While I’ve travelled to many different places and seen lots of sand – mostly on beaches, I had never been out into a desert proper. So during a trip to Dubai, I decided I had to get out into the desert and experience some sand dunes and desert. I could have gone on an organised tour or dessert safari and for the best experience, I probably should have, but instead, I chose to rent a car and drive outside of the city and experience the desert that way.

As I had a hire car, I wasn’t going to drive off road into the dunes themselves – I might do some things that in hindsight I regret but I’m not that bad! I looked at likely places and decided the Bab Al Shams resort would be the place to go. It was Ramadam and I wanted to get something to eat after I had run around the desert and on their website they had plenty of pictures of sand dunes close by.

Sunset over the dunes

It took about 45 minutes to drive to the hotel, from Dubai, It was really windy on the way there and as I got further out of the city and into the desert, sand was being blown into drifts across the road. I stopped and got out of the car several times to look at the sand which went to the horizon. It was so desolate and made me wonder how people have lived in that environment for thousands of years. I found some moderately sized sand dunes and run up and down them like a big kid. One thing that I found really interesting was how much cooler it felt out in the desert compared to in the city. If you’ve been to the Middle East in the summer, you’ll know how hot and humid it is by the coast. If not, all I can say is, you probably haven’t experienced real heat before.

The wind was blowing a lot of sand over the dunes and I tried to capture the movement in the the photographs.

Sand blowing across the dunes

After tiring of the sand dunes, I drove the short distance to the Bab Al Shams resort for some diner, as it was close to sunset by this time. The hotel looked nice and has the Middle Eastern style of decor. The pool looks out over the desert and I can imagine it would be a nice place to spend a few days relaxing. As it was Ramadan, there were only a couple of restaurants open but I was disappointed with the food in the restaurant I chose, given the class of the hotel. It was average at best.

After eating, it was back out into the desert again. I had hoped to get a dark sky and a clear view of the stars but sadly it wasn’t to be. There was a lot of haze in the atmosphere and surprisingly there was quite a bit of light pollution. The temperature was perfect and I could have easily slept on out on the sand all night. Next time I’ll have to do a desert safari, one where you have a meal out in the desert and get a better experience.

check out my Gallery for more pictures from Dubai