11 Jan 2024

Morning vs Evening Desert   Safari      

We’ve heard it said that a trip to Dubai is only complete with a desert safari. As an award-winning operator of desert safaris and experiences, we tend to agree. 

From dawn until dusk and into the night, there are so many ways to experience a desert safari – two of the most popular experiences being our Morning and Evening desert safaris. While we don’t like to make our morning and evening desert safaris compete, we know you may be thinking about whether you want to chase the sunrise or sunset. In this blog, we’ll talk about the key differences between a morning and an evening excursion, including: 

  • Pickup times
  • Nature encounters
  • Adrenaline activities
  • Meal options
  • Best views (for Instagram, of course)
Evening Safari

Pickup Times

The key to a perfect desert date is to get ahead of the sun – whether that be at sunrise or sunset. For a morning desert safari, that will include a more ‘unnatural’ alarm call. The reward of viewing one of nature’s greatest spectacles is more than worth it, though.  

A winter sunrise in Dubai is any time between 6:15am and 6:45am. In the summer, it can be as early as 5:00am! You’ll need to add at least an hour or so onto your schedule to make sure you get ahead of it, so you’re in for an early start. We said it before, but it’s truly worth it. 

With that said, Evening Desert Safari pickups slot a little easier into your natural rhythm. You’ll catch sunset around 5:00 – 5:30pm in the winter, and a bit later than that in the summer.  

Which is more rewarding? We’ll let you be the judge. If you ask us, there’s nothing between them. A sunset safari may be more beneficial if you’ve got kids to get out of bed and a routine to keep to. But, if you’re willing to deviate and try something a little different, your sense of adventure will be rewarded. 

Dune Buggy

Adrenaline, Anyone?


A trip to the desert isn’t complete without a touch of adrenaline – no matter the time of day. The dunes are simply made for an Arabian Adventures 4x4! 

That’s why we include a dune drive in both our sunrise and sunset safari experiences. If you’re a thrill seeker and want to pick up the pace during your time in the desert, you’re covered in both morning and evening itineraries.

If you're looking for an even faster pace, we offer a Dune Buggy + Evening Safari package. Dune Buggy experiences can also be scheduled for after your Morning Safari, to make sure you're squeezing every drop of adventure out of your morning with us. 

There are also sandboarding opportunities available on both desert safari options, adding an extra element of adventure to proceedings.  

This one's a draw.

Nature Encounters


The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve is full of nature, all living in harmony within the parameters of a protected space. The Reserve is home to dozens of flora and fauna species, including some of the world's most recognisable - and most endangered - mammals and plants.

Whether you book a sunrise or a sunset safari, there will be plenty of opportunities to bring you closer to the desert animals who call the DDCR their home. While some of the species tend to have nocturnal tendencies, we regularly spot our Oryx and sand fox friends wandering across the desert in peace at all times of the day, particularly in the winter when peak temperatures are considerably cooler. Make sure you check the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve website for a full list of animals and plants that can be spotted within the Reserve.

Both sunrise and sunset safaris aren’t reliant on you spotting nature, too. Both experiences include a short camel ride, so you’ll be guaranteed to see the kings of the desert up close alongside local fauna.

Wildlife is simply a key part of a desert adventure, whether on a Morning Desert Safari or an Evening Desert Safari

Desert Safari

Sunrise vs sunset


We might be biased, but we really can’t choose between these two. If you’re fortunate enough to experience a desert sunrise or sunset, uninterrupted, with stunning views across the Dubai desert, there’s simply not one sight that beats the other.  

To make sure you get the best view in the whole of Dubai, we have scheduled both sunrise and sunset stops into Morning & Evening Desert Safari itineraries so you can stop everything you’re doing and take it all in.

This is also the case for our Exclusive Desert Experience packages. We strategically place the private dining locations of this experience so our guests have a clear and uninterrupted view of the Dubai sunset, adding an extra touch of magic to their evening.

Morning Safaris also include an awe-inspiring transition from the dark of night, to the dark orange glow of pre-sunrise, to a marvellous spectacle of sunrise over the horizon. 

Both sights are as beautiful as the other, and there’s absolutely nothing to choose between them. We're calling another draw.

Feeling peckish?

At the heart of Emirati Bedouin culture is hospitality. No guest in an Emirati home should leave hungry, and we make sure this tradition is upheld in both our sunrise and sunset safari experiences. 

Directly comparing sunrise and sunset safari experiences, there are breakfast and evening meals served as part of each package respectively. On a morning safari, breakfast comes in the form of a breakfast box, including sandwiches, pastries, and locally sourced juices. There’s a caffeine fix available in the form of traditional Arabic coffee too, should you need it.   

An evening desert safari includes a full BBQ dinner, served after sunset. Traditional Emirati dishes, freshly grilled meats and live cooking stations are the order of the evening here.

Overall, owing to the timings of each experience, there are a few more food options available on the Evening Desert Safari. However, this is completely down to the time of the activities, and we've tailored our food offerings to ensure you get exactly what you need at the appropriate time of day. In other words, we don't serve lamb chops for breakfast because they're better in the evening. Right?

One thing is for certain – whether it’s sunrise or sunset, no hunger will go unquenched on our watch. 

Vip Desert Safari

Choose your   adventure

So, will it be sunrise or sunset? In truth, there’s very little to compromise on. If you can handle an early alarm call, the reward of a desert sunrise is worth it in abundance. There’s room for adrenaline, wildlife encounters, and the natural awe and wonder of the Dubai desert in every sunrise and sunset experience. 

The only thing left for you to do is search for your Morning Desert Adventure or Evening Desert Safari on the Arabian Adventures website, check the availability for your chosen date, and get ready for your desert adventure. We can’t wait to host you in our desert home! 



1) Which is better for wildlife spotting, morning or evening safari? 

Both morning and evening desert safaris have plenty of wildlife spotting opportunities, as the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve is home to dozens of wildlife species that can be spotted at all times of the day. There are also camel rides included in both itineraries, so up close encounters are part of the overall experience. 

2) How do temperatures vary between morning and evening safaris? 

The desert has a wide-ranging temperature throughout the day, with late night/early morning temperatures being much cooler than peaks in the middle of the day. Average temperatures level out at around 32c; however, expect nighttime in the desert to be closer to 5c. 

3) Are morning or evening safaris more suitable for families with children? 

Both our morning and evening desert safari experiences are perfect for families with children! There are dune drives, wildlife spotting opportunities, sunrise/sunset stops, and breakfast/dinner served on both morning and evening safaris. Safaris are one of the best activities for families with children in Dubai.  

4) What are the meal options in morning vs evening desert safaris? 

On morning desert safaris, guests are served a breakfast box during a sunrise stop for a spectacular first meal of the day. On evening desert safaris, guests can choose from a full BBQ dinner in a Bedouin-style dining setting, including live entertainment.  

5) How long do morning and evening desert safaris typically last? 

Our Evening Desert Safari lasts between 6-7 hours, and our Morning Desert Adventure lasts 6 hours.