A desert safari is an absolute bucket list experience in the UAE but what to wear on a Desert Safari in Dubai? Desert safaris in Dubai are a packing nightmare as you have to think about the local Dubai Dress code rules, the weather and of course the activities that you will be undertaken in the dunes. This guide will tell you EXACTLY What to wear on a desert safari in Dubai as well as other things you may want to pack.
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What to wear on a Desert Safari in Dubai Considerations
When putting together your Dubai Desert Safari packing list there are a few things you need to consider:
- the intensity of the sun and the high temperatures in the desert,
- how cool the desert can get once nightfalls
- the activities you wish to do while on a desert safari
- how to respect the local culture.
As these effect your outfit for desert safaris so much we thought we would look at these in a bit more details.
The weather has to be one of the largest considerations when putting together your desert safari outfit. If you are not familiar with Dubai weather I think it is worth mentioning than in the Middle East there are only really two seasons: summer and Winter and each of these require different dress codes.
What to wear on a desert safari in Summer
If you have never been to Dubai in the summer I can not describe to you how hot is truly gets. The Dubai Summer is always above 40C but in the desert can easily get up to 50C. And without any shade it can feel hotter than this.
Therefore if you are dressing for a Dubai Desert safari in Summer you will want light breathable fabrics. We recommend only wearing natural fabrics to reduce sweat.
Also you will need plenty of sun protection wear such as sunhat and sunglasses.
It is also worth mentioning that you will want to protect your feet from the sand which can be burning hot in Summer. For this reason we recommend getting closed toes shoes.
What to wear on a desert safari in Winter
As summer can be hot in the desert, it is also worth mentioning how much cooler the desert can be to the city in Dubai in Winter.
This is especially true if you plan to do an evening or overnight safari. If you are staying overnight in the desert you will want jeans and lots of layers as you will notice how significantly the temperature drops once the sun is down.
And of course we always recommend wearing a sun hat and sun glasses.
How to Dress for activities you do on a Dubai Desert Safari
One of the things we love about visiting the desert in Dubai is all the activities you get to do in the desert. However each of these activities do require a certain dress code to be comfortable. In this section we will go through the activities you can do on a desert safari in Dubai and hw to dress for them.
Possibly the most common activity you can do on a desert safari in Dubai is Camel Riding. However I must say camel rides are not the most comfortable or elegant thing to do.
For these reason we recommend wearing long loose trousers instead of shorts, skirts and dresses. This will be more comfortable, adhere to the Dubai Dress code and protect your modesty.
We also recommend wearing long sleeve tops made of natural fabrics as these will protect you from the sun and any sand blown in the wind.
We also recommend having a pashmina or face covering to help protect your face from the sand.
Dune Bashing –
Another popular desert safari activity is dune bashing. Dune bashing has no particular dress code but you will want to consider that there is a lot of movement in the car.
Tip: I would never take my kids under the age of 5 or go on a dune bashing experience while pregnant.
Sand Boarding is quite an extreme and physical activity to do in the desert. Similarly to camel riding we recommend wearing long loose trousers as opposed to skirts, dresses and shorts
Also the most practical consideration has to be in relation to your shoes. To do this kind of activity you will definitely need closed toe shoes as opposed to sandals and flip flops no matter what time of year you are there.
As with camel riding and sand boarding you will want closed toe shoes but also maybe some sportswear trousers. Unlike the above you won’t want anything too loose as this can be a hazard.
Hot Air Balloon
This is normally done for sunrise or sunset in the desert. Therefore the key is to have some layers with you as the temperature really drops in the desert once the sun is down.
If you are staying in the desert for the evening there are two things to consider.
Firstly the temperature really drops so you will need layers with you.
And secondly, for BBQ meals and desert entertainment you will eat Bedouin style on large rugs on the floor. Therefore consider how it will be comfortable and modest to sit.
Personally we always pick long loose trousers as easiest for evenings in the desert.
As with anywhere in Dubai, you need to consider the Dubai Dress code rules. And just because you are doing activities in the desert you can’t disregard this rule.
So now you know what to consider these are the things we recommend wearing on a desert safari in Dubai.
What to Wear on a Dubai Desert Safari for Women
Long Loose Trousers
Although I love a Maxi Skirt or Dress I find long loose trousers such as harem pants a great choice to wear in the desert. They protect your legs from the sun and sand but also keep you modest and give flexibility for activities such as camel riding.
Long Sleeve top
A long sleeve top is my preference in the desert. The sand when it blows is harsh and a long sleeve top provides extra protection from this and the sun. It is also a great choice for modesety.
If you are doing a Dubai desert safari in Winter or staying in the desert for sunrise or sunset pack a top layer such as a sweater, cardigan or even a jacket for winter.
A pashmina is perfect anywhere in Dubai but is great in the desert as it can be an extra layer or be used to protect your face if it gets very windy.
Sneakers or closed toe shoes
Closed toe shoes are better than sandals in the desert as they allow you to do more activities and protect your feet from hot sand.
A Dubai essential.
Another Dubai Essential for city and the desert
What to Wear on a Dubai Desert Safari for Men
As with the what to wear for women in the desert we recommend men wearing
- Long loose trousers
- Long sleeve tops
- Closed toe shoes
- A balaclava or face covering for protection against the sand
- Top layers – for winter and evenings
- Hat and Sunglasses
What to Wear on a Desert Safari in Dubai for Kids
While kids in Dubai aren’t subjected to the same dress code rules I advise keeping children in the desert well covered in leggings and long tops to protect from sun and sand.
As well as bringing layers, hats and sunglasses.
As I mentioned above as well we would not take young children on a dune bashing experiences as we personally don’t feel comfortable doing so. However if you plan to or if you are going out to the desert with a company you will need to make sure they have car seats. Otherwise you will need to pack car seats with you.
Best Shoes For a Desert Safari in Dubai
Although you may. thing sandals and flip flops are perfect shoes for a desert safari in Dubai I would urge you to think again.
Closed toe shoes are required for most desert safari activities i.e. camel riding and quad biking etc. and also you can not underestimate the temperature of the sand in summer. Be sure to keep your feet protected by choosing a closed toe shoe for desert safaris.
What Else to Take on a Desert Safari in Dubai
Now you know what to wear on a desert safari in Dubai we will turn our attention to other things you should take. We thing the following things should be on your Dubai desert safari packing list:
- Hand Sanitizer – there are limited hand washing facilities in the desert so have hand sanitiser with you especially if you plan on riding camels
- Wet wipes – for the same reasons as above.
- Towel – good for removing sweat
- Cash – for added extra activities you haven’t prepaid for
- CAmera, and spare batteries
- Battery pack
- Sand proof back pack.
Anything else should be left at the hotel or at home. the desert is no place for expensive or treasured jewellery as they can get lost easily.
So there you have our complete guide to what to wear to a Dubai desert safari but if you have any other questions please do leave them below and we will get back to you as soon as we can.