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A Comprehensive Guide to Dressing for a Dubai Desert Safari


A desert safari in Dubai is an exhilarating experience, one that promises an intoxicating blend of tradition and thrill. Yet, the desert’s unpredictable and challenging environment necessitates thoughtful attire. Dressing appropriately not only ensures that you stay comfortable but also helps you soak in the experience in the best possible way. Here’s a comprehensive guide to dressing for a Dubai desert safari.

Understanding the Desert Climate

The desert climate can be extreme. During the day, temperatures can soar, while at night, it can get considerably cooler. It’s also a dry climate, which means you’ll need to stay hydrated and protected from the sun.

Lightweight and Breathable Clothing

Choose loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and pants. These cover most of your skin, protecting against the sun’s harmful UV rays while allowing your skin to breathe. Cotton or linen is ideal as they’re both light and breathable.

Protecting Your Head and Face

A wide-brimmed hat or a cap is essential. Not only will this shield your face and neck from the sun, but it also reduces the risk of heatstroke. Additionally, consider a lightweight scarf or a shemagh – a traditional Arabic headscarf. You can drape it over your shoulders or wrap it around your face if there’s a sandstorm.


Sturdy closed-toe shoes or sandals are recommended. They should be comfortable for walking on sand. Avoid flip-flops or high heels, as they are unsuitable for desert terrain. If you opt for sandals, make sure they have straps that secure them to your feet.

Sunglasses and Sunscreen

The desert glare can be harsh. A good pair of UV-protective sunglasses will shield your eyes. Also, apply a high SPF sunscreen generously on exposed skin, and reapply every few hours.

Layer Up for the Evening

If you’re planning to stay for the evening, or if it’s a winter month, the desert can become surprisingly cold. Always carry a light sweater or jacket.

Modesty is Key

Remember that the United Arab Emirates is a Muslim-majority country, and dressing modestly is a sign of respect. While on the desert safari, it’s best to avoid short skirts, shorts, or sleeveless tops.

Backpack Essentials

A small backpack can be handy. Pack essentials like water, some snacks, a portable phone charger, and perhaps a camera. Stay hydrated throughout the trip to counter the desert heat.

Optional: Traditional Attire

Many desert safaris offer opportunities for guests to dress in traditional Emirati attire. While it’s not a requirement, it can enhance your cultural experience.

Remember the Environment

Lastly, remember that the desert ecosystem is fragile. Leave no trash behind and stick to reusable water bottles and containers.
Dressing for a Dubai desert safari is about blending comfort with respect for local customs and the environment. By following this guide, you’ll be well-prepared to enjoy the mesmerizing landscapes, thrilling dune bashes, and the warm hospitality of the desert dwellers, making your desert safari a memorable one. Safe travels!

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