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Desert Song

On Saturday afternoon we were picked up at our hotel in downtown Dubai by our Indian driver in a very smart Toyota Lancruiser. We then drove for about an hour, stopping to pick up some other folks who were also booked on the ‘desert safari’. One of our fellow travelers was Farhan who was Bangladeshi, brought up in the USA (spoke with an American accent) but now lived in Abu Dhabi.

I decided to try the old joke. Farhan, do you know that the people in Dubai don’t like the Flinstones?” “Oh really?” he replied with a quizzical look “Yes it’s true” I continued “The people in Dubai don’t like the Flintstones but the people in Abu Dhabi do!” Farhan thought this was hilarious and couldn’t wait to share.

We stopped at a parade which had a few shops, joining more white Toyota Landcruiers and some Hummers. We were advised to stock up on water. There were guys selling Arab head dresses at 200 AED a pop (about £40). They pounced on you as you entered the shop and wrapped the garment expertly.

Then it was off to the desert, by this time in a convoy with what seemed like hundreds of Landcruisers. We stopped at the edge of the desert as the drivers all got out and let half the air out of the tyres. What followed was the best roller coaster ride I’ve ever been on.


We swooped, skidded and slid, up over and across the sand dunes in dramatic and at times quite scary fashion.


After a while we stopped for photos.



Then another drive and a stop at our desert restaurant/theatre. Some tried a camel ride.


Then there was a meal during which we were entertained by a dancing display:




This excursion was probably the highlight of the week and cost only around £40 including everything. It’s a must for anyone visiting Dubai.


8 Responses

  1. Your in Dubai and it snows on the screen?
    It’s not that hot there then….?

  2. Bugger sand, camels, dancers, and Landcruisers. What were the pubs like and did you get Robbo a programme?

  3. so much for woman covering up then

  4. The scantily clad blonde is probably from Moldavia. I have a friend currently working in Shizan, Saudi Arabia, which apparantly is a bit of a sh**hole, who visited Dubai recently. His observation was that Dubai is “Arabic culture done correctly” He was enjoying an ice cold beer and eating tappas at the time.

  5. As regards that Flinstones joke, for reasons unknown I was last week selected to be interviewed on camera as part of a film being made to celebrate 50 years of Aggreko, my employer.

    The lady interviewer, a chum of the CEO, was frightfully pukka but asked me to share a joke, presumably to demonstrate that in the welter of dull chaff about temporary power generator design there exists a waspish wit.

    Dubai being the company’s international service hub, I duly chipped in said joke, only for it to be met by complete and utter incomprehension by my interviewer. Hopefully this will be my first and last corpsing on any film.

    • It was your own resurection of the joke recently (when I mentioned I was going to Dubai) which had it in my mind. My fellow traveller Farhan has I’m sure repeated it many times as he was chuckling all night at it in the way one does when a joke really appeals to you.

      Many firms have bases in Dubai because of the preferential tax regime. Where is Starbucks HQ?

      Sorry the Aggreko wummin didn’t see the joke!

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