I’d heard of the Dubai Desert Safari and always imagined what it would be like on the sand dunes.

When my Emirates flight touched down in Dubai, it was one of the places I anticipated to visit.

At 4 pm local time, my tour guide Kurshid who works with Arabian Adventures owned by the Emirates Group pulls over at the hotel and we set off for what promises to be a memorable evening.

It was my first time in one of the fastest-growing cities in the world, a major transport hub for passengers and cargo. It was quite fascinating to see the level of infrastructure development of what was once a fishing village.

Dune bashing

In about 30 minutes we were at the Sundowner Dune Desert Safari. Kurshid gets out of the 4-wheel drive to deflate the tyres. The next few minutes were adrenaline pumping. It exceeded my expectation I must say.

Kurshid would drive at varying speeds, manoeuvring the dunes. It was thrilling going up and down the sand dunes. But Kurshid was an expert, a professional. He was always calm and knew how to maintain the balance while he went up and down the dunes. Whew! That was really some dune bashing!

We arrived at Sundowner at the perfect time. Just as the sun was about to set on a Monday. It wasn’t just me; there were about 600 other tourists who had come around to have a relaxing time.

Sunset is one of the best times to stop for photos at the top of a dune, and I wouldn’t miss that opportunity.

Bedouin-style camp
Next, it was time to camp the Bedouin-style. Just so you know, the Bedouin-stylee camp has been awarded the best camp at Dubai Tourism’s Sustainability Awards.

Tourists get to relax on large carpets with cushions and enjoy a three-course buffet, the Arabic style, there are wine and shisha too.

I read there were belly dancing performances at the camp too. But today I was rather treated to a fire show that was simply amazing. A performer took to the stage to manipulate fire string – juggling, twisting and twirling but never got burned. The tricks are mind-blowing and take a lot of practice. This performer captivated the audience with his performance.

Also on display were souvenirs, giving tourists a piece of Emirati culture.

Camel ride

I was not going to leave without a camel ride experience. My desert experience was complete with a trek on the back of a camel.

Occasionally I would look up to admire the stars in the night sky.

Over 16 million tourists visited Dubai in 2019, and the desert safari is one of the top tourist destinations.