With the summer receding, it’s the time for desert safaris in the Gulf region. A trip over the undulating landscape of the desert in vehicles churning up sand as they pass one behind the other and the sight of the sunset are indescribable. The ideal period to engage in a desert safari is from November to April.
Travellers can also enjoy attractions such as quad bike rides, belly dance, Tanoura dance and fire dance as part of the packages. However, while planning a trip during the first desert safari season after the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, it would be better to keep the following points in mind.
People head to the desert to celebrate get-togethers, birthdays, the New Year and also festivities such as Onam, Christmas and Eid. Weekends and public holidays also witness huge crowds at desert safaris. So, make advance booking on such days.
Who should avoid the safari?
It is not advisable for heart patients, pregnant women, people with serious illnesses and small children to join a desert safari.
This year, new desert safari routes have been announced at Al Rimah, Al Ain-White Sand, Hameem Loop, Ummul Oush, Liwa Crossing and Al- Khasna.
There are four desert safari packages. They are:
Morning tour: It starts at 4.30 am and enables travellers to enjoy the sunrise.
Evening tour: Starts at 3 pm and ends at 4 pm and involves only the ride.
The all-inclusive package which starts at 3 pm and lasts till 9 pm. Drive and food are included and it is the most suitable time for the safari.
Overnight tour - provides facilities for travellers to spend the night in a tent.
Things to remember
• Have a clear idea about the area where the safari takes place.
• A person having good experience in driving in the desert should accompany you.
• Ensure the fitness of the safari vehicle and fill up the fuel tank to full capacity. At the same time, the tyres should not be fully inflated.
• Carry sufficient food and water.
• Mobile phone charger and power bank are a must.
• Take a first aid kit also.
• As the weather could change all of a sudden in the desert, be prepared to return if the conditions are unfavourable.
• If you are camping in the desert, do not start a fire near the tents.
• Do not dump waste in the desert.
There are several desert safari packages ranging from UAE Dirhams 35 to 1,800. A six-hour trip for a single person usually costs UAE Dirhams 250-350, including food.
Vehicles taking travellers on desert safaris are 4x4 drives. An experienced driver should be handling the vehicle as inexperienced persons could lose their way in the desert and even be stranded in the sands. Losing the way among the sand dunes could be very frustrating and may lead to accidents, spoiling all the fun of the safari.