Experience the desert at night like a true Bedouin on this overnight expedition from Dubai. After hotel pickup, travel to the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve and enjoy a wildlife-spotting drive by vintage open-top Land Rover. Watch for animals such as the Arabian oryx, gazelle, and desert rodents as your driver-guide fills you in on the desert's natural world and traditional culture.
Then, head to a Bedouin-style camp for an evening of entertainment and cultural activities such as falconry displays, cooking demos, and live dance shows, all along with a 4-course dinner under the stars. Sleep in an Arabian tent with a comfortable mattress, blanket, and pillow, and wake the next morning for breakfast before your return transfer to Dubai.Day 1: Dubai – Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (D)
Start your overnight experience with a pickup from your Dubai hotel, and then travel into the desert aboard your open-roof vintage Land Rover, a mode of transport used extensively in 1950s desert expeditions.
As you travel, listen to your guide’s stories about Dubai past and present, as well as the many customs and traditions that you’ll experience throughout the evening.
Head through Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve on an Africian-style wildlife safari, looking out for Arabian gazelles and oryx, and then stop in a Bedouin-inspired camp in the grounds of a private royal retreat.
Make your way past the gently flickering flames from the lights that mark the entranceway, and then hop out of your Land Rover to take a seat at your shared table.
Before your meal starts, a range of cultural activities are demonstrated around the tables. Enjoy an Arabic coffee and sit back to watch flamboyant dancers performing to traditional Emirati music, or perhaps take a wander around the camp.
Pose in the sand dunes for a photo as the sun goes down, watch a bread-making demonstration or gaze at UAE’s national bird – the falcon – during a falconry display. If you want to immerse yourself in the culture even more, why not get a henna tattoo, smoke a shisha pipe (Arabic water pipe) or even try the traditional mode of Bedouin transport — a camel.
Take a seat back at your table in time for a cookery demonstration, where you’ll learn how to make local bread. Then, all that’s left to do is to feast on your 4-course dinner under the stars. Like the activities at the camp, the dishes are mostly traditional Emirati specialties, combining flavors from the Middle East and Asia.
After your meal, sit around the bonfire and gaze up at the stars, and then make your way to your Arabic tent — complete with comfortable mattress, pillows and blanket — nestled inside the camp. Settle in and enjoy sleeping overnight in the heart of the desert!
Overnight: Arabic camp in the desert
Day 2: Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve – Dubai (B)
Wake to a beautiful sunrise in the morning and to the scent of strong Arabic coffee brewing and to see your breakfast being cooked. Then, feast on traditional breakfast bread with balaleet (sweet noodles) and chabaab (pancakes), washed down with Arabic coffee, of course.
You will also hear fascinating tales first-hand from a local Bedouin who will be joining you for breakfast.
After your flight or breakfast, meet your driver and bid your friends in the desert camp a fond farewell before traveling back to Dubai. Then, finish your experience with a drop-off at your hotel mid-morning.