Hello dears! How are you feeling? How are you today? Aside from the tallest building in the world, the main purpose of my trip to the Emirates for me was the desert. The one with a drying sun, viscous dunes and endless sand lost in the haze of the horizon. Everything turned out to be even better than I imagined.
There is one huge desert on the Arabian Peninsula called Rub al Khali. In Arabic it means 'Empty quarter'. And this is the largest sandy desert in the world. If you remember the Sahara this desert has the largest area. Rub el Khali stretches across Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates. In the United Arab Emirates, it covers almost the entire country.
Unfortunately, where tourists are taken on a desert safari is just the backyard of Rub al Khali. Its distant and blurred boundaries. But this does not mean that the sand or desert here will be some kind of fake. Just more populated areas.
There are several ways to get into the desert near Dubai. Safari in the morning or in the evening, overnight in a camp, flight in a hot air balloon or on your own car. But at least this car must be four-wheel drive and high. If you don't want to bother too much, then a Google search will give hundreds of options for booking excursions. I used https://www.getyourguide.ru/
Safari is probably the most common type of entertainment here. Usually starts in the morning. The car picks up participants at a certain time from the hotel. Most likely it will be a Toyota Prado cruiser, in which the safari will take place. All participants gather in one place in the desert. There will be time for a snack while the drivers prepare their cars and lower their wheels. Then the safari itself is about 40 minutes and a photo stop. They also offer to ride a surf or an impromptu sled down the dune. If the riding is in the evening, there will also be sunset and a small dinner.
And now you climb into the back seat of Toyota again. The seats are leather, beige and stick to bare legs. Like a child, you almost jump on the spot, rejoicing in the upcoming journey. The driver in dark glasses is talking quickly about something on the radio. Then he says friendly — Well, hang on and have a good time — and press the gas.
The car caravan slowly climbs the low dunes, getting used to the new surface. The ride is quite measured and long enough that you start to doubt whether this is the very extreme safari on the dunes. But when you see the first car diving down from the ridge of the dune, your hand automatically reaches out to grab the handle above your head.
As at the peak of a super-eight, cars dive down one by one from the top of the shaky dune. Almost everyone in the cabin squeals, trying to grab onto something secure. The nose of the car breaks off downward, rolling down the slope in the sandy haze. Instead of wind in your hair, there will be streams of sand into the windows.
White cars, like beetles, quickly run from one dune to another. Nimble, substantial. Sand is scattered in all directions, cars balancing on the very edge of the dune. Until they lose their balance and slide sharply to the bottom. Slip on a viscous surface. The motors roar and cars climb up again.
When the arrow on the dashboard falls into the red zone of the engine overheating, the caravan is just rolling up to the stop. Cars cool down after a hard race, crackling in the sun. Drivers open everything — doors, hood, trunk. White cruisers breathe with open bodies like dogs to cool off.
The white houses of the settlement are visible in the rusty haze. Farther away are the tough, in contrast to the smoothness of the desert, sides of the mountains. In very clear weather, you can even see the metal peak of the Burj Khalifa. This is the side of civilization. But if you look back, the waves of the sandy ocean froze to the very horizon.
It's like hanging over the very edge of a cliff before the abyss in the water. Where you still feel like the master of the situation, see the light and solid rocks. And in front there is already darkness, cold and uncertainty. The same is here, traces of humanity are still visible. The hot sandy sides are smeared with tire marks. These scars melt quickly under the harsh sun.
But it is unlikely that the desert allows you to play deep in its territories. And where the haze acquires a blue tint, completely different possessions begin. There is an abyss. There, for thousands of years, desert rolls her sides, playing with the winds. Ruthless. Endless. Immobile in her endless movement. And almost always dead.
The desert is treacherous and changeable. Storms always rage on its territories. Sandy mountains move without moving. Trillions of small grains of sand sweep along the dunes, remaining invisible. She will promise her victim salvation on the next dune, but in a day this dune will be in another place. Its thorny waves will dance around the hostage, plunging into madness. She will drive in circles, taking further and further into her domain. And when the victim can no longer walk, she will drink all his juices, leaving the remnants to the merciless wind.
The remnants of humanity will be surviving in such deserts someday. On spiked cars, they will chase each other, taking away gasoline, power and life. But that later. In the meantime, only true, free Bedouins can go to its depths on their faithful camels.
And ordinary people only take pictures in their favorable angles against the backdrop of endless sands, ride on sleds and snowboards from the top of the dunes, and eat dates. And then get into the air-conditioned, scented car interiors and drive back to civilization.
Keep in touch! MarrySav
This post is also available in: Russian