Camping in the UAE

The UAE’s best camping spots are revealed to Time Out by those in the know. Now get packing... Discuss this article

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Mark Miller, Desert Rangers

‘The perfect camping spot for me, without question, is down in Liwa, around 50km from Hamim village. With 200m sand dunes as a backdrop, no light or noise pollution and no tyre tracks, it is absolutely idyllic. You immediately feel relaxed and totally mesmerised by the scenery, which looks as though somebody has painted it on a big canvas. ‘This part of the desert is very clean, which makes a welcome change. My spot is actually around 35km into Liwa, so you don’t tend to get many day trippers in the area, hence the lack of rubbish.

‘There are also some great driving routes in the immediate area. The nearest point of interest is the Liwa Oasis and Moreeb Hill, which will take a good five or six hours. There’s a fantastic motor museum on the road down to Hamim, which people should visit. It’s owned by the ‘Rainbow Sheikh’ – Sheikh Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family. Though opening times are a bit hit or miss, there are some mad vehicles to see. It’s free to get in and a good break on the journey down.

‘Apart from the normal reptiles, such as the sand monitor and other lizards, I have seen a sand cat and desert gazelle out there, which were both real treats. Though they are not in abundance they can sometimes be spotted around that area.’

Directions: ‘Head towards Abu Dhabi and Hamim village – it will take about two and a half hours to get there. A few kilometres after you’ve been through Hamim, you will see a petrol station on the left. A couple of kilometres further on you will spot a fairly wide track.
Stay on the track for as long as you want and turn into the desert at any point – just wherever you like the look of, and then pitch up!’
04 340 2408,

By Time Out Dubai staff
Time Out Dubai,

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