Romancing the desert
Published on December 7, 2014
It’s officially ‘winter’ in Dubai. And while other parts of the world have snow falling from the sky, you get to enjoy a great weather and spend more time outdoors in the sand and desert. So gather your friends and head for some exclusive dessert experiences.
HOT AIR BALLOON ADVENTURE
Soaring over the desert in a hot air balloon, while enjoying the magnificent view of golden dunes, is an unforgettable experience. And even if you’ve been to the desert plenty of times, this will change your view as you get to see the sands in completely different light. Don’t forget to grab your camera and snap the sunrise or any animals wandering the desert. The flight will cost you around Dh1,000 for adults and Dh850 for kids less than 12 years, but considering the memorable experience, it’s definitely worth every penny. At the end of your trip you’ll get a flight certificate documenting the day. Check out www.ballooning.ae for more information.
SAND SKIING OR SAND BOARDING
This is for the adventurous and sporty people. Even if you are not a professional, you can still try skiing or sand boarding. Sand is a good a place to fall on so a good laugh is guaranteed if it’s your first time. Check the internet as there are many offers from different tour companies depending on what you want to do. For example, some companies offer a double skiing experience — you first ski in the desert sand and then in snow at the Mall of the Emirates, which is definitely cool!
Dune bashing is driving on dunes, which very much resembles a roller coaster ride in a car. So gather your bravest comrades for some adrenaline rush. The only way to go dune bashing is on 4×4 jeeps and only with a professional driver, otherwise it might be dangerous.
Typically, there are a few stops, to appreciate the view of the desert and watch the sunset.
DUNE BUGGY RIDE
If you prefer to get behind the steering wheel, then opt for a dune buggy ride. A professional will guide you on a special route, while you get to control the speed of this thrilling ride.
FULL MOON DESERT DRUMMING
Sounds mysterious, right? A special event organised by the Dubai Drums, which includes a drumming session and barbeque dinner under the full moon, is actually a wonderful way to have a fun night in the desert. Check out www.dubaidrums.com
Experience the desert like travellers did through centuries. Go camel trekking the old fashioned way. There are options like half day camel rides to desert camps where you can enjoy a buffet and live entertainment for a price.
If you want to try a couple of things at the same time without any planning, then opt for a desert safari organised by a tour company. The basics are the same — they take you to a camp in the desert where you can have lunch or dinner, with live entertainment. Some tour companies also offer dune bashing or sandboarding before they get you to the camp. Search the internet for suitable options.
If you don’t want to go with a tour company for a safari trip, pack and go camping with your friends or family. However, do remember that you need a person who knows a camping place, the route to get there and has an experience of driving in the desert. There are several winter camps available. Make sure you have at least two 4×4 cars, in case one gets stuck in the sand. You also need appropriate gears such as tents and sleeping bags. Plan what you need in terms of food and dry fire wood and camping will be a pleasant experience. And don’t forget your camera!