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Stars, tents, fire, sleeping bags and endless stretch of sand, this is what an overnight desert safari looks like. You’ve likely read in many places that the best way to experience the culture of Dubai is to go for a desert safari adventure. But has it ever struck you on how this excursion is linked to the history and heritage of Emirati? Read on to uncover the gems of the desert that you didn’t know before.

A desert safari takes you back in time and relives the moments of 1950s Dubai. The life of camel rider, nomads, fishers, and merchants is quite intriguing and very different from what you see now.

Let’s paint the adventure experience of the overnight desert safari in Dubai for a better understanding.

1. All-Embracing Service

Dubai

Dubai. Image by enjoytheworld from Pixabay

Dubai’s rich tradition is famous for its unparalleled hospitality. Even before the high rises in Marine and swanky hotels in Jumeirah were built, the city never escaped from attending the guests and treating them with utmost respect and dignity. And here itself, the trip begins with the transfer services.

You will be picked by a trained driver in a robust and luxurious vehicle. Drivers are super organized and run you through the itinerary as the car makes way through the crowd. Soon the metropolis vanishes and you land into the old Dubai – the place of desert, camels, and tents.

2. Heart-thumping Dune Bash

Anything from a Jeep to Land Cruiser is available at your service. Duck inside, fasten your seat belts and hold on tight as the vehicle is about to go on a roller coaster round. The experienced driver prepares the vehicle for the adrenaline-filled journey. The SUV vrooms and reaches extreme heights, plummets at jaw-dropping speed and skids on the slope. The highly powerful four-wheeler pushes the sand at impossible angles persuading the guests to whoop and cheer.

3. Rare Sights

Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx) in the Dubai Desert Conservation Area, UAE

Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx) in the Dubai Desert Conservation Area, UAE. Charles J Sharp [CC BY-SA]

You can bump into scarce and rare vegetation around. In such hot temperatures these plants sprout without human interference- and if this stuns you, few even bloom. In the days gone by, there used to be a fascinating wildlife drive in vintage Land Rovers where you could spot the unique Arabian oryx. The nostalgia part is that you can find them even today. Learn from the guide how people then lived in the desert with this wildlife and plants.

Above all, the view of the sunset from the highest peak of the dune is unmatchable to any other thing you see here. The orange hue spread on the sand needs to be uploaded on Instagram. You could even say it’s the perfect place for romance!

4. Camel Ride

Did you know that camels were of such importance that they were transferred as dowries at weddings? An animal that can go days without water, is the ship of the desert and has an iconic place in the saga, the camel is worthy of all attention. In the Bedouin times, it was not just a means of transportation but also a source of milk. Races were held amongst the camels and the audience had a great pastime. To help you feel the essence of true Bedouin culture, the safaris allow you to mount the camels, straddle them and go for an adventurous journey.

Overnight camel riding.

Overnight camel riding. Photo provided by author.

Tip- Don’t forget to have plenty of pictures clicked during this and more activities coming by.

5. Sandboarding and Quad Biking

After a wobbly ride on camels, it’s time to get behind the wheels and explore this enchanting place on your own. Revv up for quad biking which is stimulating when it bounces and runs throwing away the sand behind. But the highlight is the sand surfing. Guides will show you how to soar down the dunes like a pro.

6. Authentic Bedouin Camp

Lit with lamps and lights, the bedouin camps are the exhibition of where people lived decades back. What makes the safari extraordinary is it still welcomes and greets the guests in the same way as it did in the 20th century. They would pour a bit of scented liquid in your hand from the jug of rose water. Later the Arabic coffee, which clenches a prestigious place in staple dishes, is served along with sweet dates to dilute the strong flavor of the drink. The tents are huddled together, big carpeting area in the centre is the stage, and the outskirts have shops and counters.

7. Belly Dancing

Overnight safari in Dubai Tanoura dance.

Overnight safari in Dubai Tanoura dance. Photo provided by author.

Emirati culture has many conventional dances. One of the hit names is belly dancing. While earlier, the belly dancing in the Middle East was a means to worship the Arabian goddess, nowadays, it has perhaps become a source of performing arts. The belly dancer is professional and gracious. Another live show that would hit the stage is the folkloric Tanoura dance. The practice of twirling incessantly and connecting to almighty, this dance will have you hold your breath. Kick back on Arabian-style blankets with a shisha pipe and applaud the performances.

8. Shisha Smoking

Shisha draws its significance from the roots of the Emirati lifestyle. Be it the get-togethers, parties or any celebrations, the shisha pots were compulsory belongings in the ambiance. So, while you are watching the folkloric dances, puff on the shisha and delve completely into the long-established ritual.

9. Customary Activities

In this mystical land of history, sink in the colors of tradition with indulging in a myriad of other activities. Paint your hands with henna and adorn yourselves with Arabic traditional dress. Kandur for men and Abaya for women are still worn by many people. It is pretty joyful to see how you would have looked if born years ago in the Arab world.

10. BBQ Dinner

Overnight safari in Dubai desert meal.

Overnight safari in Dubai desert meal. Photo provided by author.

Feast on a four-course BBQ dinner, which includes dishes brought all the way from the traditional Arabic cuisine. The local food here uses a lot of meat, grain, and dairy, and that is why most of the dishes on the menu are evolved out of it. The barbecue of lambs is famous from very old times. On occasions, camel meat was prepared too. So, you can devour the Lamb kebabs and drum sticks like those previous days. Then dig into the hot sauteed vegetables along with the staple food Arabic bread and white rice. The cold and hot appetizers and desserts spruce up the dining.

11. Stargazing

Relax with pipe and savor the dinner around the fire to have a true Araban living. After the riveting and rejuvenating session, grab your sleeping bags. Historically, due to scarce water and transportation of goods, people were on continuous moves and thus, settled in tents. Dubai might have switched from mobile tents to the deluxe suites, but the desert renders a peaceful respite in the luxurious canvas. Lie under the sky, count the stars, breathe in the fresh air and sleep under the canopy like never before.

12. Morning Tea & Snacks

Get up when the sun peeps out of the nest and marvel at this beautiful sight. The ethereal magic of sunrise is a treat to behold. The team will then arrange the sumptuous breakfast. Sip the Arabic tea and coffee served with scrambled eggs, olive, cheese, yogurt, and Arabic bread.

The desert safari is an excursion filled with unique experiences and possibilities. It is a perfect blend of yesterday’s traditions and today’s adventures. For an unwavering realities experience, find more information at Best Desert Safari in Dubai. And for your final unique experience before you head home, have a massage.

 

If there is one thing Navya loves more than coffee, it’s traveling. Having made Dubai her home, she jumps from Asia to Europe frequently, eats in hawker centers, goes for off-beaten activities and loves riding the train.

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About the Photo

The photo in the header above was taken on an overnight safari in Dubai. Image by Sharon Ang from Pixabay

About the Author

If there’s one thing Dubai author, Navya,  loves more than coffee, it’s traveling!

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