There's a new all inclusive desert safari glamping experience in Dubai
Your package includes pick-up and drop-off, safaris, shisha and premium drinks bar…
Dubai might be known for its glitzy five-star hotels and ritzy beachfront resorts, but it also offers stays that can put you in touch with more visceral, purer pleasures. And that’s something Arabian Adventures knows all about. The UAE’s desert exploring experts organise a range of different ways to navigate the rolling dunes of the Arabian sandscape, getting up close to the indigenous wildlife and setting up sunset soirées that burn eternally in the memories of those that see them. Remember desert safaris aren’t just for visitors, done right – they’re an escape, a plug into the real world, and the ultimate way to unwind from the stresses of city living.
And with the news that the Arabian Adventures overnight safari-style camping tents have had a reboot and stylistic upgrade and that they offer an all-inclusive package (with access to the premium drinks bar and shisha), we felt it was the perfect time to head into the shifting sands, and see what adventures await.
Your experience begins at around 3pm with a luxe SUV pick up from your chosen location. As you make your way to the unblemished wilderness of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR), you’ll likely receive fun and interactive Attenborough-level insights from your expert guide. Once inside the DDCR, your safari-proper begins, with bashful sandfish sightings, privileged glimpses of gazelle, oryx and a motorized trek past the fascinating flora that’s made its home in the flame-red sands. Then there’s a twilight, dune-top stop and photo op, before a cinematic sunset camel ride into camp.
The Arabian Adventures Overnight Safari camp was created with the intent to strike a carefully balanced blend of convenience and natural beauty. The communal areas extend to a central roofless majlis, with billowing silken drapes and fairy light glow for the cosiest sort of dinner setting; there are bamboo-sheltered bathroom and shower facilities; a desert kitchen, bar and a huge fire pit for midnight stargazing and ember-side deep and meaningfuls.
The eight tents are the sort you might see at a Masi Mara safari camp, and because Arabian Adventures is part of the Emirates Group, your amenities are the very same Bulgari treasures you get in EK’s business class. There’s a surprisingly comfy, duvet-spread double bed and electric lantern. Outside, on the veranda, a pair of chairs and table are set up so you can soak up the camp atmosphere from a space of sophisticated seclusion. Our top tip is to go for one of the desert view tents, which are raised and look out across a seemingly endless amber sea of scrub-dashed dune tops. There’s also an option to book them all out for private parties.
The safaris are the entertainment headline act in the desert, and the guides are the stars of the show. You get one guided ride on your way into the camp, and one on the morning of your departure. You can book nighttime expeditions from the camp too, a spot of sand meandering in search of scorpions that glow under UV light, and answering the assorted calls of nocturnal nature. Guests can grab the aux cable of the camp’s sound system for a (environmentally respectful) dune-hemmed rave and then there are the stars. The cosmic firmament in full view above your head, burning stellar pixels unhampered by interference from city lights, clouds or construction dust. It truly is an essential Dubai bucket list tick for all residents.
Food and Drink
Considering the fact you’re quite some distance from the nearest Deliveroo catchment area, or industrial gas range cooker, you get treated to a pretty regal feast at the camp. Dinner is a mix of Arabian mezze, dahl, free flow house drinks and, as far as we could tell, a near enough limitless surf ‘n’ turf mixed grill. After you watch the sunrise on day two, you can sit down for a breakfast of pastries, bread, scrambled egg, and sausages with as much coffee or tea as you deem fit.
The package price for the overnight safari, including pick up, stay, food, house beverages, shisha, guide, butler service, wildlife safaris, camel ride, dune drive and drop off is just Dhs2,639 for two people in one camp view tent, or Dhs2,839 for a desert view tent.
Book now at arabian-adventures.com