Winter in the UAE is a beautiful time. The weather has taken a turn for the better and we are standing at the brink of a wonderful few months of outdoor living. There is a seemingly never-ending list of outdoor activities one can engage in during UAE’s winter; barbecues, outdoor events, walks, hikes, kayaking, canoeing- and most importantly: camping.

The UAE deserts are artistic masterpieces of gently undulating dunes in shades ranging from ivory to terracotta. Dotted with oases and home to many of the region’s fauna such as camels and oryx, the UAE desert is an ideal place for a camping adventure, and there are desert spots to suit everyone, from beginner campers to the more adrenaline-seeking counterparts.

Before you go, make sure that you take some basic essentials along.

A tent is the number one requirement, as desert insects or wind can affect your experience. The desert can get much colder than the city at night, it’s important to make sure you have warm clothing and blankets with you. In addition to clothing, a small camping stove is great for cooking some memorable outdoor meals, but it isn’t a necessity. Taking some pre-made snacks and meals along is a good idea too. Don’t forget torches and spare batteries! And to take care of our beautiful deserts, always make sure you take along litter bags to clean up after yourselves.

Regardless of which emirate you reside in, there’s a desert close by for some fun camping experiences.

Sharjah- Jebel Mleiha

Less than an hour away from central Dubai lies the archaeological wonder of Mleiha. If you’re looking for a camping experience with a bit of culture and history, then this is the spot for you. With a museum and other activities organized by Discover Mleiha, you can enjoy a well-rounded weekend. Camping can either be done independently in the outskirts of the dedicated archaeological site, or through the tourist board’s official campsites.

Ajman – Al Bahia

To reach this secluded spot in Ajman’s desert, drive on E311 Sheikh Mohamad bin Zayed Road and take exit 47. Continue on Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum Road until you find a comfortable spot. The views at this particular desert are perfect for dramatic drone footage, and with it being accessible from all emirates, it makes it a perfect spot for a long weekend trip.

Dubai- Al Qudra Lakes

This camping spot can get very crowded on weekends and public holidays, so it’s best to save it for when you can go on a weekday. Accessible from Al Khail Road and Umm Suqeim Road, it’s perfect for a beginners’ camping experience when you don’t want to venture too far.

Abu Dhabi- Liwa Desert

For the more adventurous campers, Liwa Desert is vast with plenty of spots to choose from, ranging from dramatic salt flat areas to rugged sand dunes.

The UAE is blessed to have such a natural variety of places to camp. From secluded deserts to even seaside locations, there’s something for everyone. These are just four examples of some idyllic desert locations for the perfect camping experience. There are many, many more though. Over the course of this winter, challenge yourself to discover your own secret camping spot! With COVID-19 still omnipresent in our lives, camping is a wonderful way to enjoy the winter weather while still social distancing.

Share this article with friends and family to plan for your next adventure!