Dune Bashing In The Arabian Desert

The number one, absolutely can’t miss adventure experience in Dubai is the Sundowner Dune Dinner Safari through the Arabian Desert. An afternoon of 4×4 driving through the sand dunes as the sun sets, followed by an authentic Middle Eastern dinner experience in a traditional Bedouin style camp. This is an experience like no other and must do when visiting Dubai.

The dune safaris pick you up from your hotel around 3 to 4 in the afternoon. Depending on how many people are in your party you might get a 4×4 all to yourself, or if you’re only a single or a couple you might have to share your car (like we did). I am not going to go into great detail about how incredibly dull and miserable the four Germans were that shared a car with us, but honestly they did not crack a smile the whole time! The drive out to the desert is quite long, but the thrill of seeing rouge camels roadside is very exciting.

Dune bashing in the desert is a bit of an indescribable experience. There is nothing but orange mountains as fair as the eye can see and the 4×4 drivers do not hold back. You are slipping and sliding all over those dunes and on more than one occasion I definitely thought we were going to roll! All the cars from the same company will drive in a convoy, so you also get to watch the other cars slipping around on the dunes. We were able to stop a couple of times to take photos in the desert, but the wind definitely stopped me from getting a nice photo (see the below image of my hair and dress flying around).

When you arrive at the desert camp it is like you’re visiting another world. The sun was setting over the camp and the surrounding dunes and the only thing you could see for miles was sand. The camps themselves are decorated beautifully, offering you such an authentic feeling experience. Before dinner you can choose to take part in camel rides, sand boarding, henna hand painting, souk shopping or experience an aromatic shisha. Sitting cross legged on the beautiful woven rugs and watching the fire dancers and belly dancers while enjoying what can only be described as a BBQ feast was such a beautiful way to end our time in Dubai. There was more food than you could ever fit in and it was all absolutely delicious.

Dune safaris do differ in price depending on the company you book with, as well as what type of safari you choose (private or shared). You can expect to pay anywhere from approximately $90 – $150 AUD per person, however all companies do offer a very similar if not the same experience. Book in advance as it’s the most popular activity in Dubai and can often be sold out. Alcohol is available at an additional expense at the camp, but will not be served during Ramadan.

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Emma Shaw

Emma is a travel photographer and blogger, living in Melbourne, Australia with her husband Thom in between adventures. She started A Make Believe World to share her experiences, travel tips and destination advice, and to inspire others to travel the world and their own backyard whenever they can.

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