These are the main reasons why we chose Platinum Heritage Dubai:
- Award winning Desert Safari with vintage Range Rovers
- 7 course dining with on-site chef included
- Ethical wildlife encounters and falconry shows included
- Customers have option of a Platinum or Heritage Tour as a Morning, Afternoon or overnight safari
- Eco-friendly luxury facilities with running water and solar power
- In-house Conservation Guides (not outsourced freelancers)
Choosing your Desert Safari
Platinum Heritage Dubai is the only Desert Safari company in the world to conduct educational wildlife drives in amazingly cool (and photogenic) vintage Land Rovers or Luxury Range Rovers.
Platinum Heritage offers two types of desert safari tours. Both of these tours include a Falcon show with sparkling date juice, Bedouin Camp, cultural Emirati performance and dinner, however these are the main differences:
- Platinum Collection Tour: The vehicle for this tour are closed top luxury Range Rovers.
- Heritage Collection Tour: This is the one that we opted for in the 1950’s vintage open top Land Rover.
It was a tricky one trying to decide on our mode of transport. On one hand, the Heritage Collection Land Rovers were a bucket list item for us that we knew we couldn’t do anywhere else in the world.
On the other hand, we were worried about the heat from the direct sun and getting sand in our eyes from the open top vehicle. In the end, we decided to tick our bucket list (of course) and go with the Heritage Collection Tour and everything turned out just fine! In regards to our two concerns:
- The heat: When we were driving through the desert, there was a slight breeze which made it a comfortable cool drive. In fact, it was cooler and less humid than what we experienced on our hotel grounds. We’re guessing that due to the desert being barren, the heat wasn’t getting trapped around us.
- Sand in our eyes: Even with the top down, we didn’t actually experience any sand bashing at all. Every now and then there might be a bumpy sand dune and we got a slight whiff of the sand but with our sunglasses on, it was absolutely fine.
Once you’ve selected your preferred mode of transport, know that the type of tours you can do for the Platinum vs Heritage Tour slightly differs. Below are the following options for the Heritage Collection Tour (you can view the options for the Platinum Collection Tour here):
Options for Heritage Collection Tour:
- Heritage Desert Safari (CAD 216)
- Camel Desert Safari (CAD 216)
- Overnight Desert Safari (CAD 361)
- Heritage Wildlife & Falconry Safari (CAD 191)
- Private Night Safari & Astronomy (CAD 792)
- Overnight Desert Safari & Balloon Ride (CAD 763)
This review is going to be covering the ‘Heritage Desert Safari’
Heritage Desert Safari
What to bring
Platinum Heritage provides most of the gear so all you need to bring with you is:
What to expect
On the day of our safari, we received a WhatsApp Message at midday from Platinum Heritage to confirm the booking (this was our contact method of choice, but you can request email or whatever suits you).
The reason why guests are given confirmation on the day of the safari is because Platinum Heritage need to ensure that the desert conditions are okay for the safari to proceed. Luckily we were given the okay so they provided us with our approximate pick-up and drop-off times and we were instructed to wait in our hotel lobby.
We were picked up from our hotel at Atlantis the Palm along with about 5 other guests that had also booked the safari and taken straight to our pick-up van. From here it took about 1 hour to arrive at the royal private desert grounds.
Drive preparation & selecting your car
When we arrived on-site there were about 20 other people there already. We were then given a Platinum Heritage branded hessian bag and drink bottle and were instructed to fill up our bottles to stay hydrated during the drive and to choose a head scarf to protect our scalps from the sun. Staff kindly assisted us with the head dress before we were given time to choose and take photos with our rides before we set off.
With the other people already there, some of the more photogenic land rovers were already taken but we still loved our camo coloured 1950’s land rover just as much as the others.
Desert drive & wildlife
Once we were ready to roll, our guide took us along the route to a watering hole where there would surely be a group of wild Arabian Oryx. We also made pit stops along the way for photo opportunities as recommended by our guide.
Our guide was extremely informative and slowed down to tell us about the different sights, the history of the desert and the wildlife. Then surely enough, we found the group of Oryx!
After plenty of photo opps along the dune drive and the wildlife encounters, we then made a sunset stop for a sparkling date and apple juice and a Falcon Show.
The falcon was simply majestic and against the sunset backdrop, it was another photo opp waiting to happen!
Bedouin Camp & Dinner
We were the first ones to leave the falcon show which meant that we arrived at the bedouin camp before the rest of the guests and were able to enjoy it all to ourselves for a little while (which is why there are no people in our photos for those that are asking!)
We were simply stunned by just how magical the camp was! If you think the photos are nice, wait till you see it in person!
As we entered the camp, they gave us cold rosewater towels to freshen up and there were cold drinks waiting for us. By the fire was a gentleman roasting our coffee which was such a nice traditional touch.
While we were waiting for dinner, we were given a cheese and truffle tasting which was unexpected but we do love surprises …and food hahaha
Then while we were waiting for our dinner to be prepared, we went around the back of the camp to meet the camels. You can choose to ride the camels if you like or just greet them like we did.
The dinner consisted of entree, main and dessert. For entree we had a platter of dips and salads including fattoush, tabouleh, falafel, hummus and arabic bread.
Then for mains, they introduced us to the grilled meat options and since Annie was a vegetarian I received vegetable skewers, curries and rice. There was so much food we barely had room for dessert but our guide convinced us to try the arabic donuts…. and they were so addictive we couldn’t stop at one!
The night finished with traditional arabic dancing, drums and music. Where the carpet and pillows were laid, guests could just sit and enjoy the music or try some Shisha before the night finished around 10pm.
When any of our friends or family ask us what they MUST do in Dubai, we will always respond with a Heritage Collection Tour with Platinum Heritage Dubai. It was a faultless afternoon/night tour and the only thing that could have made it better is if we chose to stay overnight to enjoy it a bit longer.
The staff was extremely friendly, the views were spectacular, we were given so many opportunities to take photos, we saw the wildlife, met a falcon, said hi to camels and had the best food in the most beautiful setting on royalty desert – I mean, how do you beat that?!… Wait I know how… you do it all in a vintage Land Rover hahahaha
This is 100% a bucket list item that everyone needs to add to their list!