I wanted to go to the desert since we moved to Dubai, but as it happens quite often, we could not find the right time. A few weeks ago, it was a long weekend in UAE and it is not hot anymore, so finally we did it.
Camping in the desert always seemed as something very romantic to me. I love comping, but with two small kids, I felt it would be too complicated and full of undesirable hassles. So for now we choose glamping – upgraded and simplified version of camping, when there is no need to pitch the tent, carry a heavy backpack, and cook your meal on fire, because everything is already done for you. I have heard some stories about snakes and scorpions in the desert and they did not inspire me to go for a traditional camping there either.
We decided to try Arabian Nights Village that is situated in the desert more than one-hour drive from Abu Dhabi. We started our little adventure with a drive to Abu Dhabi and then had a bus transfer to the middle of the desert. We reached a village nestled in the dunes at the start of the sunset and had tons of outside activities till the night.
We rode camels, tried dune bashing – some sort of desert rollercoaster where the car climbs to the top of the dune and then perilously lurches down the other side of the dune, watched the sunset in the middle of the desert, tried local food, listened to Emirati music and songs. Kids had a night sandboarding session, made some new friends and were totally exhausted.
We were sleeping like some true desert dwellers in a tent house that looked like Bedouin tent, but it had all basic amenities such as proper toilet room and AC. So we did not sacrifice luxury at all.
When everyone went to sleep and all the lights of the village were turned off, a breath-taking night sky emerged. My husband is an astronomer and a clear night sky without light pollution, which you cannot avoid in town, is a dream for him. Thousands of stars were visible that night. My husband was happy that he took his telescope with him and had a chance to see such a clear sky.
The desert is just beautiful. It was an exciting experience to explore it and to have a chance to get in touch with some traditional culture of the country that we call home now.