The Dubai evening desert sarafi is not what you might traditionally expect a safari to be: the few animals you see almost certainly won’t harm you (although I suppose you might get spat on if you’re not careful), and getting out the vehicle is positively encouraged (photo opportunities – sunset, almost sunset, pre-sunset, post-sunset. You get the picture…)
We were picked up by a shiny-new white 4×4 at 3pm and driven an hour or so out of the city, until all around us was sand, sand, sand.
We turned off the road and playtime began – we’d joined into a small fleet of white cars leaping (and occasionally crawling – one car actually got stuck on the apex of a dune. I shouldn’t laugh. But I did) up and over the sand as though skiing through some particularly large mougles.
After various photo-slash-oh-wow-look-at-the-view stops, we reached “camp”, where we were greeted by Shiela the falcon (I thought it best not to ask.Clearly mr-falcon-man had a fondness for some British tv show or another) and invited to choose seats for our traditional Arabic meze (slash BBQ) supper plus shisha.
I say seats in the loosest possible sense. We were each perched on large square cushions, with food served on long tables at ankle height.
Then, we rode Ali the camel.
This was a fairly alarming experience, since our guide spoke approximately zero English, and pretty much the sum total of what I managed to glean from his animated hand gestures was that I must hold on tight.
As Ali bucked his (or her, I suppose. Who knows really. I certainly was not about to find out) legs and we came into an almost vertical-drop landing, I understood why.
Sligtly terrifying, but once back on solid ground, I was pretty taken by our nobel steed, so scurried off to find one of the henna ladies, who obligingly drew me my semi-permanent memento.
Like him? He’s called Ali..
So that just left time for a quick belly-dance (viewing, not partaking, I might add) before we re-joined our (now not-so-gleaming) white fleet and began the bumpy trip home. Thank God we’d passed on the vino.
If you’re going to Dubai (in which case, please oh please pack me in your suitcase), visit here to book.
Love, Laugh, Liverty x