What do you have to go through on the expedition to the Dubai desert?

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We have already talked about the emirate of Dubai on multiple occasions, and we have always focused on its main attraction, the city of Dubai. This metropolis of incredible skyscrapers and colossal shopping centres can get tiresome due to its high monotony. That is why the visit to this corner of the United Arab Emirates is not understood if we do not make an excursion through the desert of Dubai.

expedition to the Dubai desert

Dubai desert tour

We can see only three things from the tallest building in the world, the Burk Khalifa. The main financial area of ​​Dubai is the Arabian Sea and the immense desert. We all have them first-hand, but the desert, that landscape of sand and sparse vegetation is best enjoyed through one of the many Dubai desert tours. The reason is straightforward, the dunes are more than an hour away, and what we have in the city’s surroundings are plains of land without any importance. We can only see the occasional dromedary after catching an easy sunstroke.

Dubai desert routes for all tastes

As the star excursion in Dubai is a visit to the desert, there is quite a variety, and we can choose modalities according to our preferences. We examined all the options, and finally, due to time issues, we decided to carry out the first one that we named in the following list:

Dunes and a bit of sand boarding: our chosen circuit, although they allowed us to try Quads by stopping at a closed circuit. The dunes were spectacular, but the sand boarding experience could have been better. Snowboards are in poor condition with loose bindings. Suitable for a couple of laughs and little else.

Dunes and Quad ride: the Quad is an absolute joke. Unless you hire a specific excursion to ride a Quad, the circuits that take you to the dunes in 4×4 are limited to stopping for 30 minutes in a closed field where the law of the jungle proliferates. No dunes or anything, just overcrowding. You will taste the dunes in the 4×4 later.

Dunes, Quad rides and sand boarding combine the two previous excursions.

Dunes and dinner in the desert are combined with the previous options ending in a Jaima, where they will give you feed with a typical show.

An important detail is the schedules. Most can only be done in the afternoon, although some leave at 8 in the morning on express request. Ideally, go out in the afternoon to enjoy the sunset.

Our Dubai desert experience

Spain, although we can hire it directly from Dubai, we contacted an agency in Dubai to undertake the excursion. The price of around €55/60 was a bit bargainable and depended on how many people would go in the 4×4.

Once in Dubai and on the day we agreed with the agency, they came to pick us up at the hotel around 2:00 p.m. in a pair of 4×4 Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles, the quintessential off-road vehicle in the Arabian countries. From the hotel, we would have about an hour and a half on good-quality roads to the entrance to the dunes.

From the beginning, we knew that despite hiring the excursions during the week, the number of tourists (like us) we would find would be pretty high. Moreover, we saw more than a hundred vehicles like ours driving to the same destination on the road.

You can see the destination in the image above, where Dubai is on the left and the dune area on the right, very close to mountainous Oman. Below is the route we took from the South to the North.

After an hour, we stopped at a parking lot in the desert, where we paid for the excursion in cash or by credit card since the cars had data phones. There was a closed circuit of Quads, or rather an open space where you could rent one of those fun vehicles and drive for about half an hour among dozens of other vehicles. 

After the stop, we headed to the section of the dunes quite close to the parking lot. Our car stopped at the entrance and waited some time to avoid being accompanied by several vehicles marching in the procession. It was also time to take advantage of

deflating part of the wheels to make driving in the desert easier. Once the procedure was completed, the excursion began through the desert dunes of the emirate of Dubai.

As is typical in this type of excursion, it is best to forget about the camera while the vehicle is running. Otherwise, you will get dizzy, so we will only show photos of when we were standing

I was in the passenger seat, and the dizziness was very slight, but those sitting behind had a much worse time, especially when we began to pick up speed to climb some large dune without seeing what was behind it. Surprise!! But of course, these drivers seek to raise the adrenaline of their clients, and they know every corner of the desert like the back of their hand. Everything is for a well-deserved tip, although some were trapped in the sand….

After approximately 30/45 minutes of intense sensations, the 4×4 headed to the top of a dune to practice sand boarding, where there were ten more vehicles. From our point of view, it was late, it was getting dark, and you almost had to choose between enjoying that warm moment or sliding down the dune on a snowboard in improvable conditions.

I chose to enjoy the sunset, the best thing we can do in the desert, without a doubt. The colours of the desert sand change at times, and the landscape become genuinely spectacular.

However, once the sun went down at the height of the Persian Gulf, there was still enough light to practice sand boarding. I have some experience with Snowboarding, but the sensation of the sand was not satisfactory. Perhaps because the bindings on the boards were broken and you couldn’t attach them to your boots, any attempt to turn meant letting go of the board. One m…

And the night gained ground on the day, and I had to return to Dubai. So instead of going back the way we came, the SUV followed another route through the desert dunes until we stopped at one of them to re-inflate the tires. So the highway was very close, and this point was perfect for waiting and enjoying the night in the desert.


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