How to choose and book the best

Abu Dhabi Desert Safari in 2021

Whatever your budget

Wish you will have a better Abu Dhabi desert Safari experience after reading this guide with precious information. Learn about the proper time to go, how to select the best tours and tips on dressing according to your safari. Start now

* Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority announced the Covid 19 guidelines for desert safari & camping in Abu Dhabi, Read

What is a Desert
Safari in Abu Dhabi?

The desert was once regarded a no-entry zone with only Bedouins managing to live through its harsh conditions. Travelers have always awed about the desert but due to its severe climate conditions and lack of water to top off the possibility of getting lost in the never-ending miles of sand hills have scared away many brave travelers.

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When to go ?

This topic always leaves a huge question mark in every traveler’s mind. Which months are the best for Abu Dhabi Safari tours? When can I visit to have the best time? We will answer all these questions in a simple way! The best litmus test for the ideal visiting months is the opening schedule of the Global

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Village in Dubai. This multicultural festival park opens its doors on 29th October 2019 and remains open until 4th April 2020. Since the Global Village’s activities are all outdoors you found the answer to your question. However, there is always a drawback. These are the months when Abu Dhabi is flocked by leisure travelers and business travelers. Additionally, weekends become even more busy with residents travelling around UAE. Also the hotel rates are really high during this season. Wondering when is the best time to go on an Abu Dhabi desert safari? Any weekday of Abu Dhabi’s winter months that is between October to April is best because the climate is good for outdoor activities. The weather during the winter season is neither too humid nor too hot ensuring you have a pleasant desert safari experience. If you want more affordable hotel rates visit Abu Dhabi during its summer months that falls between May and September. Abu Dhabi is entirely tourist free but you won’t be able to do any outdoor activities due to the scorching temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. But if you are a person who can withstand the heat, go for it!

Weather vs Hotel Prices Jan Feb Mar Apr Average Temperature (0F) Average Hotel Prices May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 74.8 53.2 55.8 60.4 66.4 73.0 76.6 81.7 83.7 78.1 71.2 63.5 87.1 78.3 57.4 96.4 104.2 106.7 107.6 103.3 101.1 92.1 83.5 76.3

Price List (AED and USD)

The rates mentioned below are just an estimate. The exact price may vary from operator to operator.

Budget Safari Tours Standard Tours Premium Tours Evening Safari by bus 90 AED / 24 USD 190 AED / 52 USD 375 AED / 102 USD 70 AED / 20 USD 150 AED / 40 USD 515 AED / 140 USD 350 AED / 95 USD 1150 AED / 313 USD 270 AED / 74 USD 576 AED / 157 USD 350 AED / 95 USD 750 AED / 204 USD 190 AED / 52 USD 70 AED / 20 USD 150 AED / 40 USD 312 AED / 85 USD 50 AED / 13 USD 120 AED / 32 USD 396 AED / 108 USD 300 AED / 81 USD 782 AED / 213 USD 220 AED / 54 USD 450 AED / 125 USD 300 AED / 81 USD 550 AED / 149 USD 150 AED / 40 USD Driving to camp directly - Shows & Dinner Standard evening safari - 4x4 Evening Safari, Pool access & 5* Dinner 4x4 Standard morning safari, Pool access & 5* Breakfast - 4x4 Standard overnight stay on resort - Arabian nights village - 4x4 Camel trekking, Pool access & 5* Breakfast - 4x4 Private Dune Dinner - 4x4 Standard morning safari - 4x4 Standard overnight safari - 4x4 Standard camel trekking - 4x4 Standard ATV (Quad bike) tour Standard Desert Safari without Dune Bashing - 4x4 Tour Adult Child Tour Adult Child Tour Adult Child
What to wear

What to wear

The desert weather changes from day time to night time. During morning hours, the weather is very hot which shifts to a cool chill at night time especially during the winter months that last from December to February with temperatures recorded as low as 10 degrees Celsius.

You can wear a light cardigan as the weather can be a bit cool before pre-dawn. After sunrise the climate becomes hot. To be able to manage between both temperatures dress up in long trousers made of materials like cotton or linen with t shirts or tops made of similar materials.

