Although the Qatari desert should be respected, and is patently no place to go venturing on one's own, it is also a place where an enormous amount of fun can be had by adventurous travellers. There are numerous tour companies based in Doha that offer desert excursions and really fun activities for tourists to get involved in. Quad bike tours, camel safaris and cultural tours of desert villages are popular, but the real fun is to be had dune-bashing and sand-skiing across the super-fine, powdery desert sand. Dune-bashing involves hiring a 4X4 and a driver for the day. You will go out into the desert, and - as a manic glint appears in your driver's eye - he will let down the tyres on the 4X4 and proceed to drive up, over, and through the dunes in the same manner that a ship breaches water. The effect is wild, disorientating and exhilarating - just please remember to wear your seatbelt, as things can get bumpy along the way. Sand-skiing (also known as sand-boarding, dune-boarding and sand-surfing) is a less frenetic desert activity, but certainly no less fun. In fact, Qatar - despite its complete lack of snow - is becoming renowned as a skiing destination, as more and more travellers are being turned on to the benefits of sand-skiing, which include slower speeds and softer landings, and the ease with which even complete beginners can make wide, luxurious turns in the 'dry powder' of the desert sand. Just about any flat, smooth surface can be used to 'surf' the dunes - just make sure you keep yourself hydrated and wear plenty of sunscreen. Whichever way you choose to have your desert fun in Qatar, any excursion should be capped by viewing a rosy sunset from the top of one of the mighty dunes.