Camping in the UAE: 8 beautiful places to spend the night | Dubai Blog Post
Camping in the UAE: 8 beautiful places to spend the night
The Rubh Al Khali. Part of the larger Arabian Desert, the Rubh Al Khali or Empty Quarter is the largest contiguous sand desert in the world, covering some 650,000 square kilometres across parts of Saudi Arabia, Oman, the UAE, and Yemen. The stunning Liwa Oasis is at the heart of it all and many say is the site that provides the ultimate desert camping experience. For a first-timer venturing into the desert it is advisable to have at least a couple of cars and an experienced guide for company. Distance: 2hr 50mins from Abu Dhabi Corniche; 3hrs 40mins from Safa Park
Lahbab sands. Known for its spectacular red sands, Lahbab is a popular night-time haunt for new campers. Many start off close to the familiar Fossil Rock that’s also a great place for star gazing. A barbecue in this weather is the best thing to do while attempting the ‘Big Red’, a 300-foot high sand dune, is a dune basher’s delight. You could also head over to the sleepy village of Madam just before the Hatta border crossing for more camping spots where you may have some wandering camels from local farms for company. Distance: 1hr 40mins from Abu Dhabi Corniche; 40mins from Safa Park.
Ras Al Khaimah desert. You could either camp near the farms or explore the stunning dunes of Ras Al Khaimah. A great incentive of camping overnight is the region’s flora and fauna. Besides banyan, palm and ghaf trees lining up the desert, you won’t struggle to spot native animals like the Arabian oryx. Many wild birds, some migrating from cooler regions this time of the year, are a regular feature. However do take note that it’s seriously off-road and in the middle of nowhere and ample food and drink along with other essentials is a must for overnighters. Distance: 2hrs 40mins from Abu Dhabi Corniche; 1hr 10mins from Safa Park
Hajar Mountains. Start off at Al Hala, a village in the foothills of the Hajar Mountains where there’s Wadi Taybah, not far from the village of Al Taybah. Drive through to Masafi, UAE’s version of Évian-les-Bains, famous for its spring water. There’s also a Friday market that actually opens every day. You could camp anywhere en route to the mountains. The picturesque Wadi Wurayah is about an hour’s drive from Masafi, not far from the foothills of the Hajar Mountains. Roughly 20km off the Khor Fakkan beach, the rocky terrain of the region will take you down winding ravines, leading you to serene waterfalls. Distance: 3hrs 30mins from Abu Dhabi Corniche; 2hrs 30mins from Safa Park.
Jabal Al Jais. Stunningly beautiful mountainscape with naturally scultped rocks will take your breath away on your way up to Jebal Al Jais, the UAE’s tallest mountain. With temperatures recorded as low as -3 degrees Celsius (in January 2009 when the enitre mountain cluster was covered in snow), it is also amongst the coolest places in the country, often making ovenight stays here a bone-chilling affair. Distance: 3hrs 30mins from Abu Dhabi Corniche; 2hrs 20mins from Safa Park
Umm Al Quwain beach. The beaches are a perfect gateway even for a daytime trip or a night-time barbecue. For more fun, you could also visit the old fishing villages along the peninsula at Al Raas where you may spot flamingos and other wild birds. Some adventure seekers even go as far as exploring the mangroves along the coast on a kayak. If a beach is what you want, there are plenty in the eastern coast of Fujairah as well. A popular destination is the quaint little town of Dibbah on the east coast entry point to the Mussandam Peninsula. Distance: 2hrs 10mins from Abu Dhabi Corniche; 1hr from Safa Park
Banan Beach Resort. The new campsite is located at the ultra-peaceful Banan Beach Resort, a beachfront venue that is home to the most retro tents you’ll see, as well as beachside chalets and even hammocks by the water. The property is located in Jebel Ali, Dubai, near the Expo 2020 site. There are 47 camping tents sprawled across the beach and five beach side chalets with comfortable beds. Amenities like bathrooms, a BBQ station and Wi-Fi are available for everyone. There’s a lot to do there including dining, drinking, 12 different types of water activities, moonlight yoga and just plain relaxing by the shores. The beach-side chalets are available for those who don’t love sleeping on the floor. They start at around Dh1,000 per night and there’s a little pool in each of them too! The golden shores and friendly environment make it such a relaxing place that will really take you away from the hectic Dubai city life. Distance: 1hrs from Abu Dhabi Corniche; 40 min from Safa Park
Camping is one thing. Glamping – camping with comforts – is quite another. Long beach is a glamp-site located on the shorelines of Ras Al Khaimah. The site offers an adventurous weekend and honestly just something different to your usual weekend. It’s a great outdoor getaway, where you do things that bring you back down to earth… sort of. With 109 deluxe and premium tents and 21 suite tents, all lodging options offer a glamping experience rich in comfort and furnished with essential amenities. All of the stays include half board packages with unlimited house beverages from 7pm to 10pm. Everyone who stays will have access to a comprehensive list of interactive, educational, wellness and sporting activities. They are available at certain time slots throughout your stay. That meant, I could pick and choose which activities I wanted to try. For example, I totally did the kayaking, but totally skipped the petting zoo. Distance: 2hrs 10mins from Abu Dhabi Corniche; 1hr 10mins from Safa Park
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