Welcome to the land of Arabs and homeland of Sindbad the sailor!
Desert Safari is one Arabian experience you can’t miss when in Dubai. A must for everyone who is visiting U.A.E. A memory to share with your family and friends back home. I recommend you highly this experience and you’ll see it worth every dollar spent!
My fantasies of Arabian nights came true here in the desert. This land is full of adventures and fun. Once you land here, it will be very difficult when your vacation ends to go back home. It shall never let you go and would keep calling you for many reasons.
When we travel we have the opportunity to meet a different reality. My stay in Dubai has been too short, even if I spend there 10 days. I couldn’t capture all the nuances of a place so different from Europe, but I can say that this city literally stole my heart. As well as my experience in the middle of the desert.
Today Dubai might look like a futuristic space-age city, but the vast Arabian Desert really feels like another planet. No visit to the U.A.E. is complete until you see this enchanting landscape for yourself!
Here’s how it went for me…
First you may know that you should wear comfortable clothes and avoid jewelry or expensive watches. Remember also that there is no signal and electrical plugs in the desert. The whole experience of Arabian desert is to listen to the sounds of sands and night. You can’t forgot your camera as the views are breathtaking! If you have a tripod it’s even better as the night sky and the morning sunrise in the desert is just too beautiful! I advice to carry your towels and basic toiletries, but don’t take a big bag because the cars don’t have space for any luggage.
You must also know that the drivers are licensed and professional, the cars are fitted with roll cage to protect you from being injured in an accident. All the cars and their passengers are covered under insurance. So don’t be afraid to try this unique experience if you are visiting Dubai!
For this adventure I chose a typical Arabian look appropriate for the occasion with few but needed accessories, such as my Turkish jewels from Istanbul. I wore a colorful blouse from Zara, my lovely harem pants bought from Thailand that fits perfectly and a pair of flat sandals recommended for this kind of adventure because the sand is getting in your shoes all the time. Don’t forget to take your jacket with you as it gets pretty chilly at night during March months. I had fantasized about riding a camel in a caftan but I hope I will do it next time.
The tour started around 3pm in the afternoon with the drive from my hotel to the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve in an air-conditioned 4×4 Land Cruiser. We did several photo-stops during this exciting dune drive. I admire views of the enchanting landscape on the way and listen to my guide’s tales about the region and its fascinating geology. Remember that dune bashing can be quite a bumpy experience. For me it was something amazing and thrilling, with just a few hairy moments. I tried to take photos/videos using my photo-camera but quickly realized I was in danger of breaking it. So all the pictures were taken with my I-phone. During the bumpy parts I was too busy hanging on for my dear life and screaming, to worry about filming!
After this exhilarating session of bumping and bashing over the sand dunes, twisting over peaks and plunging down steep slopes, we all disembark for optional sand boarding and bike riding. The photographic highlights of our trip was the sun setting over the desert. It was one of the most beautiful and unique sunsets I’ve ever seen in my life.
After that we drove straight onto a Bedouin-style camp where I had the opportunity to enjoy a short camel ride and take some photos with a cute falcon. He pinched my finger every time I was trying to caress him. I panicked a little when my camel stood up in the air but then I relaxed and enjoyed my ride. I was hoping for a line like, “Madam, your camel awaits for you!” but all I got was, “hold on tight”!
Trained falcons have been used for hunting in the Middle East for around 18 centuries. Ancient Bedouin tribes used them to provide meat for their families during the winter months. They would trap a young bird in the autumn, hunt with them throughout winter and then release them at the end of the hunting season so that the bird could migrate to cooler climates. Nowadays, thanks to air-conditioning, falcons can be kept all year around.
When darkness descended I headed straight into the camp to explore it and at the entrance I was greeted with Arabian coffee and a lovely display of herbs and spices. Usually, the camp hosts around 300 people each trip and some belly dancers provides the entertainment after dinner. Before sitting down for a delicious barbeque buffet and relax as the sun sets over the canyons, I went to get a henna tattoo design. I was so excited about Dubai, that I chose to write on my shoulder in Arabic language : I love Dubai. I felt like carried away to a parallel universe and I’ll always remember this crazy evening.
The dinner was also enchanting, seated under the stars we enjoyed a feast of Middle Eastern grilled meats, breads, rices and fresh salads, including hummus and tabouli. After dinner you can buy some sand art or souvenirs and enjoy a Shisha under the stars (the famous Arabic water pipe). Relax and enjoy a live belly-dance performance that could be straight out of One Thousand and One Nights!
Being in the desert was a novel experience that I’ll remember for many years to come.
Let’s just say Dubai Desert exceeded every expectation I had! I was really caught off guard by just how visually stunning this man made world and taken over by its unconventional beauty. I think spending a few hours driving through what seems to be a never-ending sight of sand dunes it was pretty damn enticing to me.
My tour finished after 6 hours spent in the Arabian Desert with a drop-off at Dubai Mall. On the way home, one of my travel companions remarked that she’d wished we’d been able to camp overnight. I agreed. Arabian Adventures offers overnight stays at very reasonable prices, and I’ll definitely do this next time I visit Dubai.
For anyone contemplating booking a Desert Safari you must know that numerous operators in Dubai offer this excursion. The best is to ask for a recommendation from your hotel, or check out some of the leading companies such as Viator, Star Mark Travels and Desert Safari Dubai.
Have you ever been in the desert and done something similar?
Would you like to? I hope that your experience will be as memorable as mine.
In tomorrow’s post I’ll tell you more about my experience in Abu Dhabi!
Have an amazing evening!