“Water…water…H20…Water… (cry of despair). I can’t stand this horrible thirst! Water…water…” – Daffy Duck, 1001 Arabian Nights
As an expat in Dubai it’s quite possible to never step foot in a desert in the typical sense of the word. In this city, there are amazing skyscrapers, parks, fountains, lakes, and even an indoor ski slope. What the Emirates have accomplished in just 40 years is a spectacular transformation of this desert environment.
I went on a desert safari the first time I came to visit, but even that wasn’t a true desert experience. Yes, I have amazing photos of my husband and I jumping in the sand dunes and riding a camel, but the weather was amazing and half of the time we were riding in an air conditioned SUV.
It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I truly understood the value of a desert oasis. My husband and I went biking at a track in the desert, but unfortunately the weather was particularly hot that day. We biked for a while (or what seemed like an excruciating long time), and all I could do was think of the sun’s rays torturing my skin. My only solace was a solitary tree planted near the path surrounded by a small pool of water, obviously being taken care of by the maintenance team. When I stepped into the cool and comforting shade, there was no greater feeling at the time. Shielded from the sun’s brutal presence, I felt 10 times better. It was a night and day difference, and I sorrowfully dreaded our imminent departure.
When I was a kid, I used to laugh at cartoons depicting a character’s elation at finding a desert oasis, not understanding why a shady area with water would be that exciting. Now I laugh because I know exactly why!
After our bike ride, we drove around in search of a true desert oasis. When we found the Al Qudra lakes, the beauty and number of wildlife present blew me away. An oasis surrounded by desert seemed unreal, but reminded me how God takes care of us. In a desert habitat, there are bodies of water available for those in need. If only Bugs and Daffy had found this type of oasis in 1001 Arabian Nights!
Check out the desert scene I referred to in 1001 Arabian Nights at the top here.