Saturday, 27 December 2014

Abu Dhabi Desert Safari - from Dune Bashing to Belly Dancing

If you are in the land of deserts and have not embarked on a desert safari, you have not experienced anything – so goes the saying. To get a taste of the ancient (and modern too, to some extent) Arabian heritage and culture, a journey towards the heart of the deserts is sincerely recommended.

When we heard so much from our friends in Abu Dhabi, we decided to be a Bedouin while in Arab (I admit that this is a really poor plagiarism from ‘Be a Roman while in Rome') for a day. The date was finalized, a location was identified near Al Ain and a tour was duly booked. We were picked up from the starting point and dropped off at the edge of a desert after a couple of hour’s journey, from where we were dispatched to our ‘final destination’.

From dune bashing to quad biking, from camel riding to belly dancing and from a sumptuous dinner to hookah – an organized safari has it all to offer as a complete package. While attractions like quad biking, desert volleyball, hookah are nothing extra-ordinary, the dune bashing on a land cruiser stood out to provide an extra-ordinary thrill – every time on a rough slope (by rough, I mean really really rough) it felt like the car would go upside down, but somehow it managed not to skid through. Another highlight was the photographs clad with traditional Arabic dresses. The icing on the cake was the belly dancing by a professional dancer. The elegant, smooth and swift movements of the artist made it a perfect ending to the day's proceedings.

Most people do not stay overnight (we did not), but I felt that spending a night in the desert would have been amazing. The silent, dark and starry night in the midst of nowhere should be a combination worth of a lifetime experience.

The reminiscence of the day through a few pictures follows.

The point where we were dropped off initially, the desert has commenced -

The Land Cruisers which picked us up, one group after another -

The shelter in the midst of the desert, our 'final destination' -

Camel ride for the kids -

The Bedouin, these are the men who could survive the treacherous desert from time immemorial -

The first look at the desert -

Camel Ride attracted quite a crowd initially -

The boundary 'wall', clearly a temporary settlement -

The camel ride has begun in groups for youngs at hearts -

Quad Bike, could not allure many -

A little bit more of the desert explored -

Waiting for the turn, but rest comes first -

A little playful one, satisfied with own creation -

Sandboarding, tried by many but succeeded by few -

Those who chose to be spectators -

And a little cute one, kept her father on his toes -

Dune Bashing, a thrilling and chilling ride -

Vegetation, scarce but surprised to find any -

A wee bit of cliched romanticism -

Going to the top -

And she did summit -

And this is what we call 'The Deserted' -

The late explorers, anytime is tea time -

The sunset and the car -

The sunset and the evening ride -

No one was ever interested in Volleyball apart from myself, that too for different reason -

Finally the belly dancing, from the green-eyed beauty -

Farewell to the desert -


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