Eastern Africa and Middle East Archives - Great Safaris

Dubai & the World Expo

 

Your weeklong adventure in the United Arab Emirates features a private city tour and a delightful desert jeep adventure, culminating in an al fresco Bedouin feast under the brilliant desert stars. A special highlight of your stay: you will enjoy the magnificent DUBAI WORLD EXPO for three full days:  a 3 day entrance pass and Expo transfers are included in your package.

Daily departures by private vehicle and English speaking driver guide.

Tour length: 7 Days

Land from: $1,995 per person

Dubai is a city of incredible marvels, a destination where everything is possible and a cosmopolitan hub where sky is never the limit. Among city’s key tourist attractions include the world’s tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa; the world’s most luxurious hotel, the Burj Al Arab; and world’s largest man-made island, the Palm.

From well-appointed hotel accommodations and thought-provoking sightseeing tours that showcase the UAE’s natural splendor and intriguing culture to fun-filled theme parks and desert activities, bargain shopping and luxurious fine dining experiences – all these have made Dubai a favorite and sought-after destination for travelers all year round.

The much-anticipated Dubai World Expo is slated to open in October 2021. Hundreds of pavilions will feature interactive exhibits, live entertainment, memorable meeting spaces, quirky hangouts and exotic cuisine.  The sheer size of the Expo, coupled with mind-bending technological displays, culinary wonders and artistic expressions will surely make this year’s world Expo the most fantastic one ever staged.

TOUR ITINERARY

Day 1   Dubai (6 Nights)
Upon arrival in Dubai you will enjoy a VIP Meet and Greet at your arrival gate and a welcome packet from a Great Safaris representative.  You will be assisted through Customs and Immigration, on the Fast Track, and then escorted to the luggage carousel.  Your transfer driver will be waiting outside the terminal to whisk you to your reserved hotel.

Day 2  Dubai  
After breakfast, your tour starts at Bastakiya, one of the oldest neighborhoods of Dubai, and discover the well-preserved cultural treasures of the city for the rest of the tour. Learn about the 19th century life in Dubai as you weave through the alleys of the Al Fahidi Historical District and visit the Dubai Museum.

Board an Abra, a traditional water taxi that ferried the locals across the Dubai Creek and explore the gold and spice souk. Stop by the city’s most photographed mosque, the Jumeirah Mosque followed by a photo opportunity at the Jumeirah Beach with the iconic Burj Al Arab in the background.  The afternoon is at leisure.

Day 3  Dubai

Indulge yourself with shopping in the morning before heading out shortly after midday to the desert. The vintage route is a great way to explore the desert and its rich wildlife in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. Excellent photo opportunities of a falconry display, cultural entertainment complimented by an exhibition of traditional Arabic coffee- and bread-making.

Conclude the day with a luxury dinner under the desert stars before your transfer back to the hotel appreciating the contrast of the open desert and skyscraping city.

Days 4, 5 & 6   Dubai Expo
Each of these days are set aside for your exploration of the Dubai Expo.  After breakfasting at the hotel, you will be transferred to the bustling EXPO site.  Your 3 days pass will grant you unlimited access to the EXPO grounds, where can explore the international pavilions of your choosing and immerse yourself in the wonders created by over 190 participating nations.

Day 7  Dubai – Departure
Enjoy a final breakfast at your hotel, then meet your driver for the private transfer to the Dubai International Airport.

 

Jewels of the Emirates – 7 Days

Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Tour Length: 7 days

Land from $1,395 per person

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Dubai (3 Nights)
After completing Customs entry formalities, you are met by our representative and transferred in a private vehicle along the coastline to your hotel for an overnight..  The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Day 2 Dubai
After breakfast, your tour starts at Bastakiya, one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Dubai, and discover the well-preserved cultural treasures of the city for the rest of the tour. Learn about the 19th century life in Dubai as you weave through the alleys of the Al Fahidi Historical District and visit the Dubai Museum and explore the gold and spice souk.

Around 7pm you will be transferred to the Dhow Dinner Cruise along Dubai’s popular waterways, giving you views of the city’s landmarks under the moon-lit sky.

Day 3 Dubai
Enjoy the morning at leisure.  This afternoon, embark on an exploration of the desert and its rich wildlife in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. The excursion culminates with a luxury dinner under the desert stars, complete with cultural entertainment.

Day 4 Abu Dhabi (3 nights)
Breakfast at the hotel and last shopping in Dubai before heading to Abu Dhabi with a private transfer (2 hours drive).

During the afternoon at leisure, it is recommended to visit the Observation Deck at Jumeirah Etihad Towers and enjoy an afternoon tea or visit Ferrari World Abu Dhabi Yas Island

Day 5 Abu Dhabi
Today you will explore Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the UAE and a gem to discover.  Discover the emirate’s past with a visit to the Heritage Village, a reconstruction of a traditional oasis village that features the desert way of life. Marvel at the grandiose Emirates Palace and explore the majesty of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, a palatial architectural wonder that is one of the world’s largest mosques

Day 6 Abu Dhabi
A traditional camel journey across the desert awaits, ride a camel like a true Bedouin as you embark on a journey across the amber sand dunes of desert. Excellent photo opportunities! Return transfers with an early morning start.

