Three years ago, I was staying in Dubai with my sister before joining the bank in Iraq. Because of curfew in Baghdad, the air port was closed. I had to stay back in Dubai for 5 days. On one afternoon, I went for desert safari. My brother-in-law arranged a ticket for me. The driver picked me up from the petrol pump near their house. It was 4X4 Toyota Land Cruiser.
There were a 4 other travellers beside me. They were from Europe. I was the last to be picked up. We straightaway headed for the desert. Before entering the desert, the vehicle stopped at a small market. The driver-cum-guide asked to get some refreshment and also use toilet as we were to enter the desert soon. The driver also deflated the tyres a bit for more grip on the sand as well as to be ready for the sunburnt hot sands.
Once we got to the desert, there’s a swift safety briefing and then we’re off: dipping and diving over sunburnt sand dunes, some of which lie at a stomach-dropping 90 degree angle. The dune-basing was a great experience and I must appreciate the skills of the drivers. He stopped the vehicle on a top of a sand dune for lovely view and photography.
While we were returning, we found a vehicle stuck in the desert. The vehicle was not starting. Our driver and one more vehicle immediately rushed to its help. Our driver took out cables and used the battery to jump-start the vehicle. It helped and vehicle was started. We then went on our route. Trips happen in convoy, so there’s no need to worry about ending up lost in the middle of the desert.
Once we reached a make shift desert bedouin camp, there were pre-dinner snacks, henna tattoo opportunities and live bellydance shows. The buffet barbecue dinner was spread later. After the dinner, the driver drove us back to Dubai and dropped us near our house/hotel.
The desert safari is one of the best ways to experience Emirati culture.