The desert surrounding the city of Dubai is a preferred escape for many locals/expats, who will rent quads and trek out to walk around the dunes, picnic, and hang, or ride bikes around the Al Qudra tracks. For a more organized journey into the desert, check out the touring group Platinum Heritage. You can arrange to be collected from where you’re staying (or from a convenient group pick-up spot), and a knowledgeable guide will drive you the hour or so out into the desert, which is incredibly majestic—rolling bronze dunes as far as the eye can see in every direction. There are two main tour options: with the Platinum, you ride in a luxury Range Rover, and in Heritage, it’s vintage Land Rovers with more of an emphasis on learning about desert life. (If you get carsick easily, the Platinum is probably the safer bet, although many will take something to help prevent nausea before the trip.) You can do both around sunset, which adds to the magic. They also allow for camel rides if that’s of interest, but you’re likely to see some wandering wildlife, too—like the Arabian oryx, a white antelope with unicorn-like, long, doubled, curved horns, which had gone extinct in the wild in the 1960’s/70’s but has since been reintroduced. You’ll also be able to eat a traditional Bedouin meal served around one of Platinum Heritage’s desert campsites.