The deserts in the UAE have been silent witness to its dramatic transformation over the years. One of the emirate’s much-acclaimed experiences is the Dubai Desert Safari offered by leading tour operators with several options such as morning safaris, evening safaris and even overnight desert safaris for those who want to witness the breathtaking sight of a desert sunrise. The action-packed morning desert safari that we are taking you on right now leads to an isolated desert camp where plenty of activities await you such as dune bashing, quad biking and sand boarding.
While evening desert safaris generally depart in the late afternoon and one can witness the magic of a desert sunset, an overnight safari is quite special as you can gaze up at a star-studded sky and enjoy the cool desert breeze, cocooned in a sleeping bag. The next morning you will relish a hearty Continental breakfast before heading back to the city.
As we speed away towards the desert, leaving the city far behind, what comes into your vision are gently undulating sand dunes where you can occasionally spot the ‘Ship of the Desert’ the camel. This gentle, large eyed animal is highly revered for the vital role it has played in the history of this land, and it is considered a serious offence to hit one while driving.
In around 45 minutes we drive to a meeting point where all desert safari tour operators gather as a tradition for refreshments or to pick up interesting souvenirs. As this is the entry point to the desert, the drivers deflate the vehicle tyres before entering the sands.
UAE is equally famous for its desert resorts, one of the most well known being the award-winning Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara. Just 90 minutes from Abu Dhabi, this magnificent desert resort is set within the famed Liwa Desert and is a luxurious escape steeped in the Empty Quarter’s intriguing traditions.
Almost a fairytale from ‘1001 nights’, this magnificent resort seems to spring out of nowhere, a luxurious oasis in the midst of the mystic Liwa Desert. Set in the middle of the Rub’ al Khali or Empty Quarter, the largest uninterrupted sand mass in the world, Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara is isolated from the outside world, yet is less than 200km away from Abu Dhabi.
The resort brings the mysticism of this eminent location to life, inviting you to discover the unique appeal of its surroundings. Enjoy an array of facilities and desert experiences and immerse yourself in the wonderful splendour of an eternally changing landscape.
There is also a range of excursions that reflect the region’s ancient cultural traditions including early morning desert walks, camel treks, archery or mountain biking through awesome scenery.
The resort offers an interesting attraction ‘Falcon Feats’ to provide its guests a glimpse of the falconry sport. The resort’s appointed Chief Falconer Naseer Muhammad Abdul Latif, a trained connoisseur falconer takes Qasr Al Sarab guests on the historic journey of falconry that started over two millennia ago.
There are sweeping desert views from the beautiful rooms, suites and villas. Interiors of warm, earthly hues are accented by locally hand crafted furnishings.
Savour authentic culinary journeys at Al Waha, where the richness of indigenous culture is expressed in theme nights featuring local performance artists. Sit back and relax in cosy armchairs at Suhail, dining on fresh seafood and grilled specialties in the tranquil atmosphere of this rooftop restaurant. Cool down with icy treats at the poolside bar, and enjoy an afternoon ritual of authentic Arabian coffee and pastries at Al Liwan.
There’s a range of excursions that reflect the region’s ancient cultural traditions including early morning desert walks, camel treks, archery or mountain biking through awesome scenery.