Last Updated on November 7, 2022

Dubai, the world-famous “Desert City, is a paradise for sandboarders and sandsports lovers in general, as is the rest of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The sand dunes near both Dubai and Abu Dhabi are some of the best places in the world where you can practice sandboarding and sledding, with sand soft as powder and breath-taking desert landscapes you simply won’t find anywhere else:

Welcome to the Arabian Desert, one of the largest deserts in the world, which offers some of the most suggestive landscapes for sand dune enthusiasts, attracting tourists and adrenaline seekers from all over the world.

For a quintessential Dubai experience, you must go on a desert safari with dune bashing, which involves driving at very fast speeds on very bumpy sand dunes, and of course, enjoy some incredible sandboarding on one of the countless sand red dunes in the area.

Sandboarding in the UAE: Dubai Desert
Sandboarding in the Dubai desert.

Sandboarding in the Dubai Desert

There are countless locations where sandboarding can be practiced near Dubai and Abu Dhabi. If you are a resident, you may consider buying your own board and heading to the desert in your car, but if you are a tourist or only visiting for a short time, it’s not hard to find an organized tour which will take care of everything for you, as sandboarding is one of the most beloved sport activities in the UAE and increasingly growing in popularity.

Al Badayer oasis

Hidden oasis less than an hour away from both Dubai and Sharjah city by car, Al Badayer hosts some of the most stunning dunes of the Arabian desert, including the famous “Big Red Dune”. Whether you want to sled down the Big Red or one of the numerous smaller, wave-like dunes, this place is a must see.

Al Faya desert

Another desert with red sand and plenty of spots for sand surfing, not too far from Abu Dhabi and about one hour from Dubai. Make sure to stay in the Al Faya desert to watch sunset at one of the many campsite-like pop up spaces where you can enjoy food and coffee.

Lahbab desert

Desert about 40 minute drive away from Dubai city, with mostly short but spectacular ridges of red sand for duning and sledding. Plenty of desert safari tours will take you from Dubai to Al Lahbab and include sandboarding.

Al Lahbab Tours

Liwa Oasis

The village of Liwa in the Abu Dhabi area hosts one of the vastest dunes in the world, the Moreeb dune, which is over 1.6 km long and 300 m tall, and it’s a great place for sandboarding and observing the sunset.

Liwa Oasis Desert Tours

Sweihan desert / Little Liwa

Sweihan is yet another desert with large red dunes and delicate sand, located between Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Al Ain, great for a bedouin-style adventure with camel riding, dune bashing and dune surfing.

Sandboarding in Dubai: Saudi Desert Sand Dunes
Saudi Desert Sand Dunes. CC BY-SA 3.0

Recommended Sandboarding Tours in the UAE

Sandboarding Tours from Dubai

Sandboarding Tours from Abu Dhabi

What to wear

Dubai and the UAE have a desert climate with very high temperature during the day which falls sharply at night. It’s best to wear layered clothing when hitting the dunes, covering your body from head to toe in order to protect yourself from the scorching hot sand and dust, try to wear the best sandboarding clothes for desert climates.

Head scarves, socks and goggles (or sun glasses) can help you have a more enjoyable experience and protect you from both sand and UV rays. Do not forget to grab the strongest sunscreen you can get to protect yourself from the desert heat.

Video: Sandboarding in Dubai

Having fun sandboarding on a desert safari trip in Dubai.

Sandboarding in the Middle East

Sandboarding in Dubai
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Your n°1 source of information on the world of sandsports and desert adventure travel. Our articles are the result of extensive research, personal experience, and knowledge-sharing within the global sandboarding community.