Most people know Dubai for its skyscrapers, cosmopolitan lifestyle, nightclubs, fashion, shopping, and beaches. However, you can experience Dubai from a different perspective to the busy city life, which is the traditional desert life.
Many people don’t know they can go for an organized desert safari tour where there will be taken from their hotel to the desert to experience the Arabic culture, by having traditional dinner, shisha, watching a dance show, getting henna painting, taking lovely pictures and of course, ride a camel. Those of you who have children are probably asking whether also children can go camel riding in Dubai. In this article, I will provide you with all the details you need to know.
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What is a desert safari in Dubai?
First of all, let’s have a look at what exactly is a desert safari in Dubai, for those who have never heard about it. Desert safari is an organized tour to the desert of Dubai by a tour agency. You will be picked up by a car that will take you by road to the outskirt of the city, where you will need to change to the 4×4 vehicle that will take you over desert dunes to the camp. Most of the time, dune bashing is included, which is not allowed for children under 3 years old, however, if you are not interested to go through an adrenalin ride over dunes, you can get the option without it.
Once you arrive at the camp, there are several activities available, depending on the tour you choose. There are many different options to choose from. There is henna painting, sandboarding, taking pictures with Falcon or in traditional clothes, camel riding, which can be short for about 5 minutes with the possibility to repeat or longer rides, quad biking, having traditional dinner and shisha, watching traditional dance show and fakir show, and of course, taking some stunning pictures in the desert during the sunset.
There are options for morning, evening, or overnight desert safaris to choose from.
Can children go camel riding?
Throughout history, camels were the main transportation between cities in the Arabian countries. They are able to store a large amount of water and food in their bodies, therefore are capable to go on long journeys. When you are having children, camel riding would be one of the unforgettable experiences for them which would make them feel they are part of a fairy tale. But can children ride a camel? Isn’t it dangerous?
Camels are very calm and cooperative animals. Nevertheless, the way how the camels get up from their front legs and also go down afterward can be a little bit scary and demanding as you have to hold very strongly. Also, camels are quite high animals. Therefore children under 5 are not allowed to go camel riding, but at least they can take a picture with a camel.
There are options for short camel rides inside the camp that can be repeated. Some other tours offer long camel rides through the desert that can take 45 minutes.
What else can children do on desert safari?
Desert safari is fun for children of all ages as they can run around the camp on the sand, and eat lovely food and Arabic sweets while watching the dance or fakir show. They can take pictures with Falcon and camel. For older children option of sandboarding is available. Sometimes it is just going down the small hill, so it is safe to try. When you choose the tours with quad bikes, children over 12 years old can ride the bike.
Where can I book the tour and how much does it cost?
There are many tour operators in Dubai that you can choose from. I do recommend GetYourGuide as they have many different options available and you can choose the activities you prefer. The pickup and drop-off are available from your hotel in Dubai. Free cancelation up to 24 hours in advance is included.
The price of the tours varies depending on length and activities. Can go from about $32 to $160 per person.
Here are some examples of their tours, but there are many more to choose from.
What to bring and not to bring with you
For a desert safari, you should wear comfortable clothes and shoes so you are not hot there. Definitely don’t forget sunglasses, suncream, and a sunhat if you need to protect yourself from the sun. One thing not to be missed bring is your camera to capture the unforgettable memories of a lifetime.
You should not bring large luggage like suitcases as they will not accept you on the tour.
Other than that, just bring your good mood and smile, and get ready for the experience.
Desert safari with camel riding is one of the best things to do in Dubai and definitely worth it. It is an authentic experience for adults and mostly for children. I personally did it twice and I would do it again. As only children above 5 years old can ride camels, I would recommend taking children from this age. They will surely enjoy it and will have many stories and pictures to share with their friends back home.