Three Alternative Desert-based Activities in Dubai

Three Alternative Desert-based Activities in Dubai

Dubai is arguably the most well-known of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates because of its fast development especially in terms of infrastructure – the Burj Dubai or Burj Khalifa being the most notable example – of openness to other cultures, and of wide range of activities, among other reasons. Indeed, if you are looking for desert-based outdoor activities, then Dubai is the best place to start!


Dubai Desert Safari Campsite
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Keep in mind, too, that Dubai directly lies within the Arabian Desert. Dubai’s deserts are characterised by sandy desert patterns consisting mostly of coral and crushed shells, hence, its fine, clean and white quality. East of the city lies the dunes running along a north-south line, which give way to the sabkha, the salt-crushed coastal plains, while farther to the east lies larger, red-tinged dunes.

The result: Dubai has the perfect topography for the enjoyment of many of the best desert-based activities in the entire United Arab Emirates. Here are a few of these outdoor activities that even children can enjoy:


  1. Travel by Hot Air Balloon

See Dubai from your vantage point high up in the sky! Glide up and away in a colourful hot air balloon over the beautiful landscape of the Dubai Desert Conservation for a new appreciation of the beauty of modern Dubai amidst its more natural setting. You will find that there are plenty of new things to discover up in the air that you would otherwise not appreciate on the ground, too. Places like Balloon Adventures offer good packages for this at


  1. Go on a Sand-boarding Safari

The best modern way to travel and enjoy the spectacular sand dunes of Dubai is via a 4×4 truck. Think of driving over the sand dunes as akin to a natural roller-coaster ride – going up the sand dunes speeds up your heart rate and then going down drops your heart into your stomach. It’s so fun that laughing and screaming your heart out is encouraged!

Once on the sand dunes, you will easily find the best sand dunes to slip and slide on a sand-board – yet another activity that will get your heart racing, your laughter booming, and your mood lightening. You should ideally have an expert guide/sand-boarder along for the ride since it can be easy to become disoriented in the desert as well as fall on your face on the sand dunes without proper instruction.


  1. Village and Desert Tour

But Dubai is not all there is to the Emirate either. You can travel east to the well-preserved Hajr Heritage Village, which dates back to the 16th century. Located in Al-Hajar, one of the most scenic mountains near Oman, the village gas mud-walled houses and mosques worthy of exploration.

After the village, your next destination is the open yet arid desert plains where Jebel Maleinah and Camel Rock are waiting to be explored; these are sites known for both their spectacular rock formations and abundance of fossils. Be sure to stop for lunch here, too, as your explorations can make you thirsty and hungry.


Of course Dubai has plenty of sports activities in the desert too, such as obstacle races that challenge personal endurance, stamina and strength in both the mental and physical sense. It is important to make sure you are wearing the correct attire for all outdoor activities and there are many outdoor sports retailers in the region. Sun and Sand Sports have a wide range of outdoor equipment from GoPro cameras to camping equipment and outdoor shoes to help make your activity of choice a memorable one. Just be sure to be in the right gear whether you are engaged in the above mentioned leisure activities or in any of the outdoor sports activities Dubai has to offer.

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