Speeding away from the road, there’s no need to concern yourself with obstacles. Trees, signs, and bodies of water are all absent the middle of the desert.
Continuing on, as you power up a dune, the truck’s engine is your primary concern. Going downward however, your priorities are bound to shift towards your safety.
As desert terrain is concerned, Qatar’s got in in spades. The Middle Eastern nation’s dry climate allows for little vegetation and even less water. However, far from lacking resources, the wealthy country’s riches are located a short distance below the surface.
Qatar’s oil deposits have made the country a luxurious destination. Hotels exceed five-star standards and malls are as much an experience as a convenience. And when it comes to recreational activities, you can rest assured that excess and extravagance will exceed beyond a casual camel ride in the desert.
Driving in the Dunes
Though not exactly an environmental-friendly activity, desert driving is equal parts exploration and thrill ride. And with an assortment of trips leaving the creature comforts of Doha, you need only pull out your wallet to experience a day of sand and speed.
Organized independently or as part of a larger tour, dune bashing will be an adrenaline-fuelled ride through some sizable desert dunes. And though you won’t be behind the wheel of your all-terrain 4×4, a front-seat perspective will have you grabbing your seat belt in terror.
Where most of your desert safari will have you driving down dirt paths through flat-packed terrain, the dune bashing portion of the trip will involve cruising through soft sands, up and down steep hills. With sights taking a back seat to experience, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief once you’re back on flat roads.
Look to pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $75US for a 4-hour ride.
Visitors looking for a full spectrum of sand-based activities should seek out a desert safari. With specifics varying between companies, the desert experience will involve a long drive, a BBQ lunch, and perhaps even a swim in the inland sea. When the sun’s at its highest, you’ll get the opportunity to seek shade in a Bedouin tent.
At the end of the day, you’ll be bringing back valuable information, a collection of pictures, and an enthralling story to tell your friends back home.
Expect a single day tour to cost around $100.
And if one day isn’t enough, there’s always the option to spend the night away from your hotel.
Credit: Julie Lindsay
When To Go
The desert is no place to be in the heat of the summer. Consider planning your trip for between November and April when temperatures will be fairly comfortable.
Winter temperatures in Doha will range from lows of 54°F (12°C) to highs of 86°F (32°C). Being in the desert, rain will be more of an anomaly than a regular occurrence.
Getting There & Around
Arriving in Qatar you can expect to fly into the Doha International Airport. For your desert safari, look for tour companies to pick you up at your hotel.
- Mid-range accommodations: $100-160
- Meal: $10-20
- Beer: $9
- Take excessive steps to protect yourself from the sun.
- Note that dune bashing has negative effects on the landscape.
- Dress conservatively while walking around the city.
- Plan on getting alcohol outside of luxury hotels.
- Forget a bathing suit for your full-day safari.
- Expect any hostels around Doha.
- Qatar will be the host of the 2022 World Cup of Soccer.
- Qatar gained independence from the British in 1971.
- Because of it’s oil reserves, Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world.
Feature Image Credit: anniemullinsuk