Husband, daughter 9 and I went on the Heritage Dinner Safari during our first trip to Dubai. I am so glad we spent the extra money to do this trip as opposed to other desert safaris offered. We were picked up right on time at our hotel. The fellows in the shuttle, Romeo and Yaman (not sure of spelling) were so friendly and answered all my questions. After picking up a few more guests we headed to the desert. It was really nice to see a bit more than the downtown, beach and creek areas of Dubai. They pointed out things along the way. Once we arrived at the desert reserve, they tied traditional Arab head scarfs on us and we loaded into our open Land Rovers. They weren't particularly comfortable in the back but added to the charm of the afternoon. Our driver was a really nice guy too named Hassam or Hassan (again not sure of the spelling). I would recommend glasses or sunglasses when driving through the reserve. I usually don't wear either but have contacts and oh boy did I suffer a bit with the sand getting in my eyes. I had fun with our driving through the desert looking for wildlife - an Indian Jones moment. We only saw a few gazelle but the desert scenery was gorgeous as was the sunset. When we made a few stops to take photos and look around, our guide suggested walking barefoot and we did. The sand was surprisingly not hot and easy to walk on. It is super fine. We wore Teva sandals and was glad we did since they were so easy to take on and off. We also wore short and t-shirts which also were perfect.
The tour has a photographer which sells the photos on a CD at the end of the night. It was reasonable and the photos were very good so we bought it. After our drive we arrived at an area where a bird handler told us about falconry and demonstrated hunting with the bird she brought. It was interesting. The timing was about sunset, sitting on pillows and rugs in the desert as she demonstrated this old tradition. Then off to the camp for dinner which was just a short drive. It is a beautiful open air stone enclosure. We were welcomed with Arab coffee and dates, then offered juice (choice of traditional one (date I think) or another. I They showed us around then we had a little free time before dinner. My daughter and I did the short camel ride and had henna designs (hers on her wrist and mine on my hand). Both added to our experience. My henna lasted about a week and a half. She did it very quickly and it was an pretty design. Dinner was wonderful - traditional mezze, lentil soup then grilled meats and rice. After dinner a woman preformed a couple of dances, sweets were offered as were shishas. We're not smokers so we enjoyed the show and relaxing under the full moon before heading back to the city. did not do a head count but I think there were fewer than 30 people in our total group. One of the criteria I used to choose this company was the smaller group size and that was a good decision. The entire evening felt very personable and intimate...no cattle-car feeling which I wanted to avoid and did. A truly wonderful evening and one of the highlights of our week. I would highly recommend this tour. Thanks PH for a memorable evening in the desert.
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