20 February 2016

A night in Dubai desert luxury

Nestled on a cuccoon of cushions, one hand tucked under my head, the other idly running cool sand through my fingers, the camp settled down. Lights blinked off one by one, leaving only the soft crackle of the fire.

Our hosts for the night quietly left the bedouin camp, one or two slipping into in a nearby tent for company, leaving us to the silence of the desert. The quiet deepened* as our camp mates drifted off to sleep and the stars began to shimmer.

What to do in Dubai desert safari
Snuggling further into my scarf my eyes began to adjust to the glorious canopy overhead. Billions of stars, some shining with fervour, others more shy and quietly glimmering. The few constellations I know began to appear (and the itch to retrieve my slowly flattening phone and download a stargazing app strengthened despite a lack of electrical sockets and wifi connectivity) and the silence grew further.


I simply lay there and fell into an almost meditative trance. The feel of a light breeze whispering across my face became something I wanted to treasure for ever, the hard romance of an unforgiving clime so different from my own green island home.

What to do in Dubai - A luxury desert safari
What to do in Dubai desert safari

As the cool began to dew on my skin I knew that I could either dash into our tent and fish a duvet from our bed to sleep under the stars, or simply clamber into the warmer bed where my sleepy husband giggled at my stargazing antics.
 What to do in Dubai desert safari

Our humble boudoir lit with a torch was swathed in richly decorated tapestry walls, thick carpets and a a scattering of sand brought in with our shoes. Slipping into fleecy pyjamas more often seen on our London couch, I sensibly wriggled into bed, but not before setting a pre-dawn alarm clock.

 What to do in Dubai desert safari
 
We seemed to wake 3 minutes afterwards (in reality we had managed 5 hours of sleep) and shrugged on fleeces and shoes before grabbing water bottles and staggering out of the camp, and up a few nearby dunes in the dusky light.

I can't tell you in words how beautiful that sunrise was. Deep indigo turned slowly to inky blue, soft lavender, russet red. Then, as the sun began to peek over the horizon intense ochres turned to soft peachs and rich yellows.

What to do in Dubai desert safari
What to do in Dubai desert safari

Sometimes the simplest things in the world just remind you how insignificant many of our day to day niggles are. And this was one of them.

We looked back over our camp as the skies became pastel. The other couple staying in the camp had peeked out from their covers by now, and were standing quietly on an adjacent dune. The smell of coffee and breakfast wafted slowly over interrupting our adoration of the horizon.

What to do in Dubai desert safari

And the day was only just beginning...

What to do in Dubai desert safari

Nearly everyone I spoke to about going to Dubai insisted that we take in a desert activity or two, and I am so very glad we did.

 What to do in Dubai - A luxury desert safari


*Always wanted a situation I could genuinely use that phrase

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