2 years ago I got the opportunity to spend a night in Dubai, which was incredible, but one night doesn’t leave a lot of time. I chose to spend the night on an evening desert adventure, which was 100% worth it.
Here’s a little of what you can expect if you only have one night to spend and you’re not sure what to do.
The tour starts by getting picked up in 4×4’s to be driven out across the sands and bounced around over dunes. While it is a lot of fun, it was a little slow for me. The experience would have been more enjoyable going over the dunes at more speed! Before you arrive at the campsite, the drivers stop in the middle of nowhere just in time for the sunset. With nothing in sight but sand and sparse plants it is an incredible photo opportunity.
Arriving at the camp
At the entrance to the camp are camels, standing by for a short camel ride. This can be done at any point in the evening. Once inside you should find a table and get settled with a drink and the layout of the camp. The tables are low and long, with cushions and rugs covering the sand, making for a great atmosphere.
Once settled there are many activities to explore before the food is ready. There is a tent with a few woman doing free henna tattoos for everyone. They are very good and so quick, blink and you’ll miss them do it! Be careful though, they smudge very easily.
There is a separate area for smoking shisha, where you can have a pipe set up for you or your group on rugs and cushions.
When you want to ride a camel, head outside the camp and you’ll be helped onto one by the camel attendants. You can ride alone or with someone else. I would recommend doing this last, as the queues will be shorter, or not even there. It’s a strange feeling when it stands up but the ride is a lot of fun, and the attendants will take pictures with your camera.
Food and drink
The food is served buffet style in courses and changes throughout the night. However, you can still do everything around the camp and choose to eat whenever you would like.
The food is traditional and indescribably good! There are also vegetarian options on request if that’s what you would prefer.
Soft drinks and traditional tea are free but there is a bar that’s open all night for beer and wine.
Once everyone had been fed and had sufficiently taken advantage of the activities and the bar, some extra entertainment was put on. A belly dancer performed in the middle of the carpeted area, which was really interesting and fun to watch.
The night ended with all of the lights being shut off, to give everyone an amazing look at the night sky with zero light pollution. In an instant the sky was flooded with stars, the perfect way to end an amazing night.
Be aware that the tour goes on quite late and you won’t make it back to your pick up point until around midnight. Also, during Ramadan, there is a chance that the bar will be shut and there won’t be a belly dancer.
I hope this has inspired you to take a trip to the middle of the desert! Have fun and keep traveling!