Runs from October to April, usually on Friday/Saturday; Sunrise and noon tours available.
4x4 jeeps for transport; we take walks in the reserve at selected stops but these are optional.
All vegetarian picnic (with eggs); picnic at ~9:00AM on sunrise tour and ~2:30PM on noon tour.
Picnic includes Gluten/Lactose/Dairy/Nuts. Please notify us of severe allergies.
Carry sunscreen, shades, cap. We recommend carrying insect repellent as a precaution.
Outdoor attire, covered shoes. Please refer to confirmation email for detailed guidelines.
The minimum age to join the tour is 6 years. Strollers and infants are not permitted on the tour.
The tour requires a minimum of 4 guests; we may cancel and refund tickets if the minimum is not met.
Curated under the Unseen Trails brand, this desert tour breaks every touristy Dubai desert safari stereotype! Most notably, your guides will be the expert falconers from Royal Shaheen who will drive you out to Dubai’s largest protected national park, the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR). The Royal Shaheen team of veterans collectively boast 30 years of experience in the DDCR and over 40 years across broader conservation efforts in Dubai and South Africa.
Because we take no more than 16 people our small group setting allows guests to peacefully commune with nature and soak in the vast desert expanse. You can meaningfully converse with the guides and stroll through the sands to spot wildlife and plants. In addition, participate in a breathtaking falconry show where you learn to fly falcons ‘to the glove’ and walk away being an expert on falconry-inspired English idioms!
After you’ve worked up an appetite, picnic by the lake and unpack flavours of the region. Our basket is prepared by locally based Baker & Spice, an award-winning food concept, whose four values resonate with the natural beauty of the desert: Local || Organic || Fresh || Homemade. Sample ingredient pairings suggested during the meal including, creamy labneh with organic vegetables and the revered ‘black seeds’ of the Middle East or an exotic twist on a classic PB&J with raw tahini and date molasses.
Moreover, we don’t leave any trash or man-made campsite behind; just the saplings of the revered Ghaf tree that we collectively plant under Goumbook’s Give-a-Ghaf program.
As the first alternative, nature-focused Dubai Desert Safari of its kind, this experience is one with far-reaching impact. We aspire to deepen a traveler’s interaction with the desert, create powerful visual memories and build ongoing momentum for a community initiative rooted in a deep appreciation of the local ecosystem.
Times Square Center
Meet the falconers who will assign you to the 4x4 Jeeps.
Drive to the DDCR
50 minute drive to the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR); we stop at a gas station on the way for a bathroom break and so that guests can buy snacks/coffee if they choose.
Enter the DDCR
Get a brief overview of the DDCR and its conservation efforts; bathroom stop.
Drive down our exclusive desert route
Stop to walk through the dunes and learn about the local ecosystem; stop for any animal sightings, e.g. oryx and gazelles.
Engage in 3 main activities
Interactive falconry show where falcons fly to your glove; Planting the Ghaf tree; Picnic by the lake. (The activity order is reversed for the noon tour).
Exit the DDCR and drive back to Times Square
Bathroom break; 50 minute drive back.
Please meet us at the main entrance of Times Square Center, Al Quoz. We recommend taking a taxi or driving to Times Square where all guests will board the designated Jeeps. We do not permit any guests to drive directly to the Reserve. After the tour, we will drop you back to Times Square Center.
We start promptly on time! Once the trail begins, we will not be reachable by phone nor be able to coordinate with latecomers.
Times Square Center - Al Quoz - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
We have two bathroom breaks towards the start of our Offbeat Dubai Desert Safari and one towards the end on our return journey to the city; once the drive through the desert begins, every tree is a lavatory!
We do have an age limit for most tours. Please note the minimum age requirement (must be accompanied by a legal guardian) for the experiences below:
The only exception is our Old Dubai Souks and Stories experience where children below the age of 12 years can attend free of charge and must be accompanied by a legal guardian.
The tours are very rarely cancelled due to bad weather. We will email you at least 4 hours prior to the tour should it not be advisable to walk outside due to a thunderstorm or sandstorm; please make sure to check your email if you are aware of bad weather. We also advise you to check weather conditions for your tour and dress appropriately.
Please be sure to let us know if you (or anyone in your group) have a dietary restriction (e.g. vegetarian, diabetic, allergy, etc.) when you purchase your tickets. In most cases, nuts, lactose and gluten may be in the foods featured on our experiences. If you have a serious allergy, we recommend contacting us at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ prior to purchasing tickets to enable us to advise you if our tours are suitable for you.
We apply the following policy for any tour booking, including one booked with a gift voucher / e-certificate:
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