Next on our list was the Desert Safari Tour which apparently was one of THE things to do in Dubai. I would have been happy to have simply been able to play with sand in the desert and our birthday boy was probably more excited about an experience in those big Desert jeeps – I cannot even remember what they’re called anymore although I did get quite an intensive lessons about jeeps and their specifications as we drove outside the city to the middle of nowhere.
After some exciting dune bashing accompanied by the cheers of our Asian companions sitting behind us, we managed to get out and finally stretch our legs, taking in the view that was in front of us. It seemed quite hard to believe that only an hour away was the buzz of the Manhattan of the Middle East. We were given some time to take a few pictures, or in our case, play with the sand, after which we were taken to another spot: a secret makeshift Bedouin camp. We had our extremely short camel ride and smoked sheesha as we waited for dinner – yet another first for me, which is quite funny since I live in Turkey and we have sheesha bars at every corner.
After some tasty food, we waited for the dance performances. While the scantily dressed belly dancers did nothing much for me, I was quite impressed with the Tanoura dancer. The dance is similar to the sema here in Turkey, but with Tanoura, the men wear colourful skirts with each colour representing a specific Sufi order. However, this was just a tourist attraction, only to impress and impressed us it did. Especially when the dancer whirled while holding one woman in his arm. Fit.