If you are a fan of sex and the city, you’ve probably come across the iconic glammed-up scenes of the Sarah Jessica Parker and the girls strutting their stuff through the barren fields of Abu Dhabi. Another is of Jake Gyllenhaal running the sands of time as our heroic Prince of Persia. With scenes like these in view, does it ever make you wonder “what is it like to actually be in a desert?”
Traveling to a middle eastern country may not be a first option but it is something that needs to be experienced by travel geeks alike. One may be scared at first because of the difference in culture but proper knowledge of their do’s and dont’s will keep you away from trouble.
“Baby come back, I know my way around your heart”
One of the safest (and widely filipino inhabited) middle eastern country I was able to visit was sunny Abu Dhabi. It’s a beautiful place with an unlimited horizon thats completely different from the crammed-up and skyscraper filled Manila. Plus here there are lots of “Kabayans” (Overseas filipino workers) so you’ll definitely feel at home since you will see Filipinos almost everywhere you go.
“The City of Abu Dhabi”
“Another tourist spot in Abu dhabi. The Shiek Zayed Grand Mosque”
The most memorable activity I did here was the “Desert Safari Adventure”. This is a must try for anyone who plans to travel here looking for the ultimate desert experience. Everything you saw in movies or in magazines about a desert experience you will get to do in desert safari. The whole day activity only costs around 200 AED / 55 USD / 2,800 Php which already includes a buffet dinner. I can definitely say this is more than your money’s worth since you’ll be up for an experience of a lifetime!
Remember to also check the weather so you can dress appropriately. Abu Dhabi is usually a hot and humid country all year round and sometimes it gets too hot that you can’t even go outside. The best time to do the safari adventure is during their winter season around the months of January-March so its not too hot. Imagine being in a desert and its scorching hot! Yikes!
I did the safari back in February 2017 and I can say that the weather was perfect for my preference. I was wearing a very laid back checkered button down, plain shorts and loafers. I didn’t actually prepare my OOTD for this activity since deciding to push through with it was a last minute thing. I suggest doing a desert-themed look (like woven long-sleeves paired with khaki katsa pants and gladiator sandals) if you have time to prepare since the place is truly picturesque.
Here’s the activities included in the fun-filled desert safari adventure:
4×4 dune bashing
The fun activity starts with the 4×4 going dune bashing over the desert sands.. but I say, the motion sickness starts when the 4×4 goes dune bashing. Lesson learned. Do not sit at the back of the car! Dune bashing lasts for around 10 minutes or so and you will stop over at specific areas of the desert.
The dune bashing stops for a while and you are allowed to take photos (have pictorial LOL) at these beautiful barren wastelands. This is the first stop of the dune bashing activity. Here I am just looking towards the horizon, thinking what I’ll be having for dinner ofcourse lol.
The Camel Camp
The second stop of the dune bashing activity is at a Camel camp. Here you will see an heard of camels eating or what not. You may have a photo with the camels but you are not allowed to ride them just yet! Just a reminder that the camels here at the camel camp are not trained and may act up if provoked so be careful.
ARRIVAL AT SAFARI CAMP
The dune bashing activity ends once you arrive at the main safari camp. Here is where you will spend the rest of the night where there are countless activities to do.
You can rent an ATV and ride your way across the sands. Such a surreal feeling really.
The much awaited camel ride happens here at the camp. The camels here are different because they are tamed, trained and supervised. No harm will befall any tourist but you must still be careful not to provoke the lovely animal. This activity is such a once in a lifetime experience and is my favorite throughout the trip.
Photo-op with a live hawk
The second animal you’ll have a close encounter with in the safari is a Hawk. Don’t miss the chance to get a photo with Hawky the hawk.
Sand boarding at the safari grounds is such a thrilling experience. Feel the cool breeze as you rush down the sand slopes. Below is also a photo of the crew I was with during this desert safari experience.
“With my PAL crewmates Jean, Pam and Jacob”
At the camp there is also a booth where you can play dress up and wear different types of Arab wardrobes. These are good for photo shoots.
The Shisha/Sheesha/Hookah Section
Smokers and non-smokers alike are welcome to try and hang at the camp’s shisha section.
Last part of the activity is that you will be treated to a spectacular show over dinner. The show varies but there’s usually a performance of a female belly dancer or a male fire breather (or both) depending on the night’s lineup. You are really in for a treat with this one since the show is truly of world class calibre. The food on the other hand is not much but definitely enough to get through the night. After the whole day of activities you would have done i’m sure you’d be too hungry to be choosy of what to eat. They serve a variety of meat (Chiken tika and Beef) plus the usual Arabic cuisines (Hummus etc.) which you can all try.
The desert Safari is such a fun-fillled activity and is definitely worth every penny. I encourage everyone to try this and experience it first hand. Trust me you won’t regret it! CHEERS!