Today, I got tourist trapped. Like, tourist trapped real real good.
My last few days in Dubai have been fairly open ended thus far – having left Yaz and his family in Abu Dhabi, I just had all this free time with absolutely no plans.
So today, I decided, why not jump on one of these desert safari’s everyone’s been raving about.
For 69 dirams, the guide would take us dune bashing, sand boarding, camel riding topped off with a lovely bbq dinner. Sounded excellent to me! After my last sand dune experience in Namibia, I was excited and held high hopes for the day ahead.
After a bus ride out in to the dunes of Dubai, it began to click that this may not be similar to my Namibia experience at all.
The dune bashing lasted 5mins – where the driver picked us up from our bus and took us to our quaint space amidst the sand.
Getting off our 5min dune bash, we were approached by a local who tied a traditional head scarf on us before demanding payment – it all happened in one swift move, and poof, my money was gone. I’m weak, and couldn’t say no!
The sand boarding didn’t happen, the camel ride was a 50m walk – you had to pay more for the 20min version.
At least the dinner was aite, and the entertainment – a little weird but interesting nonetheless!
After all the travel I’ve done, I was a little disappointed I didn’t see the tourist trap coming.
I guess I was just desperate to get out of the city for a bit. And in that way, I did get what I wished for. Plus the night sky was pretty beautiful too!
Ryan Cheng is the founder of The 88, and is passionate about telling stories surrounding travel, culture and identity.
Get in touch ~