8 Best Desert Safari Spots In GCC That You Cannot Miss

Whether you're seeking thrilling dune bashing or tranquil moments under the starry sky, GCC desert safaris promise unforgettable memories.

by Priyanka Fernandes
8 Best Desert Safari Spots In GCC That You Cannot Miss

Desert safari in the GCC offers a captivating blend of adventure, culture, and mesmerizing vistas. From adrenaline-fueled dune bashing to serene camel rides and unforgettable sunsets, it’s an experience worth having. Immerse yourself in the culture, cuisine, and hospitality of the desert Bedouins and embark on an extraordinary odyssey through the sands of time. Here’s a list of must-visit desert safari in the GCC region.

1. Al Faya Desert

Al Faya Desert
Image Credits: Canva Stock Images

If you’re looking for an exciting adventure, you’ll want to check out the gently sloping dunes in this region. They’re perfect for dune bashing, whether you’re an experienced driver or starting. For those who want to spend some time in nature, the Al Faya desert is an ideal spot for camping. With its endless stretch of sand, you’ll feel like you’re in a new world. Plus, it’s conveniently located just a 50-minute drive from Dubai.

Where:  6RHP+3MJ, Al Haffar – Abu Dhabi

2. Al Lahabab Desert

Al Lahabab Desert
Image Credits: Canva Stock Images

Al Lahbab desert, situated 50 km outside Dubai City, promises various experiences, including dune bashing, BBQ dinner, and Bedouin-style camping. The red dunes are perfect for a unique desert safari and a glimpse into the UAE’s rural culture.

Where: 2HRR+VG2 – Dubai

Also Read: Sunday Brief: From Sharjah’s Desert Festival To Dubai’s Beach Closure, 6 UAE Updates For You!

3. Rub Al Khali

Rub Al Khali
Image Credits: Canva Stock Images

Rub al Khali is a vast desert region in the southern Arabian Peninsula, comprising the largest portion of the Arabian Desert. It covers around 250,000 square miles in southeastern Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, and the UAE and is commonly known as the “Empty Quarter.” Arab operators offer desert safaris in Rub Al Khali, including tours from Abu Dhabi.

Where: GG35+C3Q, Oman

4. Jebel Maleihah

Jebel Maleihah
Image Credits: Canva Stock Images

The stunning Fossil Rock is a must-visit destination on the road connecting Sharjah and Kalba. What sets it apart from other options on this list is the opportunity to discover marine fossils, a fascinating glimpse into the UAE’s geological history. This area was once underwater during the Tethys Ocean era. Today, you can explore the remains and witness the natural wonder of Camel Rock, a formation resembling a majestic camel near Fossil Rock.

Where: Fayah – Al Ruwaida – Sharjah

5. Liwa Desert

Liwa Desert
Image Credits: Canva Stock Images

Due to its high dunes, the Liwa Oasis is a popular destination for experienced dune bashers near the Rub Al Khali. It hosts several festivals and challenges, making it a busy place full of excitement and adventure. The oasis is rich in desert culture, with fifty villages calling it home. Visitors may have the opportunity to explore the traditional way of life in a desert village while visiting the area.

Where:  Al Gharbia, Abu Dhabi

6. Wahiba Sands

Wahiba Sands
Image Credits: Canva Stock Images

Sharqiya Sands (formerly known as Wahiba SandsSands) is a desert region in Oman, divided between northern and southern governorates. It covers an area of 12,500 square kilometres and offers many activities, such as dune bashing, quad biking, sandboarding, camel riding, desert trekking, and sunset drives.

Where: South of Sur and South East of Muscat. 

7. Al Bidayer

Al Bidayer Desert
Image Credits: Canva Stock Images

Al Badayer is a popular destination for adventure seekers and 4×4 fanatics. It has the UAE’s most unusual dunes, including the famous ‘Big Red’. You can enjoy dune driving, dune-bashing, quad biking, and more. Families can enjoy hiking, watching the sunset, or camping under the stars.

Where: XP39+X7M – Al Badayer – Sharjah

Also Read: Sharjah’s Mleiha All Set To Get Greener; Sharjah Wheat Farm Over UAE Desert Is Expanding

8. Al Araqana Desert

Al Araqana Desert
Image Credits: Canva Stock Images

Al Araqana desert, located east of Tabuk, boasts large rusty golden-red dunes that make for a stunning backdrop during sunsets. Activities include dune bashing, camping, star gazing, and fossil hunting. Ensure you don’t miss visiting Qaryat, an ancient prehistoric village with a rich local history.

Where:  East of Tabuk, on the Medina – Tabuk road, Saudi Arabia

As you explore the diverse terrains and thrilling adventures of the desert safari across the GCC region, you’ll immerse yourself in a tapestry of culture, excitement, and natural beauty. From the towering dunes of Al Faya to the vast expanse of Rub Al Khali, each destination offers a unique experience that captivates the senses and leaves an indelible mark on your journey. 

Cover Image Courtesy: Canva Stock Images

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