oryx walking in the UAE desert

Why you should choose a Dubai Morning Desert Safari

by Dubai Travel Planner

Dubai is renowned for its desert safari offering, but why might you choose a morning safari rather than a traditional sunset affair in the rolling dunes outside Dubai?

Morning desert safari tours in Dubai have become increasingly popular, particularly for visitors who are looking for:

  • Flexibility with only a short timeframe in Dubai
  • Looking to get outside early in the day to beat the heat
  • Something that isn’t late at night past kids’ bed times
  • Seeking a more cultural experience rather than the more ‘party’ reputation some evening safaris have

Morning Desert Safari Tour Companies

The choice for Dubai morning desert tour options has increased significantly so you can really tackle the desert at a pace and budget that works for you.

Luxury Morning Desert Safari

For a deluxe VIP experience, we cannot recommend highly enough booking your tour experience with Platinum Heritage. They offer several tour variations, including pairing your early morning adventure with hot air balloon operator Balloon Adventure Emirates for an extreme breakfast adventure.

With collection from any Dubai hotel pick up point included, you will be driven deep into Dubai’s revered Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (which only allows a small number of licensed desert tour operators) where you’ll enjoy your experience from the back of 1950s vintage Landrovers. This is one of the truly unique Dubai experiences worthy of the premium price tag.

The tours run within the DDCR focus on the desert itself and the wildlife inhabitants rather than the dune bashing and other desert motorsports.

Why not try these packages for a unique morning experience


Action-packed Dubai Desert Safari in the morning

If you’d still like to try some of the sand and motorsports in the desert but prefer a morning time slot, here are some other tour options to consider from reputable desert safari tour providers in Dubai:

Things to look for when trying to decide between Dubai Desert Safari providers:

  • What is your start time? Will you catch the sunrise and be back my mid-morning, or is it a full morning activity returning by lunchtime?
  • Are any drinks or meals included, or have they slotted you in between breakfast and lunch?
  • How many passengers will be in your group (nobody wants to be the 4:30 AM pick up but then spend an hour picking up passengers all over the city – one good side benefit of social distancing rules and reduced group sizes)
  • Are children charged at a discounted rate to grown ups?
  • Inclusion of sports and extra activities – some will merely provide the vehicle then you pay extra for dune buggies, sand boards etc., this is usually where the biggest price differential comes in.
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Visiting the Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve

How much do morning desert safari’s in Dubai cost?

It can be really variable depending on the length of your tour, the number of heads in your party and how many activities are included. Generally speaking, morning desert safari’s in Dubai start from about $45USD a head for a very basic package, up to VIP experiences over $350USD per person.


Overnight desert safari in Dubai

Another opportunity to enjoy the desert at dawn is to camp overnight in the Dubai Desert. This is a fun local hobby with expats & residents but a little harder to do if you’re a visitor don’t have the right gear with you. There are an increasing number of camps offering to now extend their evening camps into overnight services – though be warned it can be rustic!

  • Try this luxury overnight desert safari with dinner before sleeping in stone huts and gourmet breakfast, based in the serene Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve.
  • This overnight desert safari tour has slightly fewer inclusions but is good for those on a budget.
  • Or if you’d like the full works of an evening desert safari with motorsports, dinner and entertainment followed by overnight Bedouin hospitality at Al Khayma Desert Camp – try this inclusive tour package.

We have a complete guide to overnight desert camping in Dubai here.

Alternatively, there are a number of luxury desert resorts in Dubai that operate their own tour and recreation programs in the desert, including morning drives. Our top suggestion – though it does come with a price tag – is Al Maha – A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa.

convo of 4wd making their way through the desert dunes in UAE

What to bring on a morning desert safari in Dubai

Regardless of what time of year you are visiting Dubai, you will want to be appropriately equipped with the right attire to get the most out of your Dubai Desert Safari.

  • Pack warm layers for the early start, but be prepared how quickly things can heat up
  • Pack sunglasses, a hat and sunscreen for when the sun comes up
  • A headscarf or hair tie is always recommended for ladies with long hair
  • We recommend closed shoes with socks over sandals or flip flops – sand will still get everywhere but years of experience has taught us its more comfortable to shake out your trainers!
  • Drink plenty of water

You can find our complete Dubai desert safari packing guide here.


Are there any disadvantages to a morning safari?

It really depends on what you’ve come looking for. Adverse weather can affect a morning desert safari in Dubai as there can be low-lying fog, particularly as the seasons change but more so in the mid-winter. On some of the worst days, this can reduce your visibility to a point where trips may need to be cancelled. This fog normally burns off by mid-morning.

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Do be cautious of the time the tour actually sets out. Whilst it may be cool in the morning, by lunchtime it can be roasting. Late mornings are only really appropriate to be in the desert during winter (around November to March).

And, of course, a morning tour means you miss the sunset – but conversely, pick a dawn tour and you should be able to experience the magic of sunrise in the desert.

You can learn about exactly how hot it gets in the desert during summer here.


Before you go… More important things you should know when planning a trip to Dubai

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Please note we are not a travel agency. This site is a travel blog to help newcomers to the UAE and transit passengers self plan their trip, we cannot book your flights, hotels, visas or connections for you. We may make a small commission if you click on any of our recommendation links.

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