Cookies help us to deliver our services. By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more.

The Dubai Desert: the experience of sleeping in the desert

Fancy an unforgettable adventure in the Dubai desert? 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

There are many things to do in Dubai, but you'll hardly ever have a similar experience to sleeping in the desert, in a Bedouin camp under the stars. It will be a very special memory of your holiday!

Do you want to know what this activity consists of and how to get the most out of it? In this post I'll tell you all about how you can sleep in the desert of Dubai.

Sleeping in the Dubai desert, an unforgettable experience

Overnight in the desert| ©Samy Al Olabi
Overnight 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!

Tourists usually opt for a tour to the Lahbab Desert to see the beautiful scenery, take pictures and practice extreme sports on the dunes. This plan is ideal if you're spending a short time in Dubai, around 3 to 4 days.

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

Why do this tour?

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 won't forget.

Book a Dubai Desert Tour

What are the sleeping tours in the Dubai desert like?

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

This type of tour usually lasts almost a full day. They start in the afternoon when a vehicle picks you up from your hotel and takes you to the Lahbab Desert.

Once there, everything is set up for you to go sandboarding, dune bashing or quad biking for a few hours, so you'll have the thrills and spills of the day!

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

First you'll have the opportunity to watch the magical sunset over the reddish sand dunes of the desert (you won't be able to stop taking pictures) and then you'll attend a fabulous dinner and show that will put you in touch with Arab culture and folklore in a different way.

The highlight of the day comes when you sleep in a tent under the stars in the Dubai desert. 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 getting up early to see the sunrise- it's 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 tours take place in Dubai?

The Lahbab Desert is usually the chosen setting for these tours. It is a unique location in the region and is characterised by huge red sand dunes.

Book a tour to the Dubai Desert

What is the price of a Dubai desert sleeping tour?

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 who run these kinds of activities, so before you book 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 have in the Dubai desert.

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

Can I sleep in the desert on my own?

While it may be tempting to rent a car and venture into the unknown, if you want to experience sleeping in the Dubai desert, the only option is to hire a local operator because you can't do this tour on your own.

Going into the desert if you don't know the terrain is not recommended. If something were to happen, there is no reception or internet and it could be very dangerous.

Book a Dubai Desert Tour

What time do you choose to sleep in the Dubai desert?

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

Although there are both morning and afternoon opening hours for visiting the Dubai desert, if you want to sleep in the desert you will have to choose an afternoon schedule.

These kind of tours usually start around 2:30 PM or 3 PM to give you enough time to take advantage of the last hours of daylight by doing various outdoor activities(camel riding, sandboarding, quad biking, buggying, dunebashing...) and to watch the sunset in the process. In such an idyllic setting it is 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 bid farewell to this special landscape with a delicious Arabian-style breakfast.

How long are the tours to the Dubai desert?

If you're sleeping in the desert, these tours last around 16 hours. This is considerably longer than a standard desert tour, which usually lasts about 2-7 hours.

The factor that usually determines how long you spend in the desert is the number of activities you do in the desert.

An activity dedicated exclusively to extreme sports is not the same as one that also includes a dinner and show and the chance to sleep in the desert.

Book a Dubai desert tour

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 amazing tourist attractions that you can visit 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 shops are closed on this day and there is little to do. So you can take the opportunity to escape to nature and experience a different kind of day away from the typical skyscrapers.

The best time of 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'll have to be prepared for the high temperatures!

However, if you don't have any calendar problems and you have the flexibility to travel, it's best to choose a time to go to Dubai where the heat is not extreme. In other words, spring, autumn or winter, as in the summer the thermometers can easily soar to 50°C 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 a bit of money.

For example, if you're on a budget, the best time to go to Dubai is spring(March, April, May) and autumn(September, October, November) because it's the in-between season.

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

Book a Dubai desert tour

Tips for sleeping in the Dubai desert

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

If you've already decided you want to take a trip to the Dubai desert to sleep there, take note of 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 below freezing. Take some blankets and warm clothes so you don't freeze.
  • It is often the case 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 take it off as the day progresses.
  • Take the essentials to the desert in a backpack. Pyjamas, a change of clothes, a hat to protect you from the sun, sun cream and sunglasses. It shouldn't be too big or the same suitcase you arrived in Dubai with. You don't want to drag your luggage through the desert.
  • Include a hat, chunky socks and a scarf. Temperatures drop significantly at night, which, combined with the humidity in the air, can make you feel even colder. To avoid waking up with a headache, take a hat and scarf to protect those areas of your body that the blanket doesn't cover when you sleep.
  • Pack some snacks in your backpack. Although you'll be offered welcome snacks, dinner and breakfast during the Dubai desert tour, it's a good idea to pack your own snacks in case you get the munchies before lunchtime.
  • Take a powerbank to charge your devices. Although there's no internet or reception in the desert, you'll want to take plenty of photos and videos as souvenirs throughout the day and night. As your mobile phone and camera batteries are limited, you will most likely need to connect them to a powerbank to recharge them.
  • Hydrate frequently in the desert. It's very hot there and you'll be doing a lot of physically demanding activities during the trip, so don't wait until you're thirsty and drink plenty of water.
  • Take a small first aid kit. As well as sleeping in the desert, you'll be doing a lot of activities, some of them risky. Include some medicine for motion sickness, headaches and stomach aches.
  • Regarding footwear, don't wear open shoes in the desert. Choose closed shoes instead.

These are just a few useful tips 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 organise this plan!

Book a trip to the Dubai Desert