Offbeat Dubai Desert Safari

Duration: 7 hours

Regular Seat

AED 595.00

Shared ride with 3 others

Private Car

AED 3780

For groups of 1-4 people

Ticket price stated is not inclusive of 5% VAT and online processing fees. Non-refundable/transferable unless Ticket Guardian insurance purchased at the time of checkout.

No wild driving, crowds or clichéd camp; this 16-person Dubai Desert Safari features falconry, tree-planting and a wholesome picnic.

  • Skip dunes matted with tourist cars for the exclusive Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, accessed only by 6 tour operators (including us!)
  • Meet guides who are expert falconers and conservationists; they can read wildlife tracks through the dunes like the morning newspaper.
  • Soak in the tranquil, pristine landscape with a small group of no more than 16 guests; no massive camp; and 4 guests to a guide.
  • Replace the stock belly dancing show with nature's more 'authentic choreography' of oryx, gazelles and birds of prey in their habitat.
  • Ditch the touristy 'falcon man' photo and instead train falcons to fly to your glove with experts who treat their birds like their children.
  • Unpack a picnic by the lake with simple but inspiring flavours of the region like date syrup, local eggs, za'atar, hummus, feta and more.
  • Leave your ecological mark behind in a way that no other tour does by planting the most revered tree of the desert - the Ghaf.

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 8 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.

Meeting Location

Times Square Center - Al Quoz - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Get Directions

Have questions? Here are the most frequently asked.

Are there bathroom stops on the Unseen Trails: Offbeat Dubai Desert Safari?

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!

Are children allowed?

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:

  • Middle Eastern Food Pilgrimage: 14 years
  • Little India on a Plate: 14 years
  • Emirati Cooking Session and Lunch: 12 years
  • Unseen Trails Experiences:
    • Dubai Desert Conservation Drive: 6 years
    • Naif by Night: 14 years
    • Old Dubai Iftar Walk: 14 years
    • Indian Festival of Lights: 14 years

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.

What do we do in case of bad weather?

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.

What if I have dietary restrictions or allergies?

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 ‘’ prior to purchasing tickets to enable us to advise you if our tours are suitable for you.

What are the change policies on my booking?

Kindly note that our change policies have been amended on March 10, 2018. 

  • For all bookings made on or after March 2018, all tickets are non-refundable/transferable to another date unless the Ticket Guardian insurance is purchased at the time of checkout. Ticket Guardian insurance offers a 100% refund for a number of situations ranging from illness to work conflicts to family emergencies, as long as you notify Ticket Guardian of a cancellation any time before the tour begins.
  • For all bookings made on or before March 9, 2018, we apply the following policy for any tour booking, including one booked with a gift voucher / e-certificate:
    • Cancellation policy
      • 75% refund if 30 days or more before Trail
      • 50% refund if 14 to 29 days before Trail
      • 25% refund if 4 to 13 days before Trail
      • 0% refund if 1 to 3 days before Trail
    • Rescheduling policy
      • Rescheduling permitted within the same tour type only if request is received 14 days or more before the trail and if there is availability on the new date requested. Only one rescheduling request permitted per booking.
      • No rescheduling permitted if request is received less than 14 days before the trail or if there is no availability on the new date requested.

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