Review: Platinum Heritage Safari Dubai (Desert Safari)

Quick Summary

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)

Keep reading for our review of our afternoon Heritage Collection safari with Platinum Heritage Dubai in June 2019.


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.

Tour Options

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:

Left: Luxury Range Rover, Right: Vintage Land Rovers (Photo taken from Platinum Heritage)

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.

Itinerary Options

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:

  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera

What to expect

Confirmation Message

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.

Hotel Pick-up

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

The vintage Land Rover we chose. This photo was taken before we started our safari.

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.

Stopping by the sand dunes on the Desert Safari with Platinum Heritage Dubai

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!

The Arabian Wild Oryx we spotted during our Desert Safari

Falcon Show

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.

Will getting to know our new falcon friend

The falcon was simply majestic and against the sunset backdrop, it was another photo opp waiting to happen!

Watching the sunset and waiting for the Falcon Show

Bedouin Camp & Dinner

Bedouin Camp

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.

Watching our coffee pot over the fire

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.

Will greeting the camels

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.

Summary

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!

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