The Dubai Desert: the experience of sleeping in the desert

Would you like to enjoy an unforgettable adventure in the desert of Dubai? There's nothing like spending the night in such a breathtaking place - you'll love it!

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

8 min read

The Dubai Desert: the experience of sleeping in the desert

Overnight trip in Dubai | ©Sid Balachandran

In Dubai you can do many things but you will hardly live an experience similar to sleeping in the desert, in a Bedouin camp under the stars. It will be a very special memory of your vacation!

Do you want to know what this activity is and how to make the most of it? In this post I tell you all about how you can sleep in the desert of Dubai.

Sleeping in the Dubai desert, an unforgettable experience

At night in the desert| ©Samy Al Olabi
At night in the desert| ©Samy Al Olabi

During a trip to Dubai you can't miss a trip to the desert, it's an amazing experience you can't miss!

Normally, tourists usually opt for a tour to the Lahbab desert to contemplate its beautiful landscapes, take pictures and practice extreme sports on the dunes. This plan is ideal if you are going to spend a short time in Dubai, around 3 or 4 days.

However, if you are looking for a little adventure I recommend spending the night in the desert of Dubai. In addition to all of the above you can also enjoy a hilarious dinner with a show under the stars and the next morning watch the sunrise over the sand. It is the perfect plan if you plan to spend about 5 days or a week in the city.

Why do this excursion?

If you have an adventurous spirit and want to get in touch with the local culture from a completely different perspective, a trip to the Dubai desert to practice extreme sports and sleep in the incomparable scenery of this natural reserve will be a wonderful and unique memory of your trip that you will not forget.

Book an excursion to the desert of Dubai

How are the excursions to sleep in the Dubai desert?

Enjoying the evening in Dubai| ©Umar Khan
Enjoying the evening in Dubai| ©Umar Khan

This type of excursion usually lasts almost a whole day. They start in the afternoon when a vehicle picks you up at the hotel to take you to the Lahbab desert.

Once there, everything is prepared for you to practice sandboarding, dunebashing or driving a quad for a few hours, you will have the emotions to the surface!

After you've had your adrenaline pumping practicing all kinds of sports, it's time to relax and enjoy the Bedouin lifestyle - you're in Dubai!

First you will have the opportunity to contemplate a magical moment such as the sunset over the reddish sand dunes of the desert (you can not stop taking pictures) and then you will attend a fabulous dinner with a show that will put you in contact with the Arab culture and folklore in a different way.

The culmination of the day comes when you go to sleep in a tent under the stars in the desert of Dubai. Listening to the silence of the night in the heart of the desert is a most impressive sensation.

The next morning, before breakfast, I recommend you to get up early to see the sunrise, an experience as incredible as the sunset!

What do these excursions usually include?

  • Transfer to and from the hotel.
  • English speaking safari guide.
  • Welcome aperitif with snacks and Arabic sweets.
  • Sandboarding in the dunes.
  • Dunebashing with professional driver.
  • Quad biking.
  • Camel rides.
  • Stop in the desert to watch the sunset.
  • Bedouin style dinner with show and workshops.
  • Mattress, cushions and sleeping bags in the tent.
  • Breakfast with Arabic tea or coffee, milk, fruits and dates.

Where do these excursions take place in Dubai?

Generally, the Lahbab desert is the chosen setting for these excursions. It is a unique location in the region characterized by huge reddish sand dunes.

Book a tour to the desert of Dubai

What is the price of sleeping tours in the Dubai desert?

Cash| ©cottonbro
Cash| ©cottonbro

From 100 ¤ you can get a ticket to join one of the sleeping tours in the desert.

There are many operators in the city that perform this kind of activities, so before booking your place I advise you to look at all the possibilities and make sure that the one you choose includes all the experiences you would like to live in the desert of Dubai.

If you want to get an idea of what such an excursion can cost, I advise you to take a look at the post How much does it cost to visit the desert of Dubai: prices of the excursions.

Can I sleep in the desert on my own?

Although it is tempting to rent a car and go on an adventure into the unknown, if you want to experience sleeping in the desert of Dubai the only option is to hire the activity with a local operator because you can not do this tour on your own.

Going into the desert if you do not know the terrain is not recommended. If something were to happen there is no coverage or Internet and it could be very dangerous.

Book an excursion to the desert of Dubai

What is the best time to sleep in the desert of Dubai?

Camping in the Dubai Desert| ©traveljunction
Camping in the Dubai Desert| ©traveljunction

Although there are morning and afternoon schedules to visit the Dubai desert, if you want to sleep in this place you will have to choose an afternoon schedule.

