Dubai is known for the sleek steel buildings that dominate the horizon – features that have long attracted people to book flights to Dubai. However, it also boasts the first United Arab Emirates (UAE) national park; featuring a spectacular desert habitat with many endangered species of flora and fauna living there. The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR) was created to protect these threatened species and also allowing tourists, locals and future generations to enjoy the natural desert habitat.
This isn’t just a landscape of barren dunes, there are thrilling and dramatic things to witness and take part in. Taking in the glorious colours of a sunrise or sunset can be made easier on top of a camel or a horse. Put the horse through its paces and get it into a canter, feeling the refreshing wind in your hair, or choose a camel for a more sedate experience atop a ‘ship of the desert’.
Another option is falconry. Witness magnificent birds of prey in action and enjoy learning from an expert who is on hand to share knowledge about the various breeds and characteristics. Get closer to the birds and take those important photographs for friends and family.
For adrenaline junkies, this is also a lovely place to test out the sand dunes for some ultimate adventures. Try sand boarding by strapping on the board and surfing down the steep dunes to the valley floor. Alternatively, experience dune driving in luxury four wheel drive vehicles that take predefined routes to avoid disrupting the wildlife.
These adventures often end with a private Bedouin dinner where you can enjoy the intimacy of a personalized meal and try local delicacies. Why not sample the fragrant shisha pipe and watch the galaxy of stars blanket the sky?
Dubai is not just a sea of shopping malls and skyscrapers but rather offers a world outside the city – the mystical Arabian Desert.