After our lovely relaxing drinks watching the sun set over the desert, we were very much ready for the evening’s entertainment.
I had booked us a table at a wonderful place called Al Hadeerah. It’s the crown jewel of this stunning resort!
For a set price of AED 495 for an Arabic BBQ style food buffet (inclusive of water, soft drinks and coffee – all other drinks are charged separately) you are treated to an amazing evening. It may seem a lot of money, but you’re paying for dinner and a show!
I’ll explain more about the show and the food in between the pictures and videos below, because they will explain better than my words can!
One thing before I start, it is an outdoor venue. We went mid-September and it was a little too hot for us. It is categorically not somewhere to visit in the summer!! We are looking forward to going back again in the cooler moths with more guests. Very much so.
There is something for everyone at this buffet, unless you are one of those dreadful people who only eat English food or whatever!
There was lovely soups and salads (which I naturally didn’t try!) and loads of cold mezze. I would highly recommend the hummus and the eggplant hummus – I had a dollop with every course.
The fresh bbq’d meats and fishes were excellent. You could ask for your beef and lamb to be cooked however you prefer, and it comes that way each time.
There was a nice man who wouldn’t be rushed at making his shwarmas because he refused to serve it under cooked – handy with chicken and such a shame some of the tourists were ignorant enough not to understand that. Grr.
There was also so much more but it was just too hot and I couldn’t eat another bite! The desserts didn’t look particularly appealing to me, but I did notice the table by us go up there 3 or 4 times so I guess they were good!
The chef in the photo below was really kind. He showed me around and explained what I could and couldn’t eat because of my nut allergy. In fairness, there was only a couple of dishes that I couldn’t have and they didn’t look like my kind of thing anyway.
The lay out of the restaurant area is, I would imagine, very Bedouin inspired… except everyone is sat at tables and there are giant fans scattered in all directions trying to keep the temperature lower. It’s also in the layout of a fort. Well, that’s how I look at it anyway! I may have a slightly over active imagination!!
Just outside the seating area is a “museum” where all different scenes from traditional Bedouin life are played out. We didn’t go and look around them because quite frankly I find the statues/dummies really creepy and it was crazy hot!!
Behind the museum type area is a penned off area where the camels and horses are kept so you can do a lap around on them. Albert had to. He is a rider back in SA so wanted to say that he had on another continent. I think he is used to slightly bigger horses, and ones that aren’t half a step away from the grave. The poor horsey was so old I wouldn’t be surprised if it died in the next few days!!
Entertainment for the evening is included in the overall price, and this to me is why it is worth every penny. The videos below will show you little snap shots, but until you see it with your own eyes, it can’t be believed.
It starts with traditional folksy sounding Arabic music. I couldn’t tell you if it was lots of songs or a set list, but it’s really good to listen to and really makes your experience more authentic. It just adds to everything.
After a whole bunch of food (there is no time watching just plate watching!!), the most amazing entertainer comes out. We call him the wirlygig man, but he is a traditional tanoura dancer. It’s insane. tanoura means skirt, and so this literally is a skirt dance. It’s a bit like a whirling dervish or whatever those dancers were called, only the skirt is the main part of the dance… aside from the spinning.
This guy literally was spinning non-stop for a good 45 minutes. I’ve never seen anything like it before. I did come here with Mum but I don’t remember it being as good at all. Absolutely incredible. I don’t think the photos and videos will do it justice either.
After the wirlygig man was the animal show. It’s not what you are picturing in your head having read that line but I don’t know how else to describe it!!
Basically its a historical story re-enacted using animals. So, when the people are crossing the dessert in a camel caravan (the name for when the camels all walk neatly in a line!), then you have the camels amble across the top of the dune. Then there is a bit where the sheep and goats run off or something (I wasn’t really listening that hard!), and the sheep and goats coming running along too. Then there is a sword fight on horses, and the two tribes make friends and all ride off together.
It sounds super kitch and it is, but I loved it! I will listen more next time though!!
Next up was the belly dancer. She was a bit dull. I don’t know if it would have been had she been out before the whirlygig man and the animals, but by following them she just looked a bit pathetic… and slutty. It also wasn’t the type of belly dancing I was starting to learn. It was a shame. I am sure she was very good and the chaps in the audience were quite hypnotised by all the shameless hair flicking!
Then, after a brief musical interlude (the musicians had been playing throughout, btw), the whirlygig man was back out with the belly dancing hair flicker. We gave up at this point. Not because it wasn’t interesting, but because we were so hot we were starting to feel poorly with it.
Anyway, I will leave you with the photos and videos as there isn’t really much more to say!! It is a fantastic night out and well worth the 45 minute drive from Dubai. I highly recommend this wonderful desert experience.