Is There a Self-Drive Desert Safari in Abu Dhabi?

Is There a Self-Drive Desert Safari in Abu Dhabi?
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By Robeena Brown

July 12, 2022 | 13 min read

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Only a few Abu Dhabi desert operators are willing to provide their roller-protected land cruiser and the guide for you to have your self-drive desert safari in Abu Dhabi instead of going guide-driven safari.

Keep reading to know more about planning a self-drive experience in Abu Dhabi.

How About It?

Self-Drive Desert Safari

Abu Dhabi desert safari is a one-time lifetime experience that one cannot forget. You get to experience a unique and memorable experience. Exploring the Abu Dhabi desert comes with risks like any other desert safari, but they are worth it.

The safari is enjoyable depending Abu Dhabi desert guide provider you choose and how calm and controlled you are in Desert sliding dunes. For a successful and fantastic experience on your visit to the Abu Dhabi desert, choose Arabiers as your guide. Arabiers Abu Dhabi team evaluates every visitor's driving ability and attitude and meets the expectations gets to organize a fully-guided four-wheel self-drive Adventure.

So how self-drive safari works in Abu Dhabi?

It is easy to understand how the self-drive safari works in Abu Dhabi. You will receive a guide and a declaration form where you take full responsibility.

Next, you will be given a 4x4 land cruiser. You are driven to the Al khatim desert and given basic off-road driving lessons. Here you learn about shifting the dunes and other basics. After that, you are allowed to beat the desert dunes all by yourself till sunset.

The self-drive safari is a true one-of-a-kind approach to exploring the Abu Dhabi desert with our off-road expert instructor. After the sun has gone, you are welcome to return to the camp for activities such as a barbeque dinner, stargazing, camel rides, and entertainment (Belly Dance, Tanoura, and fire shows).

What usually included in it

  • Roller-protected 4x4 for the self-drive tour
  • Introductory lessons on off-road desert driving.
  • Dune bashing session with the guide on selected routes (Safest ones)
  • Trained Safari driving instructor
  • Arabic coffee, tea, and dates at the campsite
  • Belly dancing
  • BBQ dinner
  • Shisha
  • Henna painting on hands or feet

What is not included?

  • Insurance
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Quad Bike

Rates for Self-Drive

The rates for self-drive Abu Dhabi desert safari depend on how many guests are coming along with you. The cost ranges between 1500 to 2000 AED (410 – 544 USD) for a couple.

Comparing Self-Drive and Guide Driving

Self-drive desert safari Guide driving desert safari
Cost around 1500-2000 AED Cost around 200 AED
The most adventurous thing to do The safest way to experience the desert
Must be a valid license holder Anyone can join
No insurance included Insurance included
Undergo off-road training sessions on the day No training session or anything

Liwa Self-drive

Liwa Self-drive

The self-drive desert safari in Liwa is more adventurous and exhilarating than the self-drive desert safari in Abu Dhabi. Liwa desert is said to be the world's largest uninterrupted sand mass.

Sir Wilfred Thesiger, an explorer who lived in the 19th century, described the Liwa desert "It was very still, with the silence which we have driven from our world."

The magical Rub' al Khali, also known as the Empty Quarter, has not changed much since Thesiger and his Emirati and Omani traveling companions discovered it in the 1940s. Its fine golden and red sands shift with the winds to form dunes hundreds of feet high, visible as far as the eye can see.

An exciting journey for you and your friends awaits you at the Liwa Desert Dunes, and you can get there by driving yourself. After starting this journey, you will have the opportunity to take pleasure in this Self Driving Liwa desert safari till the sun has set.

You can take pictures of the breathtaking scenery and have a pleasant time with your friends or family in Liwa during the sunset while the gentle breeze of the desert blows about you. You can also spend the night at a campsite in Liwa, located in the center of enormous dunes.


Desert safaris in Abu Dhabi are extremely well-liked among travelers from all over the world looking for exciting new experiences. They are the ideal starting point for discovering the captivating flora and animals of the arid country, which may be found in the surrounding area.

Since you will be doing the driving yourself, you will probably have some questions about how to stay safe while on a desert safari. When you are organizing a self-drive tour in Abu Dhabi, the following are some recommendations that we may recommend to ensure that you choose the right tour operator.

  1. You are responsible for verifying that the four-wheel-drive vehicle you have reserved has all of the necessary safety features, such as airbags, air conditioning, and any other specialized features that extend the car's lifespan in the desert. Check that all 4x4 vehicles, including automobiles and trucks, have the appropriate seatbelts and roll cages installed to prevent accidents.
  2. When making plans for your vacation, you should research to find the top desert safari providers. You can obtain information about the facilities they provide by reading the brochure, checking internet reviews, or looking at the packages offered on their website. Additionally, you need to find out if the teacher has undergone formal education and holds a current license to drive in the desert of Abu Dhabi.
  3. If you feel it is impossible to undertake the self-drive on dunes on the day of the tour following the off-road training, inform your guide and stop it, rather than risk getting into an accident. This will prevent you from having to deal with the aftermath.
  4. Make it a point to avoid bringing along any unfavorable members of your family or friends who can cause an issue when driving on the dunes.
  5. If you want a more enjoyable trip, don't bring your pregnant wife, your parents who have back discomfort, or your children.

Luxury private safari experiences

“Yes, self-drive may be a good option for you beat the dunes by yourself, but you may consider some luxury private desert tours that can designed only for you or your loved ones."

The deluxe campground is the setting for every one of the premium Desert safari experiences. You will get a taste of the Bedouin way of life and their furnishings if you stay at a facility that is suitable for families, exudes luxury, and has surpassed the expectations of many first-time desert travelers. They also provide a wide range of outdoor activities and sports, which are popular among Emiratis because of their propensity for spending time outside. The resort's site offers safari experiences lasting either a half-day or a full day, which is simply breathtaking.

Do not be deceived by the palm and mud-brick outside of the huts since the interior conceals lavishly adorned rooms that radiate Arabian styles and provide all modern-day facilities. The restaurant in the village serves food in a buffet style that meets the requirements for a 5-star rating.