“Highlight of the trip. Great family fun!”
I had made my reservation for the evening desert safari via email and got a quick response back. We used the entertainment voucher, which was a 2 for 1 deal. We had 3 people in our family that were going. I was quoted 300 AED for the 2 people (2 for 1 price) & as a promo for the winter the 3rd person only had to pay 200 AED. So in total we paid 500 AED for 3 people. We received an email confirmation & were informed to contact the company on the day of the tour prior to 11am to reconfirm our tour. On the day of the tour I contacted the company to confirm & was told that our driver would call us in our hotel room when he was here. Pick up time was @ 3pm-3:30pm. Our driver actually came early @ 2:45pm. We were picked up in a nice white Toyota Land Cruiser. We then went to another hotel to pick up another group. Afterwards, we were on our way. We drove for about 45 minutes on the highway. Our driver did not say a single word to us during the entire drive. We then made a 20 minute stop @ a run down looking marketplace. The driver told us that we were to stop here for bathroom /snack break & to look @ the shops. There isn't much to see here, we just waited by the car. Make sure you keep track of which SUV is yours or remember the plate, because all of the SUV do look alike. We did see a man walking around with a falcon on his shoulder & he was trying to get people to pose with the falcon. If you pose with the falcon it will cost you a couple of dirhams. After the break we were back on the road. 10 minutes later we were on the dunes. We were let out of the car to take some pictures. Its not the best spot to take pictures. We noticed quite a bit of garbage around, along with loads of other SUV's. I would recommend wearing sandals. The sand here is very fine & I saw lots of people taking off their shoes to get the sand out. We then got back into our SUV & the dune bashing began. Our driver did not give us any warning & just went for it. We did see a whole convoy of SUV following each other, but our driver just went his own way. I actually found it quite fun, tho I think our driver could have went a bit more wild. We had a couple of older people in the car, so maybe he was taking it a bit more easy. At times, it felt like the SUV was going to flip over! It is a very bumpy ride, but fun! Several times during the dune bashing our driver was actually talking on his cell phone! I found the dune bashing to be short @ only 20 minutes. We then stopped for 15 minutes @ a spot to watch the sunset and wow it was just gorgeous. It was a bit crowded, but we ran up the hill and got some really beautiful shots of the dunes. We then got back in our SUV & drove to camp which was about 20 minutes away. We arrived @ camp @ about 5:30PM. Our driver then took us to our table & pointed out the different things we could do. The driver also took our payment & entertainment voucher. We then were left to do whatever we wanted. I would recommend doing the camel ride & henna first as those were the ones that had the longest lines. I felt somewhat sad for the camels. They go up and down frequently & you just do a small loop around. The camels looked tired. Our camel wasn't listening to the guide & he got slapped on the face with a rope. Afterwards, we tried on the traditional clothes. We then did the henna tattoo. There was quite a wait as there was only 1 lady doing the henna. She was very fast tho, but seemed grumpy. After, we did the sheesha smoking. No children are allowed in the area. The staff there provides you with a disposable valve. I can't remember what flavor the sheesha was. There were shops selling clothes & souvenirs. There was one shop where a man was selling sand filled bottles with camel designs. Its rather impressive, he fills the bottles by hand & somehow does the designs. You can get alcohol on site, but that cost extra. You can also buy popcorn. I didn't try the tea or coffee, I forgot to. It does get really cold in the evening, so be sure to bring a sweater. There is a bon fire you can sit by and relax. @ 7PM the lights at the camp dim & the tanoura show begins. I really enjoyed this show. After 15 minutes the show ends. When it ends, I would recommend you get up quickly and line up for the buffet, as everyone then slowly realized the buffet was opened. There are 2 spots where you can line up for food to help alleviate the crowd, but if you are slow you will be waiting a bit for your food. You don't get to pick the food, you just bring up a plate and the staff will spoon the food onto your plate. There are no labels so you would have to ask what the food is. There was a lot of food & it was not bad. Pop & water is included in the meal. You can go back to get more food if you finish. They did serve a desert, but I was too full to try it. Be sure before the belly dancing show starts that you go to the bathroom. After the belly dance show ends, the tour ends & there is a long queue for the bathroom. At around 7:45PM the belly dancer then went on stage to perform. At first I found the show entertaining, but after 10 minutes I got bored of it. I actually enjoyed the tanoura show more! When the belly dance show was over, it was time to go back to the hotel. Again, on the drive back our driver never spoke to us. Throughout the tour, he didn't seem friendly at all. Regardless of the hiccups, I would still recommend this tour. You get to do a lot of things all at once & watching the sunset over the dunes was just breath taking.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.