Dubai Desert Safari anyone?
Camel rides, sand dune bashing, falconry, Arabian BBQ feast, henna tattoo, belly dancers and sheesha all in the desert of Dubai. Am I describing part of a dream I had last night you ask? Actually no, all of this was what we experienced on our spectacular desert safari in Dubai two weeks ago. Just your typical Monday afternoon and evening wouldn’t you say? It was one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had during my travels.
A good friend of mine who lives in Abu Dhabi suggested we do the desert safari during our visit to the UAE. I’m so thankful for that recommendation as it probably wouldn’t have popped into my mind otherwise. Thanks SD! The desert safari was through Arabian Adventures, a company recommended by our hotel. We found them to be professional and I always felt safe during the tour even when we were practically getting sideways sand dune bashing in our Land Cruiser! FUN!
The tour starts off with a pick-up from your hotel. We had a group of six in our car, plus our driver/guide and we were lucky to get to know some very lovely people from Algeria who had been living in London for years. Note: one of my favorite things about traveling is meeting people from around the world! We drove for about an hour and our first stop was the beginning of the desert area to jump out of the car and feel the sand on our feet. Great photo opportunity too.
Next stop was to see a short and sweet falconry display, which basically was watching a falcon fly and dive after prey while the trainer orchestrated the act. Falconry has been practiced in the UAE for centuries. Originally falcons were used for hunting and now, in more recent times Falconry is practiced purely for sport. They really are beautiful to watch in flight.
Now the real fun begins! We left the Falconry display and I assumed we would have another relaxing part of the drive to our next destination. I couldn’t have been more mistaken. Next thing I knew the entire tour group of about 20 Land Cruisers were in a single file line driving deeper into the desert. Our driver put the pedal to the metal and we were climbing up and down giant sand dunes sometimes practically getting sideways, sand flying everywhere around us. It was like one, long, giant roller coaster ride. I loved every minute of it! Was I scared? No, not at all. After all I am that crazy girl who gets her kicks by jumping out of an airplane with a parachute!
After our sand dune bashing fun we stopped at a picturesque spot in the desert as the sun set. Words can’t begin to describe how beautiful and amazing it was to experience that moment. Instead I’ll let the photos do the talking.
At this point it was safe to say we had worked up an appetite so luckily the short drive to our spot for our evening feast and entertainment was literally five minutes. Once we arrived our group of six picked our table then headed off to ride some camels. While this wasn’t a long trek in the desert or anything like that, it still was fun to experience the ride. I’m happy to report we had a strong camel that was able to accommodate Ozdane and myself even after three months of our non-stop eating. Poor camel!
Finally time came to sit down, relax and enjoy a delicious Arabian meal. A few of us ladies got pretty henna tattoos, temporary of course. I was pleasantly surprised mine stayed for almost a week. Following dinner we were entertained by the magical moves of a belly dancer. Whenever I see a dancer move her hips like that I always wonder to myself, why can’t I move like that?
To wrap up the evening the guests had the option of indulging in a little sheesha if they chose. If you don’t know what sheesha is, it basically is flavored tobacco smoked from a fancy hookah. A number of the people on the tour tried it, which reinforces the “when in Rome…” theory people have while traveling. I mean really, are you going to go home and buy a hookah to keep in your living room? My guess is no, it was purely a novelty.
After such an action-packed day Ozdane and I were exhausted by the time we arrived back to our little slice of heaven also known as the gorgeous Jumeirah Zabeel Saray resort on the beautiful Palm Jumeirah Island in Dubai. For more details on where we stayed while visiting Dubai you can find my reviews of both properties on The Trend Tribe.
If you’re planning a trip to Dubai or Abu Dhabi the desert safari is a MUST. It’s a unique, fun experience you’ll always remember. I’d even be keen to go again and maybe even ask to drive the Land Cruiser while sand dune bashing!
Have you been to Dubai or Abu Dhabi? What was the highlight of your trip?