Posted by: Thomas | June 20, 2008

Desert Safari in Dubai

After being on beautiful Jumeira Beach Park and swimming in nice and warm Arabic Sea we went on a Desert Safari. Jumeria area is one of the good areas in Dubai. It is very expensive to live there though. You can’t buy a house there but you can rent one. Monthly rent goes from US$7,000. Mostly Doctors and IT professional live there. It is very nice and beautiful. The Sheraton Deira Hotel we are staying at provided free shuttle bus to the beach and the driver paid the entrance fee of AED 5 (US$1.5) per person. Here in Dubai people give you free transportation and in addition to that they even pay you to enjoy your day. Very lovely and I love it. The Arabic Sea was very nice and the sand on the beach was very soft.

About 4:00pm a desert safari jeep picked us up at the hotel and the drive took about 35 minutes to get to the desert. Well, the whole city of Dubai is in desert but we went outside of the city into the open. If you visit Dubai, you MUST go for a Dubai Desert Safari. That was really an experience. It is a thrill and a real adventure tour. The desert safari vehicle had 1,200 horse power; a very powerful jeep. We were 6 passengers and a driver. The driver was extremely good and driver’s driving skills in the desert dune is the most important thing to get the maximum thrill.

Before we entered the “real” desert, the driver stopped at a small place to check the tire pressure and to ensure that everything is OK and in place. Also, there we saw young Arabs demonstrating their skills by doing various driving activities. I bought a small 250ml bottle of water, Evian, and I paid AED 15 (US$5). Water is more expensive than petrol here. Petrol by the way is very cheap. One can fill a full tank for only US$50, while in the US a gallon is US$5.

When it’s ready all vehicles start going into the desert. This is when the fun begins. The vehicles went through sand dunes, climbing Dune Mountains, driving across sand dunes in a 45 degree angle. Oh yeah, It’s real fun. After about 90 minutes drive in the desert all vehicles parked in a place to watch the sunset in the desert. It is an amazing experience. You should see this at least once in your lifetime. This is my first time to see the sunset in the desert; however, I have seen sunrise in the desert about 10 years ago. Actually back then I took 2 day desert safari and we stayed overnight in a desert and rode the camels in the morning for an hour to see the sunrise. That was in Africa, Sahara Desert, Tunis. That was great too. A small video of me riding a camel.

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Anyway, today we also did sand-boarding on a snowboard. Real fun. Then the desert safari continued and all vehicles came to a central camp in the middle of the desert. There were tents, tables and chairs in the camp for people to sit and relax. There was a centre stage in the camp where a beautiful young Arab belly dancer girl performed a traditional Arabic dance (see a small video below – she picked my godson to dance with her – I guess because of his hair). Yes, at the end she picked me as well and all of us danced. We also enjoyed Camel rides, dune bashing, I also drove 4-weelher through the desert (20 minutes for AED 70 (US$20), tried Arab traditional national dress, etc. So much fun and it costs only US$50 per person. Around 9:00pm we drove back to the hotel. Below are some pictures from today. An amazing day full of memories for a lifetime. I really like Dubai. It is indeed an amazing city.

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