Dubai Safari: Animals, Dunes and More Much than Meets the Eye!

dubai safari by night

 “Taking a Safari Tour in Dubai

is not only about animals,

but also about re-connecting

with your human lust for surprises!

The arid expanse of the Arabian Desert, just outside of Dubai City, conceals a treasure trove of adventure, known as the Desert Safari.

Today, we are trying to explore it, by following the path of an exciting “Safari Tour“, meticulously organized by Oasis Palm Tourism, Dubai, which will lead us through an unforgettable journey between the undulating dunes of Dubai.

If you’re wondering which animals you might encounter in the Dubai “Safari”, you’re going to be slightly disappointed: this is not your typical animal-watching safari (although it takes its name and there are few!).

Instead, it is an exploration of the vast nothingness and of the few locals that inhabit it: a symphony of heart-pounding excitement, self-discovery, and serene contemplation. 

So, let’s stop the chitty-chats, and let’s embark together on this odyssey, unraveling the Desert Safari experience, diving into its inclusions, embracing the adrenaline-pumping dune bashing, and immersing ourselves in the captivating campsite activities.

In this article, you find the Top 10 experiences to try in the desert of Dubai while on a Desert Safari!

Let’s dive right in!

Let’s Discover the Dubai Safari

and the Best Activities to Do! 

The Dubai Safari Experience: in Brief!

Safari in Dubai - cars 4x4 on the dunes

The Desert Safari Dubai experience is a spellbinding mosaic of thrilling activities set against the backdrop of the vast Arabian Desert.

Do you need adrenaline? Do you need local culture? Do you need time and space to let your mind wander? Here you’ll find all of them!

Most safari tours in the Dubai desert start before sunset when the sun rays are more gentle and temperature more bearable. Said that you might also find day tours if you’d in for the challenge ;D

As the sun dips below the horizon, casting the dunes in warm hues, that’s when the magic starts, and when the adventure usually begins with a heart-pounding session of dune bashing.

Never heard of dune bashing before?

You’ll love it… Skilled drivers, armed with specialized vehicles, navigate the steep dunes, crafting an adrenaline-pumping roller-coaster ride that rivals any amusement park adventure! 

This pulsating up and down, with its undulating waves of sand, soon becomes an integral part of the Desert Safari experience.

As day transitions to night, the desert undergoes a breathtaking transformation.

It becomes a canvas of golden and red hues, setting the stage for an unforgettable journey.

After sunset, the Safari tour leads to a Bedouin-style camp, where the essence of Arabian culture comes to life.

It’s here, beneath the starlit Arabian sky, that the magic of the desert and its people truly unfolds, leaving a feel of a “thousand and one nights”.


Oasis Palm Tourism, Dubai, is one of the largest tour operators in UAE with a track record of excellence.

Since 2003 (over 20 years ago!), it has offered private guides, safaris, tours, day trips, cruises, and more!

The Desert Safari experience they offer, is nothing short of comprehensive, leaving no detail overlooked in the pursuit of comfort and entertainment (dune bashing, campsite, pick-up, drop-off, camel ride, quad ride, etc.).

Said that, before booking any tour and to avoid surprises, my tip for you is to ensure the activities you’re booking, the length of said activities, and the conditions.

As with most sought-after international tourist attractions, the sale of tours all over the internet is aggressive, and to get the best deal it’s always a good idea to take your time and read through the description of each package (there might be several!).

In this way, you’ll find what fits your needs and you’ll enjoy it much more! 😉

Let’s see now, which animals you could spot during your Dubai Safari, and then the best 10 activities to do!

What about the Animals?

This is the Wildlife you Might See on a Safari Around Dubai!

wildilife in dubai - which animals can you see in a safari in dubai

Although it’s called a “Safari”, the Dubai Safari Tour is more of a desert exploration adventure than a hunt for animal-watching.

The animals you might be able to spot in the Dubai Desert are mainly:

  • Arabian Oryx (in the photo above),
  • Spiny Tailed Lizards,
  • Arabian Sand Gazelle,
  • Camels,
  • Desert Eagle Owls,
  • Falcons

As you can see, there’s not a big variety of animals and there are no large carnivores at all!

In the Dubai desert, nothingness is king and the fun is mostly man-made (as you will see in the following paragraphs!).

Let’s move now to the exciting part: the activities you can join while on your tour! 🙂


1. Get your Daily Dose of Adrenaline

with Dune Bashing!

quad biking in dubai

Dune bashing is unequivocally the heartbeat of the Desert Safari experience.

It is an adventure that marries the thrill of off-road driving with the raw and awe-inspiring beauty of the desert landscape.

Skilled drivers, equipped with specialized vehicles, navigate the steep dunes with precision and finesse.

The twists turns, and sudden drops are a testament to the desert’s untamed power and stark beauty, leaving you exhilarated and breathless.

If you ask me, that’s the coolest part of the journey, and I would suggest dune bash for at least 30 minutes (time flies when you have fun! ;D ).

2. Enjoy the many

Campsite Activities Available

dubai safari campsite

Following the adrenaline-pumping dune bashing, the Safari tour usually leads to a traditional Bedouin-style camp.

Here, guests are welcomed with open arms and a plethora of cultural activities offer a window into the rich heritage of Arabia. 

Stretch your back after the ride, drop off your backpack and get ready for what’s to come!