Afternoon at leisure to explore Abu Dhabi and appreciate this magnificent city in the UAE

Day 7  Depart  Doha
You are transferred to the Dubai Airport in time for your departing flight.

Doha – 4 Days

Qatar

Whether breaking up the long fights to /from Africa or part of a more extension exploration of the Middle East,   this three night  Doha stopover offers a glimpse into the heritage and culture of Qatar. Your two half day private excursions include an exploration of traditional and modern sites as well as an exciting desert experience.

The Museum of Islamic Art is set on the Doha waterfront, the museum building stands out as an architectural gem. Once inside, you will see masterpieces of Islamic art, including metalwork, ceramics, jewelry, woodwork, textiles and glass, collected from three continents and dating from the 7th to the 19th century. Drive along the Corniche to The Pearl, an exclusive manmade island and the largest real estate development in the Middle East.  Explore Souq Waif, a marketplace noted for selling traditional garments, spices, handicrafts, and souvenirs.

Enjoy the unspoiled nature of the Qatari desert and experience the unique Inland-Sea with this exciting roller coaster trip over the magnificent sand dunes. Inland Sea (Khawr al Udayd) is a sea inlet of the Persian Gulf that straddles the border between Qatar and Saudi Arabia. This enormous pool of shallowsalty water lies within a great expanse of sun-kissed sand dunes. It’s a strange environment, made even more fascinating by its history as a pirate stronghold.

4 Days extension includes 3 nights accommodation with breakfast daily,  city sightseeing, a desert safaris and all ground transfers.

Qatar: The Sands of Antiquity

Qatar

Doha

Encompassing a peninsula of land jutting into the  Arabian Gulf, this once British protectorate has a long history of human habitation.  By comparison, Doha, its capitol city, is a marvel of futuristic skyscrapers and other ultramodern architecture inspired by ancient Islamic design.

During this six night program, visit the Katara Cultural Village and walk around the old bazaar at Al-Wakra and witness how the tradition and history influences present day life.  The Museum of Islamic Art and Sheik Faisal Museum allow for a glimpse of the country’s history and culture.

The country’s seafaring past manifests in an ongoing respect for the surrounding crystal waters. Fishing remains a passion, and enthusiasts can enjoy a plethora of water sports.  From exploring the Al Thakira mangroves to the thrill of a desert safari while taking in the majesty of the Inland Sea, to relaxing by the beach, Qatar brings together old world hospitality with cosmopolitan sophistication, while providing the chance to enjoy a rich cultural tapestry, new experiences and adventures.

Tour Length: 7 days

Land from $3,295 per person

Desert overnight (optional): $225 per person

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Doha (6 Nights)
After completing Customs entry formalities, you are met by our representative and transferred to your hotel.  The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Day 2 Doha
Enjoy a relaxing morning. Set off after lunch on your exploration of some of the popular and lively city sights including Katara Cultural Village and the National Museum. Continue to the charming town of Al-Wakra and a walk around the old Bazaar to discover secrets of Qatar’s past.

Day 3 Doha
Today’s excursion visits the most attractive historical and cultural sights, many which lasted for hundreds of years.  Stops include Al Shahaniyah – a camel racing track, an old film city Zekreet, the Richard Serra sculptures and the Sheik Faisal Museum.

Day 4 Doha
Your day is yours for independent exploration of total relaxation and pampering with a visit to the hotel spa.  Early this evening, embark on a drive through the city, ablaze with color and lights and sail aboard a traditional wooden dhow.

Day 5 Doha
During today’s adventure you will spend unforgettable time over the sand dunes along the coast and at an amazing beach camp with a delicious BBQ lunch while also visiting the Inland Sea, an area straddling the bordering between Qatar and Saudi Arabia.  This salty inlet was once a haven for 19th century pirates. (B,L)

Optional overnight at Albahar Beach Camp (includes dinner).

Day 6 Doha
The journey today begins with a stop outside the Al Bayt Football Stadium, home for the 2022 FIFA games.  Continue north to the coastal city of Al Khor, whose main industry is fishing. Local attractions include the dhouw harbor, old souq and the country’s largest park.  Later, drive through the Al Thakira Mangroves. A mesmerizing wonderland of salt-encrusted tree branches and pencil roots; it is one of Qatar’s oldest and largest such forests.  The final stop is the Barzan Towers.  These watchtowers were originally built in the late 19th century and used for scanning the horizon for enemy invaders as well as observing the celestial world.

Day 7  Depart  Doha
You are transferred to the airport in time for your departing flight.

Sultans Sojourn – Emirates & Oman

Dubai , Muscat, Nizwa, Jabal Ahkbar, Wahiba Sands &  Ras Al Jinz

This unique journey combines two of the Arabian Peninsula’s most fascinating countries. From soaring architectural wonders to Bedouin villages that have remained unchanged since time began – this tour combines ancient history with breathtaking modern masterpieces.

Daily departures by private vehicle and English speaking driver guide.

