Desert Safari near Dubai

Riding camels at a Desert Safari
We were in Dubai for just 4 days this month.  I've been there once before, and it's a real amusement park for adults and kids alike.  It's so family friendly, that I think it's becoming one of my favorite destinations.  If only it wasn't such a long flight from the US.  Basically anything you can think of, you can probably do it or find it there.

This time we decided to do an evening Desert Safari.  There are several vendors, but we chose one that was recommended by our hotel.  You get picked up from your hotel in a land rover mid afternoon.  We shared the ride with 3 other people, and luckily they were so much fun that it made the whole trip that much better.  It's about a 40 minute drive out to the desert where you really see nothing but sand, camels, and a few shrubs for miles.  We weren't the only ones there. I would estimate there were about 80 vehicles.  The drivers let some air out of the tires so we could drive safely on the sand.  We met up on the dunes with a line of cars.  Our driver cranked up the music, and we were off on what they call 'dune bashing' for 20 minutes.  As the vehicle twisted and turned, sand was thrown up on the windshield and sides of the car so at times you couldn't see outside.  You really had to hold on tight.  I was surprised we didn't roll over when we'd seemingly dive off the edge of a dune. My son Omar was laughing so hard that I wondered if he'd wet his pants.  It was a fun time for all.  Then we stopped to take some photos of the desert before we rode out to the compound where we'd have dinner and evening entertainment.
Gentlemen....start your engines!

Dune bashing across the desert
This was no small party.  There were maybe 500 guests.  You had a variety of things to try while waiting for the meal to be served buffet style on pillows at low tables.  We opted for a short camel ride.  The hardest part is holding on tight while the camel stands up.  You get thrown about a bit, but hey...it isn't easy for the camel either, I'm supposing.  Then we attempted dune boarding, but since we don't snowboard, it was too difficult for us to even get the boards on properly, and there was no one to guide us so we gave up on that.  You could ride a quad bike on a short course, but we didn't do that either.  We opted for a henna session and Omar tried his hand at holding a falcon.  It was dark before we could visit all the stations, but we could also have tried a water pipe, dressed in costumes for photos, or bought souvenirs.
Dinner was served on these pillows

The sun sets over the quad bike track

The falconer let Omar hold it all by himself

Even more fun when it's flapping its wings over your head!

Typically boys don't have henna, but she made a nice scorpion tattoo
Dinner was good with a wide range of foods- hummus, pita bread, kebabs, chicken and plenty of interesting side dishes.  There were actually too many choices and few people ate everything.  While we ate, there were entertainers- a belly dancer and what I'd call a whirling dervish.  Both were very good at what they did.  I especially enjoyed watching all the stunts the spinning man could do.  His costume seemed endless.  He pulled out umbrellas, spinning tops, and several layers of skirts!  It was good fun and we were back to our hotel by 9:30.  This was really good family fun.  I'm glad we tried it.
The male dancer spinning a layer of skirt over his head


Comments

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