The ultimate activity while in the UAE, going on a desert safari, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that all those who love to travel want to do. If you are heading off on one soon, read on to learn the three ways to prepare for your first desert safari in the UAE.
1. Research the options.
As soon as you start researching "desert safari Dubai," you are going to quickly realize that there are a number of different tour operators offering a variety of excursions.
So, the first thing you need to do is to read about the various desert safari options that are on offer. Don't forget to read not only the descriptions of the tours, offers and packages, but also the customer reviews on the company's website as well as on other review sites.
You want to make sure that you are booking a desert safari that incorporates the activities you are interested in — such as camel riding, dune bashing, quad biking — as well as additional services, such as pickups and drop-offs at a nearby location.
If you opt for an evening desert safari, then you certainly want to opt for the dinner barbecue and buffet, as you will be able to savor the Arabian flavors while watching the talented fire and belly dancers and other fantastic entertainers.
2. Dress the part.
At this point, you should have selected your preferred tour operator and package and booked your spot on the outing. Now, it is time to curate the perfect outfit for this desert adventure.
You want to make sure that you are wearing comfortable yet stylish clothing — pieces that are loose and cool and are comprised of light fabrics. You don't want your clothes to be making you feel too hot, sweaty, and uncomfortable.
For this reason, it is best to wear shorts with a lightweight top and then also bring a shawl or a jacket for when the weather temperature cools down at night in winter season (or at the beginning, if you are doing a morning desert safari).
You will be able to dance around in the sand, so you want to wear open shoes, flip-flops, or sandals. Alternatively, you can wear hiking boots if you would prefer to have your feet covered during the tour.
Sunglasses and a hat are essential for keeping you protected from the sun. Moreover, you should undoubtedly wear lots of suncream. The sun is powerful while you are out in the desert and it will be easy for you to get a sunburn, so make sure you are looking after your skin’s health by putting sunblock.
3. Pack light, but have the essentials.
Whatever you do, you don't want to bring a heavy bag filled with unnecessary items on your desert safari experience. All this will do is weigh you down and take away from what should be a relaxing and enjoyable time. Therefore, you want to bring a small cross-body bag that fits the essentials, and nothing more.
Don't bring a bag that you need to hold in your hands or that often slips off your shoulder — you don't want to be worrying about losing your possessions or breaking fragile items while you are riding the camel.
So, what are the essentials?
As mentioned above, sunblock should be in the bag, as well as lip balm if you are prone to dry lips and hands. Additionally, if you get motion sickness, you will want to bring medicine to help you. While guides should have a first aid kit with them on tour, they most likely don't carry a wide variety of foreign medication, so it is better that you bring everything you need yourself.
Furthermore, throw in your bag some cash or your credit card as you may want to buy some light refreshments during the day or even sand art souvenirs, take pictures with a falcon, or go quad biking from the camp.
That being said, you also want to remember to bring your camera or smartphone to take your own snaps throughout the experience. Just make sure you charge them fully the night before!
Last but not least, certainly bring a bottle of water to ensure that you stay hydrated throughout the day and night. Go for water or a caffeine-free beverage to maximize your hydration for as long as possible.
Have you ever been on a desert safari in the UAE or anywhere else in the world? If so, what did you think? If not, is it on your bucket list? Let us know your feelings in the comments below!
Hafiz Umer Ali Zaib is the Social Media Specialist at Luxury Tours, a leading provider of tours, cruises and safaris across the UAE. The company's top offerings include the Dubai Desert Evening Safari, City Tours, Dhow Cruises, Mountain Tours, Limousine Service, Discounted Tickets for theme parks and a variety of many other excursions.