Stargazing in the Mleiha Desert, UAE

{Chasing shooting stars across the Sharjah desert sky!}

Last night my adventurous family drove out two hours from the cityscape of Dubai to the vast sands of the Mleiha Desert of Sharjah. Our stargazing expedition was hosted by the Mleiha Archaeological Foundation to track the Perseid Meteor Shower, an array of summer shooting stars across the UAE night sky.

The Foundation’s jeeps took us deep into the desert, past the ongoing excavation site of a South Arabian fortress and into an area nestled against the bluish-black silhouette of the Hajjar Mountains. Our path was lit by quirky globe-shaped lights, and we found our way to rows of Persian carpets arranged with pillows for comfortable stargazing. Attendants spanned the parameter serving several variations of Arabic, Indian and Moroccan teas and coffee. Needless to say, it was a very cushy astronomy expedition!

Entering the Mleiha Archaeological Centre

Our tour of the night sky began around 11pm with an introductory talk on the different celestial bodies. The researcher pointed out visible constellations and planets, and shared other interesting factoids about meteors and asteroids. One of our favorite parts of the evening was definitely looking through the research team’s powerful telescopes positioned to observe Saturn, Mars and Jupiter. If you ask Devina, she’ll be happy to show you a photo she captured through the telescope’s lens of Saturn! 🙂

It was a while before the first Perseids graced the sky, but once they did we enjoyed the rest of the music and tea-filled night ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the sight of shooting stars skipping across the Mleiha Desert sky, occasionally punctuated by the sound of Arab boys revving ATV bikes across the sand dunes.

Until next week, keep exploring! xoxo #nikitalyfe




Author: Nikita Taimni

A Dubai-based blogger, I write about travel, theatre and lifestyle in the cities I explore around the world. Follow me on Instagram @nikitalyfe and follow via email if you enjoy reading my posts!

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