Layer this with a light cardigan to keep you warm in cool hours and be able to remove it when the weather gets hot. Since the desert sand is very fine and tends to get into every possible place avoid wearing closed shoes like sneakers and boots. Instead, opt for sandals or flip flops that can be easily removed and dusted when sand gets into it. If you are sensitive to high heat make sure to carry along sunscreen, a hat and a pair of sunglasses.

Evenings are not that hot because the temperature begins to drop. You can wear jeans with shirts and carry a lightweight sweater or jacket to beat the cool that begins to settle in around sunset.

You can wear closed shoes to prevent the cold from getting to you but it is advisable to carry a pair of open footwear to be able to get rid of the sand that fills up under your feet. This applies to any desert safari that takes place after evening hours.

These activities are always held during daytime when temperatures are scorching hot. Choose to wear clothes made of natural fibers like linen and cotton to keep your body cool and comfortable. Also wear sporty cloths where you need to climb up on the camel or ride the bikes through sandy dunes

Make sure to apply sunscreen and wear sunglasses and hats for extra protection if you are sensitive to sunlight. Opt for sandals rather than flip flops to reduce the chances of your footwear coming off as you will be using your feet a lot.

Insider Guides

By Abu Dhabi Safari Guides & locals

Read more + Sunset timingSunset timings can change every few days so always make sure to check the sunset time before heading on your sunset safari Desert Safari without dune bashingSometimes travelers want to enjoy a desert safari but don’t want to try dune bashing (pregnant mothers, people of old age, to name a few). Luckily all desert tour operators in Abu Dhabi allow you to omit dune bashing from your tour itinerary for a more comfortable experience.Desert rains and sandstormsRaining is a very rare phenomenon in the Abu Dhabi desert with only a 5% chance of an Abu Dhabi desert safari getting cancelled due to torrential rain. However, there are likely chances of seeing sandstorms that don’t favor off-roading activities which results in the tour operators rescheduling your safari experience. Riding a camelMost desert safaris only provide guests with roughly 3-5 minutes to sit on a camel. Once your photo has been snapped you will have to give way to the next guest in line, especially during season time. Don’t be fooled by the many desert safaris that list camel ride in their itinerary. It’s not a camel ride, it’s a camel sitting and photo experience. If you want to enjoy a long ride with the ship of the desert then plan ahead and book a camel trekking experience. Now you can have that picture with you on camel-back and actually have a riding experience.
Quad Bike (ATV)Now, this is an activity that doesn’t make an appearance in a desert safari’s included list. However, you can enjoy it for an additional price at the camp or book ahead to make sure you have quad bikes to ride while at camp. Quad biking is a fun activity for guests who learn to maneuver these bikes properly. If your idea of a great quad bike ride is sharp turns and bumpy rides up and down the dunes you better get your head straight because that could be pretty dangerous. Because of the desert’s shifting sand and the unexpected rise and fall of dunes, tour operators opt for a flat course with a short distance to ensure the safety of even their wackiest guests. Dinner BuffetSimilar to the camel riding experience, the dinner table also sees a huge queue of guests waiting in line to get their dinner. If you pay for a budget tour there is no doubt about the type of food that will be served and the queue to serve the food. Same goes for a standard tour. If you wish to enjoy 5-star food then opt for a luxury desert safari Abu Dhabi that falls under the premium category. Although a premium buffet will be hundred times better than the standard or budget buffet, you will have to wait in line. The only difference is the line for premium tours may be a little shorter than the other two categories. If you are the kind who hates waiting in line or want a more high-class experience your best option will be the private dune dinner safari. Simply put, you get what you pay for.Selecting a safari operatorWith every year many new tour operators open up hoping to pitch their desert safari experience to the millions of travelers that visit Abu Dhabi. Some operate on the motive of providing utmost customer satisfaction while some only care about the money they make. Thus, choose your safari operator wisely and make sure you are never in a hurry while doing so.Cancellation policyAlmost all desert safari operators agree for a 24-hour cancellation policy when it comes to standard or budget desert safaris. All operators don’t agree to this policy when it comes to premium tours. So, check with your desert safari operator or take a look at your voucher thoroughly.Free overnight camping in the desertThere are not many places allocated and permitted for overnight camping in the Abu Dhabi desert. Thankfully, for those who want to enjoy camping in the desert can do so at Al Khatim desert where it is not prohibited to camp. However, We kindly request you to not follow the planning guidelines explained in many online articles as majority of them are fake and some ideas don’t prove helpful in the desert. If you don’t want to spend the cash on an operator led overnight desert stay, your best bet is to negotiate a deal with the operator to allow you to camp in the vicinity of their desert camp.

