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Marcelo, Canadian architect


How can a visit to Dubai be complete without an Arabian adventure? Sure, Dubai is known for its amazing shopping, mind-blowing architecture, and epic attractions… but the desert is where it all began. Nothing gives me a greater sense of being truly ‘free’ as being surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature and wildlife.

While Zoe was inspired to try a true Bedouin heritage experience, getting there on horseback and then roaring off on a motorbike, my soft spot is for quad bikes! Rest assured you won’t be starved for choice – on any front – food included. All desert camps offer a tempting spread of local delicacies and drinks.

When it comes to the desert, it’s always best to plan ahead. There are so many ways to bring your own adventure to life. Here are a few of our suggestions to get you started.

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Soar over the sands

Jen, American photographer

Even if you’re not a morning person, set an alarm for an early start. Take to the sky in a hot air balloon and watch the horizon light up as the sun rises over the desert dunes and the Hajar Mountains. At 4,000ft, this is a sunrise like no other, followed by a breakfast feast at a heritage camp. This experience is, honestly, just magical.

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Embrace the wild

If staying closer to the ground is your thing, hop aboard a vintage 1950s Land Rover to experience a one-of-a-kind wildlife safari through a pristine desert conservation reserve. Learn about the rich flora that spans the vast landscape and try to spot the native wildlife – from the Arabian oryx, and Arabian gazelle to the sand fox and more.

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Take on the dunes

This is my favourite thing to do! Whether you want to ride a desert motocross bike or a dune buggy, or you’d prefer to be driven by the pros in a four-wheel drive – they *all* go fast! Adrenaline fix, check.

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Book a Bedouin experience

Adaku, Nigerian safari guide

See what life in the desert looked like just a few decades ago at a Bedouin camp. Get up close and personal with a falcon and treat yourself to sundowners as you witness a picture-perfect sunset from the dunes. Ride a camel, dress up in local clothing (abayas and dishdashas) or grab your telescope for a spot of stargazing.

Indulge in a traditional dinner over a campfire before you head back to the city or stay in the desert and settle into your tent for the night. Try Platinum Heritage for an authentic journey through the desert or the Al Maha Luxury Resort & Spa for pure luxury and opulence. This will be an unforgettable day!

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Just in case – get back to the city

If you were wondering where Zoe conquered her fear of heights – head to the Dubai Frame. You can see both the old and new sides of Dubai in the world’s biggest picture frame. And if you’re brave enough, step onto the glass walkway at the top.

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