Our tribal family, Al-Zalabieh, is fortunate to live in one of the most magnificent deserts in the world, thanks to one of our great grandfathers who came to this area six hundred years ago from the area of Al-Ulah which is in Saudi Arabia. I love to know the tribal history and the elders told me the full story which we can share around the campfire.
My name is Abdullh Zalabieh and the desert is my home. I grew up in the desert of Wadi Rum and lived in a tent before the village was built. With my grandfathers, I took care of the camels and goats there. We started coming in from the desert to the village when the school was built so that we could study. At this time, tourism was starting to grow because the world had seen that Wadi Rum was a beautiful desert, good for hiking and climbing.
I began to work at age 15 doing camel tours and hikes with the visitors. At that time, we would sleep in the desert with my family. Then I began to do more work with my three younger brothers who all became expert guides. Eventually I decided to build my own company to share the bedouin experience in Wadi Rum and create a special campsite for the guests who visit us from all over the world.
In 2014, I built my campsite. It is 8 kilometers inside the protected area from the village, so it is a great starting point for programs that go any direction in the desert. My camp is close to the most beautiful canyon in Wadi Rum, Abu Khashaba canyon. We bedouin respect each other’s long established traditional boundaries, and this area is special to my family. We have a nice spot for seeing the sunrise, and just 1km to the north is a great place to view the sunset.
Staying overnight at our camp you will get to know an important side of our local bedouin culture. We serve our traditional foods, like the Zarb which is cooked underground. In the evening we come alive because we love to sing, dance, play music and especially to tell stories. Bedouin like to tell about the history of the people in Wadi Rum so expect some fun after dinner.
Our guides are always local bedouin, born here in Wadi Rum, who can speak English. We learn English in school, but most of us really learned it well from working with the visitors. Having a local guide is important for your experience because knowing the desert, the best mountain paths, and the secret places, will make the tour more informative, safe and enjoyable. We are proud of our history, our tribe, and of this beautiful place. You will feel it when you see the desert with us. And we always drink tea in the desert. You will be drinking a lot of tea in Wadi Rum.