Have you ever dreamed of riding a camel through rolling desert dunes? How about watching the sun set over the golden sand from the comfort of a traditional Bedouin-style camp? If this sparks your sense of adventure, it’s time you experience the wonder of Abu Dhabi’s desert safaris.

Abu Dhabi’s desert safaris whisk you away from the city’s bustle into the Arabian Desert’s serenity. As your 4WD vehicle tackles the dunes, you’ll feel the excitement with every dip and turn. Stop atop a dune to snap photos of the rippling landscape bathed in the orange glow of sunset. The day’s final thrill is stargazing in the inky desert night sky, free of light pollution, as you enjoy a delicious barbecue dinner.

Morning Desert Safari: A Thrilling Sunrise Adventure

A morning desert safari is the perfect way to experience the wonder of Abu Dhabi’s shifting dunes as the sun peeks over the horizon.

You’ll be picked up from your hotel before dawn and driven into the desert. As the first golden rays of light appear, you’ll stop at a scenic viewpoint to watch the sunrise in all its glory. There’s nothing quite like seeing the dunes awash in the morning glow.

After sunrise, continue your journey into the sea of sand. Your experienced driver will demonstrate how to surf the dunes, climbing and descending the waves of sand. You can take over the wheel under their guidance if you’re feeling adventurous. How often do you get to helm a 4×4 on giant dunes?

Evening Desert Safari: A Magical Sunset Escape

As the sun dips below the dunes, the desert comes alive. An evening desert safari in Abu Dhabi is a magical experience not to be missed.

 A Thrilling Ride Over the Dunes

Buckle up for a thrilling ride over rolling dunes in a 4WD vehicle with an experienced driver. Hold tight as you crest the dunes, the setting sun painting the sea of sand in warm oranges and reds.

Hearty Barbeque Dinner Under the Stars

After an exhilarating ride over the dunes, you’ll arrive at a traditional desert camp. Relax on plush pillows and carpets as you feast on a hearty barbeque dinner of grilled meats, rice, salads, and bread.

Stargazing in the Desert Night

After dinner, gaze in wonder at the jewel-like stars emerging one by one in the inky sky. Learn how to spot constellations from a guide as you sip aromatic Arabic coffee or mint tea.

Sand Dune Bashing: An Exhilarating Ride Over Giant Dunes

One of the most exciting activities in Abu Dhabi is dune bashing. This thrilling desert adventure involves riding a 4-wheel drive vehicle over giant dunes. Buckle up and hold on tight because the driver will rev the engine and speed up and down the massive dunes, drifting and sliding.

An Exhilarating Ride

The dune bashing guides are highly skilled drivers who know how to navigate the dunes safely while giving you a thrill ride you’ll always remember. As the vehicle surmounts a giant dune, you’ll experience a few seconds of weightlessness at the peak before racing down the other side.

Some tips to keep in mind:

  • Sit in the back seat for the wildest ride. The front passenger seat also provides an exciting experience.
  • Keep your seatbelt fastened at all times. Although the sand provides some cushioning, safety is critical.
  • Bring a scarf to cover your mouth from sand and dust. Goggles or sunglasses are also recommended to protect your eyes.
  • Hold onto the vehicle tightly, especially when going over the dune peaks.
  • Bring a change of clothes – you’re likely to get sandy!

Camel Riding: A Memorable Journey Through the Desert

Camel riding is a memorable way to experience the wonder of Abu Dhabi’s desert. As you mount your camel, you’ll feel like an explorer from days gone by setting off on an epic journey.

The Ride

Riding a camel can be comfortable once you get the hang of the rocking motion. The saddle is designed to accommodate two people, so you can share this unique experience with a friend or loved one.

Cultural Immersion

Camel riding also offers a glimpse into an essential part of Emirati culture and history. Camels were once crucial for transportation and trade in the harsh desert climate. Bedouins, the nomadic tribes of the Arabian Desert, used camels for everything from riding and packing supplies to providing milk, fur, and dung for fuel.

FAQs about Wonder of Abu Dhabi’s Desert Safaris

Desert safaris are popular tourist activities, but many first-timers need clarification on what to expect. Here are some common FAQs to help you prepare for your Abu Dhabi desert adventure.

What should I wear?

Dress for comfort in lightweight, breathable clothing. Wear shorts, t-shirts, and sandals during warm months. Pack a jacket for the nighttime. Avoid dark colors which absorb heat. Remember sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat.

What time should I arrive?

Most safaris depart in the afternoon, around 3-4 pm, to avoid the midday heat. Arrive at least 30 minutes early to check in and meet your guide. The safari typically lasts 4-6 hours.

What activities are included?

Activities vary but often include:

  • Dune bashing – Riding up and down dunes in a 4WD vehicle.
  • Quad biking – Riding an all-terrain car over dunes.
  • Camel riding – A short camel ride to experience desert life.
  • Sandboarding – Sliding down dunes on a board.
  • Sunset photography – Capture stunning desert sunsets.
  • Henna painting – Have a traditional henna tattoo painted on your hand.
  • Belly dancing show – Watch a performance under the stars.
  • Stargazing – Gaze at crystal-clear night skies undimmed by city lights.


After a thrilling day of dune bashing, camel riding, henna painting, and belly dancing under a blanket of stars, you head back to the city, tired but content. The desert safari has shown you a side of Abu Dhabi filled with adventure, culture, and natural splendor. If you’re looking for an experience that will stay with you long after you’ve left these shores, an overnight desert safari should be at the top of your list. The chance to ride the dunes, stargaze in solitude, and connect with the Emirati spirit of hospitality is one you will remember.