Leaving Dubai and exploring the desert
02 Jul 2014 11 AM
When you’re in Dubai, surrounded by skyscrapers, it’s easy to forget the city lies directly within the Arabian Desert. The Arabian Desert spans eight countries (Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Yemen) and occupies almost the whole of the Arabian Peninsula. It’s a staggering 1,305 miles in length and one of the most breath-taking landscapes you’ll ever see.
So the next time you’re in Dubai, don’t make your Middle Eastern adventure end at the city limits. Start exploring the desert – one of the Arabian Peninsula’s most iconic landmarks.
The easiest way to explore the desert is on a four-wheel-drive safari. You’ll be with a local guide who is familiar with the area and if you don’t mind a few bumps along the way, you’ll be in for a great adventure.
The time of day that you embark on your safari will determine the mood and atmosphere of your trip. Head out in the early morning and you’ll experience the peaceful silence of the desert before the world wakes up. The early hours of the morning are also the perfect time to photograph wildlife, flora and desert birds.
Another magical way to experience the desert is to take an evening tour. The setting sun makes the colours of the sand look truly spectacular and the desert sun disappearing behind the dunes is a sight you’ll never forget.
If you’d prefer a more traditional form of transport, explore the desert on the back of a camel. You’ll find plenty of opportunities to do so in Dubai – just ask your hotel receptionist to point you in the right direction.
Remember to wear long pants and socks to prevent itching and wear plenty of sunscreen – this is an absolute must as you’ll be exposed to the hot desert sun for several hours.
If you’re adventurous at heart, try your hand at one of the world’s newest sports – sandboarding.
Think snowboarding in the desert and you’ve got it – instead of gliding down snowy mountain slopes, you’ll be riding down sand dunes.
Get ready to feel an adrenaline rush as you ride down a sand dune with both feet strapped to your board – pro-sandboarders can travel up to 60mph on their board!
Traditional Arab food
While you’re on a desert safari, take the opportunity to have your breakfast or evening meal in the middle of the desert. Most desert safari providers offer a meal of traditional Arabic food, which can be the perfect conclusion to a day riding the sand dunes while you eat and watch the sun go down.
With its peaceful isolation, it will without a doubt be one of the most spectacular locations you’ve ever eaten at – some desert dining experiences are even accompanied by belly dancers.
And when your day in the desert comes to an end, you can return to one of Hilton’s luxury hotels in Dubai to relax and treasure your memories of the magical Arabian Desert.