Instagrammable sunsets, great food and luxurious tours - all the more reason to enjoy a summer desert safari
Just because you’re visiting in summertime doesn’t mean you have to miss out on this quintessential Dubai experience. Here’s why a desert day trip should top your Dubai hit-list.
Desert adventures can be enjoyed all year long, with a summer safari offering an appeal all of its own. For one thing, it’s cooler in the middle of the desert (in the evenings) than it is in the city. The low humidity and ground water levels in the desert mean that the daytime heat isn’t retained once the sun goes down, leaving it up to seven degrees cooler than metro areas.
This explains why Bedouin tribes have successfully navigated desert summers for centuries – to the extent that many locals still love to pitch tents in the desert whenever they get an opportunity.
The Bedouins have a few summer survival secrets that are handy to know, which many desert safari operators have used to adapt their offering. This includes desert tents being set up atop a dune in order to make the most of cooling breezes. Some also offer cold towels and chilled welcome drinks at the desert camps, which are also usually equipped with cooling units. Timing, of course, is key: most safaris are scheduled in the late afternoon through evening. To combat the residual heat, it helps to dress in loose, light clothes, and drink lots of water.
Far from a rough and ready trek, the 21st century Arabian desert experience is rather luxurious. Travellers will be picked up from their hotels in an air-conditioned SUV to enjoy the long drive away from the city into the undulating dunes.
The sense of adventure begins once the highway tarmac is replaced by sand, at which point the drivers deflate the car’s tyre pressure, allowing it to drive on the soft surface without sinking in. Then, guests are up for about an hour of enjoying a thrilling roller coaster-like bout of off-roading, bound to get your adrenaline pumping. Usually winding down around sundown, it coincides with the chance to snap some incredible desert sunset photo-ops.
From there, groups head to the traditional desert camp set-up for an Arabian nights-style evening complete with mezze and BBQ dinner, with entertainment such as camel rides and henna painting.
If this doesn’t sound tempting enough, you can also access some great seasonal deals, giving you one more reason to enjoy the Dubai desert in the summer.
Try these top four experiences this summer:
- Platinum Heritage offers luxury safaris through the summer, with a range of added perks such as star-gazing in the desert, and Iftar safaris during the month of Ramadan.
- At the luxe Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, you can enjoy an exclusive 4x4 experience in open-top Land Rovers, getting up-close with desert wildlife amidst the gentle dunes around the resort. Cap it with a meal at the colourful Al Hadheerah restaurant which recreates a traditional Bedouin setting in air-conditioned comfort.
- Lama Tours, one of the most established desert safari operators, is offering discounted prices for their summer desert safaris.
- Arabian Adventures’ Sundowner Dune Dinner Safari is the perfect way to soak in the best of the desert in summer, combining dune-bashing, animal experiences and sumptuous dinner at a Bedouin-style camp. Seasonal discounts on most itineraries will sweeten the deal.