As we approached the camel races in the hot Arabian sun, an Emirati man appeared at the gate. In a white robe and head scarf, he looked calm and regal. We never expected what he said next…

“My name is Ali,” he said, “and on behalf of the sheikh, I invite you to a traditional Emirati lunch. Then I will take you to the races.”

We had never met this man before… but when the sheikh invites you to lunch, you say yes!

Bonnie, here, writing to you on the last day of our Abu Dhabi Photo Expedition — and what a day it was.

Our new friend Ali escorted us into a lavish tent, filled with gold tassels and endless carpets. We sat at round tables covered in glorious food — roasted lamb, crisp vegetables, freshly made hummus…

But there was one catch: No silverware.

Traditional Emirati lunch means eating with your hands. So, we made like Arabians and dug in.

Ali then reappeared to escort us to the races, where we marveled at the craziness of it all.

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Camel owners beaming with pride

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Camels and jockeys racing down the track

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Camel takes the lead

Finally, Ali lead us to a special tent where the sheikh himself sat watching a traditional “cane dance,” performed by both men and women. We were seated behind him and served fresh juices and tea… dates and chocolates.

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One of our gracious hosts

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Our group, with our new friend Ali

Truth be told, I didn’t take any stock photos today. I took a lot of photos I’ll keep for myself and share with friends… maybe publish in an article.

But no matter what I do with the photos, I will forever remember the warmth of the Emirati people, and the way they graciously welcomed us that day.

To take photos while you travel — whether for stock, fine art, editorial, or simply Facebook — adds a richness to your experience that you just can’t get any other way.

You can connect with people when you ask to take their photo. And then you get to relive your travels every time you look through your shots.

Of course, making an income on the side is a big bonus. But, to me, the experience itself is priceless.

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[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]

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