WANDERLUSTThe best ways to explore the Arabian Desert

Try hot-air balloons, quad bikes, camel rides and more

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When you’re in the centre of Dubai, it’s easy to forget that you’re surrounded by sea on one side and desert on the other. Here are a few ways to explore the rocky crags, wildlife and culture of the Arabian Desert.

 

Take flight in an early morning hot air balloon ride

As the sun rises over the horizon, Dubai’s desert sands radiate a golden warmth while temperatures remain cool from the night before. This is the best time to take to the skies in a hot air balloon. Spot Arabian oryxes leaping through the desert, and marvel at the dramatic shadows cast across the dunes.

 

Go dune bashing on a quad bike

One of the best ways to get your adrenaline pumping is to jump on a quad bike for a spot of dune bashing. Slip on your helmet and goggles, strap yourself in and head out across the dusty tracks and ever-shifting dunes, leaving clouds of sand in your wake.

Man training the falcon

 

Get up close and personal with falcons

Hunting with falcons is an ancient Bedouin tradition. The majestic creatures are also the national bird of the UAE. To experience their beauty close up, go on a falconry-inspired Dubai desert tour. The programme includes a nature drive and an interactive session with these incredible birds.

Woman on a camel

 

Take a camel ride

Camels are integral to traditional life in the Arabian desert, and so no Dubai desert tour would be complete without a camel trek, tracing the footsteps of the Bedouin people. Saddle up and soak in the rugged surroundings, as you plod along on your ‘ship of the desert’.

 

Tuck into a sumptuous Arabian dinner

There’s no better way to end your trip to the desert than with a special sundowner dinner. Recline on blankets and cushions as the smell of barbecuing meat fills the evening air. Tuck into a lavish feast as the stars begin to appear, while belly dancers and whirling dervishes spin and twirl around you. Round everything off with an aromatic Arabic tea or coffee before heading back to your hotel in ultra-modern Dubai.