A couple years back an adventurous man went into Dubai Desert and in his car he had an exciting experience and decided this is fun – driving like a crazy man in the desert. He then told his friends and the friends to their friends and BAMM.. here came a new tourist activity – Dune Bashing …this is my theory as to how this activity came about.
So while I was in Dubai celebrating my birthday month, I definitely did not pass up this opportunity to hit the road for some dune bashing. Thanks to my good friend working in the tour company there I got a good rate and booked a trip on my actual birthday – 16th February. I had read reviews about what to expect but as always I went with an open mind to experience it all.Our driver showed up to pick us up in the afternoon all dressed in the national attire and I though ohh nice we are special we get an Emirati guy to take us…ooops nope … on the 1st stop there were 30 other drivers clad in the same attire… I soon learned that none of them were Emirates and even fewer of them were Arabs. It is mainly Indians and Pakistanis immigrants in Dubai and who have taken up the lifestyle there.
1st things fast don your keffiyeh (the patterned headgear worn by Arab me) to fit the part and hit the road. The 4×4 jeeps move in convoys based on the desert safari camps they will be visiting.
Have you ever wondered how this heavy cars drive on such soft sand without sinking. I got the answer for you. As soon as we got to the sand all the drivers jump out and remove the pressure from all the wheels. This makes it possible for them to drive without sinking. Another tip I learned is that they need to drive really fast and not stop to avoid chances of getting stuck.
The drive is exciting and exhilarating, we were 4 hence we all had good views of the angles in which the car was driving at and also the other vehicles. He drive pretty fast and at some time I really felt like the car was gonna topple. However there have been very few accidents and the drivers are well trained for this type of driving.
After about 25 minutes of manic desert driving we stopped for sunset views and photo sessions. Extremely touristy but just as fun. The jumps, the selfies and all sorts of poses were on a roll. I was at happy place 🙂
When the sun begins to set it was time to move to the desert safari camp. Upon arrival the guide quickly tells you the many activities available at the camp. This include camel rides, sand boarding, henna tatoos, buffet dinner, belly dance show, traditional costumes, Arabic Coffee (gahwa) and Fresh Dates, star gazing and shisha.
I tried to do as much as I could without feeling rushed. After having extremely tasty felafel and kebabs, I hit the sand for some sand boarding. It was already getting chilly and dark. I really should have done this when there was day light – oh well 🙂
The camp set up is amazing, it feels very traditional with the colour scheme and the seating style. As I sat and sipped my Arabic coffee it felt very serene despite the many people around.
Dinner was served and the shows began. The Tanoura show where a man spins for about 10 minutes while doing some crazy stuff with his clothes. This was so impressive as I cannot imagine how dizzy he is after that. The belly dance was also nice as always.
At the end of all the performances the lights are put out and its meant to be star gazing but I was not impressed considering its the desert I really was expecting a beautiful lit up sky. Knackered like crazy we drove back to Dubai and had a drink with Daniel to conclude my birthday.