If your idea of roughing it is more English Patient than Bear Grylls, this could be the Dubai camping experience for you…

Got a special birthday coming up or a load of friends coming to town from overseas? Well, here’s a desert experience to book that’s certainly a cut above your average dune-based dinner buffet.

Glamping. You can camp – in furnished tents with beds featuring fresh linen – among the stoic Oryx and skittish gazelle of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve.

*VIDEO: Hot air ballooning with falcons in Dubai*

We tried it recently – here’s our highlights reel (note: we tacked on a night safari – Dhs230 – but with just the camping you still get a dune drive and a camel ride). This is camping, Dubai style… 

The camping package is Dhs995 per person or Dhs1,990 per couple – but this whole experience (food and all) is included in that fee…

You’ll get picked up from Dubai, and taken on a dune drive (during which you can stop for a falcon viewing). You’ll then catch a camel ride for the final stretch towards the campsite.

The tent by night (the stars are fantastic on a clear evening)

Once you get to the campsite, you’ll find two rows of tents, with a gazebo and bonfire in the centre. There’s a majlis area where you can chill and enjoy your barbecue dinner (side note: soft drinks and beer and wine are all included).

The campsite’s majlis area (the all important toilets are in the background) 

We definitely recommend sitting around the fire and sharing stories under the stars, while keeping an eye out for a wandering oryx, of course.

We spotted Oryx on our way into the DDCR

You’ll sleep well (even if you’re not the camping type) in the pitch black and intense quiet of the desert. 

Cups of tea before bed (remember to bring a jacket as it gets chilly in the desert at night)

Then, the next morning you’ll get to drive through a part of the immense, 225 square kilometre reserve, while also having a go on fat bikes and filling up with breakfast.

You’ll get back to Dubai mid-morning, a bit dusty, but far better rested than if you had pitched your own tent.

Plus, remember, because it’s in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, a portion of the fee you pay goes towards the conservation fund for the park. Now, we’re into that.

If you book the night safari instead, you’ll get to stop here for some snacks and star gazing.

For more information call (04) 303 4888. More info and bookings on website

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Photos & video footage: Kristina Nabieva. Video editing: Surajit Dutta.