15
Apr
14

DESERT SAFARI : DEFINITELY DUBAI!

A visit to Dubai is never complete without experiencing desert adventures. Dune bashing, sand skiing, dune buggy, barbecue dinners, camel rides, and for the more financially equipped, hot air ballooning during sunrise. These activities may be so touristy but heck, they’re almost synonymous with this future-forward city. Desert Safari’s one of the must-do when you’re in this part of UAE!

It was a blessing that my former students and I met for a dinner where I was treated to a Korean-Japanese gastronomic feast, and a spontaneous and no-brainer decision on my part to join them in Desert Safari was done in a blink. They arranged the tour and next thing I knew, I was with Karen and Joel seated comfortably inside Toyota Land Cruiser one Friday afternoon; what a perfect way to spend my day off at work! The same badass vehicle brought us to the sand dunes of Dubai within a couple of hour-trip.

After a quick mandatory stop over at a souvenir shop where necessary bladder breaks, removal of air from the wheels to make it more sand-appropriate, and ghutra-panic-buying on my part, we found ourselves ready and thrilled for the dune bashing!

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Mr. Azeem Rafaqat, our careful yet daredevil driver who picked us up in front of a hotel in Al Ghurair in Deira, Dubai, did very well on his job! It was an incredible and one-of-a-kind experience! There’s nothing like a sensation of  falling down from a steep mound of sand, followed by zigzag driving that made me feel we’re about to roll, scream and breathe my last! It was intense yet so fun!

About forty minutes after, we arrived at the camp. I was told by Karen who experienced Desert Safari 4 times already, that there are various camp sites where different tours operate. Upon the sight of ours, my Sympathetic Nervous System automatically slowed down as I savored an almost sunset-all-desert-view! Ahhhh, this is Dubai! :D

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I took photos of the friendly Emiratis at the camp site.
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Meet my Dubai Desert Safari travel-adventure buddies, lovebirds -Joel and Karen (both wearing sunnies).
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Did I give justice to that ghutra?  Say,YES! Hahahaha!
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And because dune buggy driving costs 100 dirhams for 15 minutes only, we were content with just photo-ops!
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Although I skipped the 30-dirham-camel riding, I felt like the happiest kid on the planet with a falcon on my head!  Here, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, is my most recent brag-worthy portrait to date! *kidding*
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Barbecue dinner buffet, unlimited distilled water and soda, belly dancing watching, henna tattooing, wearing of  traditional Arabic attires, were all inclusive of the 100-dirham-package per pax we availed.
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Open-VIP rooms that are surprisingly installed with air-conditioning units and come with priority food service (you don’t need to queue on the buffet spread as food is served to your table), alcoholic beverages are all available on extra charges.

Moving on, do I look like an Arab here?
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Joel had his arm tattooed with a scorpion henna. The beautiful henna artist drew it in few strokes in less than 20 sec! Amazing!
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As the sun over Emirati desert finally sets to make way to the moon, the fun continued within the camp.

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Appetizer was nothing less than Chicken Shawarma, that has been my favorite!
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One of the highlights of Dubai Desert Safari is watching belly dancing! My eyes and camera were glued to two dancers who did fantastic shows!

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A faux sword on her belly. Belly Dancing, literally!

Audience participation made it more engaging!
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Then buffet dinner spread was served! Despite the queues were long as there were approximately more than a hundred guests that weekend, everything was kept systematic and in order. I got my food quickly on my plate and made sure I had everything I want to sample. Arabic food’s delicious!

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Grilled Chicken was well-marinated! It was simple yet so tasteful! Kebab was OK too, the same with Biryani, Potato and Veggie Salads. The Spaghetti was infused with real stewed tomatoes that appealed to my palates as somewhat authentic (as I’ve been to Italy! Hehehe!) as compared to my Filipino-Spaghetti-preference (that’s often sweet and rich). Over all, I liked everything on my plate! There’s no reason to complain.

While everyone was still feasting, a man in a traditional attire (of unknown Arabic origin) came out and went on stage. Karen was telling us, that this is the man she calls, the human BEYBLADE!

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And why not Beyblade? That man did nothing but turned and rotated and twisted non-stop!  I repeat, non-stop turning for more than 4 minutes! Not to forget he had props on his hands while dancing, err, turning, and his multi-layered skirt lit up like, uhm…beyblade!

I was worried he’d have nystagmus (oh, you know, the involuntary movement of the eyes after spinning like a ballerina, or worse, loss of equilibrium or ataxia) but No. He maintained his great stance and stood like he didn’t dance like a beyblade! Bravo!!!

 

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From 3PM-9PM that Friday (11/04/2014), I forgot all my worries, stress and problems.  Amazing what a few hours in Dubai Desert Safari could do to my being! I went home to our flat with satisfied wanderlust!

*This is NOT a sponsored post.

Azeem Rafaqat of Arabian Eagle Tourism | 055 2711018 | azeemrafaqat63@yahoo.com

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14 Responses to “DESERT SAFARI : DEFINITELY DUBAI!”


  1. April 15, 2014 at 4:44 am

    what a fun experience. i’d like the vip seating, may aircon eh :)

    • April 15, 2014 at 9:59 am

      it was fun! i was expecting rougher dune bashing but azeem, our driver made the experiece just right.

      and yes, ACs are for VIPs in the desert, hehe!

  2. 3 Gaye @ Pinay Travel Junkie
    April 15, 2014 at 6:04 am

    Kakamiss ang Dubai! I really, really hope I can come back this year. Kering keri mo ang ghutra, doc :)

  3. April 15, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Truly amazing. Ganda ng mga pictures. Dubai when will I see you again?

  4. April 16, 2014 at 2:22 am

    would you believe, I never had a proper desert safari after being in the UAE for 12 years. When I say proper means not having to go to a campsite with all the dancing and the bbq dinner which I would love to experience. We had our DIY desert safari with some friends when we still have the other vehicle and another one organized by a Pinoy org for a charity event.

    The steepest dune we have tried was the one in Fossil Rock and yes just like you said I breathe as if it was my last but fun.

    • April 16, 2014 at 9:58 am

      i know! i have some colleagues & friends who were touring uae as of present & they’ve visited more spots already than i did. perhaps, they’re maximizing their time while we spend ours making a living in between weekends. :)

  5. April 16, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Nice adventure! Looks like you’re having a great time in Dubai. Are you there for good?

  6. April 19, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Nakakabusog sa mata ang mga magagandang tanawin jan, Doc. Ingat po lagi.

  7. May 2, 2014 at 1:48 am

    Nice bird you got there! Parang ang sarap ng safari adventure tsaka nung chicken shawarma!

    • May 3, 2014 at 3:12 am

      thanks! that falcon’s so tamed, I forgot I got her on my head. :D

      yup, authentic chicken shawarma here are more delicious than expected.


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