Al Aín Desert Adventure.
We got picked up today in a Land Rover to go to the desert about an hour away southwest from Dubai. The tires have to be deflated to 12 psi (normally 40) to be able to go into the sand dunes. Other SUVs joined the convoy and we were off into the desert. The dunes go from small to medium to large really quick and the dune bashing begins. Dune bashing is really fun. These guys are experts and gave us a rollercoaster ride up and down some big dunes. You see nothing but sand all around. The sand is incredibly fine and smooth so it makes the bashing smooth as well. Very silent too…
We stopped at a Falconry Nature and Wildlife Conservation site where this guy from Zimbabwe gave us a show.
Then we were taken to a special site to see the sunset. During thr sunset the dunes change colors from yellow to pink to golden right before your eyes. Gorgeous!
We then arrived at a bedouin camp where we rode camels and then had an Arabian BBQ buffet in the most charming Arabian Nights setting. I have been eating massive amounts of lamb. tongue emoticon
After dinner, the women get henna tattoos and the men smoke shisha.
Suddenly, a belly dancer comes out and gives a spectacular show to traditional Arabian music. This girl had abs of steel and moved like a snake. Mesmerizing!
Last night we visited the Global Village. Part fair, part souk, part theme park, part cultural showcase, this place makes your 5 senses go into overdrive. Global Village is the leading family outdoor entertainment destination and the largest seasonal cultural extravaganza of the region.
Each country has huge pavilion designed to reflect the culture, custom or heritage as well as a bazaar style shopping experience. Clothing, food, perfumes, souvenirs and various other items of that specific country. Each pavilion also has a small stage where they have traditional dance and singing performances from that country.
Not all countries are represented of course. For instance, the Americas Pavilion facade was the US Capitol and the Mexican Cathedrals. Inside, we couldn’t find one single American or Mexican or central American or South American item. They did have Halloween masks though…. The boys got a kick out of this one.
Most of the countries represented of course were Arab countries. They were selling massive amounts of frankincense, rose water, honey, dates, nuts, olives and spices. They make perfumes on the spot with ancient traditional techniques. The smells and tastes are just too difficult to describe. I tasted the most amazing and delicious honey I’ve ever had. They have many varieties depending on what flower the bees get the nectar from.
The people watching was the best ever. I think I saw every nationality. How they behave, how they interact with each other, how they eat, how they have fun together, how they haggle, how they dance, how they sing. Definitely left us wide eyed and soaked in cultures vastly different than ours.
The more I see, the more I’m aware of how little I know.
#People #Cultures #GlobalCitizens
Some of the stuff we saw at Global Village:
We have left Dubai to go do a road trip of Oman. We flew to Muscat, Oman and from the plane we could see Dubai’s The World.
The World or World Islands is a man made archipelago of various small islands constructed in the rough shape of a world map.
We also saw The Palm Jumeirah from above, the Burj Al Arab, the aqua Persian Gulf waters and the vast desert beyond the city.