The 5 best locations for the desert photo shoot in Dubai

One of the most popular photography sessions while visiting Dubai is a desert location. A lot of advantages for this special place - incredible landscapes, contrast between sand and sky, breeze that is perfect for a dramatic effect of flowing dress, etc…


Making your photos from the desert unique and original

Difference of the desert might not be known to a tourist or usual visitor, but Salt Studio photographers are perfect desert guides & providers, so you could rely on them when choosing the appropriate place for your next professional photoshoot, according to your dreams!


Here are our top five places for taking pictures & having a lot of fun:



1. Fossil Rock - perfect combination of availability and beauty

Considering how close this part of the desert is (less than 100km from Dubai Marina), we truly advise it for the people who don’t want to drive too far away. Our photographers love this place, as it has red-ish sand color and also some rocks around (this is where the name comes from). 



  • Easy to access the territory, no need in special permission.
  • Red-ish sand, beautiful color. Also, there are some picturesque trees, as well as abandoned cars in the sand, and stones. 
  • Accessible rock that looks really good in the photos. Two in one: desert photos + mountain photos.
  • No need for special transport or a guide. 
  • Place is close to the road, so it's easy to change outfits. 


  • A lot of greenery, as well as grass and bushes.
  • Not really for the clients who are looking for “purely dunes” as a background, due to the fact that there are rocks on the sunset side. 
  • Not really a 100% private place, due to the fact that it’s open to the public. Sometimes the camping can be seen here and there.

2. Al Madam area - high dunes and electric cords

When our team was not familiar with the Fossil Rock, we usually took our clients there. Beautiful, red-ish sand, but next to the road the desert is very dirty. Walking would take up to 20 min, to reach beautiful dunes for the pretty landscape. Also approx 100m drive from Dubai Marina. 



  • Open territory, no permission needed.
  • No need in special car or guide.
  • Beautiful and high dunes.


  • A lot of cars and tourists are coming to start safari tours there. Sometimes they can interrupt with photo session.
  • A lot of greenery and grass.
  • If you don’t want to walk over dunes, you should be ready to see a lot of trash and even glass under in the sand.
  • If shooting next to the road, only one-sided session, as there will be road & electric lines seen at the other side. 

3. Bab Al shams desert - was the first and still the closest

This is the first ever desert discovered by our head photographer, so we have a lot of tender feelings about this place. This is a light-yellow, almost white sand desert. Closest desert to Dubai Marina - less than 50km drive. 



  • Closest location to Dubai.
  • Basically, that’s it. 


  • Dirty sand, a lot of small trees and grass.
  • A lot of people & cars.
  • Very light colored sand.

4. Desert in Al Maha resort - beautiful and red


We could strongly opine that this is the most beautiful and “virgin” desert around Dubai near Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa hotel. Easy access - more or less 1 hour of driving, 90km from Dubai Marina.



  • Most impressive & stunning desert in Dubai, no greenery, just sand.
  • 99% of the probability that you will be alone, it’s very unusual to meet someone there.
  • You could order extra “guests” for your photoshoot - camels, horses, or even a special romantic dinner for two in the dunes. 


  • You have to take in account that this is a natural park and you can access the territory only if staying at the hotel, or asking for an official permission of the hotel administration.
  • To get to the dunes you will need to have a guide and a special car, most of the time - jeep. It might bring some extra expenses.
  • There is really nothing, but sand. Might be a little bit “one sided” photoshoot.


5. Ghost town - for extreme discoveries and unusual photos


If you are looking for an undiscovered location, this is a winner! We are speaking about a real village that was inhabited, until the desert itself made life impossible by conquering territory little by little. Feels a little bit spooky, but so much worth it!

Ride would be a little bit over 100km from Dubai Marina, considering the time driving on the sand too. 



  • Absolutely unique location.
  • High variety of the backgrounds, such as houses, roofs, doors, as well as the interior of the houses. 
  • While arriving at the village, there are very picturesque, big, and solitary trees, perfect for some quick shots. 


  • This photoshoot is not fast - minimum two hours of shooting.
  • Need of the special car & guide.
  • It is considered to be a “ghosted” town not just because there is no one living there anymore. Sometimes it’s really spooky.



We are glad to share our knowledge of the different locations for desert photography in Dubai. It can be overwhelming to choose the best place for memorable pictures when being in Dubai for a little time or just visiting as a tourist. 


Salt Studio is offering two types of packages for desert photography - with and without Photoshop edits. Best time for planning the pictures - from November to April, when temperatures are low. 


Book your photoshoot according to your goals and wishes and enjoy one of the most popular experiences in Dubai - desert professional photography in a flowing dress!


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