Where to click
Instagrm worthy pictures

If you love documenting your travels on Instagram or simply want to show-off your picturesque holiday in the desert, we have put together a list of places that will definitely look magnificent on your Instagram profile. Any place in the Abu Dhabi desert is great for photo-taking. But if you want more than the stark contrast of gold and blue, keep reading.

Here are the best locations to get Instagrm worthy pictures

Tel Moreeb in the Liwa desert, the world’s tallest sand dune

Al Khatim desert’s tall mega dunes

While camel riding

During a falconry demonstration where you get the chance to click a photo with a falcon perched on your arm.

While shaking it up with the belly dancers

During your sand-boarding experience

Choosing the best tours Ask For a Help SHOW ME ALL TOURS

Selecting the best tours

All of the premium Desert safari tours are conducted in a luxury campsite. A family-friendly place which oozes luxury and has exceeded the hopes of many newbie desert travelers will give you a taste of the Bedouin lifestyle and their decor. They also offer a variety of activities and sports that are a part of the Emiratis’ outdoor preferences. Catering to half-day and full-day safari goers, the location of the resort is truly breathtaking. Don’t be fooled by the palm and mud-brick exterior of the huts as the interior hides extravagantly decorated areas that exudes Bedouin styles and provides all the modern-day amenities. The food offered at the village are buffet style and maintain 5-star standards.

Premium evening bonfire safari

This tour is a combination of the Premium Abu Dhabi Evening Desert Safari and the Shisha around bonfire experience. Apart from being able to smoke a shisha around the bonfire you will also be able to take part in desert activities like dune bashing, sand boarding, camel riding and the most favorite, views of Al Khatim desert at sunset.

Premium Evening Safari with Pool Access

Enjoy a luxurious evening exploring the Abu Dhabi desert and enjoying activities in the luxury Village. Experience the exciting dune bashing session, the eye-opening camel rides followed by memorable views of the desert while the sun is setting. Back at the Village eat your fill from a scrumptious buffet serving international variety while listening to the mesmerizing tunes of the oud music and a live belly dance performance.

Premium Abu Dhabi Morning Desert Safari with Pool Access & Breakfast

Book this safari and start your day out with a luxurious indulgence of desert, adventure and Bedouin traditions. Drive roughly 80 minutes away from Abu Dhabi to the Village and feast your senses on an authentic Emirati desert experience. Take a relaxing stroll across the desert, have a thrill dune bashing in an air-conditioned 4x4 and go sliding down the steep dunes on a sandboard. You will also have access to the breakfast buffet and the poolside at the Village.

Premium Bedouin tents & Desert houses – Abu Dhabi Desert Overnight Stay

If you want to experience the Abu Dhabi overnight desert safari but want a more luxurious experience than sleeping in a tent. This is the ideal add-on for you. The mud brick and palm exterior of the desert houses are filled with luxurious amenities and soothing décor that reflects the Bedouin’s desert roots. With this village desert safari you can have the best of both worlds, an exciting Evening desert safari and an overnight stay in a cozy desert house that will take you to Bedouin dreamland.

Premium Abu Dhabi Camel Trekking

Experience the Bedouins treasured way of getting around the desert which starts with a pick-up from any of your Abu Dhabi city hotels. You will be escorted to the desert point where your camels will be awaiting your arrival. Follow your guide on an exciting camel ride across the Al Khatim desert. Feast your eyes on the desert scenery until you reach the village where you can take part in many desert activities.

Standard desert safaris are conducted in traditional camps scattered across the Al Khatim deserts & Al Khazna. There are around 6-8 desert camps and all standard desert safari providers conduct their tours in any of these camps. From the 4x4 to camel riding and buffet experience all are provided by these desert camps on sharing basis to the safari operators. As standard tours are less costly than premium or luxury tours, you will have to be patient with the queues at the buffet table and camel riding with pictures.

