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Meet the many faces of Dubai strolling through its souks, dining with Bedouins and embarking on a 4x4 desert safari

Rising out of the surrounding desert, Dubai is one of the fastest growing cities in the world; this short trip into the United Arab Emirates gives you a taste of intriguing old-meets-new Dubai. Explore the tiny historical quarter of Bastakiya – set on the banks of the snaking Dubai Creek – then visit the chaotic souqs, winding your way through the gold and spice markets. Travel through the hot desert on a 4X4 dune safari before enjoying a dinner at a traditional Bedouin campsite.

From 1st January 2017 this trip will no longer include the Desert Safari on the afternoon of Day 2. Instead we have included a relaxing evening on traditional Dhow Cruise along the Dubai Creek with dinner included. These changes come as a result of traveller feedback and we believe this will give our passengers and unique experience of the city.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
Physical rating
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 6

Why we love this trip

  • Discover the different sides of Dubai, from its spectacular futuristic skyline to the narrow alleyways of heritage Bastakiya, and the enticing Spice and Gold souqs to the sprawling beaches.

  • Witness the towering minarets of the imposing Jumeriah Mosque, and learn more about Islam with a visit inside the only Dubai mosque open to non-Muslims.

  • Ferry across the Dubai Creek in a traditional Abra (water taxi); the most atmospheric way to soak in the sights and sounds of the bustling creek.

  • Experience the legendary hospitality of the Bedouin with dinner and a belly dancing performance in the heart of the desert

Is this trip right for you?

  • This experience includes a desert safari, which involves off-road driving through rugged areas. While this all adds to the excitement, because of the adventurous nature of the journey and the rough terrain covered, passengers should not participate if they have any pre-existing medical conditions.

  • Our Independent Experiences have been designed for just one to three people, departing every day of the week for most Experiences. You can mix and match to create your perfect trip combination, then we’ll arrange the transport between each experience for you. You will have local guides at most destinations and activities. It’s independent travel without the stress. You will only have a guide with you for the sight seeing activities.

  • Your city tour and Desert Safari will be shared activities and you may be accompanied by other travellers.


This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Ahlan Wa Sahlan! Welcome to the United Arab Emirates. On arrival into Dubai Airport please clear customs and collect your luggage before meeting your private transfer. Please look out for your local Desert Adventures representative wearing an Orange T.Shirt. From here, you will be transferred to the Arabian Courtyard Hotel. The hotel is centrally located in the downtown Al Fahidi historical area opposite the Dubai Museum and the Ruler’s Court. The rest of the day is free for you to discover what started out as a tiny pearl-diving village and has now grown into one of the world’s fastest growing and most extravagant cities. Bigger is certainly better in Dubai. It’s home to the world’s tallest building – the 829-metre-tall Burj Khalifa, containing the world’s highest restaurant (Level 122), outdoor observation deck (Level 148) and nightclub (Level 143) – one of the largest shopping malls (featuring one of the world’s biggest aquariums), the biggest indoor ski resort and the world’s only seven-star hotel. Here ATMs dispense gold bars and the police fleet includes a Lamborghini and Ferrari, but there are still parts where you're reminded that small and hidden can be beautiful too. Maybe head out for some retail therapy, catch a ride on a traditional water taxi ('Abra' ) across Dubai creek to the local souks. The Metro is a simple and convenient way to experience some of the other iconic sights such as the Burj Khalifa, or the Dubai Fountain show at night!
  • Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Abu Dhabi - Tour of Abu Dhabi (shared tour Tuesday & Saturday) - USD50
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Explore Dubai with a half-day tour of the city. Your pick up will be between 8.30am and 9am. Please check the itinerary provided to you in your welcome pack and wait in the lobby of your hotel for your transfer and advise the concierge that your are waiting for a pick up from Desert Adventures. Drive through the heritage area of Bastakiya, full of courtyards, wind towers, and narrow alleyways designed to give pedestrians shade from the sun. Merchants from Iran settled this area in the 1900s, and they built houses sophisticated for the time, including towers that funnelled breezes down into the buildings in an early form of air-conditioning. Next, visit the ornate Al Fahidi Fort and its museum, built in the early 1800s to protect the settlement from rival Bedouin tribes, and later the residence of the ruling sheikh. Ferry across the Dubai Creek alongside Abras (water taxis) criss-crossing the water. Follow aromatic smells as you wander through the enticing spice centred around the creek, and then enter the largest gold market in Arabia, where precious metals and jewels glitter all around. Later, make a stop at the imposing Jumeirah Mosque for excellent photos.
In the afternoon, ride through the dunes on a desert safari then continue on to a Bedouin campsite for a memorable final night dinner and a belly dancing performance. Meaning ‘Desert Dwellers’ in Arabic, the Bedouins are a semi-nomadic people known for their legendary hospitality. In traditional Bedouin culture, a huge onus is placed on taking in and feeding any visitor, and so a very warm welcome is assured on your arrival. You will be dropped back at your hotel at around 9-9:30pm this evening

Notes: A more conservative dress code applies for some of the sights. Entrance may be denied if these are not followed. On Friday the museums and Souqs are closed in the morning and will reopen in the afternoon. For this reason your itinerary will be amended to accommodate this. Please speak to your booking agent for more information. The desert safari does include some high-speed dune racing. These activities are operated on a share basis and you will be joined by other travellers.
  • Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Dubai - Afternoon Desert Safari with BBQ dinner (1/2 day tour)
  • Afternoon Dubai Desert Safari
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
It gets cool in the desert at night, particularly in the cooler months of January to March. Please be sure to take a warm jumper or jacket for the evening at the Bedouin camp.
This Dubai Experience comes to an end today. There are no activities planned for the final day and this trip finishes after breakfast. This experience includes a departure transfer back to Dubai Airport. You will be collected from the Hotel's main lobby approximately 3 hours before your scheduled departure flight. Your pick up details will be confirmed in the welcome pack you receive on Day 1. 
There is plenty to see and do in Dubai and we highly recommend you extend your stay in Dubai. Please speak to your booking agent about additional post tour accommodation.
Optional Activities
  • Dubai - Heritage Safari with dinner (minimum 2 people) - USD120
  • Dubai - Lunch at the Burj Al Arab Hotel (Mon/Wed/Sat only. Food only) - USD195
  • Dubai - Afternoon Tea at the Burj Al Arab (minimum 2 people) - USD185
  • Dubai - Dhow Cruise (with shared transfers) - USD55
  • Dubai - Hot Air Balloon flight including transfers (minimum 2 persons. On Request basis) - USD235
  • SeaWings - 25 min scenic flight (flight only) - USD265
Meals Included
  • Breakfast


2 breakfasts, 1 dinner


4WD vehicle, Private vehicle, Coach


Comfortable hotel (2 nights)

Included Activities

  • Dubai - Afternoon Desert Safari with BBQ dinner (1/2 day tour)
  • Afternoon Dubai Desert Safari

Dates & availability

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Important notes

Important: Please note that some of the activities on your Independent Experience will be on a join in basis. This means that these activities may be shared with other guests at the property.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.