Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve

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Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve: Our most recommended tours and activities

Dubai: Hot Air Balloon Tour Over the Dubai Desert

1. Dubai: Hot Air Balloon Tour Over the Dubai Desert

Take a sunrise tour of the Dubai desert from a hot air balloon. Enjoy the convenience of being picked up and dropped-off at your accommodations in Dubai. Perk up with a morning coffee or tea. Be picked up from your accommodation in Dubai and sit back and relax on the scenic drive to the lift-off base camp. Have a nice hot cup of coffee or tea before your fight. Hop aboard and experience the excitement of lifting off. Take in sunrise views of sweeping sand dunes and distant mountains. Float across the sky and look for wildlife like the Arabian oryx or the sand gazelle. Return to your accommodation in Dubai at the end of the tour.

Dubai Dunes Sunset Dinner Safari

2. Dubai Dunes Sunset Dinner Safari

Leave the city behind and head to the desert for a mesmerizing evening in the Dubai Desert and Conservation Reserve. You will get picked up from your hotel in a long wheelbase off-road car fitted with seat belts, roll cages, and air-conditioning. Enjoy a fun dune drive and at sunset, stop for panoramic photos overlooking the dunes. Entertainment for the evening includes a camel ride, mini sandboarding (weather permitting), and henna hand-painting. Watch a belly dancing performance (this depends on Ramadan and religious holidays).  Move to the seating area and enjoy a regional BBQ menu and unlimited soft drinks. After a fun and entertaining evening, you will be dropped off at your hotel.

Dubai: Hot Air Balloon Tour with Camel Ride and Breakfast

3. Dubai: Hot Air Balloon Tour with Camel Ride and Breakfast

Feel the thrill of seeing the sun rise over the Dubai desert as you soar at an altitude of 4000-feet during this hot air balloon tour from Dubai. Wake up with a hot morning coffee or tea before your flight.  Enjoy the convenience of being picked up and dropped-off at your accommodations in Dubai. Sit back and relax on the scenic drive to the lift-off base camp. Have a nice hot cup of coffee or tea before your fight. Hop aboard and experience the excitement of taking off. Admire sunrise views of sweeping sand dunes and the distant mountains. Float across the sky and look for wildlife like the Arabian oryx or the sand gazelle. After landing, travel to an authentic Bedouin camp to fill up with a delicious breakfast. Feel the thrill of a desert camel ride. Capture pictures with a magnificent falcon to share with friends and family back home. Return to your accommodation in Dubai at the end of the tour.

Dubai: Morning Desert Safari with Camel Ride & Sandboarding

4. Dubai: Morning Desert Safari with Camel Ride & Sandboarding

Experience a morning desert expedition that will show you the serenity of the Arabian sands. Take in views of the unique landscape, enjoy a camel ride, give sandboarding a go, and try typical Arabic specialties. Escape the city and head north to the desert, boasting spectacular landscapes of pristine, rolling sand dunes. Once you arrive, stop to deflate the tires then enjoy an exhilarating ride over the undulating dunes and into the wilderness, making several stops for photos. The drive continues until you reach an Arabian Desert Campsite, where you will experience a traditional welcome with ‘Gahwa’ Arabic coffee and local dates. Stretch your legs and enjoy a brief camel ride, sandboarding, and shisha, the Arabic water-pipe.

Dubai: Hot Air Balloon Ride with Camel Ride & Falcon Photo

5. Dubai: Hot Air Balloon Ride with Camel Ride & Falcon Photo

Your hot air balloon adventure begins early in the morning, when you’ll be picked up from your hotel and taken to the Margham Desert for a refreshment and a briefing from the pilot. Next, you’ll be driven over the red sand dunes of the Dubai desert to your take-off location, where you’ll witness the inflation of the hot air balloon on the ground. After takeoff, you’ll float above the Arabian desert and enjoy the sunrise from 4000 feet above the ground, taking in breathtaking views of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve and native wildlife. Once you’ve landed, you'll be driven back to the Margham desert to freshen up, take photos with a falcon, and enjoy an Arabic Style buffet breakfast. Finally, be dropped off back at your hotel where your tour will end.

Dubai: Hot Air Balloon Ride Over the Desert

6. Dubai: Hot Air Balloon Ride Over the Desert

Begin your hot-air balloon ride early in the morning, when you’ll be picked up from the comfort of your hotel. Relax and enjoy the scenic drive to the Margham desert. Stop and have a warm cup of coffee or tea once you arrive. Drive through the Dubai desert to your take-off location. Snap some pictures as the balloon inflates in the desert. Float above the Arabian desert and witness the sunrise from 4000 feet above the ground. Take in breathtaking views of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve and try to spot some native wildlife. Once you’ve landed, you'll be dropped off back at your hotel where your tour will end.

