What to wear to a desert safari: complete dress code

You’ve finally booked that long-awaited trip to the land of the sand and can’t wait to see all the cloud-scraping towers, gold-dipped attractions and record-breaking wonders of Dubai for yourself. However, as most travellers would probably agree, one of the biggest challenges involved in the art of wanderlust starts with an empty suitcase and no idea what to fill it with. Since your impressive Dubai itinerary surely includes an epic adventure in the majestic desert dunes, we’re here to help you out a bit. So grab a pen and your packing list and keep reading to find out how to dress for a desert safari to enjoy your exceptional escapade to the fullest.

Freedom in the desert

Keep things light and bright

An action-packed desert safari is guaranteed to be one of the biggest highlights of your trip. But choosing the perfect dress code for a desert safari in Dubai, can make or break your time in the dunes. Although you’ll most likely be accompanied by other tourists on your sand-filled adventure, it’s still important to take both weather conditions and the local dress code into consideration when choosing your fit for the day.

Our number one recommendation on how to dress for a desert safari, is to opt for lightweight and breathable clothing, since daytime temperatures can definitely have the mercury shooting for the skies. Your best bet is to go for natural materials like cotton and linen and steer clear of synthetics. As most desert activities require strolling the sands in direct sunlight, it’s important to keep yourself covered. If you’re trying to figure out what to wear to a desert safari during the summer, we suggest making sure you pack a long-sleeved shirt and preferably a pair of lightweight long trousers. You can, of course, show up in a pair of shorts, but bear in mind that you’ll be spending quite a bit of your time in an air-conditioned 4x4 and as soon as the sun drops in the desert, so will the temperature. When choosing their preferred pair of bottoms, women should also be cautious of overly revealing clothing, to avoid coming off as offensive in the United Arab Emirates.

As mentioned, depending on the season, the desert can be pretty cold (we’re talking freezing) in the early sunrise hours and in the evening. So if you’re thinking about what to wear on a desert safari during the winter, this is where layers come in. You won’t go wrong with bringing a comfortable hoodie, light jacket, poncho or big shawl with you. It will keep you warm on both an early morning safari as well as during the legendary evening safari.

When it comes to figuring out your perfect colour scheme to dress up for a desert safari, we’d suggest keeping things on the bright side. If you’re looking to pop on those Insta-worthy shots you’ll be sharing with your friends, go for vibrant colours or classic whites. To avoid attracting any additional sunrays, it’s best to leave the darker tones for your next ski trip.

Sunset in the desert

If the shoe fits…

…make sure it’s comfortable and preferably closed-toe when aiming for that winning dress code for a desert safari in Dubai. When it comes to choosing how to dress for a desert safari, picking the right kicks is almost as important as everything north of it. Though you can of course slip into your favourite sandals or flip flops, you’ll probably be most comfortable in a pair of sneakers or light boots. Strolling through the sand can be quite the balancing act at times, so sturdy footwear will be your best friend. Closed-toe shoes will also ensure you won’t have sand sticking to your toes at all times.

In case you were wondering what to avoid wearing on a desert safari in Dubai, it probably goes without saying that stilettos and all high-heeled shoes for that matter are best reserved for a fabulous dinner you’ll surely be attending while in the magical city.

Accessories and other add-ons

There’s quite a few things to carry on a desert safari to elevate your experience. You may have your perfect headgear picked out for your visit to the horse race, but don’t forget to pack a hat for the day in the desert. A suitable hat will offer you much-needed protection from the sun and the winds that can sometimes pick up at a moment’s notice. You can also opt for a scarf that’ll cover both the head and face and shield you from the sand.

Make sure you bring a pair of sunglasses, procure some high-SPF sunscreen, and smack on a generous layer of lip balm. If you want to look like a true desert pro, stock up on some wet wipes to freshen up as needed.

Chilling in the desert

Outfit for any occasion

Your desert safari in Dubai will most likely consist of a number of action-packed activities. When trying to hit the mark with what to wear on a desert safari during the summer and what to wear on a desert safari during the winter, there are some non-negotiables. To make the most of every experience and not miss out on any fun because of a style slip-up, here’s a few tips to keep in mind when assembling your outfit of the day.

Your time in the desert will most likely start with a thrilling dune drive. Although your clothing should be flowy and breathable, something to avoid wearing on a desert safari in Dubai, are clothes that are too loose-fitting as they can get caught in things. For the sake of you and your fellow adventurers, don’t wear any sharp or pointy accessories that could injure anyone as your tackling the dunes.

There’s a good chance you’ll be channelling your inner Emirati strolling through the sand on the back of a camel. The dinner and entertainment portion of your adventure will also have you sitting down on the ground, so the dress code for a desert safari in Dubai leaves no room for a short skirt, dress or shorts. Go for stretchy pieces that’ll keep you covered and comfortable throughout the day.

If you’ve decided to treat your thrill-seeking side to an exhilarating dune buggy experience, opting for sporty and not too loose-fitting clothing is the best idea when thinking about how to dress for a desert safari. For the ladies with flowy locks, a hair-tie is a must.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – make sure you bring warm clothes. Especially when faced with a question of what to wear on a desert safari during the winter. There’s nothing worse than having your sumptuous barbeque dinner ruined by shivering in the sand. Once the sun has set, wrap yourself up in a cosy shawl, sweater or hoodie, so the fun can continue without any inconveniencies.

Sandboarding in the desert

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