Dubai has always been a land of mystery to me. Although my first round through Dubai was not that great, we did book a tour. This tour was through Platinum Heritage, and featured camels! Having honestly never ridden a horse, I wasn’t sure how riding a camel would turn out, but this excursion was definitely a highlight of my trip!
A lot of tours I have taken require traveling to a different location to catch up with the tour, but luckily, this tour actually comes to where you are to pick you up, which is really helpful to someone like me who has never been to this city, and has no idea how to speak the language. I normally try and learn a bit of the language, but Arabic is quite the struggle. After about an hours drive out to the desert we arrived at the reserve that Platinum Heritage uses for their tours. There are a couple different types of tours you can go on. The specific one we did involved camels. There are also some 1950s Land Rovers you can ride in, or if you are the more luxurious type, you can find yourself in a 2016 Range Rover. All of the tours that went out our day involved the afterward events as well. On to the camels…
The camels are attached in groups of three, so you aren’t in control of the camel, which is fine with me. Sitting on the camel while it is standing is absolutely shocking, but it gets better in time. After about 15 minutes of climbing over sand dunes, I was really in the groove. They give you a burka (burqa) to keep the sand out of your hair, and also to follow Bedouin tradition. After about an hour, the next parts of the tour begin.
After a terrifying venture off of my camel, Gleb, we grabbed a glass of a traditional juice, and sat down to learn about falconry. In Bedouin times, falcons were used to as a hunting tool. They were only kept while hunting was difficult, and were released once the hunting was more simple. We then climbed onto the 1950’s Land Rovers for our journey to the Bedouin camp for dinner and some entertainment.
Our tour guide showed us around the campsite, and described some of the things we saw. We were first welcomed with traditional coffee and dates (which I am not a fan of either of those things). There was a lady doing henna, and a hooka lounge within the site which we could visit as we chose. Our meal was also explained to us, then we were led to our seats. After a ceremony to bless the food, we enjoyed an array of camel, lamb, vegetarian options, and various soups. I did feel a little guilty about eating camel after I had just taken an hour journey on Gleb. While our meals were being devoured, they had traditional dancers perform ancient dances. After everyone had completed their meals, we were escorted outside to a fire show, and then hopped back on our Land Rovers for our journey back to the entrance.
After having a big day, we all tucked into bed (after much needed showers). We are traveling back through Dubai on our way back to America, and we are doing a completely different side of the city. Stay tuned for that post, as well as the multiple ones that will be coming out about our journeys in Japan!