Desert Diaries In Dubai


Today I’m sharing all about my first ever desert safari experience in Dubai! I’ve traveled to Dubai quite often in the past and this time, I thought I’d try something new and explore a different, historical side of the city.

My sister and I took a guided tour. This means that instead of riding crazily in the sand dunes, you’re taking a smooth car ride in a 1960s Land Rover throughout the conservation lands and learning about Bedouin rituals, environment and history. I honestly came back learning so much more than I had expected. Such as how the falcons inhabit the UAE for only a few months a year and are trained as hunters by Bedouins, and that the local plants are used as perfume for camel riders on long trips and that the Bedouins survived on camel milk, meat and dates as their main source of protein for thousands of years in the desert.

We all received scarves to wear throughout the trip as a souvenir. I already wear a head scarf so I tied it on top to keep my scarf from flying in the car ride. The black scarves are worn culturally by women, and red & white by men, both as protection from the sand and heat.

After the guided car tour, we spent some time in the dunes to explore the long open distance. We made our way to a carpeted area for a falcon presentation, greeted with sparkling date juice (a modern form of Bedouin drinks) and dates. It was such a beautiful sunset experience and it was fascinating to watch the falcons dive for their meal.

Later on, we headed out in our Land Rovers in the dark night to our Bedouin inspired camp. We rode camels, drank a variety of local drinks like Arabic coffee, karak and camel milk, and, took part in an amazing Arabian feast with all our favorite appetizers, meals, and desserts. 

They ended the night with cultural performances by Emirati men, in which the sword dance signified youth preparation for hunting in the past. The female Emirati “hair” dance signified the hidden beauty of Arabica hair. Afterwards, all the lights were shut off to gaze at the natural starlight. It was quite unique to be in one of the most metropolitan cities in the world, and yet be in total black out for a star gazing experience just miles outside the city center.

I found this outfit last minute in Dubai before our trip. I had not packed lightly for the extreme heat (105 degrees F) and luckily, this outfit really came in handy for preventing excessive over-heating. It’s a two piece tank and pant look, paired with a long lightweight cardigan, black sandals, and a red scarf to top it off. I found myself matching quite well with the camels on site– totally unintentional. Overall, I’d definitely recommend planning a desert experience for you and your family when heading to Dubai. You might just learn something new!