“It’s just how we are wired up. Covering 225sqkms, it takes up approximately five per cent of the total land in Dubai and is marked and fenced off to protect and shield the flora and fauna that naturally grow in the area. The Dubai desert conservation reserve offers its visitors an adorable landscape of sand dunes and fauna of desert. When this sky-scraping, gold-loving emirate rose from the dunes on a wave of oil wealth, its humble history became a forgotten footnote. The emirate has certainly been busy while we have been gone. 100% of all visitor revenue from the DDCR is spent on conversation and wildlife care, with Emirates also sponsoring a dedicated conservation team of ecologists and wildlife specialists. Find out more, The latest offers and discount codes from popular brands on Telegraph Voucher Codes, Bedouins roast cardamom seeds for their morning coffee, Flamingos in Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve, Looking for Father Christmas? Topics ranged from the Five Pillars of Islam, to how many wives a man can have (“as many as he can afford to take care of”). The DDCR takes up a massive 225 square kilometres, or about 5% of Dubai’s total land area, and also includes a leading conservation-based luxury resort. The wind nipped at the open doorway; outside, cloaked in darkness, lay the rippling sands of the Arabian Desert. Working alongside the Dubai Government, Emirates established this reserve to protect critical desert habitat and a variety of endangered species. During my two-year stay, I met no more than a dozen Emiratis: in a city of 3.2 million, only 255,000 are nationals – living in private communities and socialising in circles that most foreigners never enter. Covid-19 cases in the UAE have stayed relatively low, with 146,000 infections recorded at the time of going to press – as have deaths, at 520. But in our Bedouin camp, warmed by cardamom coffee and a glowing campfire, we settled in for a night of stories and stargazing. And remarkably, almost all of the guides are Emirati, taking time out from their day jobs – as dentists, students, managers – to reveal what life was like before the oil boom. Away from the bustle and change that is modern-day Dubai, this conservation project was established to maintain no less than five percent of the Emirate of Dubai's total landmass. But to be honest, I was simply enjoying the moment, communing with a very different Dubai to the one we all know so well – the land of fly-and-flop getaways, boozy brunches and a penchant for all things superlative. We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us. The DDCR was also the first conservation area officially protected in the UAE, with a constitution and environmental law dedicated to ensuring its status as a nature reserve. We took a tour with Arabian Adventures in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve where we were treated with lecture/demonstration on falcons, a desert tour, and a meal in a Bedouin camp. We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future. Biggest, tallest, priciest: these are not words you could apply to our goat-hair hideaway. It’s the price of Dubai’s progress.” He gestured towards our tent’s ochre canopy, woven who-knows-when from bristly goat hair, and the henna-dyed cushions that served as our seats – spun from softer wool, camel perhaps. “Our ruler is a nature-lover; he wanted to create a desert oasis for Arabian oryx, and somewhere the migrating birds could rest.” But the sheikh’s attention soon turned to the conservation of his people, too. The land where it is situated is bought in 1993 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and it was a huge camel farm. The DDCR was also the first conservation area officially protected in the UAE, with a constitution and environmental law dedicated to ensuring its status as a nature reserve. Working alongside the Dubai Government, Emirates established this reserve to protect critical desert habitat and endangered species. I joined its hordes of expats in 2012, in search of a tax-free salary and sunshine. This is the greatest rags-to-riches story on Earth. They came for the Burj Khalifa, the beaches – but nobody understood our roots. Embark on a Conservation adventure in luxury Rang Rovers through the largest National Park in the UAE, the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve which is dedicated to preserving the unique and beautiful desert habitat and the hundreds of fascinating flora and fauna species it hosts. “This camp started as a project to conserve wildlife,” Ali said proudly, pouring more coffee from a voluptuous, gold-spouted pot (where else but Dubai would Bedouins boast such bling?) The dunes would be shifting tonight, as they have done for millennia – like a sculpture that is never quite finished. Sustainability in operations Please click here for more information. Chairman's message Please click here for more information. All Rights Reserved. It couldn’t be better suited to these socially distanced, crowd-averse times. “He saw that visitors weren’t experiencing the UAE’s real culture. – which holds the first international branch of London’s The Arts Club, due to open next month. Job Number 20041899 Job Category Rooms and Guest Services Operations Location Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai, Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, United Arab Emirates VIEW ON MAP The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR) is the UAE’s first national park. But for all its new frivolities, some of Dubai’s greatest surprises still lie in its humblest corners – such as Al Fahidi, a century-old neighbourhood on the edge of the Creek. Location. Your desert safari package will include a scenic dune drive into the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve where you’ll be able to try a range of desert activities such as a camel rides, sandboarding, henna hand-painting and regional live entertainment as well as the chance to relax in the picturesque Bedouin-style camp and make the most of the photo opportunities.