Blog Abu Dhabi How to Select the Best Desert Safari in Abu Dhabi

How to Select the Best Desert Safari in Abu Dhabi


Abu Dhabi is a remarkable Emirate consisting of cultural monuments, pristine beaches, extravagant shopping malls, magnificent mosques, and more. It has a plethora of experiences waiting to be explored. But if there is something truly fascinating about the place, then it is the vast stretches of Arabian deserts. There is something truly magical about the red sand dunes of Abu Dhabi. The allure of the deserts beckons all visitors to experience them at least once in their lifetime. So, if you are planning a vacation to this fantastic place, then here are some amazing Abu Dhabi desert safari options that you can indulge in.

How to select the best desert safaris in Abu Dhabi?

There are several desert safari packages, and you can select one based on your interests, time, activities, and budget.

Sunrise desert safari

You will be picked up from your hotel in a 4×4 vehicle and thus start your journey. There is no better way than to start your day with a brilliant view of the sun rising over the dunes of the desert. Witnessing the sands shimmer as the sun’s rays hit them is an unbelievable experience. It is one of the most spectacular sights you will ever experience. Capture these splendid moments on your phone or camera and treasure them for life. Participate in some thrilling dune-bashing experiences. You will be then welcomed at the desert camp with refreshments such as Arabic coffee and snacks. Enjoy some camelback riding before you leave for your hotel.

Morning desert safari

desert safari abu dhabi

Mornings are a wonderful time to embark on a desert safari journey, as the temperature is relatively cool. You will be picked up from your hotel in the morning in a chauffeured vehicle. Hold on to your seats tightly as you go on a roller-coaster ride of the dunes. Enjoy a beautiful sunrise and click plenty of pictures against the backdrop of the blazing orange ball. There are adventure sports, such as quad biking and sandboarding, that will give you an adrenaline rush. After that, you will be taken to the Bedouin-style campsite, where you can try camel riding. Enjoy the stunning sights of the deserts and soak in the serenity of your surroundings. Relish a delicious breakfast before you are dropped back at your hotel. A morning desert safari is ideal for people who don’t have a lot of time on their hands but still want a slice of the desert.

Evening desert safari

This is one of the best desert safari packages that combines leisure, adventure, fun, and entertainment. It provides an authentic feel of the mysterious deserts and gives you a glimpse into Emirati culture and life. Venture into the depths of the deserts in a 4×4 vehicle. Indulge in electrifying adventure sports such as sandboarding, dune bashing, and quad biking. Hop on the back of the camel and explore the dunes while you watch the dazzling sunset on the horizon. Retire into the Arabian campsite, sink into soft, luxurious cushions, and enjoy the true hospitality of the Emiratis. Get dressed in colorful and traditional Arabic costumes and click many selfies and pictures. Smoke flavorful shisha pipes, watch some falconry and adorn your hands with intricate henna patterns. Watch splendid cultural performances and conclude your evening with a delectable BBQ dinner.

Overnight desert safari

Overnight Desert Safari Abu Dhabi


Discover the secrets of the deserts of Abu Dhabi with an incredible expedition into its heart with an overnight desert safari. Let the beauty and magic engulf you while you treat your senses with the mesmerizing views around you. It is perfect for people in no hurry and have all the time on their hands to experience the desert. Your journey begins with some exhilarating dune bashing session in a hummer, at the end, you will be gifted with a picturesque view of the setting sun.

Head to the campsite for the ultimate Emirati hospitality experience. There are multiple activities to keep you engaged – riding a camel, smoking shisha pipes, getting your hands painted with henna, taking pictures in traditional Arabian costumes, and more. Sit back and enjoy live entertainment such as Belly dancing, Tanura dance show, and Fire show. Savor a mouthwatering BBQ buffet dinner before retiring for the night. Spend the night under the glittering stars and wake up to a breathtaking sunrise. Your desert safari culminates with a delicious English-style breakfast. This is a truly unique experience, and you will depart the campsite with unforgettable memories.

Things To Not Miss Out During Desert Safari in Abu Dhabi

A desert safari is one of the top experiences not to be missed when visiting Abu Dhabi. Dune bashing in a 4×4 vehicle, gazing at the sunset over the endless golden sand, enjoying a barbecue dinner under the stars – a magical Arabian night come to life! Here are some highlights you don’t want to miss during your Abu Dhabi desert safari adventure:

Dune Bashing

This exciting driving experience is the main event of the desert safari. Specialized 4×4 vehicles take you out from Abu Dhabi city into the rolling reddish-gold dunes of the desert. Expert drivers then take you on a thrilling rollercoaster ride over the towering dunes, sliding up and down steep slopes and bouncing through the valleys. Dune bashing gets your adrenaline pumping! Make sure to keep a firm hold and wear your seatbelt. Getting tossed around is all part of the fun.

