The nature outside of Dubai
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Dubai is just a concrete city with many superlatives built on the sands of the deserts. But outside of Dubai, there are many places in the vast nature worthwhile a visit. The mountainous area of Hatta in UAE with the Western Hajar Mountains near the Omani borders was an interesting place for camping. We found a nice spot in the nature to set up the tent and during the search, we even came across some camel bones and a camel skull.
It was absolute solitude in the great outdoors except for the few rare occasions where a four wheel drive would drive by, honk to shout hello. We set up the tent, built a fire as it was a windy January day and took the picnic out. Just as we were contentedly tucking in our food and enjoying the nature, we had a surprise visit from some visitors.
Along came a group of camels wandering by the tent! Some camels came roaming the area searching for plants and shrubs to eat. Apparently, these were camels from the farms allowed to roam around in the nature during the day. We got excited and since we had plenty of food and vegetables, we decided to give them a big feast. We started taking out our greens - celery, cucumber, carrots, watermelon, papaya and apples and offered them to the camels. Two particular camels that were not shy had a big feast and even followed us to the tent for more food. I even offered one of them pickled cucumber but they did not like it and spat it out immediately with disgust. That scene was really hilarious.
On the way back to Dubai, we made a detour to explore another route to leading to some other mountains and had yet another pleasant surprise.
We went on the following day to explore a route that would lead to a camping and picnic site in Oman. In this part of the UAE, there are some pockets of areas and towns which actually belong to Oman without any border control. We saw some wild donkeys along that way but they were too shy and ran away before we could even approach them. There was not even a chance to offer them any cucumbers.
Although we could not find the camping site, we nevertheless had great fun along the way exploring two tiny Omani villages nestling under the Western Hajar Mountains and having a picnic lunch under the shady dates trees. It was interesting to see the wadis and the irrigation system the villages had set up for their date plants.