Of Belly Dances in Arabian Nights: The Dubai Desert Safari

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That random summer placement procedure had once decided that I was going to do my summer internship in Dubai.
And some six months later, I was actually in a desert near Dubai, reclining back on a muslin cushion, watching live performance of a Belly Dancer, who was shaking her hips on wavy arabian tunes, while my friends were busy filling their memory cards with the images and videos.
I came back to my senses, and took out my faithful SONY H55.
It made a whirring sound as the lens opened its eyes. I could not take off my eyes from the belly dance, hence shot the video without even looking at the screen!
Here’s the youtube link to a 3 minute long recording. Pardon the occasional camera swings!


Okay, now that you have watched the climax of the desert safari, let’s begin from where it all began. Dubai’s weekends start from friday itself (that’s the norm in most islamic countries). We didn’t want to waste our first weekend, and hence decided to kick start the fun with a full fledged desert safari in the Hatta Oman desert near Dubai.
The dune bashing:
Banned in Australia, and ultra-addictive in the Middle east; that’s dune bashing for you. Having had the experience of drifting cars in nfs games (if it even counted as an experience), we started our desert safari with a Land Cruiser, literally drifting on the elusive edges of mighty dunes. Every time the cruiser took a sharp turn, we would be flung to our sides, and fine sand would dance noisily in front of the windows.
       Cruising through dancing sands          What an experience! 
The driver was an arabian guy who had warned us that in case we puked, we would be fined 500 dirhams (In Indian currency, that’s around Rs. 7000!!!). The arabian music blaring loudly in the SUV didn’t help either!
We didn’t puke. One doesn’t puke when ecstatic.
The Sand Surfing:
Now this was something I had never done in my life. Surfing on slippery sands is something one needs to experience to appreciate. It looks adventurous, but when you do it, it’s sheer fun!
All you need to do is to balance yourself on a rickety surfing-board which is slipping uncontrollably on fine sands. And yes, you may fall on your face if you don’t balance yourself good. Easy, ain’t it?
Like a boss!
The quintessential camel ride:
Now this one was a disappointment. Three camels tied to one another, walking slowly for less than 5 minutes, and voila, your camel ride has ended.
We were left begging for more!
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The calm evening on a calm dry desert:
Tired of everything, we spent the next half an hour just sitting on the fine sands, doing nothing. It feels strange when you do nothing. Arbit ideas come in your mind.
“What am I doing in this random desert near a random city in a random country!” I got reminded of India. This place is not very different. Same people, just different clothes and slightly accented voices. :D
Anyways, I captured some more pics.
Ibn Batuta-1Ibn-Batuta 2
What makes a nation: A Chair, a Flag and a Barbed wire

I see a human settlement!
 The Belly Dance!!!
While we were lazing around in the sands, this loud arabian music started coming from near the stage. Somebody said, “It has begun!!!”
We came down the dune and entered the ‘Majlis’. A large Square Kaleen was lying around which muslin cushions were kept. Some of us sat while the others checked things around. The loud arabian music faded to light beats.
The belly dancer came.
The next hour saw us watching the dance totally mesmerized, while she swung her hips and belly along the serpentine tunes of that arabian song; as if she was riding on waves.
“Waves of Sand. Sands of Time.”
Here are some pics of the performance. They are not NSFW, but parental advisory might be needed. ;)
 Habibi Habibi Habibi Habibi
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All in all, this desert Safari was an amazing experience. I knew that Dubai would be fun. But the sands would be this interesting – I had no friggin’ idea!
Alok K.
April 7th, 2012
P.S. While waiting for the Land cruiser to take us back, we played with shadows. Can you see what we did with Dubai?
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4 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written.
Any idea which nationality does she belong to ?
~JustCurious

Pravy said...

Macha diya maan!!!

Alok K. said...

@ Mr. Anonymous..
Thanks! She looked like a Russian, ain't sure though.

@Pranav... hehe yeah. Live belly dance and that too in Arab. Never thought I would do all this. :P

Muhammad Amjad said...

Yes every nation have a culture and heritage...like the Arabian nights are so enjoy able.Belly dancer create exited moment.
Desert safari