Surely you’ve always wanted to spend a day in the desert surrounded by dunes, right? If so, Dubai is the perfect place for that. One of the most incredible experiences I have ever had has been just a couple of days ago, when I was able to spend half a day in the desert and watched the sunrise from a hot air balloon. Thank you very much https://www.ballooning.ae/es/ for making this experience possible.
It all started at 4 in the morning when the alarm rang. I didn’t even want to get up, -it was too soon- but when I remembered what was the plan for that day, I prepared myself in a hurry and by 4.30 I was in the lobby where one of the guys from the company, pick us up with a van.
We arrived in the desert about 45 minutes later. It was still dark. More people were waiting for us there and the balloons were almost ready, ready to be inflated. What an incredible experience to see how the balloons were inflated with the fire. How cool to see the fire in contrast to the darkness of the night!
Soon, we were riding in the baskets of the balloons very excited. I had already ridden in a balloon before, in Cappadocia, but you always feel butterflies in the stomach before and experience like this one. In our basket we were a total of about 15 people with “the captain”.
This hot air balloon company in Dubai is the only one in the world that performs hot air balloon flights along with the hawk flight. Yes, the hawk was an special passenger in our basket.
Since the Middle Ages, the Bedouins, named after the oldest inhabitants of the Arabian desert, have used hawks for hunting in the desert. However, oil wealth has ensured that in the Middle East nobody will ever have to hunt their own food again.
Arab sheiks use hawks as a symbol of their power and strength and are a source of pride among sheiks. Here, falconry is the national sport. The guide even told us that some sheiks can expect to pay up to $ 20,000 for a hawk and many have even their own passport. Even some airlines admit hawks as one more passenger. Also, in Abu Dhabi, there is the only Hospital for Falcons where they are treated with luxury.
Thus, the hawk is a national symbol of the Emirates, and is used in uniforms of security forces, passports and other official identity documents.
During the flight, this animal makes circle flights around the globe,. A very beautiful display of its majestic flight, with the dawn of Dubai over the desert as a backdrop. It is impressive to be able to see the reddish dunes of the Arabian desert from the hot air balloon.
If you are lucky, you can even spot wild gazelles, groups of camels or other typical Arabian desert animals such as oryx.
You will also discover green oases full of life and fly over several hundred palm trees, see farmers that start working and even greet them from the globe.
Once on land, the guide will take you to a camp in the middle of the desert where, suddenly, you will feel on the movie of the Thousand and One Nights. Here, you have a delicious breakfast based on delicacies such as hand-cut smoked salmon and caviar, several hot dishes, cold cuts, various types of fruit etc.
Here, I could taste the Arabic coffee called “qahwa” that is usually made with a few drops of rose water and seasoned with cardamom, cumin, clove and saffron. It is served in small cups called “pretend” and is always accompanied by dates because they emphasise its flavor.
It was delicious!. One of the things I like the most about traveling is being able to try and integrate as much as possible in the local culture and traditions.
After breakfast and full of energy now, we set off on board vintage Land Rovers. Those vehicles, convertibles of the 50s that seem taken from a museum, a real relic, were the first to cross the desert about 60 years ago.
Our guide put a turban on each one of us and after that, we entered the beautiful Dubai Desert Reserve where local fauna and flora are protected. Apparently there are more than 40 species that grow in the desert.
I felt inside of “Lawrence of Arabia”, the movie, in that Land Rover, raffling the dunes under the morning sun. We were able to see gazelles, oryx and learn much more about the fauna and flora of the awake. I didn’t want it to ever end!
I really liked our guide, originally from South Africa. -hello Jacob if you read this!- . You are passionate about your work and we could completely feel it! Congratulations!
I totally recommend you to do this tour. You can find more info here. Click on the link.
If you have any questions or questions, you can send me an email or write it in comments.
Thank you so much for reading me.
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