Dubai: Part 3

On our third day in Dubai we went dune bashing, an activity in which you drive into the desert for the evening. But you don’t just drive into the desert, you basically buckle up, hold on, and go sliding up and down the dunes. It was quite thrilling, but it was definitely not for the faint of heart. Along the way we spotted some wild camels and donkeys, very cool!

Once you finish the drive you arrive at a camp in which you are allowed to walk about and engage in different activities. While some cost extra money, we were able to ride camels and have henna painted on our hands for no charge. We also arrived just in time to watch the sun set in the desert.

We then settled into the camp which was surrounded by simple huts for a show and dinner. All around the stage were tables and pillows to sit on.

I think the coolest bit of the day was being in a desert as it transitioned by daytime to nighttime. We were incredibly dehydrated as the sun beat down, but once the sun went away it actually became quite chilly.

 

And with sunset brought two performances. First, a belly dancer. Second, err, I’m not quite sure how to explain the second performance, though I thought it was much better than the belly dancer. He sort of spun around and around for several minutes, glowing at certain points. He must have been incredibly dizzy by the end of it.

Then it was dinnertime! There was a large buffet featuring some familiar items (and some questionable ones for the desert–like penne Alfredo?) but I had plenty of rice, pita bread, veggies, and meat.

And that was the end of our desert dune bashing adventure. While I wish we could have rode those camels for longer, it wasn’t a bad way to spend an afternoon in Dubai. Dubai is a city built on a desert after all, so it was interesting to take part in an alternative experience of Dubai.

After a sleepy ride back out of the desert we had the munchies and stopped at Al Reef Lebanese Bakery in Jumeirah. This place is open 24 hours a day serving up manakish of all different kinds. You can get it with meat, but we had classic cheese and cheese with za’atar. We ate ours in the car by the beach at night, which I would highly recommend, but watch out, as they are oily and the grease will drip down your arms. But they were so delicious, definitely making this snack a highlight of the trip!

 

 

 

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