From Dubai: Morning Dune Drive

7. From Dubai: Morning Dune Drive

Visit the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve for a morning of adventure! We’ve combined all of our favourite desert activities into one safari that’s ideal for the whole family. Go on a thrilling dune drive, take a camel ride and try sandboarding down the dunes. Add a nature walk to learn more about the desert wildlife and conservation with our expert guide. Inclusions Dune drive Camel ride Sandboarding Light breakfast

Dubai: Private Falconry Safari

8. Dubai: Private Falconry Safari

On this private 5-hour program, head to the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve in a 4WD vehicle. Enjoy a nature drive in search of the houbara bustard, Arabian oryx and sand gazelle. At the Emirati Falcon Hunting Camp you’ll be welcomed with Arabic coffee and dates. The falconry experience begins as you help to train a greater spotted eagle, desert eagle owl and Harris’s hawk. All of the birds will be flown to your gloved fist. Participate in a modern training technique: fly a peregrine falcon, the planet’s fastest animal, to a drone. As an optional add-on, you can enjoy breakfast at the luxurious Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa, or a picnic-style canapé breakfast at the falcon camp.

Dubai: Desert Self-Drive Experience

9. Dubai: Desert Self-Drive Experience

Strap in for an unforgettable adventure as you drive across pristine desert terrain in a jeep, quad bike, or buggy, and experience a 60-minute rollercoaster ride with friends or family. Embark on an epic journey across the desert wilderness and feel the thrill as you career over sand dunes in your chosen 'Ship of the Desert', and maximize your experience in this incredible landscape with an optional sand-boarding ride. Relax in the capable hands of an experienced off-roading instructor, who will provide you with comprehensive safety training on how to manage your vehicle on the sand.

Dubai: Hot Air Balloon Ride with ATV, Camel Ride & Breakfast

10. Dubai: Hot Air Balloon Ride with ATV, Camel Ride & Breakfast

Fly over the Dubai desert at 4,000 feet above the ground on a hot air balloon. Then, get ready for a short drive through the dunes in a vintage Land Rover towards a royal desert retreat. Once there, taste a gourmet breakfast and experience the desert in the most original way, on camelback.  Climb into the basket and before you know it, you will begin to peacefully float off the ground and ascend into the sky. All hot air balloon baskets are equipped with GoPros so that you can hold on to the memory for years to come. Enjoy the panoramic views of the Arabian sun behind the Hajar Mountains over the desert dunes. Try to spot from above the Arabian oryx, gazelles, or wandering camels in the sand dunes. Continue your adventure exploring the desert in museum-quality limited-edition Land Cruisers. Then, treat yourself to a gourmet breakfast served on a royal desert retreat. Before heading back to the city, explore the camp or relax in the majlis, their traditional sitting places.

Planning Your Visit

  • How to get there?

    It isn't possible to visit the reserve without an approved tour group, so look out for tour operators that provide transfers from your hotel or the city center. Otherwise you can only reach the reserve by car via the E66, which starts out as the Dubai-Al Ain Road between Downtown Dubai and the Ras al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary.

  • What to bring?

    The desert is, of course, very exposed to sunlight, so bring sunglasses, suitable headwear, and plenty of sunscreen! You'll need to use a lot of the latter so bring moisturizer to stop your skin drying out. If you're bringing an expensive camera then make sure it's protected against the sand (waterproofing also works!), and bring a water bottle even if your tour operator is providing it, just in case. Also, do NOT wear closed leather shoes!

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    The desert is there day and night, so it all depends on when you schedule your tour!
  • Is it expensive?
    Depends on the experience you are seeking, but prices usually start around $100 per person.
  • Will I need a guide?
    Definitely.
  • How to get there
    Your chosen tour guide will take you there in a private van from the city.
  • Additional information
    Eat lightly before your excursion. The bumpy ride across the dunes can make some people feel queasy!

Other Sightseeing Options in Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve

Want to discover all there is to do in Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 24,567 reviews

Our trip to the desert was everything we were expecting & more. Our guide, Captain was very knowledgeable, helpful, entertaining & accommodating. The vehicle we traveled in was modern, safe & comfortable. There were five of us plus the driver who great driving skills made the dune ride fun. Loved the desert sunset, camels & the bbq & entertainment that followed.

Excellent value for money, the staff were attentive and made an effort to personalise your experience. The hot air balloon was fun and safe, any apprehension was removed upon talking to the pilot. 10/10 activity.

The flight itself of course! Value for money, kind staff, experienced Captain and no fuss package. It delivered on all fronts. Punctuality of pick up. We felt very safe all along.

Amazing experience, super professional and trained staff, super safe flight. Too beautiful in the morning!

All around a great experience. A great team. Indescribable. Can only recommend.