Friday was the last day of our Study Trip. After a week full of different experiences and interesting presentations, we had the option to do a voluntary Safari Tour through the desert located in the south-west of Qatar. This tour took place in the afternoon while the morning was spent on an individual basis varying from a shopping tour in the Souq Waqif, working out in the gym or simply relaxing in the Jacuzzi.
30 out of 32 students joined the astonishing activity in the desert. We were picked up in off-road vehicles by drivers who were wearing a traditional long white robe with long sleeves called “Thobe” or “Dishdasha”. In fact, this has made our experience more authentic and enjoyable.
After a 40 minutes ride, we arrived at the desert where we took a 10 minutes break in order to deflate the air pressure of the wheels by approximately 30%, which lead to better conditions to drive on sand. We took advantage of this short stop by taking first pictures in the desert, where we had the option to ride camels and to hold a falcon. For most of us, standing in the desert was a first-time experience making it even more special.
Once the vehicles were set, we were good to go. In the beginning of the safari, none of us did know what to expect. It was highly recommended to fasten the seat belts and store the belongings in a safe place. The following few hours of the afternoon were very pleasurable and beyond words. We were driving up and down dunes which got the adrenalin flowing. Although some drivers claimed that the ride could be dizzying, we proved to be quite brave and venturesome. We encouraged the drivers to drive faster and take more risks, however, they stayed duteous and put safety first.
The Safari Tour included several stops to enjoy breathtaking views and to take pictures. One of them was at the Qatari West Coast, from where we could see the Saudi Arabian coast. This spot seemed to be a proper place for fishing, since there were a couple of fishing rods. At the second stop, we enjoyed a short show of the drivers including stunts on the sand hill. Later on we drove to a flat area, where we could enjoy the sunset. Watching how the sun fused with the desert was an outstanding experience. The view we had in the middle of the desert was astonishing. Thereafter, the drivers encouraged us to run down a dune, which has filled our shoes with sand.
To conclude, it was a very exciting event to round off the study trip. We highly recommend everyone to experience Qatar, if the chance will occur. In the name of all the students, we would like to thank Mr. Khaldoun Dia-Eddine, Dr. Michael Kendzia, Mrs. Maya Gagdil, the Zurich University of Applied Sciences and the representators of the organizations we visited for their efforts and dedication organizing such an unforgettable week.