Exploring The Desert Arabian Adventures Style
Did you know that the desert around us is home to all sorts of creatures – from owls to sandfish, scorpions to spiny tailed lizards plus loads more? With 3 children who are completely obsessed with anything nature/wildlife related, we recently booked a family desert safari with Arabian Adventures for the chance to spot Arabian Oryx and gazelle, picnic on the sand and learn about conservation and sustainability efforts in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, just on the outskirts of the emirate. It’s one thing heading out to the dunes with friends and family but another completely when there are tour guides at your side to point out all those little things you might usually miss – the kids loved it, we loved it – and if you’ve got visitors in town then I can’t recommend it enough! And here’s why.
First up, the Arabian Adventures team will arrange a 4×4 pick up and drop off at a convenient location, meaning that you and your gang can sit back and enjoy the ride without stressing about navigating the route! We chose to meet at Jumeirah Beach Hotel where our lovely guide allowed us coffees and babyccinos before we hit the road in comfort. Kids are safely strapped into carseats according to their age group and water is provided for the journey which is awesome – and our guide was full of useful and interesting info about Dubai, the desert and the types of creatures we might encounter as well as answering all of the boys questions on ‘most dangerous animal’, ‘likelihood of seeing/catching a snake’ and ‘have you ever been stung by a scorpion?’ – thankfully not!
About 45 minutes after departure, we arrived at the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve – a protected area dedicated to ensuring the future of the region’s desert habitat and to protecting natural resources. It’s only possible to visit the reserve with an approved company which means that you don’t get crowds, litter, dune-bashers and all the other stuff which can spoil a trip out to the big sands – and which guarantees vast expanses of pristine desert environment and the opportunity to catch a glimpse of some of the region’s wildlife too!
Within minutes of driving along the sandy track, the kids were pointing out oryx and gazelle plus looking for tracks and learning all about the flora and fauna too. Occasionally our guide would stop the car and we’d all leap out to get closer to a lizard or try to catch a sandfish (impossible but the children wouldn’t give up trying!) and we were handed a really useful little folder of creatures to watch out for which kept everyone busy too.
The reserve is home to a camel farm where we got up close and personal with our one humped friends, watched dung beetles do their thing and learnt about camel spiders which, thankfully, we never saw! And after an hour or so of exploring, we stopped at a Bedouin encampment for a picnic breakfast surrounded by nothing but ghaf trees – heavenly.
Gazelle, Oryx, lizards, sandfish, camels, beetles and even an owl – we saw them all! And the kids delighted in our guides stories about scorpions and snakes, finding their tracks and trying to dig them out! At the end of a wonderful few hours, we were back on the road to Dubai, 3 little people asleep dreaming of their Arabian adventure and a very happy family having been outdoors exploring one of the most pristine pieces of desert close to the city.
Arabian Adventures also do night safaris (with UV lights to spot those elusive scorpions!), overnight stays, camel rides through the desert, dinner under the stars and so much more. We can’t wait to try them all.
For booking and enquiries visit arabian-adventures.com