Since life is so short, here's a picture to remember how fun it can be. M took this photo of some of our kids running up a very high sand dune in the desert near Al Ain. We were on a "desert safari" that lasted well into the night.
A "desert safari" is one of my favorite things to do with visitors: a skilled driver takes you (via four-wheel drive car) over high, rolling sand dunes into the desert. The sometimes hair-raising ride ends at a camp with traditional Bedouin tents and barasti huts that show how people used to live in what is now the UAE.
When you're at the camp, the sand dunes beckon you to climb to the top, though you'd better be in fairly good shape to make the climb. It's quite a bit harder than it looks!
The view from the top is spectacular. Against a dusty blue sky are miles of burnt-tan hills of sand that nature will rearrange in another beautiful design the next day.
There are sand skis you can ski down on; some people just like to roll all the way down. The rolling beat of Arabic music adds to the atmosphere. You're treated to Arabic coffee and a beautiful Arabic dinner. You can try on the traditional abaya and sheylah (the black outergarment and headscarf worn by Emirati ladies) or the white dishdasha (a floor-length, shirtlike garment worn by Emirati men). Sometimes there is a belly-dancer. Usually there are fireworks. At some point they usually turn out all the lights and the music so visitors can enjoy an Arabian night for a bit. The desert is magnificent and not to be missed.