They all happen to be seriously Instagrammable…

By living in the UAE, we’re lucky enough to have both beach and desert on our doorsteps. And while the summer is fun for pool days and waterparks, in winter we love to wrap up and head out to the dunes.

Recently, we’ve seen an increase in the number of cool cafes and restaurants popping up in the desert. If you’re keen to spend an evening under the stars sipping coffee and catching up with friends, here are seven UAE desert pop ups to discover.

Hidden

 

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This off-the-grid desert pop-up cafe oozes boho-vibes, with rope deck chairs in crisp white surrounding cosy campfires, earthy woven bean bags and rattan sofas covered in plush cushions. The whole area is surrounded by palm trees, offering dappled shade to curl up with a coffee as the sun sets. The stunning star feature of this Instagrammable desert pop up is a mirrored installation that reflects the picturesque setting around you – a perfect photo op for all Hidden visitors. If you’re heading towards Al Maha on the Dubai – Al Ain Road, you’ll need to take a right just after the Al Marmoon Heritage Village, and you’ll find it a short drive down that road on the left hand side.

Hidden, near Al Qudra, Dubai, Mon to Fri 4pm to 12am, Sat & Sun 4pm until 2am. @hidden_dubai

Not A Space, Sharjah

Thanks to TikTok, Not A Space has quickly become the go-to hidden gem for winter evenings in the desert. The Al Faya location offers a huge pet-friendly space to relax on a bean bag, enjoy a coffee or hot chocolate and some light snacks. Live music and fire shows make up the entertainment, as well as one-off workshops such as Moon Painting on Saturday January 8 (Dhs250). By car it will take you around an hour to drive from Dubai, just take the E44 to E611 and head up E102.

Not A Space, Al Faya, Sharjah, daily 6am to 1am. @notaspace

The Uncommon, Sharjah

 

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Also in Al Faya, is The Uncommon, a new desert cafe pop-up featuring a huge mirror that reflects the picturesque setting around you. The Instagrammable destination offers lounge seating surrounded by different mirrors, and coffee served in cute takeaway cups. The vibe is relaxed and peaceful, and makes a great spot for watching the sunset. It’s one hour’s drive from Dubai, by car take the E44 to E611 and head up E102 to Al Faya.

The Uncommon, Al Faya, Sharjah, 4pm to 1am. @theuncommon.ae

Sonara Camp, Dubai and Ras Al Khamiah

 

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With two locations to choose from, Sonara Camp offers a luxury experience in both Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah desert. With a fine-dining set menu and world-class entertainment, this bucket list experience includes a range of activities from camel riding to falconry, live music, fire show and much more. The sunset experience starts at Dhs460 for adults and Dhs160 for children, or with dinner its Dhs860 for adults and Dhs380 for children. For Dubai Desert Conservation Area take E66 the whole way (45 mins) and for The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah Al Wadi Desert stay on E311 (60 mins).

Sonara Camp Dubai, Dubai Desert Conservation or Sonara Camp Al Wadi, The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah Al Wadi Desert, daily from 4pm. nara.ae

One Degree Cafe, Ajman

 

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For a more traditional Arabian experience, check out One Degree Cafe in Musherief. Here you’ll find camels, bedouin tents, traditional live music, tanoora show, fire shows, kid-friendly activities and much more. Food options include sliders and fries, hot dogs, flavoured pastries, and for drinks, a variety of coffee options are on offer. Just 40 minutes from Dubai, you can drive there by following the E66 to E77 and joining E44; or just take E44 all the way.

One Degree Cafe, Musherief, Ajman, daily 3pm to 1am, show starts 5pm. @onedegree.ae

Winter Camp, Dubai

 

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Winter Camp is a private set-up where you and your friends can enjoy a fun night in the desert, without the hassle of setting everything up. You’ll get a relaxing lounge area with fun board games and even a projector screen to enjoy a movie under the stars. Packages are available for groups of 10 to 17 pax (priced at Dhs1,200 on weekdays and Dhs1,400 on weekends) or up to 27 pax (priced at Dhs1,500 on weekdays and Dhs1,800 on weekends).

Winter Camp, Dubai, daily 5pm to 12am. WhatsApp: (0)50 576 5256. @winter_.camp

Header Image: Not A Space