Dubai is known for the sleek steel buildings that dominate the horizon – features that have longÂ attracted people to book flights to Dubai. However, it also boasts the first United Arab EmiratesÂ (UAE) national park; featuring a spectacular desert habitat with many endangered species of floraÂ and fauna living there. The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR) was created to protectÂ these threatened species and also allowing tourists, locals and future generations to enjoy theÂ natural desert habitat.
This isn’t just a landscape of barren dunes, there are thrilling and dramatic things to witness andÂ take part in. Taking in the glorious colours of a sunrise or sunset can be made easier on top of aÂ camel or a horse. Put the horse through its paces and get it into a canter, feeling the refreshingÂ 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 anÂ expert who is on hand to share knowledge about the various breeds and characteristics. Get closerÂ 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 ultimateÂ adventures. Try sand boarding by strapping on the board and surfing down the steep dunes to theÂ valley floor. Alternatively, experience dune driving in luxury four wheel drive vehicles that takeÂ predefined routes to avoid disrupting the wildlife.
These adventures often end with a private Bedouin dinner where you can enjoy the intimacy of aÂ personalizedÂ meal and try local delicacies. Why not sample the fragrant shisha pipe and watch theÂ galaxy of stars blanket the sky?
Dubai is not just a sea of shopping malls and skyscrapers but rather offers a world outside the cityÂ â€“ the mystical Arabian Desert.