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.

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