Okay, okay, I know it is cheesy and a bit hokey, but I couldn’t help but enjoy myself at the “Arabian campsite” on my desert excursion. I wish I’d been able to stay the night out in the desert, but settled for a sunset dinner.
There were camels to ride outside the site and I immediately did it. I couldn’t pass up my first (and perhaps only) opportunity to ride a camel. Someone had warned me to hold on tight as the camel got up so it was surprisingly easy.
Falconry is popular in the region and we were treated to a falconry demonstration. It was impressive. After learning about raptors at the Carolina Raptor Center, I find them interesting, impressive animals.
The falconer takes off the mask, releases the bird, and swings the meat around on a string for the hawk grab. Falcons come back for food.
Some people took advantage of the henna painters. Others enjoyed smoking sheesha pipes. A traditional pastime in Dubai, sheesha (also known as narghile in Turkey and hookah in India and Pakistan) is a long-stemmed smoking pipe packed with flavored tobacco. I didn’t partake in that either, but I heard that Strawberry is the most popular favor.
I love middle-eastern food more than just about any other cuisine and was super excited for the spread. In fact, I was so busy scarfing it down that I didn’t get a picture. Sorry.
Luckily I was done eating by the time the belly-dancing started. I love belly-dancing and the belly dancer was much better than I expected. She performed in the heat for over a half an hour and had people mesmirised. It is easy to see why.