This kind of excursions usually start around 2:30 PM or 3 PM to give you enough time to take advantage of the last hours of daylight doing various outdoor activities(camel riding, sandboarding, quad biking, buggies, dunebashing ...) and in passing to see the sunset. In an idyllic setting like this is something magical!

In the evening you will be driven to the Bedouin camp where you will have dinner with show and workshops to soak up the local culture(Tanoura dance, falconry show, fire show, henna workshops, belly dancing, traditional costumes, etc).

And finally you will go to your tent to spend the night in the desert of Dubai under the stars. The next day, before returning to your hotel, you can say goodbye to this special landscape with a rich Arabian style breakfast.

How long are the excursions to the Dubai desert?

If you are going to sleep in the desert, these excursions last around 16 hours. Quite a bit longer than a standard desert tour which usually lasts about 2 to 7 hours.

The factor that usually determines the time you will spend in the desert is usually the number of activities you do there.

An activity dedicated exclusively to the practice of extreme sports is not the same as one that also includes a dinner with a show and the possibility of sleeping in this place.

Book an excursion to the desert of Dubai

When is the best time to sleep in the Dubai desert?

Sleeping in the Desert| ©Josh Stover
Sleeping in the Desert| ©Josh Stover

The best day

Dubai's desert is one of the city's most mind-blowing tourist attractions that you can go and see on any day.

However, Friday is a good time to visit because in Islamic culture it is the weekly day of rest. This means that many of the city's stores are closed that day and there is little to do. So you can take advantage of this to escape to nature and experience a different day away from the typical skyscrapers.

The best time of the year

Regardless of the date you choose to travel to Dubai you should know that the city is always hot due to the subtropical desert climate of the area. You will have to be prepared for high temperatures!

However, if you do not have calendar problems and have flexibility to travel, it is best to choose a time to go to Dubai where the heat is not extreme. That is to say, spring, autumn or winter because in the summer the thermometers can easily soar to 50ºC and the heat is unbearable in the desert.

As for prices, Dubai is an expensive city but depending on the season in which you travel you can save some money.

For example, if you have a limited budget the best time to go to Dubai is spring(March, April, May) and autumn(September, October, November) because it is the intermediate season.

On the other hand, if you have a comfortable budget, even if it is high season, winter(December, January, February) is a time to consider. Summer(June, July, August) is low season due to the sweltering heat of the city. Prices are naturally cheaper.

Book an excursion to the desert of Dubai

Tips for sleeping in the desert of Dubai

Wonderful night in the Dubai Dunes| ©GFFW PHOTOGRAPHY
Wonderful night in the Dubai Dunes| ©GFFW PHOTOGRAPHY

If you have already decided that you want to take a trip to the Dubai desert to sleep there write down these tips to make the most of the experience.

  • The desert is hot during the day and cold at night. At times, thermometers can drop to freezing temperatures. Bring some blankets and warm clothes so you don't freeze.
  • It usually happens that the lowest temperatures occur shortly before dawn. So if you plan to get up early to see this phenomenon in the desert, I advise you to take a warm sweatshirt to protect you from the cold and then you can take it off as the day progresses.
  • Take the essentials to the desert in a backpack. Pajamas, a change of clothes, a hat to protect you from the sun, sunscreen and sunglasses. It is not advisable that it is too big or the same suitcase with which you arrived in Dubai. You don't want to drag your luggage through the desert.
  • Include a hat, chubby socks and a scarf. At night the temperatures drop a lot, which together with the humidity of the environment can increase the feeling of cold. To avoid waking up with a headache, take a hat and a scarf to protect those areas of the body that the blanket does not cover when sleeping.
  • Pack some snacks in your backpack. Although you will be offered welcome snacks, dinner and breakfast during the Dubai desert excursion, it's a good idea to bring your own snacks in case you get the munchies before lunchtime.
  • Take a powerbank to charge your devices. Although there is no Internet or coverage in the desert, you will want to take lots of photos and videos as souvenirs throughout the day and night. Since your cell phone and camera battery is limited, you will most likely need to connect them to a powerbank to recharge them.
  • Hydrate frequently in the desert. It is very hot there and during the excursion you will do a lot of activities that require a lot of physical effort so don't wait until you are thirsty and drink plenty of water.
  • Take a small first aid kit. Besides sleeping in the desert, during the excursion you will do a lot of activities, some of them risky. Include some medicine against motion sickness, headache and stomach ache.
  • Regarding footwear, do not wear open shoes in the desert. Choose closed shoes instead.

These are just a few useful tips that you can put into practice when hiking in the desert.

To discover more tips that you can apply during this experience, I recommend you to read the post 10 tips to visit the desert of Dubai, which will surely help you to organize this plan!

Book an excursion to the desert of Dubai