One of the activities that seems almost obligatory while in the UAE, is going on desert safari. So following the rule, I decided to go on one while in Ras Al Khaimah a month or so ago. Read along, to hear about my experience.
For those of you who do not know what Desert Safari is, let me explain. It is driving into the desert to a camp for some fun activities. Some of these activities may be dune bashing, food, performances, and henna. It is a popularized twist on the traditional living style of the Bedouin tribes. Desert Safaris can be a great fun if you pick the right one. Here is what I did on mine. In case you are interested I paid 185 AED (around 45 Euro). Personally, for about 4 hours of activities and all they have offered, I think it is fair. You may find some that are cheaper and some that are more expensive, but most of the one I found were around the same time.
About thirty minutes outside of Ras Al Khaimah is the desert camp, Bedouin Camp. It consists of a couple of bungalows for overnight guests, a few tents for food and activities, and an open space with tables and chairs where the entertainment took place. For us a buffet style dinner and non-alcoholic drinks were included in the price. They were also offering complimentary shisha later in the evening. The main attractions were the evening performances. They had a traditional arabic dancer, a belly dancer and a fire performer. The camp also offered free camel riding, which was quite impressive. You could also find some venders for the traditional scarfs and ones offering quad riding. Over on one side of the camp they had a hill and you could sandboard over there. Basically they just set out old snowboards without the binding (the part that keeps the board on your feet), which you can drap up the hill, stand on and slide back down. It seems scary at first but it’s a little similar to riding through deep snow and you go pretty slowly, thereofre it is not actually thart bad.
When picking a tour make sure your read through everything that is included and pick the one that you like the most. They may all take you to the same camp, but it is worth checking.
One of the favorite activities of Desert Safari is dune bashing. It is basically a roller coaster, expect you are always firmly on the ground. I promise this is true, even if it may not feel like it at times. You will be going up and down on dunes while drifting around in the sand. Make sure you take your camera along, since you will stop to take pictures in the desert. While the place will be crowded with others from the camp, it is still a great opportunity for some amazing desert pictures. If you go to one that takes place in the evening, you might also get a sunset in the desert. It is a great experience
Food and Drinks
Most camps will offer complimentary food and non-alcoholic drinks. The food they offered in my camp was divided between the traditional Arabic cuisine and international dishes. The grilled meat was amazing and of course there would be no buffet in the UAE without Briyani. It was very tasty and due to the constant refill would never run out. The food was only available during one break in the performances, but they did give you a chance to eat as much as possible during that time. The drinks were avaible during the whole event, especially free water. Other camps may have the food avaible for the whole time.
The main highing of the evening were the peformances. We had a traditional arabic performer, who was fabulous. The main part of his act was the twiring continuously while dealing with his skirts. It is very impressive to see him twirl for about three minutes strait. The second performer we had was a fire performer. He did everything from joggling with fire to blowing it. It was a great performance and impressed everything. The last performance of the night was a belly dancer. She really knew her dance and performed well. Unfortunately she tried to bring people on stage which almost never works, especially with things like belly dancing. That was a little off putting. They all did a great job though, so it was enjoyable.
Overall desert safari is definitely something you should do while in the UAE or any other desert country. The desert has something fascinating that you will remember for a while. It will also gives you great photos to show friends or post on social media (guilty as charged). So do a little research, and find a tour that fits your need.
Hope this helped you imahine a desert safari a little more. IF you decide to do one. I hope you enjoy. Share your stories with me either in the comments or on Social Media.