3. Experience the

Henna Painting Tattoos (removable)

henna tattoos painting in dubai

One of the most cherished activities at the campsite (especially by ladies, but not only!) is the opportunity to adorn your hands with intricate henna art.

This ancient form of temporary tattooing has been an integral part of Arabian culture for centuries.

The mesmerizing designs and the historical significance make it a captivating experience, allowing you to leave your mark on this ancient tradition.

4. Assist to a traditional

Tanoura Dance Show

tanoura dancing

One of the cultural gems of the Desert Safari experience (and the Arabian culture at large!) is the mesmerizing Tanoura dance show.

We already talked about it when exploring the Dhow Cruises at Dubai Marina, and we’re going to talk about it more, as it’s something to see at least once when visiting the UAE ;D

The Tanoura dance is a captivating whirl of colorful skirts, accompanied by the hypnotic rhythm of traditional music.

The dancers whirl over and over for minutes, creating an enchanting spectacle.

This centuries-old folk dance, originating from Egypt, pays homage to the beauty and harmony of the universe.

As the performers gracefully spin, it feels as if they are weaving a tapestry of dreams beneath the star-studded desert sky.

5. Enjoy the peculiarity of

a Belly Dance Show

belly traditional dance on boat cruise trip in dubai

The Desert Safari experience also treats you to the sultry, mesmerizing movements of a belly dance show.

The dance, originating from the Middle East, is an expression of grace, sensuality, and cultural richness.

The dancer’s flowing movements, accentuated by the rhythmic beats of Arabic music, evoke a sense of enchantment, transporting you to a world of ancient allure and modern mystique.

6. Try riding the Dunes

with Sand Boarding!

sandboarding in dubai

As a passionate snowboarder, I loved my first time trying sandboarding: and I found it pretty easy too! ;D

What is sandboarding? The same as snowboarding, but you surf on desert sand!

You get aboard, some wax to spread under it to make it slide better, and ready to go!

All in all, sandboarding is a thrilling experience and a challenge to maintain balance (if you fall on sand, it’s a bit more itchy than falling on snow! ;D ).

It’s an experience that combines the rush of adrenaline with the raw, natural beauty of the desert.

7. Live the local Customs by

dressing up Arabic for a Day!

arabic dressing for a day in dubai

Another delightful facet of the campsite activities is the chance to don a traditional Arabian attire.

You can slip into the elegant robes and headscarves worn by locals for generations.

This provides not only a unique photo opportunity but also a deeper connection to the rich cultural tapestry of the region.

8. No Safari Experience in Dubai would be Complete

without Camel Riding

camel riding in dubai

No Desert Safari experience is complete without a camel ride!

These ‘ships of the desert’ have been an integral part of Arabian culture and history for centuries.

As you gently sway atop a camel, you’ll gain a unique perspective of the sprawling desert landscape.

It’s a moment of serenity and peace!

TIP: If you’d like to join a longer route riding camels, be sure to negotiate the experience in advance and make your request clear (as some tours offer camel ride only for a few minutes, just for tourists to take photos 🙁 ).

9. Learn the History of Safari Camps in Dubai!

afari camp in dubai desert - safari tour

The history of safari camps in Dubai is deeply intertwined with the region’s nomadic heritage.

These camps were once temporary settlements for Bedouin tribes, providing respite and shelter during their desert journeys.

The camps were often simple, consisting of goat hair tents woven with remarkable skill.

These tents provided a sanctuary in the harsh desert environment, shielding inhabitants from the scorching sun and occasional sandstorms.

The camps were strategically placed near oases or areas with access to water, ensuring the survival of both people and their precious livestock.

Inside, a sense of community thrived, with families sharing stories, traditions, and meals around the campfire.

These gatherings were more than a matter of survival; they were the heartbeat of Bedouin culture, where wisdom was passed down through generations. 

As Dubai transformed into a bustling metropolis, the tradition of safari camps evolved. Modern camps retain the essence of Bedouin hospitality while incorporating contemporary comforts.

Today, visitors have the opportunity to step into this living history, experiencing the warmth of traditional Arabian hospitality in the heart of the desert and learn history from the local descendants of previous generations!

10. Enjoy a BBQ Buffet

in the Middle of the Desert! 

bbq in the desert - uae

The culinary aspect of the campsite activities is equally enchanting.

A sumptuous buffet dinner, featuring a tantalizing array of local and international dishes, is usually served under the starlit Arabian sky.

As a sinful meat lover, I can suggest the BBQ experience!

The experience of dining in the heart of the desert, with the night breeze as your companion and the smell of the chirping wood, is a memory hard to forget! 🙂



And here we are at the end of the article!

In this article, we’ve explored the Desert Safari Dubai experience with Oasis Palm Tourism, Dubai.

From the heart-pounding dune bashing, henna tattoos, local stories and shows under the starlit Arabian Sky, the Dubai Safari is a must-do experience that allows you to live several aspects of the local culture all in one day and to saviour the grandeur of the Arabian Desert!

Before going, I would like to ask you:

  • What do you think about the article? Was it interesting to you?
  • Have you already had the chance to experience the Dubai Safari before?
  • Would you like to share your experience?

If you’d like to share your experience/opinion, we would be happy to hear it! 🙂

So please, let us know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading, and as always…

See you in the next article! 🙂


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