Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve

Establishment neighborhood
Al Maha
Al Ain Rd., Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve
If you're staying in central Dubai, you'll want to get out to the desert for an excursion at some point, but if you're looking for a full-on desert holiday, there are a number of places you can stay outside of the city, including Al Maha resort and spa. Their suites come with private pools and decks, and vary in size, accommodating couples and up to six people. The Presidential Suite is the largest, with three bedrooms, a private kitchen and courtyard, and an expansive desert, backyard view. This is a comfortable option for families—there are two king-sized beds and one room with twin beds—but note that Al Mah is a ten-year-old-and-up resort.
Desert Safari
Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve
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…