This has by far (and we have done some AMAZING things here in Dubai) been my favourite night activity. 45 minutes out of Dubai we jumped onto open aired Jeeps and headed into the hills chasing the glowing afternoon sun.
No one could wipe the smiles off their faces!
First stop was to meet a Falcon and his trainer to learn about how Falcon’s are trained for hunting purposes, both past and present. This little ‘helmet’ is what the bird wears when he isn’t flying to prevent him getting startled and flying away. They can fly up to 300km per hour and weigh about 400gms (that would hurt a lot if he flew into you!). He is the Usain Bolt of the bird species!
We were each given these very cool scarves for the night and I was very thankful that we had them once we were roaring through the desert. It kept my hair out of my eyes and looked rather glamorous I thought! Rees looked hot in his Shemaghs, don’t you think?
The Shemagh is very practical in the desert and used for more than just keeping blonde locks tame and making men look rather attractive. They form protection from the sun and sand for your head and neck or on hot days can be tied wet around your neck. It reaches 52 degrees some days in summer here (although they will only ever report 48 degrees officially, otherwise businesses must close – something Dubai as a major city cannot afford to do). The traditional Islamic dress does make practical sense in the context of its origin’s terrain.
The Falcon flew across a sky of colour as we reclined on cushions and mats drinking date juice and eating dates (dates are found everywhere here – I love it!). God put on a spectacular exhibit with that sunset too. What really blew my mind was not only was there a sunset to watch, there was also a moon rising to watch. I was about to get mad at Reis for running off into the desert with the camera instead of taking photos of the sunset. Then I saw the beauty of what he was capturing. Save for my bad attitude, it really was a taste of heaven.
After the sun descended beyond the sand dunes, we went for a very short camel ride (felt like a petting zoo) but at least the bumpy rise and fall of the camel brought a lot of laughter. We then had a traditional meal in a traditional camp. Then we sat and smoked Shisha’s on rugs and cushions in the middle of the camp. Friendships grew with bellies full of laughter and high school-like silliness as we shared appropriate (or perhaps inappropriate) hashtags for the night.
Overall, we have loved this experience and would do it all again!! A sunset desert safari in Dubai is amazing! We recommend going with a tour group. These once in a lifetime experiences are best shared with others! Now, it is 4.35am here and we are off to do hot air ballooning…#soflippingexcited.