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Yesterday we took our hire car and drove through the desert. I say desert, but actually the first part of the journey was on a not particularly interesting motorway between Abu Dhabi and Tarif, with what seemed like never ending construction and industrialisation for some miles out of the city. Attempts had been made to stop the desert from encroaching on the road by planting trees on both sides: this necessitated several lines of piping to provide the necessary water.We reached an area that was grandiosely described as ‘forest’. Perhaps it will be one day: at the moment it is more like lots of little trees struggling for growth. Like much of this country, the forest seems to be work in progress.

But once we turned inland the desert got much more interesting. Not just flat, but rolling dunes, and sand of varying colours: red, and orange, and yellow. First the occasional camel, and then a whole herd as we passed the camel racetrack near Madinat Zayed. (We are very much hoping to see some camel racing later this week, but the races do seem to be elusive.)

We had a brief stop at the Liwa Hotel before returning. This is almost literally in the middle of nowhere, with a spectacular backdrop of multi-coloured sand dunes and palm trees. We hope to return for a longer visit some time.

Writing this from a hotel in Doha (in Qatar) where we are having a flying visit before returning to Abu Dhabi.

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