Dubai, UAE: Magical Safari

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On a whim, since we had a 13 hour layover in Dubai coming home from India, I decided to try and find a tour or somehting that we could do other than sitting in the airport. Dubai doesn't require visas for Americans and no additional vaccinations were needed, there was no reason not to.

I searched (yes, I'm a researcher) tons of options, in town and in the desert with a desert tour being preferred. There are a LOT of desert tours in Dubai, by the way, but everyone I read reviews on sounded cheesy and touristy, with literally hundreds of people at the "camp" and an emphasis on Dune Bashing (which is basically riding really fast and hard in a jeep over the dunes). Not appealing. Then I found Platinum Heritage Tours on Trip Advisor and it seemed perfect. Only up to 75 (and usually less) people per night, 6 people per group, trips out via pristine Vintage Land Rovers AND the option to ride camels out through the desert. SOLD.

I can't begin to describe how much I enjoyed this safari. It was truly a "can't wipe the smile off your face" kind of experience. I mean, we were riding camels through the Arabian Desert. It doesn't get much more cooler than that. The entire night felt like an exotic dinner get together with friends. Serene, romantic ...magical.

Pictures don't do it justice, but take a look and try to imagine yourself on a camel, in the desert heat, heading towards a dreamy bedouin camp.

Arrived in Dubai and headed straight out to meet our ride into the desert. 

The safaris are through this Conservation Reserve and are focused on conservation; animal and energy.

We didn't ride the Land Rovers in but it's a cool photo op anyway.

Our rides!

Smile for the camera. :)

Yup, this is happening.

You can't help but look regal on the back of a camel.

Getting to know each other. The camel I was petting was very grumpy (you can't tell here, but he was grunting at me, lol) but Tiago's LOVED him. Really, nuzzling him the entire trip.

"...really, get your hand off of my head!" *btw, the caps over their mouths are to keep them from eating the desert vegetation, they don't bite.

and... we're off. :D

See, true love! I was totally jealous, my camel hated me, lol.

The sun setting on the horizon just made the whole experience even better.

We were traveling with a family from Belgium.

First stop was at a temporary camp to watch a falconry demonstration. Falconry has a long tradition in the Arab countries, it's the way they hunted.

The falcons wearing their blindfolds so they stay calm.

So cool. Too bad I look ridiculous in that head wrap, lol, I never realized that I had such a pea-sized head.

Tiago, on the other hand, looks like he was born for this.

Jumped into the land rover for a quick trip into permanent camp.

How is it that the moon always looks 100x bigger in real life than photos?

Greetings with Arabic coffee and dates. Delish.

Just giddy. Is this cool or what?

Dinner is being prepared.

This is the coffee maker.

She's making a delicious flat bread. Made sort of crepe style, but thinner and crispier.

These are the drink coolers. I totally want to do this for the barbecues on the patio.

Time for a henna tattoo before dinner.

Just the first course! It was too dark for a good shot by the time the main course came out. We did get to eat camel though, one more animal added to the odd cuisines I've tried. *kinda sad though since we just spent an hour bonding with our camels we rode in on.

Dinner entertainment. An odd and sort of disturbing pistol dance.

Now time to relax. Comfy cushions, shisha pipes, and a khaliji dancer (hair dancer).

Again, Tiago must have been an arab in a former life.

I just look goofy, but who cares, I had an absolutely amazing time.

*there are a few more videos on my YouTube channel if you'd like to take a look. Dubai Videos


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