Exploring the beautiful deserts of the UAE can be a daunting task, from finding the best camping spots to deciding where to go and acquiring all the necessary camping equipment. The UAE is home to amazing deserts such as the Empty Quarter, Lehbab, Al Khatim, and RAK desert. One of the top experiences for visitors is the Liwa overnight desert safari, where visitors can camp in the world’s largest uninterrupted sand mass, the Rub’ al Khali. If you’re not ready for camping yet, we’ve included a guide to some of the top camping spots that offer dreamy desert vibes.

Read on for more information.

This is a contributed article.

10 Places to Go to Experience UAE Desert Camping:

2 men UAE desert camping

The Empty Quarter Camping

Camping in the Empty Quarter is an adventurous activity that allows you to experience the vast, remote, and beautiful desert located in the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula. Camping in the Empty Quarter is an opportunity to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse yourself in the silence and solitude of the desert. You can explore the vast and stunning landscape, go on desert safaris, and stargaze at night. Explore the tallest sand dunes in the world, meet a breed of camel that is native to Liwa, go on a nature desert drive in a roller-protected 4×4, and camp out in the open desert environment while taking part in a thrilling desert expedition. 

Ajman Desert Camping

Due to its proximity to the city, this location is ideal for first-time campers. You’re sure to run into other like-minded campers enjoying a journey into the outdoors because it’s a favourite among families as well. This desert stretch is undoubtedly one of the best places to break out the campfire gear and barbecue grill, sit back, and take in the beauty of the desert. Remember to pack extra layers, like a sweater or cardigan, as it does get uncontrollably chilly.

Al Qudra Lakes

Never camped before in the UAE? This is a great option for anyone in Dubai who wants to reconnect with nature but doesn’t want to venture too far. Approach this stunning haven off the beaten path, which is only 48 kilometers from Dubai. At dusk, things get hectic, but it’s still fun to watch other families enjoying the outdoors. There are over 130 different types of birds to see here, so birdwatchers will be in their element.

If birdwatching is not your thing, you can prepare some delectable grills on the barbecue and share some memorable stories around the campfire. Even better, you may bring your bikes and use the 86 km Al Qudra cycle track to stretch out your legs a bit and see the site more thoroughly.

Al Dhafra Beach

Camping in Al Dhafra is an amazing experience that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. Take the time to enjoy the stunning scenery and the peace and quiet of the desert.

Al Dhafra occupies two-thirds of Abu Dhabi’s desert, providing campers with hundreds of kilometers of breathtaking beaches. This lengthy section of the capital’s coastline ends where it meets the desert. You can find your way there by following the signs along the E11 as you travel west toward the Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort.

Experience sleeping under an open sky decorated with stars as you listen to the music of the waves. If you would like to camp near the shoreline, make sure to check the tide forecast at www.tide-forecast.com so that you don’t wake up to a waterlogged tent. 

Sonara Camp

If an alfresco dinner experience featuring steaks, mezze, and other specialities, falling asleep with the view of the stars, memorable sunset views, and camel rides are on your camping bucket list, Sonara Camp in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve is your ideal camping spot. Offering an overnight adventure with a seriously stylish glamping experience, this environmentally-friendly desert setting won’t disappoint those who want to experience camping without any problems. 

Umm Al Quwain Beach

Umm Al Quwain Beach is a location where camping is permitted on the beach and near the shoreline but is best avoided near the river to prevent the camps from flooding. It is also a perfect location for fishing enthusiasts, as campers are allowed to bring their fishing gear to enjoy fresh, campfire-cooked fish. Animal-lovers are encouraged to bring binoculars to spot the unique desert birds and animals. 

Jebel Al Jais

The Jebel Al Jais mountains, located in the Ras Al Khaimah region of the UAE, are known for being the highest mountains in the country. The area offers a variety of trekking and hiking trails that are suitable for beginners and intermediate-level climbers. In addition, it is considered one of the top destinations in the UAE for desert camping, providing a chance to witness the beautiful starry night sky. During your camping trip to Jebel Jais, you can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and stargazing. Additionally, the mountain offers a cooler climate than other parts of the UAE, making it an ideal location to escape the heat.

Hajar Mountains

The Hajar mountain range, which stretches across Oman and the UAE, offers a rugged terrain and stunning desert landscape that is perfect for camping, hiking, and trekking. During your camping trip, you can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and stargazing. The area also offers an opportunity to witness the unique wildlife of the UAE, such as Arabian oryx and mountain gazelles. These are a few of the reasons the Hajar mountains are a sought-after camping destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

Bedouin Camp

A gathering of people that live in the desert and move through it is called the Bedouin camp. With all of the essential amenities provided, it is one of the most lavish desert camping groups. The camp offers a wide range of activities, including belly dance performances, barbecue meals, and outdoor adventures.

dubai desert safari
Credit: Carly Crawford

White Sands Beach

White Sands Beach is a popular beach located along the coast of Oman in the Umm Al Quwain emirate of the UAE. The beach boasts soft, white sand and crystal-clear waters, making it a popular destination for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. It is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the area. Visitors to this beach can pitch a tent and enjoy the breathtaking views of the ocean from a clifftop.

About The Author

Robeena Brown is a travel blogger & destination expert living in the UAE and works for local tourism companies like Arabiers. If you have been looking forward to touring Dubai, getting a visa, extending stays and exploring the city, you can follow her on social media.