x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Travel deals: European art tours and fat biking in the UAE desert

From new art tours in Europe to fat biking in the UAE desert.

Fat biking is the latest activity at Qasr Al Sarab. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority
Fat biking is the latest activity at Qasr Al Sarab. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority

New art tours are a cultural experience

A UK-based tour operator, The Cultural Experience, has launched four new art-history-themed breaks.

An accomplished art historian will lead tours to Paris, Berlin, Madrid and Florence to examine and reassesses some of the iconic and lesser-known works of art that were produced both during and after the regimes that patronised them, including the symbolism, characters, subjects, styles and colours that were selected by the artists.

The first tour visits Florence from April 11 to 14 and will include four-star accommodation, expert illustrated lectures, accompanied gallery visits and moderator-led discussions.

The Paris tour takes place from June 13 to 15, Berlin from August 1 to 3 and Madrid from October 3 to 5.

The weekend tours have been designed so that people can extend their visit to the individual cities either before or after the tour, allowing them to make the most of their visit.

Visit www.theculturalexperience.com for contact details and to obtain a quote.

Fat biking in the desert comes to the UAE

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara has become the first resort in the Middle East to introduce fat biking as a guest activity.

With a fleet of 10 fat bikes – bicycles that have 4.8-inch-wide tyres, which can be deflated to tackle the dunes that surround the resort – guests of age 14 and over can now cycle the sandy peaks of the Empty Quarter.

“Fat bikes actually came into being in the 1870s in Alaska when they were used as a means of transport, as their thick tyres could tackle the snow,” explains Amer Braik, Anantara’s area director of environmental and cultural activities Abu Dhabi.

“Fat biking on the dunes outside Qasr Al Sarab is a great workout for anyone. In a session of one-and-a-half to two hours, guests can travel between seven and 10 kilometres amid some of the most stunning scenery in Arabia. The tour is in the company of a trained guide who can point out to the bikers some of the intricacies of this desert – such as animal tracks and indigenous fauna and flora – enhancing this unique activity in a special place to spend time and experience.”

Fat-biking sessions at Qasr Al Sarab cost Dh175. The activity is the latest in a string of desert pastimes that guests can pursue at the resort, with land sailing soon to join the portfolio. Other activities include desert walks, a falconry and Saluki show, tours to the nearby Liwa Oasis, dawn yoga amid the dunes, camel trekking, desert drives, horse riding and archery.

rbehan@thenational.ae

Follow us @TravelNational

Follow us on Facebook for discussions, entertainment, reviews, wellness and news.