I loved this! At first I thought the desert safari might be a really tacky tourist trap and while, yes it is touristy, it so was well organised that I recommend it as a great way to spend an afternoon and evening (especially if like us you have had to check out of your hotel and have an early morning flight home).
We did the Sundowner option and our driver, Liwa, was fantastic. He was actually the first Arab we met in Dubai and he was so generous in answering all our questions and in communicating what was involved.
The safari itself involved a falcon show, dune drive (fun! not extreme and lasted maybe half an hour to 45 minutes in total), 2 photo stops before reaching the camp, camel ride, dinner (pretty good and plenty of it), belly dancer (not an authentic UAE dance but she was excellent), henna painting (not sure if this was free), shisha, opportunity to dress up in traditional clothes (you need to pay for photos) and a 5 minute star gazing session. We did see a few white oryx along the way but having just come from a safari in Africa this was interesting but not our main focus.
While there are heaps of safari companies offerring a safari product, if you are a after a particular focus eg: larger dunes, more wildlife viewing etc be sure to ask your operator about this as from what we now understand some will take you on bigger dunes but may be less well organised or have lesser quality food, some offer less variety in activity and some exclude a falcon show.
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