10 best desert safaris in Dubai

By Joan Torres Leave a comment Last updated on April 29, 2024

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No trip to Dubai would be complete without a desert adventure and there’s no better way to explore that sandy realm than with a safari.

But, how to choose which one’s best for you?

Do you want to take to the dunes on a camel, camp out under the stars or float above high above in a hot air balloon?

We’ve rounded up our best desert safaris in Dubai to help you choose, read on to plan your escape. 

desert safari dubai

In this guide to how to choose the best desert safari un Dubai, you find:

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Price of a desert safari in Dubai. How much does it cost?

How much your Dubai desert safari costs is totally up to you and the activities you want to enjoy, there’s really something for every budget.

If you want to save a few pennies you can book a day trip for as cheap as $20, where you can still enjoy driving through the sand dunes, camel rides and a desert barbecue.

If you’re looking for something a little more high end you can enjoy a private desert safari for $280, a luxury adventure for $395 or even a hot air balloon safari for $335.

All you need to do is to decide which you’d prefer!

The 10 top desert safaris in Dubai

Dubai might be known for its lavish events and big spenders but you can still have an epic desert escape without spending too much.

This super budget desert safari will lead you out to the Red Dunes of Al Hibab where you’ll have a go at dune bashing, before heading to a desert camp to enjoy traditional dance shows, a barbecue dinner and a camel ride.

You might be saving money but you’re not missing out on anything. 

Price: $
Duration: 4-7 hours

You go on a desert safari in Dubai for as cheap as 22€

To get the full desert experience we’d recommend spending a night in this arid landscape, nothing quite beats desert camping under the night sky.

You’ll spend your day enjoying dune bashing and sandboarding and your evening swapping stories as you enjoy dinner around the fire, smoking shisha and taking in local customs such as dancing and henna.

The next morning you’ll have a chance to soak up the sunrise with a traditional camel caravan. 

Price: $$
Duration: 17 hours

Overnight camping desert safaris in Dubai include a wide range of activities

If money’s no object, this is the top-rated 5-star desert safari in Dubai, an exclusive experience not many travelers can do.

Live like a king or queen for the day as you head out into the dunes in the Dubai royal family’s car of choice, the Range Rover.

You’ll travel to the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve to spot local wildlife, watch a falconry display as the sun sets, take a camel ride to your dinner venue before enjoying a  three-course meal in a private cabana at this exclusive royal retreat. 

Price: $$$$
Duration: 7 hours

The Platinum Heritage safari is the most luxurious desert safari in Dubai

Our favorite private safari also happens to be the best nighttime desert safari in Dubai.

Wait until the sun sets before you head out into the desert in a vintage 1950s Land Rover with a set of night-vision binoculars in search of nocturnal animals.

After you’ve enjoyed exploring the cool and quiet nighttime desert, you’ll dine under the stars as you enjoy a three-course dinner, shisha and Arabic coffee at an open-air camp (belonging to a local royal family no less).

Price: $$$
Duration: 5 hours

At night, it must be quite a unique desert safari experience

One of the best times to take in this arid desert landscape is early in the day before the sun rises.

You’ll set off on your adventure at the crack of dawn to ensure you get to watch the day begin as the sun crests over the sand dunes.

Keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife at the Al Qudra Lakes before you sit down to a traditional Arabic picnic breakfast. 

Price: $
Duration: 4 hours

Sunrises in the desert of Dubai tend to be pretty epic

Exploring the desert from the ground is one thing, but taking it all in from above is a totally different (and a once-in-a-lifetime) experience.

You’ll set off first thing in the morning whilst it’s still dark as you head to the Margham Desert where your hot air balloon awaits.

Next, you’ll float up to 4000 feet and watch as the sun rises over your spectacular desert surroundings, and after, enjoy quad biking, camel riding and a gourmet breakfast. 

Price: $$$
Duration: 5 hours


There’s little that can beat the adrenaline rush of hurtling up and down a sand dune, you’ll feel like a modern-day Lawrence of Arabia.

You can choose to hit the dunes in a jeep, quad bike, or buggy and you’ll have an hour to get your thrills as you take on the desert landscape.

Those looking for even more of an adventure can tack on sandboarding too. 

Price: $$
Duration: 4 hours

Dune bashing in Dubai desert

If you want a taste of old-world desert safari charm, this is the trip for you.

You’ll feel as though you’ve been whisked back in time as you hop in your classic 1950’s Land Rovers as you drive through the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve spotting wildlife.

You’ll enjoy traditional Dubai activities such as learning to bake bread, falconry demonstrations, camel rides, shisha and henna tattoos before tucking into a delicious dinner under the stars. 

Price: $$
Duration: 7 hours

The most authentic safari offers plenty of cultural staff

If you say the words ‘desert safari’ the first image to come to mind is probably of riding across the dunes on camelback, and this is the best camel desert safari to go in Dubai.

You’ll have the opportunity to travel the same way people have been for thousands of years as you climb aboard your trusty stead and trek across the desert – and by sunrise, no less.

Once you’re finished with your ride, you’ll sit down to a light breakfast and sample Arabic coffee. 

Price: $
Duration: 4 hours

Dubai camel desert safari

Horse lovers are well catered for too and can happily gallop into the desert on a horseback safari.

4x4s and buggies might be the most well-known mode of transport in these parts but there’s nothing quite like getting in the saddle and feeling the breeze in your hair as you ride through the striking desert landscape. 

Price: $$
Duration: 1 hour

Best horseback safari in Dubai

Practical information for doing a desert safari in Dubai

What to wear for a desert safari in Dubai

You’ll want to make sure to choose the right clothes for a Dubai desert safari, layers of comfortable, breathable clothing that you can add or remove depending on the temperature because whilst the desert is hot in the day, it can drop to freezing once the sun’s set.

Women are advised to wear modest clothing that covers their knees and shoulders.

The ideal attire would be trousers made of a breathable fabric, a t-shirt and a lightweight shirt or jacket with a scarf for extra layers if needed. 

Dubai desert safari location

It’s approximately 55km from the center of Dubai to the desert so it takes around 35 minutes to reach.

What’s the best time to do a desert safari in Dubai

The best season is November to March, as the weather is much cooler than summertime and more bearable.

Can you go on a desert safari in the summer? You can but of them most run in the late afternoon and evening to avoid the overwhelming morning heat.

More information for your trip to Dubai

📢 In my Travel Resources Page you can find the list of all the sites and services I use to book hotels, tours, travel insurance and more.

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