Dubai Day 4 (14 Mar 11) – Venturing into Oman after watching Sunrise in the Desert

Sunrise in Dubai Desert Conservatory 

We woke up in time for sunrise, as we very much wanted to watch sunrise in the desert. We climbed the nearest sun dune and waited patiently for the sun to shine on this land once more. As we waited from dawn to sunrise, we saw a pack of 6 oryx grazing the little patch of grass that is near to the dune we were at (looked like 2 dunes away). Wanting to get a nice closer picture of these animals, I went closer to them. When we walked nearer to them, the pack of oryx had moved further into the other side of the desert. Damn, we were so close to getting good pictures of the oryx. As the sun was about to rise, we stayed put at our current location. We watched the sun slowly emerging from the horizon, pretty much like a lazy boy who refuse to wake up. The view of sunrise in the desert is beautiful, I had watched sunrise from in the sea, but sun rising in desert was a first, and the feel is very different. I felt the most anticipated sun ray beaming across the vast desert land to warm things up, after all the night chilly desert winds had brought the temperature of the surroundings down. After watching the sun rise, we head back to the tent area. Our guide had already prepared breakfast. Breakfast was a simple affair, and after breakfast we packed up and leave the desert, driving towards Hajar Mountains.

Waking up before the sun rises to make sure we get a glimpse of this rare sight (well for us) 
Slowly the lights shine across the horizon and upon these desert grounds 
Awaiting sunrise in the deserts
Awaiting sunrise in the deserts 
Sun is rising across the horizons
Panoramic view of the desert
The colourful clouds in the sky
At this moment, we enjoyed the clouds in the sky
Awaiting for sun to rise
Waiting for sunrise
There it is, the sun is slowly peeking through the sand dunes afar
Magnificent sunrise
This is our first time seeing sunrise in the desert
By this time, the sun is already up and making its way to the skies
Sunrise!
Sunrise in the desert
Sunrise in the desert
The rays of the morning sun coloured the desert in bright orange
Sunrise in the desert
Such peacefulness and tranquility in the desert
Sun rise
A local resident in the desert
This is how a sand storm might look like if there were one
The sun has risen and the beautiful blue skies has cover this part of earth once more

Short Trip to Oman

Not knowing geography of this area well, I thought Hajar Mountains was just further into the deserts. Boy how wrong I was! The guide had driven us out of the desert conservation grounds, as we were pulling up to what looks like a check point, our guide told us to keep our cameras and produce our passport. At this moment, I was wondering if we had just crossed into some army camp. We got our passports checked in less then 5 mins, as soon as we passed the checkpoint our guide stopped the vehicle, turned around and told us we are in Oman. 10 mins drive later we saw another checkpoint, this time we know the drill, kept our cameras and volunteered our passport. Now we are officially in Oman. About another 10 mins drive later, our guide went off road and stopped by an oasis. We were told this is a natural oasis, pretty much similar to what I imagined an oasis would be, except there isn’t a pool of water, just paddles here and there. We got off the vehicle, walking on the ground felt as though this area has not been raining for centuries. The ground is very dried up, however I was rather surprised that there are plants growing nearby the oasis. We walked up to higher grounds to see further. The Hajar mountains has its own beauty, though the mountain ranges are not as majestic nor as amazing as the Zagros or Alborz Mountain ranges in Iran, Hajar mountains, overlooking a vast piece of barren lands just at the base of it, this feels very “desertish”.

Entering into Oman
Driving into Hajar Mountains in Oman
Driving into Hajar Mountains in Oman
Driving into Hajar Mountains in Oman
We arrived at Hajar Mountains and a natural oasis welcomed us
This is how a natural oasis looked like (well my first time seeing this)
So much life surrounding this oasis
Around the oasis
We did a small trek up some hills around the oasis
Natural rock formation
Arriving at the peak of the hill 
Nearing the peak
Panoramic view of Hajar Mountains from the peak
Panoramic view of Hajar Mountains from the peak
Panoramic view of the surroundings
Flaura near the oasis
Driving back to Dubai

The Engineering Marvel – Palm Islands

We spent about 20 mins walking around, taking pictures and soon we were on our way back to Dubai. The 2 hour drive back to Dubai is rather uneventful. Once back at the hotel, the check in was faster then my first check in. We lazed a little in the hotel and left for Atlantis on the Palm islands. There are a lot of hype about this place and we just wanna see what’s the big fuss about it. We took a cab from Mall of Emirates (there are hardly any cabs plying through our hotel), the drive towards Atlantis was astonishing. It is amazing how this land that we were driving on at the moment used to be Arabian gulf. The numerous housing built on this island, mostly vacant looked luxurious. The realisation of such a huge project proves that as long as there is money, nothing is impossible. We alighted at the aquarium side of Atlantis hotel and started to explore around. The number of places we can access at this place is really limited, this public area that was opened to us only consisted of a few shops and an aquarium. Since there is really nothing to see around, we went into the aquarium. The aquarium was relatively small and boring. The centrepiece of the aquarium is this really huge tank with sharks, stingrays and tons of fishes swimming inside. Not too much to see around. I thought people find the tankful of piranhas more intriguing then this huge tank.

Nearing the Palm Islands
Atlantis Hotel on the Palm Islands
Inside the shopping arcade in Atlantis hotel
Atlantis Aquarium
Atlantis Aquarium
Atlantis Aquarium
Atlantis Aquarium
Atlantis Aquarium
Atlantis Aquarium
Atlantis Aquarium
Atlantis Aquarium
Atlantis Aquarium
Atlantis Aquarium
Atlantis Aquarium
Atlantis Aquarium
Atlantis Aquarium
Atlantis Aquarium

We went to an ice-cream shop after exiting the aquarium. The staffs in this shop are a fun loving lot of people. They entertained their customers via this ice-cream throwing stun. What the did was to prepare your order, and then one of the staff will stand about 20m away, the staff who prepared the ice-cream will throw it towards him like a baseball. The coordination between the staffs ensured that the chances of missing is very slim. Very interesting sight. After the ice-cream, we headed to the sea front of this artificial island. We headed over to the Hotel entrance, but was stopped by the security. Well we can only take pictures of the hotel from outside. We headed back towards the aquarium side of the hotel and took the train out of the island. There is really nothing much we can do hanging around here. The train ride was rather expensive, but it enabled us to see the island on a slightly elevated perspective. On the way out, I saw alot of apartments and houses not occupied, wonder if they even managed to sell the properties here. We headed back to the hotel after our visit to Atlantis, as we felt the fatigue from the lack of sleep last night. Spent the rest of the day lazing around in the hotel.

Atlantis Hotel Exterior
At the edge of Palm Islands
Atlantis Hotel
Atlantis Hotel
Selfie at Altanis Hotel 
On the Monorail out of Palm Islands
View of Palm Islands from the Monorail
View of Palm Islands from the Monorail
View of Palm Islands from the Monorail
View of Palm Islands from the Monorail
View of Palm Islands from the Monorail
View of Palm Islands from the Monorail
View of Palm Islands from the Monorail

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