You can’t say you’ve explored Dubai’s vast Arabian desert sands without riding a dune buggy. This revolutionary off-road vehicle can cross different types of terrains and varying sizes of sand dunes. Dune buggying in Dubai would introduce you to some of the best family-friendly and extreme desert adventures in the UAE and the world.
If you haven’t tried riding a dune buggy before, start your desert adventure and book your first dune buggy experience in Dubai by following our first-timer’s guide! Buckle up and continue reading below.
Things to Know Before Your First Dune Buggy Adventure in Dubai
Dune buggying is the best tourist activity for you if you want to explore Dubai’s vast, scenic deserts. Before you hop on this fast-paced ride with your family and friends, here’s everything you need to know about dune buggying in Dubai.
What is Dune Buggying?
Dune buggying originated in California, USA. When Californian engineer Bruce Meyers invented the Meyers Manx dune buggy, the first-ever fiberglass off-roading automobile, the popular recreational activity was born. Meyers and his invention inspired the dune buggy craze, inspiring other inventors and manufacturers to produce and design similarly built vehicles, mostly 4×4, for beach and desert adventures.
Dune buggying is steadily gaining popularity around the world. Dubai—with its extraordinary beaches and deserts—is continuously offering some of the best extreme adventures and scenic locations for dune buggy enthusiasts.
Who Can Dune Buggy in Dubai?
Dune buggying can be a moderate to intense activity, depending on the location and vehicle used. This activity is not a regular car ride, so it can be challenging for some. As such, here are some restrictions you should take note of:
Dune Buggying Age Restrictions
The minimum age limit required for extreme dune buggy tours in Dubai is 18 years. For family-friendly dune buggy tours, you can look for tour companies with car seats. Some accept infants and toddlers on private dune buggy rides, provided that there’s a parent or guardian to accompany them.
Dune Buggying Weight and Height Restrictions
There are usually no height and weight restrictions in dune buggy tours. Minimum restrictions may be applied to children, but there are no maximum restrictions for individual adult passengers. Tour companies may choose to divide group passengers into multiple vehicles based on total weight.
Dune Buggying Health Restrictions
Dune buggying is not recommended for tourists with severe pre-existing medical conditions and physical injuries. Pregnant women are also discouraged from participating since the ride would definitely be bumpy. Guests with disabilities, however, can look for dune buggy tours in Dubai that offer wheelchair-accessible vehicles.
Does Dune Buggying Requires Skills and Experience?
Dune buggy passengers don’t need to have skills or experience to participate in this activity. However, guests who wish to rent and ride a private dune buggy vehicle must know how to operate dune buggy models ranging from 840cc to 2000cc. A local or international driver’s license is typically not required.
Is Dune Buggying Safe and Regulated in Dubai?
Dune buggying can be more dangerous than riding a car because of its open-top structure. However, since you’re riding in a vast desert or beach with reputable tour companies following safety regulations, this activity is generally safe. Besides, it’s not like you’re taking the vehicle on a highway.
Vehicles for dune buggy tours in Dubai are expertly maintained with safety features, including harnesses, seat belts, lift kits, and roll cages. Reputable dune buggy tour companies also employ guides and instructors to regulate the activity. These instructors train tourists about the safety operations of the activity.
All travel and tour companies in Dubai follow special health and safety measures to combat COVID-19. Dune buggy operators in Dubai are required by the World Health Organization (WHO) and local authorities to ensure social distancing among passengers, regularly sanitize vehicles and gear, conduct temperature checks for staff and guests, and promote contactless payments.
Tourists, too, are required to follow individual safety protocols. Dune buggy passengers should wear face masks during the activity, avoid physical contact among staff and other passengers, and submit basic personal information for contact tracing purposes.
When Is the Best Time Dune Buggy in Dubai?
The best time to visit Dubai for dune buggying is between November to March. During these months, the city experiences the warmth of the desert without extreme heat. You can ride a dune buggy any time of the day; tour companies offer day, afternoon, and night tours.
How Long Are Dune Buggy Tours in Dubai?
Dune buggy tours in Dubai can last for 30 minutes to three hours, excluding the briefing and preparation. The total duration depends on the rental package. Some packages may include other activities like desert safari tours, BBQ experience, and live shows.
What Are the Best Dune Buggy Locations in Dubai?
When choosing a dune buggy tour in Dubai, consider the location of the activity. Most travel companies host dune buggy tours at the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR), Al Awir Desert, Al Khayma Camp, and Lahbab Red Dunes Desert.
Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR)
DDCR is one of the largest conservation areas in Dubai—and even the world. It takes up 5% of Dubai’s total landmass, so it offers a vast desert wilderness perfect for dune buggying and other desert safari activities.
Al Awir Desert
Al Awir is a small town far from the city center. The town is perfect for peaceful desert safari adventures and dune buggy tours because of its community. Residents in the area take pride in Al Awir’s rich agricultural resources and camel breeding farms.
Al Khayma Camp
The Al Khayma Camp offers exclusive desert adventures for travelers. Aside from dune buggy tours and other extreme adventures, this private camp can provide an authentic Arabian culture away from the busy city center.
Lahbab Red Dunes Desert
Lahbab is a small village south of Dubai. The local community in the area is known for its traditional camel breeding and raising. Around Lahbab, you can see some of the most extensive camel race tracks in the UAE.
Preparation Tips And Booking Procedures
You now know what sets dune buggying apart from other desert activities and adventures in Dubai. If you’re ready to book this activity, let’s head to the actual preparations and procedures involved in the process.
