Although Dubai is mostly about scale, luxury and excess, the Emirate has another side–sand. To experience this, we had to take a dessert safari. Our experience included about an hour of dune bashing where four-wheel drive Land Rovers sped up and down dunes, taking sharp turns where the cars lean at precarious angles and throw sprays of sand.
The drive was complemented with other activities. One was sandboarding, in which Tom had to partake. This version of snowboarding uses the same type of board (although it is much, much safer for novices to sit, rather than stand) to slide down a steep, powdery dune. While going down is certainly fun, you have to pay for it by climbing up the steep dune where every step entails sinking about four inches into the sand, and sliding back another four. While using the board to dig into the sand does help provide some traction, you get very winded. Thankfully our guide met Tom part way to lend a helping hand. Unfortunately, Joyce messed up the video of Tom’s first ride down the dune, but managed to do better with the second one.
From here we went to a desert banquet with the requisite buffet dinner and belly dancing show. We also had opportunities for a number of complementary activities such as camel riding (twice was more than enough for us so we passed this time) and do-it-yourself ATV dune bashing (which we had previously done in the dunes of Los Cabos so, again, passed). Another activity in which we did partake entailed fewer thrills and much less exertion–enjoying a nice bowl of applewood smoke from a hookah and henna hand design. A fun experience, although we could have made due with better food and less dancing.
And, the final excitement of the evening……getting stuck in the sand. Our driver had to call in reinforcements to drag us out