With 3 nights in Dubai up my sleeve I really wanted to experience a trip to the Arabian desert – hence a google search for ‘luxury Dubai desert safari’.
Luxury Dubai Desert Safari
There are a number of tour operators operating safari’s into the Dubai desert however; my mind was set on booking through Platinum Heritage Tours when I saw images of vintage Landrovers in the desert wilderness.
Platinum Heritage Tours offer a number of luxury desert safari’s including camel rides, 1950 vintage landrover drives, luxury Rangerover’s, hot air ballooning and private tours.
Our day in the desert
The Dubai heat
Dubai in June is HOT. Actually, the temperature is better described as VERY, VERY HOT.
The temperature on the day of our safari was 47 degrees Celcius.
Platinum Heritage Tours reassured me the temperature within the Dubai desert conservation park is 8 to 10 degrees lower than in downtown Dubai and their camp has fan cooled tents however; if you have a medical condition, are pregnant, have babies/toddlers or are adverse to the heat, I suggest you book a platinum collection versus heritage tour opting for a private air conditioned vehicle (or, if you can be flexible with your dates, plan to experience this safari in the cooler months).
Our tour guide picked us up from the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Resort at 4pm, driving us over one hour into the Dubai desert conservation park. This is a 225 square kilometre natural reserve developed to protect the last remaining pristine desert landscape of Dubai.
The time flew as we learnt interesting facts about Dubai, life as a Beduoin and the perks of being an Emirati.
Transfer to our Landrover
On arriving at the conservation park, we transferred from our air-conditioned 4-WD onto the sand and into our open air 1950 vintage Landrover.
There is a team of photographers to shoot your experience, which for a few hundred dirhams is worth considering to professionally capture your desert experience.
Here we were dressed in Bedouin head dress. My little princesses and I wore a shemag to cover our head and neck and my husband a kufeya. Modesty aside, when the sun shines on your face and the sand blows into your eyes, you realise the practicality as to why these desert dwellers wore the dress they did.
For the next hour we journeyed between the sand dunes spotting Arabian Oryx, Arabian Gazelle, Sand Gazelle and a white spotted sand lizard. The day prior, our guide saw a snake, scorpion and beetle – much to the delight to the boys on the tour. However; to our relief, we didn’t experience the same!
We also learnt about desert fauna including the medicinal qualities of the Mimosa tree and various shrubs used for water and henna tattooing.
We arrived at the camp grateful for some respite from the sun and the sand.
You are welcomed by a refreshment of both rose water (to wash your hands), as well as a sweet cocktail of apple and date cider. The camp is an oasis in the middle of the desert, fringed by palm trees and decorated with middle eastern décor including plush velvet cushions, Persian rugs, shisha pipes and traditional lamps.
The camp is your private, desert retreat. We watched in fascination the falcon display as well as learning about Bedouin culture including henna tattoos, dance and Arabic coffee making. The smorgasbord of typical Emirati food still makes my tastebuds water with a variety of dishes from oven baked pita breads, hummus, yogurt, rice pilaf, slow cooked lamb, grilled chicken and lentil soup garnished with muslin wrapped lemon.
The tour ended with us star gazing into the northern night sky to learn about the stars, constellations, planets, the sun, the moon as well as an opportunity for us to look into the telescope to see Jupiter and its rings.
I would like to thank Platinum Heritage Tours for our luxury Dubai desert safari and offer you a glimpse of our tour through a video made especially for LittleTravelPrincess in Dubai.