How to Get to the Dune Buggying Locations in Dubai
Most tour companies in Dubai offer hotel pick-up and drop-off services. But if you plan to DIY a tour, you’re free to do so. Getting around Dubai is easy, and these deserts on the outskirts of the city are easily accessible by tourists and travel companies. Refer to the guide below to reach the best dune buggying locations we’ve mentioned before.
How to Get to Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR)
Travelers with private or rented vehicles can easily reach DDCR from the city center in approximately 45 minutes through the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Rd/E311 at Al Ain – Dubai Rd/E66 or Dubai-Hatta Rd/E44.
There are no bus and metro transportation services that can directly take you to DDCR. You’ll have to ride multiple vehicles with varying rates if you take this option. It’s best to rent an Uber, taxi, or private vehicle.
How to Get to Al Awir Desert
Travelers with private or rented vehicles can easily reach Al Awir from the city center in approximately 21 minutes through D83 or Ras Al Khor Rd/E44.
If you want to commute, city buses can take you to Al Awir and its surrounding areas. Take bus number 11A and alight at Awir, Masjid – 01. There are no direct metro transportation services that can take you to Al Awir.
How to Get to Al Khayma Camp
Travelers with private or rented vehicles can easily reach Al Khayma Camp from the city center in approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes through Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Rd/E311 or Emirates Rd/E611.
If you want to commute, city buses can take you to Al Khayma Camp and its surrounding areas. Take buses 8, 84, F55A and alight at Awir, Jumeira, Royal Meridian – 01. If you want to take the metro, take the Red Line and alight at Damac Metro Station, then take a 25-minute walk to Al Khayma Camp.
How to Get to Lahbab Red Dunes Desert
Travelers with private or rented vehicles can easily reach Lahbab from the city center in approximately 40 minutes through Dubai-Hatta Rd/E44 or Jebel Ali – Lehbab Rd/E77.
If you want to commute, city buses can take you to Lahbab and its surrounding areas. Take buses 8, 84, F55A, and alight at Jumeirah, Royal Meridian – 02. If you want to take the metro, take the Red Line and alight at Damac Metro Station, then take a 16-minute walk to Lahbab.
What Are the Things Dune Buggy Passengers Need to Prepare?
Based on the restrictions we’ve mentioned, you need to be physically and mentally prepared before you ride a dune buggy in Dubai. Aside from your healthy physical presence, here are the things you should and shouldn’t bring in your tour:
Wear comfortable clothes that can also provide protection against the sun and the sand. It’s recommended to wear long sleeves and closed shoes. You can also bring scarves and sunglasses to protect your eyes. Tour companies will provide helmets, gloves, and goggles on the site.
Food and Drinks
Tour companies don’t usually allow food and drinks during the actual ride. You can bring a bottle of water but eat meals before or after the ride. If you want, you can opt for packages with BBQ breakfast, lunch, or dinner. There are also nearby booths and restaurants in the desert where you can buy food.
Don’t bring anything that may get tossed or lost during the bumpy ride. You can leave your luggage in your hotels or at the storage area provided by the tour company. It’s best to bring small bags containing your valuables, such as smartphones and cameras.
Do Passengers Need to Book Beforehand?
Pre-booking is recommended but not required. This booking procedure is the best option if you want to secure your preferred date and benefit from the tour company’s flexible booking option. You can book a dune buggy tour online, through the tour company’s website, or via phone call. They will send you an email confirmation once the booking is confirmed.
What Are the Best Dune Buggy Tours in Dubai?
Desert safari tours and dune buggy adventures in Dubai are some of the most sought-after activities by tourists. So, expect that the competition among tour companies is tight. To find the best dune buggy tours in Dubai, here’s a list of reputable companies offering them:
Big Red Adventure Tours – 1,000 AED (272 USD) to 2,600 AED (707 USD) for one single-seater, dual-seater, and 4-seater dune buggy tours; tour duration ranges from one to three hours.
MxDubai – 950 AED (258 USD) to 1,100 AED (299 USD) for single-seater, dual-seater, and four-seater dune buggy tours; tour duration ranges from one to three hours.
Infiniti Desert Tours – 1,000 AED (272 USD) to 1,950 AED (530 USD) for single-seater rides; tour duration ranges from one to three hours.
Rayna Tours – 720 AED (196 USD) to 1680 AED (457 USD) for complete safari tour packages with dune buggying tours; tour duration ranges from 30 minutes to an hour.
Buggy DXB – 1,600 AED (435 USD) for a two-hour tour with hotel transfers, snacks, and sandboarding.
Expert Rangers – 467 AED (127 USD) to 709 AED (193 USD) per person for single-seater and dual-seater dune buggy tours with one-hour duration; premium packages come with BBQ lunch and dinner.
Explorer Tours – 1,000 AED (272 USD) to 3,000 AED (817 USD) for double-seating dune buggy tours with desert safari tours or private dinners; tour duration ranges from one to three hours.
The majority of these Dubai dune buggy prices and packages already offer in-house or freelance tour guides and complimentary snacks and drinks. Still, if you want to explore more traditional cuisines and experiences in the area, there are restaurants and entertainment activities in the desert.
To learn more about the inclusions, terms, and conditions of each dune buggy package listed here, you can visit the tour operator’s website or contact their customer service support.
Final Dune Buggy Tips for First-Timers
To book a hassle-free experience, don’t forget to conduct your research and follow this guide before booking a dune buggy ride in Dubai. To enjoy the actual dune buggy ride, follow the safety instructions of the tour operator and come prepared.
What to Do After a Dune Buggy Tour in Dubai?
A dune buggy tour is a great way to introduce yourself to Dubai’s scenic deserts, but it’s just one of the many desert adventures in the city. If you want to try more sand dune adventures, book a complete desert safari tour or try quad biking, camel riding, sandboarding, and hiking in Dubai.