Al Maha, Dubai

Well its not every day that I am invited to stay within a secluded encampment, bedouin style, nestled within a verdant oasis deep in the heart of conservation country, let alone ride my camel into the sunset…

Long Lashed Lady Camel of Al Maha - my transportation: f/2.8; 1/125sec

Long Lashed Lady Camel of Al Maha – my transportation: f/2.8; 1/125sec

Dunes, deserts, flora and fauna. I am arrived at Al Maha deep in the heart of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. Hajaar Mountains providing sanctuary, and relief from howling winds (known as shamal),  to the national symbols of the United Arab Emirates.

 Scimitar-horned Oryx Family, Al Maha: f/4.5; 1/750sec

Scimitar-horned Oryx Family, Al Maha: f/4.5; 1/750sec

It is here that I tread softly among the oryx, ride a well-meaning camel, watch falcons swoop and go face to face with the piercing eyes of the proud eagle owl.

Eagle Owl Landed, Al Maha: f/3.7; 1/180sec

Eagle Owl Landed, Al Maha: f/3.7; 1/180sec

Come walk with me around Al Maha; be a part of this unique population made up of feathers and hooves, fur and antlers…

Adolescent Rheem Gazelle at Al Maha, Dubai: f/5; 1/500sec

Adolescent Rheem Gazelle at Al Maha, Dubai: f/5; 1/500sec

Watching quietly as a family of Oryxes tend to their calf…

Newborn Scimitar Oryx in its manger, Al Maha: f/4.5; 1/750sec

Newborn Scimitar Oryx in its manger, Al Maha: f/4.5; 1/750sec

The stern-faced eagle owl demonstrates her powerful wings and devastating talons with a swoop onto the gloved arm of a Conservation Trainer…

The Master and his Mistress: Eagle Owl swoops down, Al Maha: f/2.8; 1/60sec

The Master and his Mistress: Eagle Owl swoops down, Al Maha: f/2.8; 1/60sec

Al Maha Desert bedouin suites sit a distance from the shifting dunes which feel the hooves of the wandering Oryx…

Shifting Sand Dunes, Oryxes and a Calf, Al Maha Bedouin Suites in Background: f/3.2; 1/90sec

Shifting Sand Dunes, Oryxes and a Calf, Al Maha Bedouin Suites in Background: f/3.2; 1/90sec

Raptors such as the Peregrine Falcon is commonly encountered in Al Maha. The falcons are taught to be aggressive in kill but tameness is quickly instilled by constant handling and by a reduced diet.

Shrouded Eagle at rest, Al Maha: f/2.8; 1/60sec

Shrouded Eagle at rest, Al Maha: f/2.8; 1/60sec

The dearly admired Arabian Camel is a beloved creature for all Gulf nations; how else have folk traversed the insufferable desert for 3,500 recorded years? Dromedaries thrive in desert conditions, unlike me. Bushy eyebrows and two rows of long eyelashes protect their eyes. Big, thick footpads help them navigate the rough rocky terrain and shifting desert sands. And best of all, a welcoming grunt for when I climb on board…

Dromedary of the Arabian Gulf - Preferred mode of Desert Transportation, Al Maha f/3.2; 1/125sec

Dromedary of the Arabian Gulf – Preferred mode of Desert Transportation, Al Maha f/3.2; 1/125sec

One Response to Al Maha, Dubai

  1. Hey, thanks for sharing I always look forward to reading your posts one of the few blogs I still follow home decorated

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