As a nation made up of mostly desert, the United Arab Emirates has become a top destination for desert adventures, many available just outside of Dubai. All-terrain vehicles carry passengers out into the dunes for sand boarding, camel treks, picnics, balloon rides, and starlit barbecues without any other signs of human habitation in sight. See below for your options.
You can experience the rolling dunes from a 4x4 vehicle as it takes you from the city into the desert and then strap on a board for the exhilaration of sandboarding, which is easier to master than snowboarding and a great family activity.
Sand Buggy and Quad Bike Rides
For an even greater adrenaline rush, hop on the saddle of a sand buggy or quad bike for a guided tour of the dunes. Out on your own personal vehicle, you’ll have uninterrupted, 360-degree views of this otherworldly landscape. Another option is to see the desert from above in a hot air balloon. This is the best way to see just how vast the Arabian Desert truly is.
An equally exhilarating and more traditional activity is camel riding. These animals have been central to survival in the Arabian Desert throughout history, and you’ll learn why on a visit to a camel farm.
If you’re interested in the culture of the nomadic tribes that once traveled these sands, spend an evening at a desert campsite, where you can watch the sun set over the dunes, wee a traditional Tanoura dance performance by the light of a campfire, feast on a barbecue dinner and swap stories over a shisha (a traditional Arabic water pipe).