WHAT TO DO IN DUBAI: A DINNER IN THE DESERT AND TANOURA DANCE AFTER THE SAFARI WITH DUNE BASHING OR STAYING IN A TENT
Even though the Dubai skyline is among the most beautiful in the world, it’s nice to leave the twinkling lights and skyscrapers behind to venture into the desert and have a unique experience: desert dinner in Dubai. You can easily start with a camel ride to a real desert camp in the heart of the Dubai Desert Reserve. Here you can explore a traditional Bedouin camp with quality services and the possibility of night excursions into the desert. It is a wonderful experience to enjoy dinners based on typical Arab dishes and the opportunity to try Bedouin cooking techniques. The dunes are perfect for those looking for an environment with evening barbecues perfect for those who want to fully immerse themselves in the local culture. As the sun sets over the horizon and the fires crackle, a wide variety of grilled meats are served alongside typical fresh appetizers or “mezze” such as hummus and kibbeh.
If you wish, also ask for bottles of water.
There is no need to look for a lush oasis in the middle of the desert with stratospheric prices and 5-star luxury services. The scenery surrounding you in the desert itself will enchant you with its Bedouin-inspired style and excellent service. These camps, for example, offer a very rich menu of Arabian and international dishes, accompanied by an exceptional panoramic view of the desert around you. For an even more special dinner. The Desert Safari will take you to explore hidden corners in the sand dunes, where dinner awaits you. Don’t be enticed by the proposals for tourists with tables set with white linen tablecloths and silver cutlery. In the desert it is customary to sit on the ground with cushions and mats to understand the true nature of their traditions and cultures. The scenography, however, can include soaring torches to make you live a more exclusive gastronomic experience. You will also have a rich offer of entertainment ranging from fire shows, archery and drum lessons. Not rarely. hidden in the heart of the Dubai Desert you can also spot specimens of native animals such as oryx and gazelles.
DESERT CAMP AND VIP TREATMENT
If you really want to experience the culture of the Arabs and the emirates, there is only one way: spend an evening with dinner in the desert and if possible live a night in the desert. But let’s see what kind of experience you are really going to do.
Dinner is usually organized at the end of a Desert Safari experience with Dune bashing. They will accompany you to the entrance of the camp a little before sunset so that you can enjoy this wonderful show which is the sunset in the desert. Outside the camp you can take a camel ride (included) or enjoy quad biking on the dunes (not included). Afterwards, when the whole group is ready they will let you into the camp and offer you a VIP treatment for sure. Arabs are famous for trying to bargain anything to their advantage with the tourist. For this I was dying, they will propose to have privileges in exchange for an extra small collar on what was agreed in the excursion. Not infrequently these “extras” can be treated while saving a lot. The Vip treatment allows you to have:
- a VIP position with a privileged view (from above or in the autonomous tents), chairs and tables;
- smoke shisha (nargile) without limits;
- drinks before the show which are served by them;
- food and dishes before the show served by them.
But don’t worry, those who do not let themselves be enchanted by the VIP treatment will have the same things only will have to wait an hour longer. The thing to absolutely do when entering the field is the henna tattoo. Generally they do it only to women and it is done in tents. They are particularly beautiful works handcrafted by local women. They don’t last long but it’s worth it and included in the price.
THE SHOWS AND DINNER IN THE DESERT
When the whole group has settled down and all the participants of the various safaris have arrived, the actual dinner will begin. But before the actual dinner there will be some truly fascinating shows. It is a show within a show that includes the presence of Emirati dancers and artists, who will introduce us to the discovery of the most sincere and true traditions of these lands. One of these is definitely the fire eater. He performs at the edge of the reckless and will come to blow fire right next to you by performing marvelous stunts. If it is not Ramadan time you will also witness an enthusiastic belly dance very scenic in the desert settings. Alternatively there may be dancers with fluorescent and colorful costumes who perform in a spinning dance with a thousand lights and special effects that will leave you speechless. It is a special “Tanoura” dance, a hypnotic dance that will captivate you. At the end of the shows, the dances for dinner begin. If you haven’t taken the VIP, dinner is a buffet so you have to go get the food and drinks yourself. There is a wide choice of local dishes, the result of tradition and Arabic cuisine. To enter you will have to line up: men on one side and women on the other. It is important to respect these traditions that see women in any case have their own paths.
THE TANOURA DANCE
It is worth dwelling on this special dance to understand its traditional meaning. The name derives from the wide skirt worn by dancers, it is one of the many Arab folk dances and its meaning and origins are very interesting and very ancient as it derives from Sufi dances.
Sufism is an offshoot of Islam and wants to represent the Muslim asceticism and mysticism through which the follower of Allah establishes a direct contact with the divinity. It spread from the 12th century AD. The origin is also from the word “wool” in Arabic: sùf. In fact, wool was woven into the humble clothes of the first Muslim mystics who were therefore called “Sufis”. Sufis practice a form of physically active meditation, listening to music, focusing on God and turning on themselves …. even for a long time. This practice was seen as a symbolic imitation of the planets in the solar system orbiting the sun.
That’s why the dancers wear a colorful costume and their dance is perfected with lights and colors by turning on themselves. They mimic the worship ceremony, through which the dervishes aim to reach the source of all perfection, or kamal. This is sought through the abandonment of one’s ego and personal desires. From this form of meditation originated the Egyptian form, the Tanoura, characterized by the use of a multicolored and multilayer skirt. This “dance” then evolved into this show practiced by professional dancers. The Tanoura dancer joins, separates and moves four different skirts that symbolize the four seasons and their counterclockwise movement (the same sense of movement around the “Kaaba”., The Holy Shrine of Mecca. At one point in the dance, the dancer will raise the right arm while pointing the left arm down to represent the earth and the sky becoming one. It is also believed that the dancer is in a trance state while spinning trying to become light for rise to heaven.
STAY IN THE DUBAI DESERT
The allure of a desert dinner in Dubai can end by watching the sunset over the horizon as a hawk soars above you. The Bedouin camp will always be dimly lit by light effects of lamps that create atmosphere. You can choose to spend the night in the desert in one of their camps. In this way you can wake up in the morning with the scent of the preparation of bread and Arab coffee. You can also admire the starry sky above you. After dinner, a calm relaxation in front of the crackling fire. Then you go to sleep even in comfortable beds. In the morning a delicious breakfast based on local products created by hand by women, tea, eggs, fruit and more
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