A couple of weeks ago, I was hurtling around the desert in the back of a 4x4. If you follow me on Snapchat, (effortlesslyexc) then you may have witnessed the bum-clenching moments we were teetering at the top of huge sand dunes and heard high-pitched, girlish screams - mostly from my husband.
We had family over to visit us and in true touristy fashion, we planned a desert safari tour with Abu Dhabi Desert Safari to head out of the urban jungle and hit the dunes hard.
My first experience of dune bashing was when I lived in Doha, Qatar so I had some idea of what to expect but this was a first for my dad and brother and it didn't disappoint.
We were picked up from our apartment and made the 45 minute drive out into the desert. The car was fitted with a roll cage which put me on edge but which I later found to be a lifesaver as I was clinging onto it for dear life as we scaled some sizable dunes.
As the driver blasted out some questionable 'tunes' we sped off into the desert, leaving a trail of dust in our wake.
If you've never tried dune bashing before, it's such an exhilarating experience. I'm not an adrenaline junkie. I get my fix by hitting the sales in Topshop and even that's too much sometimes. But with the skilled drivers and the thought that it's 'only sand, how hard can it hurt?' lodged in my mind, it's easy to get sucked into the fun of it all.
After around half an hour of dune bashing, trust me, you don't need more than that, we stopped off at a camel farm to see the animals. It's where we discovered that my brother, AKA the Camel Whisperer, has a certain way with these hump-backed creatures. They loved him. I had vivid flashbacks of my Turkish camel encounter circa 1998 in which I was delightfully welcomed with a face full of camel spit so I held back and stuck to taking pictures. We were given the option of a ride but declined so jumped back in the car to head home.
In all, the entire trip took around two and a half hours. For me, that's plenty long enough to get a taste of the desert but you can book longer trips to head out further and stay at the bedouin style camp site and have a camp fire dinner.
I highly, highly recommend Abu Dhabi Desert Safari as they were fantastic with us and gave my family an unforgettable holiday experience.
The dune bashing tour cost us 800 Dirhams between the four of us for a private car, including pick up and drop off. To find out more and to check out the other packages available, visit Abu Dhabi Desert Safari.