As we reach the crest my tummy turns somersaults uncertain of what terrifyingly steep drop will be on the other side. Giggles and yelps follow as we slide down and down, skidding sideways as we go. And then we are heading up again at a crazy angle. Just as I’m thinking ‘Surely we’ll topple over’ I notice the roll bars. Is that good or bad? Good – if we do roll the bars will stop the car’s roof crushing us. Bad – that they think we might need the roll bars in the first place on this desert safari in Dubai.

Thank you to my hosts Dubai Tourism, The Ritz-Carlton Dubai and to Alpha Tours for this complimentary Desert Safari. This post may contain affiliate links.

Dune bashing on a desert safari in Dubai

Dubai lies in the Arabian Desert, a vast expense of fine sand made mostly of crushed shells and coral, with the dunes growing more immense in the east where they are tinged red with iron oxide.

We’re dune bashing near Dubai on a desert safari. It’s both exciting and rather scary. We’re all taken by surprise at just how far these 4x4s can be pushed, at any moment expecting to be stranded belly up, like a turtle. The ride is exhilarating and the views dramatically breathtaking. Ramzi, our driver, has been terrifying tourists, dune bashing in Dubai, for some 14 years and we are in very safe hands.

Desert safari Dubai

The views make us gasp on more than one occasion as the dunes stretch into the distance, seemingly neverending. As the sun sinks low in the sky, the sand almost glows in the golden light. It’s a not-to-be-missed sight, so don’t forget the desert that surrounds the city when planning what places to visit in Dubai.

Book a Dune Bashing Excursion.

What else is there to do on a desert safari in Dubai?

As the sun sets we have the option of riding a camel or even sliding down the dunes on a surfboard followed by an Emirati dinner beneath the stars while a belly dancer, turns, twists and shimmies in a swirl of colour. The music is hypnotic.

The highlight of the evening though is, without doubt, the ride to get here, a thrilling drive across the infinite desert sands.

How to get to the desert safari?

Most desert safaris and dune bashing excursions will include a hotel pick-up in an air-conditioned coach which will then take you to the edge of the desert where you will transfer to a 4 wheel drive vehicle and meet your desert safari driver.

What to wear on a desert safari in Dubai?

If you think you might want to try riding a camel or surf down the sand dunes then trousers or shorts are a good idea,otherwise there’s no need to wear anything in particular. However, the temperature can drop considerably once the sun goes down so do take a jumper or jacket and, if you’re wearing shorts, perhaps a travel rug. Remember that Dubai is a Muslim country so while shorts above the knee are acceptable, short shorts or mini skirts are not. Neither are strappy tops, plunging necklines or bare backs, although sadly many tourists and expats just don’t seem to care about respecting the local culture.

Desert safari Dubai

How to avoid motion sickness while dune bashing in Dubai

While the vast majority of people will have no problem taking part in dune bashing, occasionally someone may suffer from motion sickness or car sickness, a disturbance of the inner ear caused by repetitive motion. Anyone can suffer from motion sickness, but some people are more sensitive than others. It most commonly affects children from 2 to 12 years old, pregnant women, and people prone to migraines.

The dune bashing drivers are usually very experienced and have a good eye for noticing if someone is suffering from motion sickness so do take his advice if he suggests you pause for a break, as one of your group may be feeling unwell.

Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, dizziness and abnormal sweating.

Over-the-counter medication is available to help reduce the likelihood of motion sickness. Other tips for anyone known to suffer from motion sickness is to sit in the front of the car, never sit facing backwards, do not drink or eat excessively beforehand and open the window a little for fresh air.


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Dune Bashing in Dubai with 'Travel with Kat'


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