Winters in UAE are incomplete without the quintessential desert safari. Although it’s really convenient to book your safari through a travel agent, we believe there is nothing more exciting than discovering the world on your own.
So, here’s a short guide to help you plan your very own DIY Desert Safari:
What you’ll need:
- A 4 Wheel Drive Car + GPS
- Barbecue equipment
- Lots of water
- A sleeping bag or tent (in case of an overnight stay)
- Shisha accessories
- Picnic mats
- A lighter or matchbox
Where can you go?
How to get there:
Liwa is about 380 kilometers away from Dubai/ Sharjah as a one way ride. From the capital, Liwa is approximately at a distance of 220 kilometers. To reach there you can take the E11 which starts off as Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai through Abu Dhabi.
Home to one of the biggest sand dunes in the world known as the Tal Moreeb or Scary hill, Liwa is often called a desert paradise. Located in Abu Dhabi, Liwa is a beautiful oasis town with wide stretches of sandy hills to make for a great escapade for the night.
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How to get there:
On the Dubai- Sharjah Road, head southwest on E11 and keep left as you follow the signs. Then take the E66 and follow the signs.
Gigantic sand dunes situated at a convenient distance from Dubai and Sharjah is what makes Margham a preferred spot for families. Margham is home to some varieties of flora and fauna too. The sunset hour is one of the prettiest experiences while at Margham.
The horizon making way for a dash of orange, red and brown makes for a perfect picture alongside vast stretches of camel possessed land.
How to get there:
Take E66 on Dubai- Al Ain road and follow the signs.
Lahbab is most famous for being blessed with vast stretches of red colored sand that makes for a splendid view. As your dive in this region, you see the color of the sand change from brown to red. Isolated from the hustle bustle and conveniently located, Lahbab makes for a great camping spot.
When to go?
The local deserts experience the highest of any weather condition. It’s always better to plan a safari between the months of December to March when the region experiences winter. Belly Dancing and a few other activities are not practiced during the holy season of Ramadan.
Read: List of Secluded Spots for Camping in the UAE
- Take your guitar along, if you have one. There’s nothing as surreal as music beneath a starry sky.
- Dune bash, but carefully.
- Carry torches and batteries for emergencies. Also, portable chargers for your phones.
- Be prepared for car emergencies—car tyres can be nasty if they get stuck in the sand.
- Do not litter. Carry disposable bags where you can collect trash.
- Don’t go wandering on your own in the desert. Stay in groups, always.
Not sure you can do it all by yourself? Get in touch with these travel groups—they’ll have all sorts of pointers and great advice. Also, desert safaris are best with large groups!
- Dubai new in Town: Just arrived and itching to explore? These guys have you covered.
- Gulf for Good: This interesting group organizes challenges that involve treks and adventures for charity purposes.
What the travel manager has to say:
“A safari in the UAE is a must do. Some of the world’s finest dunes are found here. I would suggest that people must carry a windbreaker jacket, fleece, warm hats and gloves along with a large cotton scarf to make sure the cool winds don’t have a toll on them. It’s the best way to enjoy the moment. One must try camel riding, falconry, desert biking apart from the amazing belly dancing experience. In case you plan to go on a safari yourself, the best places are the Liwa, Margham and Lahbab regions.”
said Ms. Sreeja Nair, Manager, Tours at Musafir.com.
Have you ever gone on a desert safari? How was the experience? Share with us in the comments below.
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