Last Updated on August 9, 2023

A trip to the UAE is not complete unless you join a desert safari with dune bashing – the Arab equivalent of dune riding, which means driving at high speeds on very bumpy sand dunes.

And while you are there, why not enjoy some amazing sandboarding on one of the countless sand red dunes in the region for a quintessential Dubai desert experience.

Dune Bashing in Dubai
Dune Bashing in Dubai. Photo courtesy of Bahnfrend – CC BY-SA 4.0

What is Dune Bashing?

Dune bashing is a thrilling activity conducted with off-road vehicles recklessly driving through sand dunes of the Dubai desert. In other parts of the world, it is sometimes referred to as sand duning.

4×4 off-road SUV cars like Nissan Patrol, Toyota Sequioa, Wrangler Jeeps and Land Rovers are used for sand duning in so-called “dune bashing safaris”. It’s hard to explain the thrill of dune bashing to those that have never experienced it, but it’s an incredibly fun experience – somewhat similar to a roller coaster ride.

Where to go dune bashing in Dubai

There are several – all wonderful – spots where you can go dune bashing in the area surrounding Dubai. Different areas will also require different levels of expertise when it comes to dune bashing.

Al Badayer desert

One of the most famous dune bashing locations in the Emirates, ideal for dune bashing beginners. 

Sweihan desert

The so called “Little Liwa” actually hosts some rather massive dunes and dune bashing there requires some amount of experience.

Liwa Oasis 

The aforementioned Moreeb dune is sometimes also called the “Terrifying Mountain”, and dune bashing in the Liwa desert can be a rather thrilling experience. For experienced bashers only!

Dune Bashing in Dubai
Dune bashing in the Dubai desert.

Dune Bashing Tours in the Dubai Desert

Is dune bashing dangerous?

Dune bashing tours are always conducted by professional drivers with plenty of experience and are not dangerous. That said, the experience of dune bashing is not for the faint of heart and not safe for pregnancies. If you are a pregnant woman you should make sure to contact the tour company in advance and have dune bashing removed from your trip.

There are many tour operators offering desert safaris without dune bashing, and it is good advice to let the driver know in advance if there is going to be any pregnant member of the group or very small children.


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