Front Seat to the Desert Safari Tour, Various Sunset Activities and Dinner Under the Stars in Dubai!

The weather has been incredibly hot lately in Manila and so I always look forward to sunset. I had the same feeling when we went to Dubai. On the very first day, the adventure began late afternoon in the middle of nowhere - well, somewhere that only a few know exactly. Meteor Philippines arranged for a desert safari tour for us from Manila and we only had to wait until the hotel pickup time before the sun set that day and chilled in the desert until the stars came out.

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The 4x4 could fit 6 of us comfortably - 1 in front, 3 in the middle and 2 at the back. I would suggest requesting early that they get your group first for dibs on the seat selection.

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I like the front passenger seat because of the bigger window.

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This is my kind of Dubai. I love the open spaces,

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these wires (esp. when you drive by the angle where they all line up together)

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and the never-ending road with sand dunes to the left and right.

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At some point, our driver started crossing the other lane.

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I guess one of their clues are the tire tracks to know that they're going the right way.

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We signed up for some "dune bashing"

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and unfortunately, the guys in the middle asked the driver to slow it down coz they're scared or something.. So better make sure you tell the driver you want "extreme" haha.

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We stopped for a while before starting because he had to let the air out of the tires when we're in the desert.

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The car was fitted with these protective bars just in case (with all that bumping). I would also advise on wearing a medium thick hoodie for all-in-one head protection, seatbelt burn protection and sun protection ;) Hehe.

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It felt like a nonstop mild roller coaster ride so that was fun,

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we'll be straight one second and at an awkward angle the next. Never a 360 though so don't worry, just a constant thought on when you'd tip over haha.

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There's vegetation though and the dunes are not that high unlike in Inner Mongolia hehe.

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The highlights, especially because I was sharing the big windows with the driver, were the times when I can't see beyond the tire tracks anymore haha.

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We went down at a high point like them for some photo opp.

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You'd have to find a spot though without the tire tracks.

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I didn't want both a sun burn and sand in my feet that time so... I, um, brought my aqua shoes. Haha. 

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I wasn't in the best of moods due to too much direct sunlight and lack of sleep. We had a very early Abu Dhabi flight from Manila.

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I still got to do my moment though haha.

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We were only given around 10-15 minutes for all of these so it's better to think of those poses before you go here. Haha.

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We were in a hurry to get to our final destination before sunset.

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They said that even drivers get lost in these parts so they have to come and go in groups.

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This is one of my favorite sunset shots of all time (and we were in a moving car haha).

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Our final drop-off looked like a nomad settlement.

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Before the show began, they said we can do some other activities first. I'm not sure if the ATV is free though.

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The trial camel ride was.

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I felt sorry for the cute camel so I didn't ride it anymore. The poor thing had a heavy sack tied to its neck to keep him from moving around.

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I think I fell in love with the UAE sun as soon as I stepped out of the plane because I arrived, well, in time for a beautiful sunrise in Abu Dhabi. And then when I saw this sunset in the desert, I was completely mesmerised.

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I had this crazy idea this time to climb up the tallest sand dune (near me) that I could find so I hurriedly went in haha.

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Then I saw these people who probably had the best view!

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Sadly, they were too far away as you can see yonder haha. By the time I get there, it will be late evening haha.

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So I turned my attention to the show venue :)

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They had VIP areas on the side

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and an area with souvenirs.

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I loved the open middle area though and you get a closer view to the performance.  The stage is also circular so everybody has an unobstructed view.

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While waiting, guests can have complimentary henna tattoos

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and can try wearing these veils and long-sleeved robes worn by Emirati people. There's the black abaya with hijab (head scarf that covers neck and part of the head) and niqab or naqab (covers the mouth and nose except for the eyes) for women which takes a lot of time to decipher. Then there's the white dishdasha or kandura or taub for men. I personally haven't researched much about the differences of the traditional clothing style worn per location in UAE so feel free to ask your guide or a more knowledgeable person (maybe you can check this and this too). They all looked the same for me for now hehe.

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You can also go around to check the shisha or hookah and barbecue areas but these guys and ABC drivers aren't the friendliest. 

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They'll tell you when it's appetizer time already. Make sure you bring cameras that are good for low-light situations.

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I'm not a fan of potatoes so...

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They have complimentary basic drinks also included the tour.

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It took a rather long waiting time for the main performance so I found it perfect for watching the sky slowly turn and doing some plane and jet stream watching :) This place must be a major plane route because there were lots of them! The soft orange glows around me really set the mood for me for a chill night along with the music playing in the background. It was kinda romantic to be at this particular desert with this setting at night hehe.

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At some point, I started taking off my shoes. Walking barefoot was nice here but it quickly became cold so wearing sandals or slippers and a jacket would be advisable during this time.

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The belly dancing started and since I never got to see one up close, I was amazed with her wormie moves, those that I haven't seen before on TV.. It's a lot more extreme than the belly dancing classes too.

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Dinner was a feast and there was an entire tent for vegetarians. I was introduced to tabbouleh here and it was so yummy (not the one below).

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They also had a meat section but there's no pork as expected then they give you the stare if you get more than one BBQ.. Green parsley one (tabbouleh) below is the winner.

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For the last performance, there's this Egyptian dance tanoura performed by a guy wearing a big, glittery and colorful skirt!

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He kept spinning in one direction for the entire performance so he is quite skilled considering he is wearing a very heavy skirt with lights.

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The cars lined up one by one and followed each other in the dark. We had one stopover.

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The main purpose I think is to inflate the soft tires again for the concrete road and another adventure the next day :)

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They sent us back to the hotel as part of the package.

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