Into the Wild: Rub'Al Khali & What NOT TO DO in a Desert

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Not only will I be sharing with you gorgeous pictures from the desert (my favourite leg of the entire UAE trip and therefore saved for the last ♥), I will also tell you what absolutely NOT to do when you are in a desert! #ClickbaitAlert #ButTrueStory



How we started our desert journey -

We arrived at Tilal Liwa Desert Resort after about 2 hours of driving from Abu Dhabi (mostly me sleeping)~ And through sleep-laden eyes, I could see it was gorgeous, in the afternoon golden glow.




It was every bit like a beach resort, except more opulent and think: it is built in the middle of a dry, expansive desert called the Empty Quarter.


I have to take a picture among it all, right? ;) We were given welcome drinks and towels which was really nice after the long car ride, and then we checked in quickly before setting off for the next part of our journey, a 40 mins ride through the Empty Quarter / Rub'Al Khali to see the Moreeb Dunes, aka the tallest dunes on Planet Earth. It is guaranteed to be a jawdropping, eye-widening experience even before we set off! It was our first time in a desert too so we were all so psyched about it!


Along the way, some pretty sights from the wilderness, floral and fauna of the desert.


There was even a small town, Liwa, mid-way (20mins of driving) where there were some desolate shops with nobody in there, so I guess it was more of a ghost town than anything.


The landscape got drier and sparser as we move along, with sporadic civilizations in the distance.



And emptier...


Before we reached the stage where we are really surrounded by miles and miles of sand and nothingness.


Other than road signs, there was literally nothing else except sand.


Occasionally, there were some camels in the distance. Spectacular as it is, it got mun-dune after a while and so the idea of sand dune bashing got into our little heads.

"Stay on the path, don't go into the sand," our resort concierge warned ominously.
But what could a little bit of sand do to the huge 4wd right?


This happened.


Tyres sunk into the sand. It doesn't really seem like it sunk deep, but considering such a heavy vehicle, it was impossible to get it out. Not to mention it was extremely scorching hot.


-So first lemme take a selfie-
And then suddenly in the far distance, there was an Arabian guy on his little four-wheel scooter, and I frantically waved at him to come over while the rest of the party tried all ways to extricate the wheels from the sand.


The Arabian guy came and started expertly digging at the sand with his bare hands, much to our amazement. He was seriously made for the desert. He went into the car, made some adjustments to the gears, and tried to start the car. The tyres riled up even more sand in the air, but it seemed to go even deeper instead.



More Arabian friends passed by on the road (thank goodness) and all of them actually stopped to attempt to save us! It was such a heartwarming moment - faith in humanity was really restored!!!


One of them had a pick-up truck of sorts, and lent us planks to put beneath the tyres and also ropes to tie their pick-up truck to our 4wd. They used their pick-up truck to attempt to pull us out by force, but they ended up getting stuck in the sand instead, too. They untied the ropes and the pick-up truck could extricate itself out of the sand. But we're still stuck.



Then, another 4wd came along and the ropes were hooked onto the new 4wd in front. With a lot of pushing and sand in the faces of our Arabian friends, they finally freed our 4wd. It was super touching to see them come forward to help!!!


The moment of freedom and relief.



And obviously I didn't do the pushing because I was busy documenting everything #LOL



After everything, they even refused our token of appreciation. Even though there was a language barrier, we could see how true and helpful their community is in Rub'Al Khali. ♥♥♥

Moral of the story, even 4wds can't handle sand-dune bashing. Stay on the road!


The first Arabian friend who came forward ♥ He even gave us his mobile in case we got into trouble again. This guy is just pure gold!!! But anyway we could not really communicate with him except saying 'thank you' profusely. Then, we got on our way to the Moreeb Dunes 😊


This is the Moreeb Dunes. When it's not just a tourist attraction, the dunes is actually a place for organised drag races. With a 50 degree dune slipface, and a height of 300 metres, it is perfect for sand drags and competitions. It is huge and trying to climb up the dune is super tiring! I tried and got only to the quarter-way mark before I totally gave up.


Grumpy cat watching the rolling sand mountains from the car~


Stay on the road, y'all.



Gorgeous red sand in the evening reflecting the colours of the evening.



We drove back to the Tilal Liwa Desert Resort while admiring the sunset, and guess what??? On the way back, there was a couple who also decided to drive happily into the sand and they got stuck too D: We couldn't really help them as we didn't have any ropes, but we gave the mobile number of the awesome Arabian friend to one of them. Later in the evening, we saw the same couple back in the resort so I guess they got out safe.


Good night, Rub'Al Khali.

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I share interesting episodes in life revolving around food, lifestyle, travel and inspirational ideas. If you would like to stay in touch, follow me on my Instagram on @amie.hu and Facebook page!

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