Since beginning of my Dubai trip I got to hear of Desert Safari. A lot of people have advised me to take advantage of this experience on weekends. My beginning two weeks (and of course weekends) went in settling down and sifting through project details (naturally that was first priority!) and learning to schedule. And so my first two weekends were spent in the Hotel rooms, getting settled in and solidifying the project scope and boundaries, as well as the documentation.
The beginning of the month of December Everything about the project was clear , and I was ready to go out n N'joy. I decided to go for the first chance; this weekend was 3 days long. I took a rest on the first day. Second day morning I ringed up travel agent office and arranged for a safari spot. I was anxiously waiting until afternoon since my safari had been scheduled to begin at 4 pm. Driver's phone rang around 2.45 in the afternoon, which was much earlier than scheduled time of 3.30 to 4.30 pm. Driver Amin Mohammed, an average Arabian person, 6' in height, in a traditional Arabic attire, was waiting downstairs with his huge plushy Landcruiser for me. After looking at the Car itself I guessed my trip was going make for one of the most memorable travelling experiences I ever had.
Our journey began shortly following the "introduction ceremony" with each our fellow travelers. Then, four more people were also on board for the tours. Being the first one taken to the airport, I was able to grab the front seat of Landcruiser which was later proven to be the best place to be in Safari. In the front seat, you have the best view of the desert before you, and the perfect opportunity to film video and take great photos of other vehicles from "cafila" as well. You also have the opportunity to communicate with driver quickly for more information wherever needed.
I began to pester Mohammed with questionslike "Where are we going? What is the name of the place?" Mohammed was able to speak English even if he was not very good. AL Awir was the name we were given for the area we were at. About 30 kms away from Dubai, this is where the actual desert begins, and it extends its boundaries into the far reaches of UAE and even touches OMAN.
We made it to the spot after 30 minutes on the highway. There was a short time break of just 10 minutes at base camp for this tour organizer where around 10 landcruisers came together to begin the actual desert ride. The tyre pressure on cars was lowered to cope the soft sand.
The Landcruiser began its journey through desert despite the immense resistance generated by the softness of sand. The massive machine soon gained speed and speed thanks to its strength and we were cruising on desert sands going up and down, on small n big waves, diving into the depths of the waves, and climbing up small sand hills. It was a pleasant experience along with bit of excitement. The only thing I did not like was that I wasn't able to operate the machine myself!
After a short time, we were at the desert resort where dinner and a belly dancing show was planned. Welcome drink was Traditional "Kahwa" and tea. Kahwa is a kind of black coffee. Coffee is my passion, and I consumed 4 to 5 cups Kahwa with no sugar in two hours duration. People started relaxing a bit and went for mehandi as well as "SASHA". Sasha is traditional Arabian flavored smoking pipe comparable to Indian HUKKA.
After a couple of hours, Arabian style grilled chicken and meat kebabs were served with Indian veg food. I was surprised to see the dominant use of Indian food over western and Arabian food. Even Rajma Dal and rice were readily available! !
After half an hour as people sat down to relax in their dining room and the Belly Dancer's announcement was made quickly, before people would start to be able to comprehend the situation, the belly dancer stepped onto stage in stunning red Arabian costume and literally took the stage by storm.