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17 July 2024

5 best spots in UAE to go camping these Eid holidays

By Bindu Suresh Rai

Don’t fret if you happen to be one of the select few staying back in Dubai for the nine-day Eid Al Adha break that has seen residents make a beeline for the airport.
If the many resorts have already set up a ‘no vacancy’ sign during the holidays, then why not make the best of the improved weather and explore the great outdoors instead?
The UAE has diverse landscapes to hunker down with the family or friends for a few days of rest and relaxation.
Here are our top picks:
Lahbab desert for the novice

Nothing appears more majestic than the red sands of Lahbab to welcome you to the glories of camping in the desert.
The soft sands make for a great overnight camp, with the proximity of Lahbab to the closest townships (Hatta, Dubai) making it ideal for the novice or families who are uncertain to experiment with the terrain when travelling with children.
Camp close to Fossil Rock for familiarity, with the warm weather still allowing you to skip the tent and roll out a sleeping bag to enjoy a view of the stars at night.
The place is also great for a BBQ and a boom box to keep the night going.
And if you are particularly adventurous, then do attempt the Big Red, a 300-feet high sand dune the next morning.
Liwa oasis for serene landscapes
Head southwards for approximately four hours, and you will reach a natural wonder that is the Liwa Oasis, located on the edge of the infamous Rub Al Khali or the Empty Quarter.
Liwa offers a glimpse into the historic heritage of the UAE, and dune bashing in the Empty Quarter is very popular, with 300m high dunes that should only be attempted by the experts.
When camping, stay close to the edge of the Liwa Oasis, because while the desert offers a welcome blanket to set up camp, getting lost in the Empty Quarter is quite easy for the inexperienced.
We highly recommend combining a night stay in the outdoors with an extension in one of the resorts there, such as the Qasr Al Sarb or the Tilal Liwa the following day to get away from the baking sun at high noon.
Wadi Wurayah for rugged roadies
If you are keen on planning a two-day adventure exploring the Northern Emirates, combine the fun with an overnight beach camp in Fujairah’s pristine beaches, before heading down the Dibba-Khorfakkan highway for the turn off into Wadi Wurayah.
The wadi itself stretches between Khorfakkan and Masafi, taking you onto rocky terrain that leads you to a vista of waterfalls that simply take your breath away.
Word of caution: the drive into the wadi is not for the fainthearted, with the bumps hard enough to jar your teeth.
But the waterfalls and the pools are worth a look and a cookout nearby.
Umm Al Quwain beach camp
If it's the simple life you crave, then you can’t go wrong with a beach camp in Umm Al Quwain, which is a mere 45 minute ride from Dubai.
The Al Rafaah area offers the ideal beach for families planning a little swim and sleep by the sea.
However, the tides can play havoc at night, so it is advisable to camp a little further from the shore for safety.
Tuck in your fishing gear if you truly want a camping experience by catching your own dinner for a change.
Ras Al Khaimah bedouin experience
If five-star camping is your thing, then think no further and book yourself for an overnighter at Bedouin Oasis.
This Ras Al Khaimah rugged retreat is situated very close to the Banyan Tree Al Wadi resort, which reproduces an authentic Bedouin experience, with a few modern amenities thrown in, like flushable toilets.
At night, the sheesha comes out, as you recline in the cushioned campsite, while the meal is baked underground and served on a platter, while you take in the authentic sounds of the Arabian chords.
Arabianincentive.com organises bookings here; while those of you are driving, can follow down Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road towards RAK and follow the signage near Banyan Tree Al Wadi.