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Drumming in the Al Awir desert



This full moon is extra-special – it’s the smallest full moon of 2016, and it’s being dubbed the mini-moon. The captivating occurrence happens once a year with every appearance taking place a month and 18 days later, this year’s  is set to take place this Friday, April 22.

If you’re looking to celebrate this annual occurrence with those with fellow astrological enthusiasts who also appear to have a little more rhythm in their step, then make your way to Dubai Drums Desert Venture Camp.

Founded by Julie-Ann Odelle, the idea to combine desert and drums came to her after a much needed change of path. “I was in PR but wanted to change… this was ten years ago. I had been living in Dubai for more than 20 years at that point and didn’t feel as though there were any interesting activities for my then teenage daughter to do…”

So, she travelled to South Africa to learn about being a drum leader. “I started doing the drum circles in the Dubai desert as a way of getting people out into the open and sharing an experience,” she explains. “Drumming is something everyone can do… not everyone is musical but everyone has rhythm and can participate, even if it’s on the main downbeat.”

So, what can you expect to get out your experience? Aside from showing off your music skills or lack of, you can learn a few techniques and embark on the many activities traditionally offered in the desert such as a belly dancing performance, henna painting and camel riding.

Food lovers are also in for a treat as aside from the customary dates and Arabic coffee, foodies can indulge in a number of Emirati dishes like machboos which a popular dish made with chicken, mutton or fish that is served with rice that has been cooked in a chicken or mutton broth, fattoush as well as shawarmas and falafels.

“It is a very unifying experience,” says Julie-Ann. “It brings people from all nationalities and backgrounds together… when you’re drumming, there are no differences or races, just that unity of the rhythm.”

Full Moon Desert Drumming
When: From 6:30 pm, Friday, 22 April
Where:  Gulf Ventures Camp, Al-Awir, Dubai
Price: From AED250
Contact: +97156 7442129

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