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Dubai Part Two: The Nature & The Old

If you thought getting lost in the concrete jungle of central Dubai was fun, then you’d be thrilled to explore so much more the place had to offer.

Before this trip I’ve never been to a desert. I was very much looking forward to my 4×4 desert safari experience, booked way before via tripadvisor.com. The package gives you 4-5 hours in the desert, diving up and down the sand hills in the car, riding camels, having shisha and barbecue in the desert while watching some amazing dancers performing in front of you.

I liked the outfit I wore to the desert. Although the Sex & the City gowns looked pretty sassy, I eventually talked some sense into myself and opted for some more practical clothing. I admit that the pair of shorts might have be a tad too short, if I’d know more about the religious custom, I might have gone for something much more modest. A pair of cargo shorts for example, would probably be a better choice.

A scarf is highly recommended. Wrapped around your head, it stops the sand going into your nose and mouth, and at the same time gives a bit more sun protection. Oh, and have I mentioned that a scarf is particularly photogenic in the windy desert?  I was really glad that I brought it along.

The next day we set off to explore another part of Dubai: the old textile market. This part of the town felt like a complete different planet than what you usually think of Dubai. It’s nice to take half a day exploring the markets, if all the glitzy creature in the city centre is starting to put you off a little. There you get a very decent, authentic India/ Pakistani meal for the price of two cocktails in a fancy(by which I mean ALL) restaurant in the centre. I enjoyed every last bite of my garlic naan!

But also be aware that, going to that part of Dubai looking like a tourist, you get stopped by every single salesman in the market, trying to sell you their cumin/pashmina. The marketing manner is very pushy and forward over there. So unless you’re genuinely interested and already have your researches done, just forget about being polite for the length of that market hall, say your dozen of “No“s,  and charge your way through.

Having said that, there are some truly amazing fabrics and exotic spices on display. If you know your stuff, and are a real good deal maker, then I wouldn’t stop you hunting for some real gems there.