A must do activity when visiting Dubai, is the Dune Safari operated by Arabian Adventures as it gives you a totally difference experience from the glitz and glamour of Dubai with its high-rise hotels and mega shopping malls.
Arabian Adventures picked us up from our hotel at 4 pm in a large white 4wd jeep and we drove for an hour through the city into the more rural (sandy) parts of the U.A.E. until we reached the edge of the desert. We had a quick stop where our driver/guide let half the air from each tyre to give the jeep more traction when dune bashing. With our now semi-flat tyres we headed into the sand pit. Our first stop was to watch a hawk demonstration, very interesting to see this wild bird tamed and trained how to hunt.
The hawk demonstration is used as a meeting point for all the jeeps before they head out in convoy into the desert for some serious dune bashing. This part of the trip is not for the faint-hearted, as they really hit it hard, driving up and down the dunes for about half an hour. My kids were sitting in the back of the jeep and even with seat beats on they were thrown around like rag dolls, one crazy wild ride! We did pass a few stationary jeeps where motion sickness had gotten the better of some tourists.
Our driver/guide was fantastic and a real wealth of information, from the plants and animals in the desert to how it was like to live in modern Dubai.
Just before sunset the crazy ride stops and the jeeps gather to allow the tourist to watch the sunset over the sand dunes, this is truly spectacular. It’s also a great opportunity to run up and down the sand hills and play a bit in the sand.
We re-boarded our vehicle and continued in convoy to the desert camp for a fun night of dancing and a hearty local feast. For dinner you sit on pillows on the floor family-style with other tourists, all adding to the atmosphere of “Arabian nights”. The dinner is very plentiful, as the camp can host up to 350 tourists at a time and is served on 3 large buffet tables.
During dinner there is an array of activities and entertainment and of course it is free. Inger and the kids all got henna tattoos on their arms, while I was more cultural watching the belly dancer. We all declined the free camel ride…..
After dinner they turn off all the lights at the camp and you can lie back and watch the stars. It’s amazing how clear it was and how bright the stars were.
The night ended with some Arabic coffee (very strong, put hair on my chest) and fresh dates before we were transferred back to our hotel in Dubai.