Standard evening desert safari

After a pick up from your preferred location in Abu Dhabi city you will be taken to the desert. At the time of pick up first come first serve basis you will get your seat (If you need specific seat ask for the preferred seat while booking the tour). You will go on a off road, visit a camel farm and then experience other desert activities in the desert and the camp. Your Abu Dhabi evening desert safari vehicle is rollover protected and fully insured.

Standard morning desert safari

Start your day with an early morning pick-up from your hotel and a 45-minute drive to the Abu Dhabi desert. Go off-roading across the desert in a 4x4 and enjoy a dune bashing sessio+n. The adventure extends to a sand boarding experience followed by a stop at the camp.

Standard camel riding safari

Understand the importance of camels in the life of Bedouins with this camel riding safari. This nostalgic experience might make you feel like a Bedouin as you see the desert from a heightened perspective. After your camel riding experience head back to camp for a hot cup of Kahwa (Arabic coffee) or tea and get back.

Abu Dhabi Quad biking tour

Try out a thrilling way to relieve your mind of stress by taking the controls of your quad bike and stirring up some dust across the unexplored desert terrain. The morning quad bike tour is a good way to learn something new as you will be given a brief training session. Follow a guided convoy of quad bikes and enjoy under expert supervision.

You don’t want to miss out on experiencing an Abu Dhabi desert safari but your budget is a bit too tight? You do have the option of choosing a budget tour but before you do that there are some points that need to be cleared. There won’t be any 4x4 pick ups from your hotel lobby. You and all other guests who booked these budget tours will be picked up from a specific location (example Carrefour airport road). You will have to wait until every one of these guests arrive. You might be able to enjoy at camp however the chances of you missing the sunset views from a dune are very high or you might be still on your way to the desert while the sun has already said goodbye to the world. Some time you may get a chance to see the sunset ride. So you can forget the sunset in the desert and visiting a camel farm if you chose this budget tour

Budget Abu Dhabi Evening desert safari by bus

You will be collected from the specified location in Abu Dhabi city and drive towards the Al Khatim desert. Wait for your land cruiser to try a brief dune bashing experience get transferred to the budget desert camp. Other activities included in the safari are Tanoura and belly dance performance, stargazing along with a BBQ dinner.

Budget Abu Dhabi Desert Experience – direct camp visit

Majority of the camps in Abu Dhabi desert don’t agree to provide this type of service. This is because all camps are situated within the desert and a 4x4 is a must for desert drive over the desert sand to reach the camp. Since budget tour pick ups are done by bus you will have no way of getting to the camp. However, if you have rented a car for your vacation or a local resident who prefers to drive to the desert then you definitely can go for this. There’s no dune bashing included in this tour but you will be able to enjoy stargazing, belly dance and tanoura performances as well as a dinner

A mere 50-kilometer drive south-east of Abu Dhabi is Al Wathba, a place that will let you explore unique attractions together. Being the home of the Al Wathba Camel Race track, you can be a spectator of a thrilling camel race if you plan your honeymoon around the camel racing season. It is regarded as one of the country’s most popular racetracks and is horded by travelers and locals who thoroughly enjoy the sport. Another attraction to visit is the Al Wathba fossil dunes that is a spectacular desert vista likened to a setting from another planet. After you have admired the quirky natural sculptures, move over to the Al Wathba Wetland Reserve. Book a tour that covers both the Al Khatim desert and Al Wathba desert.

Al Wathba & Evening Abu Dhabi Desert Safari - BBQ Dinner & Shows

This tour promises some amazing moments in the deserts of Al Wathba and Al Khatim. Experience various emotions together from the excitement of a thrilling dune bashing session to the awe at observing camels and the desert environment. There will be lots of moments to cherish each other’s company with long romantic desert walks, stargazing opportunities, taking pictures in Fossil dunes and more.

Al Wathba Fossil Dunes & Morning Abu Dhabi Desert Safari

Spend an energizing morning in the deserts of Abu Dhabi with this morning tour. Get a dose of adrenaline with the dune bashing experience or sand boarding, observe the desert surroundings and their inhabitants while snapping a few photos. Also visit the Al wathba camel racetrack and the fossil dunes.

