Dubai is a bucket-list destination for many thanks to its reputation as a dazzling mecca for luxury travelers. The city went from a poor, pearl-farming desert town to a thriving world city in mere decades, and the result is impressive. The emirate has an abundance of high-end shopping, dazzling skyscrapers, sparkling beaches, nightlife, and entertainment. Dubai rises like a magical mirage in the middle of the Arabian desert, and just beyond the skyscrapers there is a sandy landscape begging to be explored. There are many ways to see and experience the desert surrounding the emirate, and any of the options promises an adventure like no other.
In Dubai’s humble beginnings camels were used as transportation because of their ability to travel long distances without food or water. Visitors can experience what it was like to cross the desert on the humped back of these dromedaries, as camel safari tours are a popular draw for tourists in the emirate. There are many options for camel tours, with the actual rides typically lasting a few hours. Most of the tours include many other bonuses like traditional 4-course meals, henna tattooing, and belly-dance performances. For a shorter, less-expensive, and kid-friendly option, camel rides lasting a half-hour or less can be found at certain resorts, parks, on the beach of Palm Jumeirah, or by visiting The Camel Farm.
A camel tour is a gentle introduction to the world of desert adventure in Dubai. For the true thrill-seekers, some safari tours combine camel riding with dune buggy and motorbike escapades. Alternatively, you can skip the four-legged transportation and go straight to the motorized version. There are a variety of companies which rent off-road vehicles for a faster way to roam the desert. Most of these tours will come with guides and include many safety measures. Dune buggies and quad bikes are 4-wheeled options for cruising the dunes, and often accommodate two passengers. For those with some experience, motorbiking is a popular choice. Bikers can take their skills to a new, dune-crushing level in the deserts of Dubai.
Finally, there is the option of using one’s own manpower and surfing the dunes of the Arabian desert. It is a safe option and does not require a guide. No matter how you choose to cruise the dunes, the sands of Dubai provide an unrivaled playground for adventure.