We had already explored the man made wonders of Dubai. Now, we were left to experience a ride in the desert. Desert Safari in Dubai deserves special mention. I saw numerous hoardings in the airport encouraging a desert safari, a feel of the life of a Bedouin.
We were told by our travel agent that we would be picked up from our hotel premises at 3:30 pm. We were picked up at right time and preceded towards the desert. We were accompanied by our fellow passengers from other hotels in the same vehicle. There is nothing more exciting than experiencing a desert safari in Dubai.
We used the Al Awir road to reach the desert where we were expected to enjoy a camp. The sand dunes and the scintillating sunset was a real treat for the eyes. The sun appeared like a red ball with crimson hue playing all around. We were busy capturing these awesome moments with our DSLR camera. The photo shoot was interesting while we posed like models. Standing amidst the Arabian Desert gave me goose bumps and my mind was occupied with that imagination of ‘Arabian nights’, which I once read during my childhood. After capturing some nice glimpses of the sunset and desert, we proceeded towards the camp which was a fifteen-minute ride.
Now, these fifteen minutes of the bumpy ride was an experience of the life time. Only Emirati nationals with a special license are allowed to ride along the sand dunes with tourists. I am not joking, but I saw our vehicle speeding over the dunes at almost sixty-five degrees from the ground. I almost closed my eyes while I tried keeping my hand erect recording those spine chilling moments. We almost swirled from one end to another. I realized that once inside the sand dunes there is no other way than speeding. Somehow, I was successful in getting a good video recording.
The camel ride was a good experience and cost 10 Dirham per person. Since I had already experienced this, I was not interested in spending time and money again. Some co -passengers who availed the ride, defined it no lesser than a night mare with full chances of being fallen down from that height.
Some people described that to be an interesting ride and expressed to repeat it.
Some adventure enthusiasts were indulged in riding quad bikes. That must be a worthy experience. It was almost 5:30 pm and the sun was about to set, so the heat was comparatively diminished. I observed how the quad bikes rolled into the sand dunes. The cost for riding 20 minutes was 15 Dirham.
When we entered the camp, it was a great attraction. There were sitting arrangements made with benches and carpets on the sand. There was a good arrangement of washrooms and some VIP corners which was available at 100 dollars. They are meant for families who want to enjoy the program in full privacy. We enjoyed the starry desert night and the series of entertainment. The arrangement is full buffet type and I immediately gulped some water and juice. The temperature soared down and became comfortable.
We enjoyed the belly dance performed by some unknown Arabian dancer. The skinny lady was dressed seductively and her Arabian attire dazzled the night while the performance was no lesser than a ‘wow’. She almost set the stage on fire with her amazing dance steps. She was balancing a stick on her chest with utter perfection. The Arabian music, the dancer, the drinks and the snacks- filled the ambiance with an amazing ‘wow’ factor. I felt like meeting with the ‘’queen of the desert”.
There was various attraction meant for the tourist like slipping into an Arabian outfit. While the males wore a white thobe (Jubbah), the females wore black Abaya. It was exciting to get a new look. Tourist seems to be excited with their new Emirati look.
Balancing the Falcon on hand
There was a man carrying a Falcon in his hand. A snap with the bird cost me 10 Dirhams. That was an amazing experience. Never before this did I ever touched or carried a bird. I cautiously kept the bird at a hands distance, but to the contrary, I found that it was tamed. It was a heroic deed carrying the wildest bird of the desert in my arms.
|Seesha- an attraction of the desert safari|
Inside the camp, there was an arrangement of ‘Seesha’ or the traditional pipe line of the desert. There were various flavors and variations like – strawberry, chocolate, and mint. The pipes are changed after each sip. I sipped a hookah and that I was a first timer initially had some problem of choking but later enjoyed it.
|Tanoura Dance- an awesome feat|
We enjoyed ‘Tandoura dance’ which originated from Egypt. A man wore a light fitted dress and executed Sufi swirls while Arabian music played in the background. Lights were put off so that the tourists could enjoy the charm of the dress. The dancer balanced the tambourine in his hand and positioned himself like a tree and many other poses. This was a fantastic feat.
|Beffet in the Desert|
We enjoyed a sumptuous Arabian dinner in the desert. There were various kinds of dishes and separate arrangement for both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. We started with mind boggling kebabs, hummus and ended with meat dishes. The arrangement was simply superb.
|Fire show- an admiring performance|
Last was a fire show which was enchanting. The man balanced fire sticks juggled and mesmerized the audience with his extraordinary feat. The day ended, it was almost quarter to ten at night. We dispersed from the camp and headed towards our transport to be dropped into respective hotels. The day was awesome and it was a wonderful feeling to know how the Bedouin existed when there were no facilities. Something that missed my eyes was the underground cooking of meat, which is still a wonder to me. Next time I visit Dubai I am sure to see the process of meat being cooked by the Bedouins under the sand.
Dubai is a land of wondrous 'man made'' structure and natural beauty. The land is blessed to be governed by His Highness Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. He is known to make Dubai the center of global attraction. The Arabians are warm, hospitable and at the same time very touchy to any nuisance that can harm their country. I realized again, that by virtue of good governance even a desert could be converted to a paradise like Dubai.