The breezy winds of the world’s biggest uninterrupted desert is something you need to feel while exploring. The Empty quarter was bought to light by the British Explorer Wilfred along with his Omani and Emirati travel mates. For a luxurious taste of the Empty Quarter’s Rub Al Khali stay at the breathtaking Qasr Al Sarab resort by Anantara that stands tall like a lush mirage in the desert backdrop. Built to look like a traditional Emirati fort, the place is full of 5-star services. If that’s not enough choose from their entertaining varieties of activities for couples like camel riding, falconry demonstrations, campfire BBQ sessions and more. There are numerous Liwa desert safaris that operate from Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Checkout our recently released full liwa desert safari guide 2021 now

Full Day Liwa Safari

Enjoy full day tour to Empty Quarter’s Liwa Desert. Stroll through the date-palm lined boulevards of the Liwa Oasis and observe the thriving beauty of the Oasis that thrives with the incorporation of traditional agricultural methods.

Al Wathba Fossil Dunes & Morning Abu Dhabi Desert Safari

Spend an energizing morning in the deserts of Abu Dhabi with this morning tour. Get a dose of adrenaline with the dune bashing experience or sand boarding, observe the desert surroundings and their inhabitants while snapping a few photos. Also visit the Al wathba camel racetrack and the fossil dunes.

Self-Drive – Liwa Desert

Tackle the sands of the Liwa desert in the comfort of your 4x4. After a few lessons on desert driving you will be given control to drive on the dunes with guide. This tour will definitely prove to be one of the best desert tours.

Tour operators and their camps

The quality of your experience is entirely dependent upon the desert safari operator you choose and the campsite in which they conduct their safari experience. Established operators will have their own safari camps in the desert while newbie operators will conduct their safari on the campsite of another operator. Take a look at this list of desert camps in the Abu Dhabi desert, online tour operators that provide desert safari tours and Destination management companies that offer desert safari experiences

Trip Advisor Experience Viator Veltra My Abu Dhabi HolidaysAdventure Emirates Groupon Coubon Getyourguide Yella Banana Online tour operators
Hala Emirates tours and safaris Trip Arabia Arabiers Extreme Arabia Desert rose safari Abu DhabiNet tours Emirates Adventure Abu Dhabi Desert tourismArooha Tours Abu Dhabi Ocean Air Abu Dhabi DMC operating 4x4 tours
Arabian Nights Village – Desert Resort 5*Telal resort – Desert resort 5* Emirates Tours Camp – Traditional camp Desert world camp – Traditional camp Trip Arabia Camp – Traditional camp Desert rose camp – Traditional camp Phoenix Camp – Traditional camp Sunshine Camp – Traditional camp Net tours Camp – Traditional camp Desert camps in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi desert safari map

Al Ain Oasis Al khatim DesertStandard/Budget Safari Al Wathba Zayed Festival Area Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station Abu Dhabi Corniche Abu Dhabi International Airport Luxury Desert reportPremium Safari Tours Jumeirah Al WathbaDesert Resort Al WathbaWetland Reserve Al WathbaFossil Dunes Al Wathba Camel Race Track 25 Min 1 Hr 30 Min 1 Hrs 30 Min 30 Min 38 Min 50 Min 20 Min 26 Min 1.5 Hrs 14 Min 10 Min 20 Min

Abu Dhabi romantic desert escapes

Honeymoon Special

For many centuries the desert’s captivating sunsets have always been synonymized with romance because of the cozy ambience that surrounds such a spectacular phenomenon. Think blushed skies followed by cool nights; two major contributors of a romantic evening in the desert. A desert honeymoon is a must in the list of every couple, so why not spoil yourself with a variety of romantic options in the Abu Dhabi desert. Abu Dhabi’s desert is brimming with options to paint precious memories in your Abu Dhabi honeymoon tale.

Even though all safety precaution in place there accidents take place. If you feel your safari guide is less competent to handle the dunes stop the tour & call the tour operator.

Insurance and Safety Policies

All desert safari operators obtain a Third-Party Liability Insurance and the vehicles are ensured to be rollover protected. This is a necessary precaution especially when driving over the dunes because the steep dunes can cause the 4x4 to tip over. There have been numerous incidents where guests have got seriously injured or even died due to serious vehicle roll-over crashes. The more reputed the desert safari operator, the more concern they will have towards their guests. Keep this in mind when selecting a desert safari operator.

