Thursday, February 10, 2011

Moreeb Dunes

I spent the past Saturday on a day trip to the Moreeb Dunes, located in the middle of the UAE desert -- Western Region of the Abu Dhabi Emirates.  I had been there last summer to attend the Liwa Date Festival.  The Moreeb Dunes are just outside of Liwa.  I have said it before, and I will say it again:  The desert landscape here is spectacular with the orange-hued sand and the endlessly undulating forms of the dunes.

The Moreeb Dunes is about 2.5 hours drive from Abu Dhabi.  I relied on highway signs (not well designated) and from what I remember from my previous trip.  The weather during my visit was great.  It was sunny, but it was not too hot.  In the late afternoon, it got fairly cool.  I purchased lunch to go at a market in Abu Dhabi prior to my departure.  I enjoyed my lunch among the breathtaking vistas in the desert.

For fear of getting stuck, I did not try four-wheeling on the dunes.  It is allowed and I do have a 4-wheel drive vehicle.  Seeing the dunes was enough of a motivation to do a 5 hour road trip, back and forth.  During the drive, the backdrop of tangerine colored, rolling dunes was stunning.  In places, the shifting sands stretch across the highway; at times, they appear to reclaim the desert from the roads that interrupt their flow.  The panorama consisting of the myriads of colors, forms, and shapes of the sands is dramatic.

The Liwa is best experienced with your own set of wheels, as I have done, so you can stop at your leisure to take photographs.  The desert drive is a unique experience.  It can't help bu relax your mood.  It is calming, yet surreal.  In the desert, the elements are emphasized, the sun is more intense, the skies are more translucent, and the silence is sublime.

Photos do not do justice in presenting the splendor and vastness of the Moreeb Dunes.  It will only show a few of its dimensions.  But the photos do show enough of its beauty.

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