and loved it! Totally agree that you can’t leave Dubai without having gone dune bashing in the desert and visited a Bedouin camp. Very cool that you can quad bike before the dune bashing – we didn’t have this option – would’ve been fun! You look pretty good atop a camel! Lol πŸ™‚

    So glad you had a fabulous time – Khalid sounds like a great tour guide!

  9. October 23, 2017 / 6:21 am

    I did something similar in the Tunisian Sahara and it was amazing. One of the best experiences I have ever had.

  10. October 23, 2017 / 8:24 am

    What a gorgeous adventure. I’m glad that the tour company lived up to the reviews! It sounds like the Bedouin village put on quite the show + experience for you guys. Dune Bashing sounds like a blast too!

  11. October 24, 2017 / 4:08 pm

    This took me back to my desert safari experience in great Thar Desert of India :). We did a camel ride for 12 KM to reach our camp and the night spent there was one of the most memorable night and then morning was full of fresh sunrays.
    Your photographs are great specially the first one. Dune bashing is something i want to experience. Dubai may happen to us next year and for that I have bookmarked it. And yes, wont leave Dubai without doing it.

  12. October 25, 2017 / 2:15 am

    Can’t wait to visit Dubai and go on a desert safari, You pictures are gorgeous. At times is scary just how vast and never ending the dessert seems. The quad bikes look like absolute fun but I think the camels would be pretty awesome too!!! Now I know the bottle is nice and everything but is that the same sand from the same dessert with endless sand that they are trying to sell tourist? Just curious.

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