Dubai Safari – dune bashing

“Mrs. Danica, just to let you know that the driver of City One Tours agency arrived.” – A call from the Atana hotel reception to me, while I was digesting the plentiful breakfast. “Thanks for letting me know. We’re coming down. ”

Camera- checked, phone- checked, I took one long sleeves blouse with me, because it will be cooler in the desert as soon as night falls, a bottle of water- checked (personnel of the hotel is bringing small bottles of water in our room constantly, since tap water is not usable), my team- checked. We’re ready!

A lovable man welcomes us, originating from Pakistan. We settle into Land Cruiser – two in the trunk, three seats in the back and one in the front seat. We note that the car is reinforced with a metal frame for protection, in case we rollover.

The adventure starts. About an hour driving a head of us. We are chatting about Dubai along the way. Our guide, Mr. Khalid, is living here for 15 years. He spends every day in the desert and knows all the sand dunes by heart. He told us that the previous month strong winds were blowing and changed the layout of the desert.

Since we didn’t have a single moment of rest since we have arrived, the two Milicas take the opportunity to have a nap before the cardiac excitement.

Khalid informs us – the first break will last half an hour, we can rent buggies and ride along the dunes for 20 min. Driving buggies is not included in the desert arrangement price and it costs 150 AED (about 38 EUR). “Can six of us rent two buggies and than change drivers?” He says we can. Every agreement is possible, you just need to engage in negotiations.


Raising the adrenaline is guaranteed, provided that you have enough “crazy” drivers that skip along the dunes and fly over it. Now I can imagine how it looks like to ride on a flying carpet.

When we finish our rampage through the golden sand, we get to the car. Khalid says he needs to drop the air out of the tires before setting off on safari, to be stable.


You already know that soon something new and amazing is waiting for you, when the car can be tilted at an angle of 90 degrees, when your heart starts to work hurriedly and your palms begin to sweat. We were told to tie the safety belts as soon as we got into the car, all of us did it automatically, without any question. We were driving slowly, with a million more cars like ours and all of them have deflated tires.

We turn from the asphalt into the desert and tires leave footprints in the sand. With one hand I grabbed the armrest, and started recording video on the phone with my other hand.

We reach the first dunes, accelerate, climb to the top and then … fall. The diaphragm is moved up, adrenaline level in blood is rising fast. Sound of enthusiasm! WOW !!! We are screaming, jumping around the car, the delight, even a bit of whining. Everybody except for Vlada. He makes no sound. Cold as ice. Maybe he’s just not human 🙂


We oppose, defy, wrestle with the dunes. We attack them from all around. Dangerous fight. We crash into them, raise the sand. One minute you’re on the top, and then the dune threw us down, on the bottom.

The driver was looking the whole time in the rearview mirror to make sure that no one is sick, and that, by any chance, someone didn’t have a heart failure, we had such cases 🙂

After twenty minutes hitting bumps on the sand, we climbed up the sandy hill. The following break involves taking pictures on the sand. We take off our shoes and put our feet in hot, soft sand. The driver had interesting ideas for photos. You can be assured of this, if you look at the pictures below.


Women as we are, we experimented with all possible poses, while the sand was dancing around our eyes, ears, nose.


The guy who wore a hawk come to us, with which you can take a picture, with some extra cost. In the vicinity we spot a man in the buggy trying out various stunts and tosses sand rear wheels.

My crew were happy and satisfied with the way continues, after we brought a half of desert with us.


We pass by a million camels, fenced with wire and reach the village in the middle of the desert. All agencies and all travelers come here.


We ride camels, cuddle them and take a picture with them.

We got our finger drawn with henna. If you want to draw a whole hand, that will be charged additionally.


Get ready that kana will stay for seven days, which looks nice at the beginning, but as it gets washed more and more, it is not the best sight.


You can take water and tea for free at any time. Two drinks, in the form of carbonated and non-carbonated beverages are included in the price. Alcoholic beverages are charged extra, and the prices are around 11, 12 euros.

There is a possibility of smoking nargila under the tent for free, and if you want to bring it to your table, it is charged additionally.

After the starters, the program begins. First appears likable young man who, by spinning in circles, is changing shape and number of objects in his hands. He was spinning and spinning, for five minutes, for sure. Guide told us that he is originally from Egypt. On the following links you can see a fraction of the atmosphere: video number 1, video number 2. This is followed by Fire Show, which I have considered the best performance of the evening. Fireball magic on the stage. A picture is worth more than 1000 words, how much is a video worth? Fire show at the link.  The part when he approached quite close to my phone is wow 🙂


During the dinner, when all people rush to lamb and chicken, you are visited by people who sell bottles in which you can print your name. I’ve got one, very cute.


After dinner, the silence begins. All eyes are on the belly dancer, who lures shouts and applause. The part of performance you can find at the following link.

We were sorry when we were informed that the program has been completed and to slowly prepare to return to Dubai. This was fantastic and quite diverse experience. You will not regret it if you try! We are fully satisfied with our guide and program. All recommendations for the agency and Mr. Khalid Khan.

Dubai Safari with all these activities is about 51 euros. We booked a tour with a discount of 77 euros.

All photos by: Danica

Camera used: HTC 10, Nikon D3000

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