(MENAFN - Arab News) As winter sets in, Saudis, young and old alike, head out into the desert on weekends to set up elaborate camps.
Arab News spoke to some campers to know what they do in the middle of the desert.
Abdullah Al-Amri, who has set up a camp that is 80 km off Alkhobar, said: "My family and I usually go out for camping and have fun in winter. We enjoy those magic moments when the sun rises and sets. It is a great feeling and you feel close to nature. The air is pure as you are far away from the grime and dust and smoke from the industrial city. And its is very calm and soothing."
Al-Amri explained the camp routine. "We do a lot of interesting activities such as walking barefoot on sand, exercising and sand-skiing which is my favorite sport," he said.
According to another camper, Abdullah Al-Humaidan, the desert may seem barren but there are still plenty of sights to behold, creatures to admire and sounds to fill your ears. "At night, I like to see the stars twinkling. I like walking in the morning because that is when you are greeted by the stillness of the desert. It is an indescribable feeling."
Awad Al-Shehri says when he goes camping he indulges in his favorite hobby of drifting on hills in a Wrangler car. "I use all safety equipment and drive very carefully so that I can ensure safety and enjoy as well," he said.
Ahmed Al-Hadadi said: "Camping is an interesting thing to do especially in winter because you escape the routine of ordinary life. Instead of sitting under the air-conditioner in the summer all the time, you have different style of weather in winter. I like it when it starts raining. I usually meet my friends at this camp and we sit together experiencing old tradition of food which we cook."
Fawaz Albishi said: "Sitting around a campfire under a clear sky, gazing up at the stars and listening to the sounds of the night can strengthen our bodies, pacify our minds and restore our spirits."
Mastoor Al-Qarni said: "I love being outdoors. Camping is a lot of fun. It's cheap. It's a change of pace. It is type of vacation; instead of a stay in a hotel you experience different style of life. It also teaches you resilience."
Wail Al-Ahmedi, a master's student at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, said: "It is great to draw close to Allah's creation and especially at night when it gets quiet and also when you gaze at the splendid stars. It is a marvelous feeling."