Camel Riding

What’s a desert excursion without a camel ride? Many desert safari tours will include a stop for you to mount these quirky but endearing animals and trot off into the sunset. Camels were vital for traditional desert survival highly well-adapted to the harsh conditions. Riding a camel yourself gives you a small glimpse into traditional Bedouin life. Sitting atop their humped backs as they amble along at a steady pace is an iconic Arabian experience.


If you want to try a new sport, sandboarding down the towering dunes is possible on many Abu Dhabi desert safaris. Strapping a snowboard or specially designed sandboard to your feet, you’ll schuss, jump, and wipe out your way down the sandy slopes. It’s challenging but great fun to attempt to navigate the shifting sands. Safety equipment like goggles, gloves, and knee pads may be provided to keep you protected.

Falconry Demonstration

Falconry is a treasured traditional Emirati sport and cultural practice. Many desert camps will offer a falconry show where you can see these magnificent raptors up close. Witness their speed, agility, and precision as experienced falcon handlers put them through their paces. Some camps even allow you to try handling a falcon perched on your arm. This is a rare chance to learn about falconry and conservation efforts to protect these desert predators.

Sunset Views

One of the most magical moments on any desert safari is witnessing the sunset over the rolling sea of sand. The rippling dunes are bathed in golden hour light before the sky transitions to pink and purple. Finally, darkness settles in, and the stars emerge brightly in the moonlit sky. Sunsets are stunning in the desert atmosphere, where the land extends uninterrupted to the horizon. Don’t forget your camera to capture the spectacle.

Barbecue Dinner

Work up an appetite dune bashing? Desert camps will provide a delicious spread of Arabic barbecue cuisine. Situated in Bedouin-style tents, low tables piled with grilled meats, rice dishes, salads, bread, and more await hungry safari-goers. This is the time to fuel up for the evening’s entertainment ahead. Waiters continuously circle with skewers of juicy chicken, lamb, kofta, and shish kebabs hot off the grill. An open buffet offers a chance to sample Emirati dishes and appreciate Bedouin hospitality.

Entertainment Performances

The energy ramps up after dinner with enthusiastic musical and dance shows. You’ll be treated to traditional Tanoura whirling dervish routines, women dancing sensuously to Arabian beats in colorful costumes, and men performing the national folk dance, Yowalah, with swords or canes. For a more modern twist, some camps have singers belting out popular English tunes. Audiences are encouraged to join in dancing! With full bellies and good company, the evening concludes on a lively, celebratory note.

Sheesha (Hookah)

To aid digestion after your feast, puff leisurely on a flavored tobacco water pipe, known locally as a sheesha. These ornate pipes with long tubes and glass bases full of fruity tobacco are a deep-rooted part of Arabic café culture. Settle into comfy cushions in a dedicated sheesha tent and watch the scented smoke swirl up as you sip and chat late into the night. Trying sheesha is a quintessential Emirati experience.


Away from the city lights, the desert provides prime stargazing opportunities. Billions of stars glisten brightly in the night sky, along with the streaking light of occasional shooting stars. Local guides will point out important constellations like Orion, the Big Dipper, and even the Milky Way if conditions are ideal. You may spot satellites gradually tracking across the sky, too. Gazing up at the vast star-filled heavens is the perfect ending to your Abu Dhabi desert safari.

A desert safari adventure into Abu Dhabi’s Sea of Dunes reveals new sights, sounds, tastes, and sensations. From dune bashing thrills to stargazing serenity, falconry, and feasting, every element combines for an unforgettable Arabian escape. Don’t miss out on making magical memories amid these desert sands!

Tips for desert safari in Abu Dhabi

  • Choose a safari according to your convenience for the best experience
  • It is advisable to travel during the winter months of December-January as the weather is beautiful, and you can enjoy the outdoors
  • Wear comfortable cotton clothes, carry sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun
  • Keep yourself hydrated as you will be outdoors for long
  • Wear comfortable footwear such as flipflops, sandals, or any other kind of open shoes as you will be spending a lot of time on the sand
  • The weather may get a bit chilly in the evenings and nights, so it is advisable to carry a light jacket or shawl


Ultimately, the choice between Abu Dhabi and Dubai and their respective desert safaris depends on your preferences. If you’re seeking a more luxurious and modern experience with a wide range of entertainment options, Dubai might be the better choice for you. On the other hand, if you prefer a quieter and more cultural experience focusing on history and tradition, Abu Dhabi might be the ideal destination. Regarding desert safaris, both cities offer unique experiences, so consider what type of desert adventure you are looking for when making your decision.