Dubai is one of the first places many Indians think of when planning their first trip abroad. Not only is it less of a hassle to go there, the experience is out of the world for a first time international traveller. Sankalp and my first international trip as a couple was to Dubai as well.
If you ask me, Dubai is a mysterious place. The common perception is of it being a rich man’s land, with the world of luxuries at ones disposal, however, there is something to enjoy for every kind of traveller – rich, of limited means, single, couple, with family, the touristy or the party lover. Irrespective of what your itinerary is, certain places are must visits for every one. For instance, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, Palm Jumeirah…and, the desert safari!
So, in this post, we’ll talk about the desert safari we had. This was in Jan 2013, and I doubt much has changed since then. There are options for morning as well as evening safari, however, we had opted for the evening safari since we wanted to include the night entertainment as well. What is the point of visiting another place, when you haven’t witnessed their culture from near?
We were picked up from our hotel post lunch and taken to the entrance of the section we were to enter in the desert from. We could get fresh and stock up on food if we wanted to, since from here we’d be able to go home only by night. We had been asked to carry some warm clothing since the temperature drops at night. I’d been to Rajasthan to have a fair idea of the temperature in deserts, so was already carrying warm clothes for the both of us.
The desert safari is not advisable to anyone who has motion sickness. Take your medication if that helps, or else, wait outside the vehicle until the rest of your crew finishes the safari. Most of my readers might have already gone through the safari, but if you are someone who has reached this post because you are planning a trip to Dubai, let me tell you, this will be one experience you’ll always remember.
A couple of years ago, I’d gone for a desert safari in the That desert and the dunes were not that huge, the vehicles were pretty basic and the experience, extremely bland in comparison. So, don’t skip this experience thinking you can have it nearer home. No, this is probably the best around Asia. Definitely, actually.
Our driver was Bangladeshi, born and brought up in Dubai. He warned us about what to expect during the safari. The vehicle would be at a very high speed and cannot be stopped just anywhere. Any sign of motion sickness was to be told about, before the vehicle started. He informed us about the paper bags which had to be used in case of nausea or vomiting and warned us that any vomit on the car will need to be paid for by us, for cleaning.
The safari begins with all the vehicles together. Now, you must know that there are various groups you can book with and they all have different spots in the desert where they take their tourists for the safari and programmes later. The vehicles queue up and wait for the signal. The signal is important. It is important for the organiser to check that the entire route is clear and no camels or people are walking on the dunes. The vehicles go in great speed and there is no way they can reduce speed or stop the vehicle, should any person in it start feeling sick. Ample precautions are taken to ensure that tourists do not suffer because of motion sickness or speed of fear.
After the safari, one can just relax in the desert, click pics or just sit idle. The climate is splendid when dusk is nearing, as the temperature starts dropping. When it is nearing sunset, we were taken to a camp sight for recreation and dinner. The food was excellent and in abundance; the entertainment stellar. Local artists present performances and dances keeping everyone entertained while the air around starts getting crisper. It is highly recommended to carry warm clothes around. Some people indulged in hookah, and others got their hands and feet henna’ed.
The camps are scattered around each other. The food was authentic and to die for. Don’t worry vegetarians, there was a fully-loaded section of non-meat foods also. Since it gets dark early, things get over by 9. People are rounded up in their designated vehicles and the drive back to the city and respective hotels begins…