The Road to an Amazing Getaway

“Oops, looks like we just took the wrong exit!”  announced Masood, as I stepped on the gas and overtook a truck.  I checked the time:  it was one in the afternoon;  we’ve been on the road for three hours now.  Few more kilometers down the highway we stopped for a short break, and asked for directions.

The result of taking that wrong exit lead us to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, which meant we were moving the opposite way!  Fortunately, we saw a U-turn and eventually found the correct way, alhumdulillah.  We’d covered almost 200 km up to this point.  Speed limit 100-120 km/hour (70% drove at 140, and some random crazy 4×4 driver would keep their headlights on and drive at 180).

After a couple of round-abouts, the highway narrowed to two-way lanes.  After spending hours on the super wide Dubai-Abu Dhabi highway, navigating this narrow highway seemed dangerous.  Speed limit was 80 km/hour, but people still drove at 120.  And there were so many trucks.  Huge ones.  With wheels the size of our car.

We continued on this highway for years.  At one point we doubted whether our decision to embark on this trip was a sound one.  There was no gas station in sight.  There were no houses or buildings.  There weren’t any street lights.  We were driving in the middle of the desert.

“This is crazy!  What are we doing?”  I observed the barren desert around us.  “You’re over-speeding,” came the reply.

Another 150+ kilometers later, we finally saw hope …

Based on the information from their website, the resort was 12 kilometers from this point.  Speed limit 40 kilometers.  I suggested that Masood drove from here.

So we continued deep into the heart of Arabia’s hostile desert (which is a slight exaggeration since the weather has considerably cooled down, hence the desert experience has been pleasant).  We ooh-ed and aah-ed at the rich color of the sand and the smooth texture of the dunes.

But the ooh-ing and aah-ing didn’t last long, since the road didn’t seem to end …

It was but natural for one to worry, more so if one did not see signs of life around.  What if the car broke down?  What if a sandstorm began and we’d get buried under a large dune.  What if …

Fortunately, before our imagination ran amok, we found another sign of hope …

And another …

Until we finally reached the resort’s entrance …

Almost 360 + kilometers, 5 hours and driving mostly at 100 km/hour, we finally reached our destination …

A valet took care of our car.  “Marhaba!”  greeted a guy –  clad in a brown thobe, matching headgear and warm smile – as he opened the huge glass door for us.


    1. Thank you, Sajib.

      These pictures were taken with my Kodak point-and-shoot camera, and then I did some post-processing to enhance the colors because we shot these pictures when the sun was high and bright, so the pictures originally look flat and washed out.

      1. Ah! Post-processing! That’s the thing I cannot do (I don’t know how to do, actually). People make their photos look better by post-processing. I can’t. 🙁

        1. Post processing is a piece of cake with softwares like Picasa, Picnik, Gimp, paint, etc. Photoshop is the favorite among photographers, of course, but I don’t have the patience to learn about it (yet).

  1. I am jealous! I am jealous!!
    I am jealous!!!

    I can’t describe in words, how much I am loving this road. Indeed an out of this world vista.!
    Waiting for more wonderful pictures, and interesting details.

    1. Raheel, the gorgeous red and golden dunes do make a spectacular scenery. However, it’s not fun driving on that bumpy road, unless one is taking a huge 4×4 jeep (we had taken a small car, hence couldn’t drive past 40 km/hr).

  2. Masyallah! It’s so beautiful!!!! Seeing these few pictures I’ve already begin to imagine the kinda sights it holds further into the resort!

    I’m so envious too!!!! Hehe… Will continue to read your updates on your exotic weekend!
    It really looks so adventurous!!

    Psst btw while looking at the pics… I can’t help but concoct an adventurous time riding a dirt truck all over that gorgeous sand! 😛

    1. Thank you, Mrs Umer!

      “I can’t help but concoct an adventurous time riding a dirt truck all over that gorgeous sand!” Oh, I’d love to try that! When are you coming to visit us? Let’s hire that truck when you get here 😉

Leave a Reply