Sundowner Dune Dinner Safari
1st Floor, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
www.arabian-adventures.com/T… - for booking tours in Dubai: +971 4 303 4888
Sundowner Dune Dinner Safari Dubai Reviews
A thrilling rollercoaster ride over the Dunes of Dubai Jul 27, 2005
I've done this amazing tour twice - once with my Mum, and once with Mark. Both were different as it depends what kind of driver you have...some of them are a bit more daring than others!
You get picked up from your hotel around 4pm and driven out into the desert, about 45 minutes in the car (depending on traffic) out to the Dubai Desert Conservation Area. Everyone got out their jeeps (by this point there's about 20 - 25 of them) and started taking photos while the drivers deflated the tyres a little so the cars were easier to manoeuvre on the sand. And then we were off!
My first trip was quite sedate...I got to sit up front because I was the youngest (22!) on board, and because one of the women in our jeep started feeling sick after the first hill, the driver took it easy, although we got bogged down in the sand twice!
The second trip, this time with Mark, we had a really kamikaze driver who obviously enjoyed seeing how far he could push his passengers! We were tossed and pitched and thrown up dunes at every imaginable angle. Mark stared to feel a bit ill but kept quiet so as not to ruin it for everyone else (he'd also done the tour once before when he was in Dubai with a friend)!
You get two or three stops along the way to take photos of the sunsets. Mark stayed in the jeep and sipped water from the onboard cooler!
After about a 20 minute drive you reach the 'Bedouin' Camp where you have dinner. The camp is obviously a recreation specifically built for tourists, but it's quite impressive and the food is wonderful, but your first experience when you arrive is a (very short) camel ride! The first time I went with Mum it was totally bizarre because I'd accidentally brought my mobile phone with me and my best friend from home phoned while we were on the camel! Unfortunately the reception wasn't very good so I pretty much had to shout...I'm on a camel, I'll phone you when I'm home!
After the camel ride, we took our seats at the low tables where we ate. The buffet was massive, and featured very traditional Arabic fare, and it was great. All your drinks were included in the cost too, which made it good value.
The evening was rounded off with a belly dancing performance. The dancer was excellent both times, but I'll admit I squirmed away from my seat near the front each time...anytime people like this go to the audience for a participant it always seems to be me and I was determined not to be involved in this! The only thing about the dancers was they were wearing a lot of make up and in the heat it sort of slid off their faces...
There are also henna artists in the camp who'll paint on traditional (and not so traditional) designs onto your hands, arms, legs and back.
After dinner, we all got back into the jeeps and drove back to the main road on a track running parallel to the park's fence so we weren't trying to negotiate dunes in the dark! Once we were out the conservation area the tyres were re-inflated so they could run on the tarmac roads and we were off back to the hotel.
The tour costs 310 dirhams from September to May, and 285 dirhams from June to August (when it's hottest). That works out around £43 and £39 (May 2008 exchange rate of 7.1 dhs to the UK Pound) per person, which might seem a bit pricey but you'd easily spend that on dinner alone in many restaurants. The tour lasts around 4 hours.
It is an amazing experience, especially the sunset in the desert. We probably wouldn't do it again because we've both done it twice, but as I mentioned...every trip is different!
PS: No pregnant women or anyone with back problems allowed due to kind of movement of the jeeps on the dunes!
Part of the Dubai, Kuala Lumpur and Pangkor Laut - Summer 2005 travel blog
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