Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Sundown on an Arabian Adventure

With my friend Charlie visiting for a long weekend and my usual 4x4 buddies not around, I decided it might be time to try out a desert safari. It is not hard to notice the whole host of tour branded Land Cruisers around Dubai - I had always wondered if these would be any good. Certainly you occasionally encounter a number of them around Big Red - usually coming down a steep dune at an unusual angle - so I guess they must know what they are doing.

I chose the popular "Sundowner" Desert Safari with Arabian Adventures based on a few recommendations. They are certainly well organised with a safety briefing to start out with, plenty of water on hand, military like timing and a good sense of fun throughout. I was impressed by the size of the tour and the day we went, there were over 40 vehicles in the convoy.

The ride in the sand dunes took place in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve which was about a 50 minute drive out of Dubai. I am glad we went there as I would have been disappointed to go on a trail I had all ready been on. Here we are just outside the conserve about to air down:




After a fairly moderate bit of off road (which was really more based on fun than any particularly challenging terrain) - we stopped to check out a camel farm then moved to another spot to watch the sunset. Charlie did her best to try and catch a sun beam:



There was plenty of opportunity to stop during the desert safari, get out of the car and take some pictures. This gave me a good time to test my newly acquired crocs in the sand. The end result is that not only are they very comfortable for general mooching around in but I declare them also to be desert grade (at least while the sand is not super-heated)

Here are said crocs - enjoying the sunset:



After sunset we were taken to a camp for the rest of the evening. Here you can go on a camel ride, smoke shisha or even have a henna tatoo:



Once they had served dinner then came the entertainment in the form of a very excitable belly dancer who got people up gyrating frantically to an eclectic mix of music. She was very difficult to refuse as she literally yanked me off my comfortable cushion:



Overall - I really enjoyed the day. At 279Dhs which included the evening meal, beverages (surprisingly alcohol as well), the camel riding, henna and shisha it has not to give it 10/10 for value. The best bit of the day though was meeting some really nice people with whom I shared a laughter filled evening. Highly recommended.

2 comments:

Zack said...

Buzz me when you do a beach one! But dxb, dxb, here i come again -will see about trying out a desert safari; only i'll 'no please' if that belly dancer comes out at me!

Aaron said...

Zack - I hope you have a great time when you come to Dubai.