27 December 2016

Arabian Days, Arabian Nights: A Desert Safari

Rayna Tours Sales Desk
Ground Floor, Nuran Marine Serviced Residences
Street H, District 4, Dubai Marina Dubai
United Arab Emirates
Coordinates: 25.074448, 55.137365

At the ground floor of Nuran Marine is a small nondescript sales desk of Rayna Tours. Ginny and Sern had a few days ago booked an SUV from this tour agency so that we could go on a desert safari.

explore Dubai! it said

and with that, we're booked on a safari

We checked out of Nuran at the appointed time and stowed our luggage in Sern’s car parked outside.

We then waited expectantly for our ride to arrive. After a short wait the white SUV arrived and we were soon on our way.

We were headed to an area known as Lehbab (or Lahbab) located some sixty-plus kilometres away, which should take us about an hour.

leaving Nuran for the final time

headed due South

along the outskirts of Dubai

headed for Lehbab

as the journey progressed 
traffic grew sparse



but for large transport vehicles 
she finally remembered her shades



change of landscape

a desert supermarket?

After about half an hour of driving in an easterly direction our driver made a pit stop at a small outpost so that we could use the restrooms while he deflated the tyres. Narrow tyres make cars sink deep in soft surfaces like snow and sand, by deflating the tyres, the footprint increases and it doesn’t sink in as deep. That means less resistance and a lesser chance to dig in, which means a lesser chance to get stuck.

a desert outpost

a favourite among the truckers here

a mountain range in the distance

they sell carpets everywhere

our tyres properly deflated

we resumed our drive

while the landscape changes even more

reaching the end of regular roads

and at the end of this road

we will turn in to the desert!

We got going again and after ten minutes we turned off the regular road and headed into the desert. We have dedicated an entire post to our first encounter with Lehbab Desert, a proper Middle Eastern wilderness of sand.

We were told that we will rendezvous with other SUVs and once gathered the next course of events will unfold: Dune Bashing! This too was an experience that we have posted separately. 

After the exciting (and sometimes nerve-wrecking) dune bashing we headed back to the main road along the Lehbab area, and soon arrived at our final destination and climactic end to our evening: Rayna Desert Camp.

our bones truly rattled

and our innards shaken and stirred

our convoy heads off

toward our final destination

Rayna desert camp

the stark beauty of the desert

framed by the road and sky

we recommend this safari to everyone

with a strong enough constitution

peek-a-boo

nearing the end of our drive

we caught sight of a (baby?) camel

If ever you're in Dubai, or the UAE for that matter it would be highly recommended for you to go on a desert safari, which provides an interesting contrast and perspective to the gleaming metropolis that you'll often find in the major cities here.

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