~Dubai, United Arab Emirates~

Dubai has always served as a bridge between East and West. In the past, Dubai’s trade links stretched from Western Europe to Southeast Asia and China. The result was the creation of one of the most protean societies in the world. Nestled in the very heart of Islam, Dubai remains unique in its embrace of the West. Bedouin may still roam the desert, but Dubai also plays hosts to international tennis and golf tournaments. Tourists flock to its shores while the pace of development continues at a frenetic pace, from massive artificial islands to the astounding Burj Al Arab Hotel.

Dubai is actually two cities in one: the Khor Dubai, an inlet of the Persian Gulf, separates Deira, the old city, from Bur Dubai.

In Dubai, a giant metropolis, I’ve earned an excursion called Desert ride – an entire day spent in the desert, driving along the beautiful sand dunes (I almost threw up because of the bumpy ride but no matter, it was amazing), camel riding, the Sun set, an evening camp where we had a traditional dinner, there was a belly dancer… It was like a fairytale.

I did this Tour: Evening 4WD Desert Safari DXB-860 Approximately 6 hours

This exciting 4-wheel drive safari is a wonderful way to explore the amazing conservation park that’s less than an hour’s drive away from the bustling city of Dubai. At Port Rashid, you will board your all-terrain vehicle for a drive to the entrance of the desert. Here, the view changes dramatically from city skyscrapers and hotels, to endless big-sky landscapes, sand-dunes and brush. On arrival at the Dubai Desert Conservation

Reserve, you will stop to deflate the tires on your vehicle before heading off across the sand. The reserve is relatively new to the region; in the 1960’s, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed al Maktoum became concerned about the disappearance of his country’s wildlife, particularly the Arabian Oryx (a type of antelope), and so he established this reserve as a place where animals could roam safely. This vast tract of unforgiving land is also home to a luxury spa that attracts visitors from all over the world.

Your driver will stop frequently so that you can take photographs of this almost lunar landscape, as you head to a lively Arabian campsite. Here, you will first enjoy a memorable camel ride – cameras at the ready! – before relaxing over a delicious barbecue dinner.

Your entertainment continues with a traditional belly dancing performance, before you return to your 4WD vehicle. Your tires will be inflated, and once more you will journey across this captivating landscape before arriving back at Dubai city and finally, your ship.