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the charm of the dubai deserts and its wildlife

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Dubai deserts which are also called Lehbab Deserts by the people are one of the most remarkable and attractive places to visit. The deserts lie directly within Dubai. It is one of the most mysterious places one can ever think of visiting due to its extraordinary wildlife and culture.

Starting from the graceful gazelles to the stately oryx, the sands of the Dubai deserts are rich with hundreds of species of wildlife, particularly in the AI Marmoom conservation area, located near the Bab Al Shams desert resort.  

Saying hello to the camels, getting photographed with the falcon just to take back a beautiful memory along has a different feeling in a nutshell. The henna will adorn your hand and your toes into the sand at the campsite. You will just not feeling like moving your eyes out of these desert dwellers when you venture outdoors.

And if you get up the early morning you will get to see nature first show of the day, that is, a tranquil desert sunrise.

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There is a wide range of experiences that will help one to appreciate the majestic creatures. A few of them are:

The Oryx

With its long straight horns and distinct white shape, the Arabian oryx makes a very impressive statement against the golden sand-dunes. Considered all but extinct in the 1960s, the animal has been saved from following comprehensive breeding programs and reintroduced into its natural habitat. Oryx-sightings are common in the Dubai Desert Conservation Area, as well as the desert near Bab ai Shams, where several feeding stations have been erected. While the animals tend to stay within their restricted area, they are known to wander freely during the winter seasons.

The oryx white skin helps reflect the hot sunlight, but calves are born sand-coloured to ward off predators.

The Birds

Among the hundreds of bird species present in the desert is the rare Asian Houbara Bustard also known as MacQueen Bustard. Keen birdwatchers have spotted this migratory bird near the Al Qudra Lakes, the artificial water bodies in the Seih Al-Salaam desert. The lakes are home to a whopping 170 types of bird species, including some on the endangered or vulnerable list. Besides, the aptly named Swan, Flamingo, and Duck Lakes welcome their namesakes as well as several species of migratory and resident birds.

The Falcons

Falcons, the world’s fastest animals, are deeply rooted in the history of Dubai and are regarded as cultural icons throughout the UAE. In fact, they are so regarded that they can be seen on street signs, local currency, and are even the national emblem of the UAE. Falcons in Dubai can be seen as a status symbol, with some selling for as much as 1 million dirhams. Due to this, falcons are often associated with luxury and class.

Falconry is an ancient art that has been practised for thousands of years, but the techniques used evolved greatly in recent decades.

Traditional Falconry

Traditional falconry demonstrations are offered on several Desert Safaris. Among all the falcon shows, the traditional falconry provides a glimpse into the rich history falcons have within this region. One will get to see how the falconers train these majestic creatures to fly and swoop for lures. Once the falcons catch the lure in the sky, they are rewarded with their favourite snack, usually quail. 

Modern Falconry

On this experience, guests watch falcons reach speeds up to 300km/h as they fly and soar the skies around drones. These are very interactive falcon shows and are great fr anyone interested in seeing how falconry has evolved over the years. Hi-tech equipment like high-end drones is used to keep the falcons fit.

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Bedouin Falconry

The Bedouin falcon show is part of the Bedouin Collection of experiences. This is the most traditional falcon show and incorporates many aspects of Bedouin life into a fully immersive experience. It is conducted by an Emirati in the AI Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve. Guests travel on camel caravans through the desert and reach a point where they hop off and unroll the carpets carried by the camels as a place to sit and watch the show

Falcons and other birds of prey show

Although falcons tend to get all the attention, there are birds of prey species native to Dubai. In addition to the falcon show, one gets to watch other birds of prey like Harris hawks and Desert eagle owls perform aerial tricks. One can even get the chance to fly a hawk to their glove.

Gazelle

Two species of this graceful mammal are prevalent in the UAE: the Mountain Gazelle (Gazella Gazella), found primarily in mountainous areas and on gravel plains, and its fairer cousin, the Arabian Sand Gazelle or Reem Gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa), which was reintroduced in the wild over the past two decades. The Reem Gazelle is considered vulnerable to international endangered animals lists and is extinct in other parts of Arabia. The female Reem Gazelle are mostly hornless, unlike much of their species

Camels

The Emirati love for the ship of the desert began way back in the olden days when camels were used by Bedouins for transportation, meat, and milk, and regarded as a sign of wealth. They were also used as dowry gifts at weddings and to make charitable zakat payments.

The harmonious relationship between the Bedu desert tribes and the dromedaries(the camels having one hump are also known as dromedaries) who helped them survive in the harsh living conditions may have begun as a symbiotic relationship out of necessity, but continues to run deep in the hearts of locals today, however lavish or modern their lifestyle may be.

Camel Racing

For experience, one can join the locals excitedly cheering on camels from all over the Middle East at the AL Marmoum Racetrack(although no betting, that’s illegal in the UAE). The sturdy beasts specifically bred for racing are dressed in all their finery and fitted with robotic jockeys as they gallop across the dusty racetrack with owners in tow, frantically chasing along is truly a sight to be seen.

Camel Safari

One can experience the beauty of the Arabian desert in a caravan like the traditional tribes did throughout history by riding on the camelback across the magnificent landscape of golden dunes.

Once settled in, they can enjoy cultural music and dance, falconry, henna application, and learn how to cook a traditional meal, concluding with an authentic dinner under the night sky.

Geckos and lizards

The desert is rife with reptiles, including lizards, geckos, and toads. The Spiny-tailed Lizard known locally as dhub is the most prevalent and is highly suited to the desert environment. These creepy crawlies are able to survive on little vegetation for months on end and are known to live for up to 80 years. Also present is the Wonder Gecko, one of the largest of its kind, with distinctive reflective eyes.

One must definitely give a visit to the Dubai Deserts. With its wide range of unique experiences, long history, and astounding natural beauty, it will certainly be unforgettable and will bound you to appreciate the majestic creatures.

It is also important to note that wildlife must be respected and should not be disturbed in its natural environment.

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