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Reviews : Workshops  

Full Moon Desert Drumming Workshop Review
By Stephanie Santana

An Event Manager and Freelance writer living in Dubai. She follows and keeps up with Psychic, Spiritual and Alternative events and workhops in the region.

Mar 26, 2006, 10:55

Stephanie Santana
I was both amazed and relieved to finally find the group of 100 odd people I had been searching for, jumping in and out of 4 x 4 vehicles on the side of a pitch black, dusty desert road somewhere between Dubai & Al Ain last weekend.


Drumming under the desert full moon
It would never have even occurred to me that so many people were in to drumming, but you could really feel the excitement in the air from the gathering crowds. It was 7:00 pm and car loads of people continued to arrive at the meeting point. All around you would find people from all walks of life, ages & nationalities laughing and chatting together as tyres were being deflated, children running around and adults busily loading and unloading their drums from one car to another.


It was time to go and we invited 3 friendly strangers and their drums to sit in the back of our empty vehicle. We very mildly surfed our away through the sands behind a convoy of cars professionally coordinated by SNTTA,, and arrived at their candle-lit desert camp with a welcoming energetic drum beats in the distance.


dancing to the beat
We paid 65 AED (approx. 10 GBP) on arrival which included drums, drumming and Arabian BBQ (A bargain by local standards).


We sat on brightly coloured Arabian cushions and picked up some African looking drums placed before us and joined other drumming enthusiasts which had already been drumming before we arrived.


dancing to the beat
With no previous drumming experience I started beating away but not for too long as the organiser Julie Ann Odell with microphone in one hand and drum in the other welcomed everyone to the first ever desert drumming in the U.A.E. We were taught basic drum beats and rhythmically synchronised them together with Julie Ann as our conductor. Our ethnic orchestra sound fantastic, but what was more amazing was to witness the community spirit amongst children and adults, professionals and amateurs alike drumming side by side.


Julie-ann and drumming team
You would not feel out of place here, as the environment is very chilled out, judgment free, where people come here to simply enjoy themselves. With the full moon in view, the high-light of the evening followed a delicious Arabian BBQ, in the centre circle were a small group professional African, Arabic and Indian drummers and percussionists performing. They lead the way and we drummed along with an enthusiastic Julie Ann orchestrating the music.


The event was something very unique in Dubai and a big success. I will definitely attend again and would recommend everyone to try it at least once. Take your friends, your parents, your kids this something everyone can enjoy.



For future Desert Drumming events you can contact:


Julie Ann Odell,


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