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Timeless Sands

Dune bashing

Enjoy taking on the timeless sands on a "dune-bashing" safari.

No visit to Dubai would be complete without a ride on an abra (water taxi) across Dubai Creek and a trip into the desert for a bit of  “dune bashing.”

Abras depart from various stations on the Bur Dubai and Deira sides of the creek. It’s here, moving between historic waterfront souks selling textiles, spices and gold, and districts dominated by minarets and wind-tower houses, that visitors can truly experience the sights and sounds of old Dubai.

An afternoon dune-bashing “safari”—a thrilling, roller-coaster-style experience in a 4x4—invariably ends with a torch-lit dinner and belly dancing in a Bedouin camp. However, tour operators such as Arabian Adventures take visitors farther into the timeless sands.

For the ultimate desert retreat, book yourself into the luxurious Emirates Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa in the region’s largest desert conservation reserve. For a little more than $1,500 a night at high season, enjoy a suite overlooking dunes where rare Arabian oryx roam free. These elegant antelope-like animals, which teetered on the brink of extinction in the 1970s, are believed to be the origin of the unicorn myth. Resort packages include traditional desert activities, such as a camel ride and a falcon hunting exhibition.

At Al Maha, you’ll glimpse the lives of Arabian princes—and perhaps start to feel like one as you lose yourself in this luxurious desert oasis.

Arabian Adventures

1st Floor, Emirates Holidays Building, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 971-4-303-4888

Emirates Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa
Dubai-Al Ain Road, 971-4-303-4222

This article has been adapted from the original, which was published by MSP Communications.

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