I will have one full day in Dubai in July arriving early morning. Is there a half day or full day desert and surrounds day trip that is available?
July will be extremely hot and I strongly suggest you to avoid desert trips. Let's say you have a full morning and full afternoon.
Visit Dubai Mall (the biggest mall in the world) & Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world, book in advance to avoid queues). It will take you the whole morning or more and you can eat there.
Then move to Dubai Marina for some shopping in the afternoon. There you can have a light dinner and move to the airport in 20/30 minutes by taxi.
P.s. Taxis are the fastest and safer way to move in Dubai they are also relatively cheap.
There are two desert trips that are typically offered:
- Morning only trips (~3-4 hours)
- Afternoon and evening trips (~5-6 hours)
All trips usually consist of dune bashing (the driver will take the car through the sand dunes), dune boarding (strap on a snowboard and ride down a dune), and riding a camel. In addition to these items, the evening tours usually also contain a dinner buffet with a dance show.
These trips are very prescriptive; there are a few that stand out by offering a more unique, higher class experience. Platinum Heritage Tours stands out as such. Otherwise I would recommend looking at the ratings on TripAdvisor or working with your hotel concierge if you are overnighting.
The suggestion by Julian is great, adding a bit more options on your tour apart from the desert safari and malls.