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Make sure to ask about their safety procedures and measures while booking the Abu Dhabi desert safari and finalize your safari with a company that has a good set of safety policies. Even when you meet the guide observe the condition of the vehicle. If it looks okay go ahead and ask your guide if it is rollover protected. Sometimes, even though all the safety precautions are followed, accidents could happen. If you feel like your safari guide is not as experienced as you think he should be to drive over the dunes, stop and call up your operator.

Top Stories

UAE tourist dies as vehicle returning from desert safari flips over...- Afkar Abdullah, www.khaleejtimes.comFiled on April 4, 2019 | At 07.41 am Helicopter rescue operation after Jeep crashes in Abu Dhabi desert...- www.thenational.aeFiled on December 23, 2018 | At 01:31 pm Emirati injured in desert crash airlifted to hospital...- www. khaleejtimes.comFiled on April 20, 2019 | At 10:01 pm

Souvenirs from
Abu Dhabi Desert

Planning to take souvenirs from Abu Dhabi Desert?

Traditional camps (Where Standard Safari take place) has got shops that might be an interesting location to think of Souvenirs. Ornate wooden carvings, local art, gold jeweler and carpets reflect the beauty and intrigue of Abu Dhabi's Arabian heritage. From the smallest silver pillbox to a large hand-woven carpet, souvenirs come in all shapes and sizes, and can be bought in Abu Dhabi often at a fraction of the cost elsewhere. The trick is to avoid the tourist trap and know where to find authentic items that you will treasure for a lifetime & relatively desert shops prices must be higher then the one on the city (The Mall Souq or the Iranian market Abu Dhabi)

Planning to take souvenirs from Abu Dhabi Desert?

Animals encountered at Al Khatim Desert

The desert is teeming with wildlife; however, we aren’t vigilant enough to notice every lizard that scurries along. These are the animals that you will definitely spot while visiting Abu Dhabi’s Al Khatim desert.

Planning to take souvenirs from Abu Dhabi Desert?










Covid 19 Updates

Visitors who book Desert safari experiences or individuals camping in the Abu Dhabi desert during this COVID19 period need to follow certain guidelines laid out by the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism.

  • Safari camps will be equipped with thermal cameras and self-standing infrared thermometers to check guests during entry. Any guests whose temperature reads over 37.3 degrees Celsius will be taken to isolated rooms for further medical examination.
  • Vehicles and desert camps are fitted with hand washing facilities because guests are required to keep their hands sanitizer at all times.
  • Entry to vehicles or desert camps will be refused if you are displaying any flu-like symptoms
  • If you come across any individual showing flu-like symptoms, you are required to inform immediately to any of the numbers - Ministry of Health & Prevention on 800-11111 Estijaba service Department of Health – Abu Dhabi on 800-1717 Dubai Health Authority on 800-342.

Source : Gulf News, September 22, 2020

Frequently asked by travelers

Yes, you can. Round transportation is provided for guest & requested you to walk to Abu Dhabi Premier Inn Airport hotel lobby for easy pick up & meeting

Although majority safari operators stick to a minimum of 2 guests to confirm the safari, some operators allow solo travelers to book the Abu Dhabi evening desert safari.

Most desert safaris in Abu Dhabi are conducted in half a day. But if you have loads of time in your hands opt for an overnight safari in Abu Dhabi to experience the breathtaking sunset and sunrise in the desert.

Yes, majority of the tourists on layover combine the Abu Dhabi city tour with a desert safari and choose the Grand Mosque as the pick-up point for the desert safari.

Most of the traditional camps that are used for overnight stays are roughly 50 minutes away from Abu Dhabi while the Luxury Village is approximately 70 minutes away.

The structure of sand dunes is really complex. For a sand dune to form, 3 conditions have to be met. Abundance of loose sand, speedy winds and flat surface without any mountains or trees. Abu Dhabi has an abundance of these which is why the desert has so many dunes,

Dubai, Ras Al Khaima and Sharajah has similar type of safari tours and so far Arabiers team has released Ras Al Kaima Safari guide and Abu Dhabi Safari guide, stay tuned for other emirates safari guides