Tour length: 10 Days 

Land from: $4,095 per person

Dubai is a city that must be seen to be believed. Record-breaking architecture, an unparalleled coastline and delights for all ages await in this amazing city. Bedouin culture, camel rides and fast four-wheel-drives rolling over the dunes – Dubai’s desert landscape offers much more than you would ever expect. Two nights in the city include a private tour of Dubai’s highlights and a special Bedouin evening in the desert. Enjoy dune bashing, camel rides, traditional song and dance…as well as a delicious dinner under the desert stars.

The Sultanate of Oman is considered a hidden jewel at the tip of the Arabian Peninsula. Oman is a wonderful combination of ageless heritage and modern life. A place where one can explore a traditional souq in the morning and attend a world-class show at the renowned Royal Opera House Muscat in the evening.

From tall mountains and deep gorges, to water-filled wadis, endless beaches and some of the world’s most stunning desert landscapes, the diverse beauty of Oman is apparent in every part of the country. Our Oman itinerary includes Muscat, Nizwa, Jabal Akhdar, /Wahiba Sands…and the famous turtles at Ras Al Jinz!

Day 1- 2 Dubai (2 nights)
Discover Dubai during your morning city tour. Towering skyscrapers have risen from the sands through the years in the fast-growing city of Dubai but never has it forgotten a vibrant heritage and its golden traditions. Learn about the 19th-century life in Dubai as you weave through the alleys of the Al Fahidi Historical District then board an Abra, a traditional water taxi that ferried the locals across the Dubai Creek through the years. Walk through the gold and spice souk Stop by the city’s most photographed mosque, the Jumeirah Mosque. Take your must-have photo at the Jumeirah Beach with the iconic Burj Al Arab in the background

Later in the afternoon, depart on your desert adventure. Enjoy a ride on a 1950’s Land Rover across the desert along with a drive through the pristine Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve where you will find local exotic wildlife. The evening includes a falconry display, excellent photo opportunities, cultural entertainment, an exhibition of traditional Arabic coffee- and bread-making. The evening culminated with a luxury dinner under the desert stars.

Day 3 -4  Dubai  – Muscat, Oman (2 nights)
The first stop on the Muscat City Tour is the beautiful Grand Mosque before proceeding proceed to see the Sultan’s Palace surrounded by the two Forts of Mirani and Jalali built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. The Muttrah souk – a traditional Omani market – offers a wide range of goods, especially typical Omani souvenirs like Frankincense, the Omani Daggeror Khanjar and beautiful silver handicrafts and Pashmina shawls.

Day 5  Muscat – Nizwa (1 night)
Today’s adventure showcases the sights, sounds, and even the smell of Oman’s best-kept secrets. Nakhl, the country’s highest fort, has been standing proudly on a hilltop for 350 years. Continue to the charming sights of old neighborhoods and clayhouses, including those at Wadi Bani Auf, Bilad Sayt, the 400-year-old town of Al Hamra, and Misfat Al Abryeen, a picturesque huddle of ochre-colored stone buildings. The day of touring comes to a close in the ancient city of Nizwa.

Day 6  Nizwa – Jabal Ahkdar Mountain (1 night)
Start the morning with a visit the Nizwa fort – strategically built atop a hill overlooking the ancient city with its colorful domes and bustling market below. The small town of Bahla is famous for its distinctive earthenware pottery – and it also has a certain reputation as the favored haunt of mischievous jinn’s and other supernatural phenomena. Proceed to Jabreen castle, the finest of Oman’s castles built during the late 17th century, before arriving at Wadi of Maedeen, located at the foot of the Mountain with a beautiful natural spring.

Day 7  Jabal – Ahkdar – Wahiba Sands (1 night)
Discover Wadi Bani Habib, a green deserted village on top of Saiq Plateau, and the popular Birkat Al Mauz, a village of clay ruins. From high up above, you will then have to brace for the second leg of the adventure—right in the heart of the glorious Wahiba desert. Bash the dunes, ride a camel, and lose yourself in the beauty of the ever-changing slopes of sand. The rest of the day will be dedicated to everything Bedouin—see their homes, have an authentic Arabic meal, and enjoy the warm Omani welcome of coffee and dates.

Day 8  Wahiba Sands – Ras Al Jinz (1 night)
One of the most sought-after parts of any Oman itinerary is the wadi day—where you will have the chance to take a dip and relax in the cool waters of a natural pool. Enjoy the calm, clear and deep waters of Wadi Bani Khalid. After the wadi escapade, it is on to Sur, where you will see fishermen in action. Just when you think the day is over, wait until nightfall. At 9:00 pm , rangers will take you on a 15-min walk to the turtle nesting site of Ras Al Jinz.

Day 09  Ras Al Jinz – Muscat ( 1 night)
Return to Muscat along the picturesque coastal road. Visit the dhow-building yard where traditional wooden boats are made by hand. Explore Wadi Tiwi, another deep and narrow gorge carved out of the mountains, running between towering cliffs right down the sea. Then off you go to the white beaches of Finns and the turquoise waters of Bimah Sinkhole.

Day 10 Depart Muscat
After breakfast and hotel checkout, transfer to Muscat International Airport for your departure flight.