The Arabian Desert is the second largest desert on earth, surpassed in size only by the Sahara Desert in northern Africa. The desert occupies most of the Arabian Peninsula covering an area of approximately 900,000 square miles which is over four times the area of France. The Arabian Desert covers almost all of Saudi Arabia and large portions of Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
Driving through the desert, most of the area looks like a never ending wasteland of small sand dunes with a few small bushes scattered along the way.
Massive Sand Dunes
Some places in the desert have developed massive sand dunes. The tallest sand dune in Saudi Arabia reaches a height of 250 meters and the tallest in the UAE is 300 meter.
Camels in the Desert
A common site near the roads are camels wandering in the desert. It is the equivalent of seeing cattle or sheep grazing in the fields.
One surprise to me was seeing camel ranches. I am not sure why I was surprised to see camel ranches in a desert but I guess it was unexpected because I have never seen one before. I actually had the chance to visit one location and the owner allowed me to take a couple of photos.
I am always on the lookout for wildlife and I am constantly amazed at some of the places I have seen wildlife. I know that there are many kinds of wildlife that thrives in harsh environments like the desert but I was shocked to see two Arabian Sand Gazelle resting in the shade of the small bushes.
Sunrise and sunset are two of my favorite times of the day. I can think of many sunrises on the beach or sunsets across the ocean that have special meaning to me but seeing the sunset in the Arabian Desert will always be one of my favorite sunset experiences.
I saved my two favorite photos from the Arabian Desert for the end of this post.
The first photo is near sunset and the sunlight highlights the ripples in the sand formed by the wind.
The second is a panoramic photo of the sand mountains in the foreground and smaller sand dunes in the distance.
I have made two trips to Dubai. The first trip was in August when the average daytime temperature reaches 107 degrees F. The second trip was in December when the normal daytime temperatures range between 64 and 80 degrees. Picking the right time of the year is extremely important if you decide to make a trip to the Middle East.
I have only been in deserts a few times. They are not places that I plan to go to on a vacation. All of my experiences in deserts have been because they are near something else that I was interested in seeing but if you have followed my blog for very long, you will know that I always try to take time to get into nature on my travels.
Many times in my travels it is the unexpected things that I encounter that make the biggest impact on me. Seeing the unexpected wildlife and unexpected lifestyles on my trip to the Arabian Desert is something that made a lasting impression on me.