Tuesday, April 23, 2024

A Fascinating Desert Safari Dubai Tour with Happy Tourism

A desert safari was one of the must-do activities in Dubai. Friends told us the safari was a great way to experience Bedouin culture and the desert. The tour had a lot of activities, including dune-bashing, camel riding, sandboarding, and local costumes. It also included a live belly dance show, fire and tanoura shows, and a buffet. The price of the tour seemed too good to be accurate. Guess what? What was it? Here is my honest review of the evening Dubai Desert Safari.

Dubai Desert Safari Review: Do your research

Do your research before you book a desert safari Dubai tour. When I travel to Asia, you can walk up to dozens of tour kiosks. Browse the tours, compare prices, and choose the one that best suits your needs. We found this was not the case in Dubai, so we booked our tour using Happy Tourism. Happy Adventures Tourism LLC had several reviews for different evening desert tours. We chose the one that was rated well and offered the best price.

In the end, I believe we got what we were charged for. We were expecting a little bit more for HK$185, which was a reasonable price. If I could do it again, I’d probably look for something more intimate and less touristy.

Dune Bashing Experience

Around 3:00 pm, a white SUV picked us up at our hotel. We were told that the SUV was already packed with tourists. So we went to this area to wait for our other SUVs. I was annoyed because we were all eager to move on, but this is how tours work. Many people were selling food, drinks, souvenirs, and pictures with an eagle at this particular stop. It’s possible to pay for a dune buggy ride into the desert, but I don’t think there would be time. We waited for the tour guide to return and tell us that we should return to our vehicle.

Then we drove for another five minutes before stopping to take photos before starting. Our tour guide was excellent and offered to take many photos for us.

We began dune-bashing after all the other vehicles had arrived. It was an enjoyable experience. We thought that the older Chinese woman in our SUV was about to vomit at times. She was screaming and covering her mouth. It lasted about 30 minutes, but I didn’t find it too scary. The ride was a little tense, with some twists and turns. I also felt a bit of wind, but it wasn’t anything that made me nervous. This is not a trip I would recommend for young children.

We didn’t learn until much later that dune-bashing was terrible for the environment. The displaced sand and the disturbance caused by the dune bashing have affected the wildlife in the desert. Other tours drive through the desert without the dune-bashing. It is worth checking out before you book your tour.

The Bedouin Camp

We then made our way into a Bedouin camp. The Bedouin camp is meant to be a replica of the resting places used by travelers on camels who were traveling through the desert and needed to stop for a few nights. We stopped at two camps because we were in the middle of the desert, and there were many Bedouin camps around.

After arriving at the right camp, a staff member told us we could pay an extra fee to sit in the private area, which had couches and a great view of the stage. We could also have our food delivered instead of having us line up for the buffet. It was around HK$100 per person. I don’t recall the exact amount. We declined because we had already paid for the trip (and I don’t like it when people try to upsell me).

Camel rides, henna, and shisha

We had to wait for the other tour groups to arrive before watching the show. There were about 150-200 tourists in the bedouin tent. While we waited, we could have tea, take a one-minute camel ride, and get henna.

The guide mistreated two camels outside the camp. He shouted at them and pulled on their ropes, which made me feel very uncomfortable. They were selling people a longer ride on the camel. The henna tattoo was a small, simple piece that wasn’t traditional (I removed mine because I didn’t care for it). You could also get a more traditional, larger piece at an extra cost.

We were told shisha is included in the tour package, even though I do not smoke it. The free shisha only lasted until 7:00 pm. You would have had to pay if you wanted to get it before that time. Also, we didn’t know about sandboarding, which was supposedly included in our tour.

Buffet dinner with belly dance, fire, and Tanoura show

The first live show began the night after what seemed like an eternity. It was a good fire show, but it wasn’t anything special. If you’ve been to Thailand, you have probably seen many fire shows.

The belly dancer followed the fire show. This surprised me as I had thought that the UAE was a more conservative country. She was engaging and fun throughout her show, which resulted in a few giggles.

It was time for our food after the first two performances. The two lines were for men and women. The food was not good at all. It was a dinner buffet. The fact that the buffet was closed immediately after everyone had sat down was a big turn-off. You couldn’t get up to have seconds of anything you liked or if you still were hungry.

The tanoura was the final live show that evening. This was more interesting to me because I’d never heard of it before. I researched and discovered that this dance is an Egyptian folk song.

Views of the evening desert safari in Dubai

In the end, I am still happy that we could go on the desert safari. If I had to do it all over again, I’d choose a more animal-friendly, eco-conscious, and intimate company. In this case, I believe that you do get what you pay for. Look for boutique companies that will not exploit camels or workers but instead provide the best desert safari in Dubai.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *