A Day out at the Sand Dunes Safari, Qatar

Monday, October 02, 2017

After 4-5 days not seeing the outside world (other than our compound, of course), I was absolutely thrilled to be out again, exploring the other parts of Doha!

One of the places that I’ve been talking about the entire time we touched down in Doha was the Sand Dunes Safari! Pictures of the Arabian Desert, cute little camels and land cruisers can be found on every touristy magazines and of course, it’s a must see and do when you’re in the Middle East. D was sooo sweet by accommodating to my request though he's already having lots of stuffs on his plate. :(

On Friday morning, our guide, MJ picked us up from our accommodation and we headed down South, about an hour’s drive to the Sand Dunes. Throughout the ride, MJ was really friendly and tried to get to know us better throughout the journey, keeping us entertained and laughing all the way.

Upon arrival, the first thing we saw were CAMELS. Lots of them, all sitting under the (very hot) sun, just chilling like everything’s cool. Hahaha. It was our first stop whereby our car's tires were about to get deflated (to reduce traction in the sand) so we were given 30 mins to hang around the area, go for the camel rides if we wanted to and enjoy some karak tea in the meantime.

The camel rides were not part of our packages, but it only costed us about QAR 20 (about SGD 7) for about a 10 mins ride?  D told me to go for it since he’s already tried it in Abu Dhabi.

Poor little camels had knitted "beanies" over their mouths. Not sure why but it could be to prevent them from attacking people. I didn't like the idea of the knitted stuffs over their mouths, because their skin was bruising and cut from the ropes too.

A local helping me to get up the camel.. So excited!

And finally, my dream of becoming a desert princess for 10 minutes came true... Hee hee.

And that's what went behind the scene. The local Qatari guided the camel and we went around a fair bit for just 10 minutes.

Look at how tamed and gentle they are! 

The Qatari told us to touch them, and we were pretty surprised because they didn't even budge when we try to pet their head! 

Heading back to our resting area for our karak tea. 

We were served hot Karak Tea despite the extremely warm weather, but that didn't stop us from enjoying their tea. Their local Karak Tea is a MUST TRY when you're in Qatar! It's so good I dream about it everyday and nag at my boyfriend to bring me out to drink it. Hahahaha.

And here's a shot with our guide - MJ

About 10 minutes later, we set off for our sand bashing adventure!

We actually drifted in the sand dunes, I kid you not. MJ was so good at handling his Toyota Land Cruiser that we drifted more than my fingers can count, and I was just screaming throughout the entire trip while bursting everyone's eardrums in the car. Sometimes, he'd stop the vehicle at the summit, hovering over the edge before going down fast like a roller coaster. At other times he would drive along the ridge before suddenly dropping sideways over the edge, guiding the car at a 45-degree angle over the shifting sands all the way to the bottom. 

We even did a REVERSE stunt down the 45-degree angled steep slope while another car followed us in front closely.

 "I just want you all to enjoy," he'd say.

Look how tight I'm gripping the car handle. LOL

Most of the sand dunes were enormous and were up to 60 metres in height. We scaled them all, and MJ slowly increased speed while I was just holding onto my dear life. D was really chilled about everything and occasionally laughed when I whimpered in fear.

Finally, we reached the Inland Sea aka Khor al Adaid, one of Qatar’s most impressive natural wonders. This site is a UNESCO recognized natural reserve and it is the only place in the world where the sea is surrounded by the desert! It's inaccessible by road, so the only way is by across the rolling sand dunes. Such a serene sight, surrounded by mountains of sand on all sides.

My handsome one with his GoPro

 And trust me, I made a poor choice of wearing slippers because the sand was BURNING my feet!
Think it was like 38-40 degrees over here in the desert. Thankful for the aircon in the car. 

MJ and us. And see how scenic the entire background is. Ahhh.

No clouds, just clear blue skies and the sun shining mercilessly at us. Thankful that our scalps were not burnt. Lol.

Upon reaching our last point - a small beach, we dipped our feet into the crystal clear lukewarm waters and in the distance, we could see the coast of Saudi Arabia clearly, just right across us. 

After wading in the water for some time, we headed back to a nearby station with the others to inflate the wheel tires again behind hitting the road back home.

Our ride, Toyota Land Cruiser. This beast is literally built for deserts, I swear!

A pity that we didn't get to swim in the sea and do sand boarding due to time constraint, but perhaps it's a good idea we didn't because we'd be soaking wet when we get back into the car!

Thank you to Qatar Inbound Adventures for this adventure of a lifetime, and making our experience such an enjoyable one! :)

In my opinion, the Sand Dunes is a MUST GO in Qatar and also, I'd recommend Souq Warif as well for a lovely cuppa Karak Tea and some yummy sweet Kunafa at Al Aker Sweets. I'd be doing a separate blog post on our trips to other parts of Doha, so stay tuned! xx

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