No matter how big or small your budget is…
If you go camping in the desert, chances are you’ll find yourself packing up the car with tents, blankets, a barbecue, firewood, three times more food than you need, and returning with half a tonne of sand. Luckily, you can enjoy the fun of a camping trip without the hassle.
Here are 8 places to go ‘glamping’ in the UAE.
Al Badayer Oasis
Al Badayer Oasis by Mysk, Sharjah’s new luxury glamping resort is the perfect staycation spot if you’re looking for is adventure, serenity, and a dose of Emirati culture. The stunning desert eco-retreat is set in a traditional Arabian castle with the comfort of modernity and its 21 rooms and 10 tents are decorated with touches of Arabian culture and ornaments. If you’re more keen on some adrenaline-filled activities, the resort offers customised desert experiences such as dune bashing, quad biking, horse riding, desert safaris, camel tours and you can even observe wildlife in its natural state.
Al Badayer Oasis, Sharjah, room rates start from Dhs600, Tel: (06) 556 0777, myskhotels.com
Putting the glam into glamping, the Bin Majid Beach Hotel has a series of luxury camping facilities ranging from a Deluxe Tent to Panoramic Dome Suite. The resort is well equipped and the camping area is located directly next to the swimming pool. Activities include beach yoga, seaview aerobics, kite flying, kayaking, waterpark obstacle course, beach volleyball and an outdoor spa and sauna.
Longbeach Campground, Bin Majid Resort, Al Jazeera Al Hamra, Thursdays to Saturdays, from Dhs599. Tel: (800) 5700. binmajid.com/hotels/longbeach
Set on the shoreline near Jebel Ali, this picture-perfect camping spot is kitted out with dozens of colourful wooden-framed tents and chalets for a more luxury experience – so you don’t need to bring your own, plus a barbecue area, and hammocks. It’s the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. As well as wiling away the day in a hammock, or BBQing by the beach, there’s also facilities including water sports and a mini market onsite. Fancying practicing your shooting? Head to the nearby Jebel Ali Shooting Club.
Banan Beach, Jebel Ali, Dubai, from Dhs350 per night. Tel: (050) 501 6413. bananbeach.com.
Spend the night in a bubble tent with amazing views of the stars. This camping experience is a luxurious and roomy 30 square metre bubble tent, that comes complete with a queen size bed, curtains, sink and mirror. It’s got a semi see-through crystal roof too, which means you’ll feel like you’re sleeping directly under the stars. Everything will be set up for you in advance so no need to spend hours fiddling around with tent equipment.
Starlight Camping, Dubai Desert, from Dhs1,800 per night. Tel: (050) 345 5358. Facebook.com/Starlightcampuae
Hatta Sedr Trailers
The Hatta Sedr trailers, by Dubai-based developer Meraas, is now open again for the new season. These are located away from Hatta Wadi Dam complex and closer to the reservoir. Meanwhile, the Hatta Damani Lodges are the mountain cabins located just about Hatta Wadi Hub. Be warned, you’ll need to book far in advance as both locations get booked up fast. If you decide to stay at either spot, you’ll need to remember to bring your own barbecue equipment and food (plus plates, knives, forks, etc).
Hatta, Hatta Road, Dubai, open daily during winter season, from Dhs585 per night. visithatta.com
For the full overnight desert experience, look no further than Bedouin Oasis in Ras Al Khaimah. The Nature View Tent includes ‘posh amenities’ such as own bathroom, comfortable double bed and sitting area. Take a camel ride around the courtyard, take part in sandboarding through the dunes and enjoy the entertainment programme with bonfire experience, BBQ dinner, henna artist and shisha tent.
Bedouin Oasis, Close to Banyan Tree Al Wadi, Emirates Road, Ras Al Khaimah, from Dhs750 per night. Tel: (055) 228 4984. arabianincentive.com
If venturing into the desert isn’t your thing, Dreamland Aqua Park could be a great alternative getaway spot. The overnight cabins are designed for couples or families and come with two-day waterpark passes plus three meals per day. Thrill-seekers will love the adrenaline inducing rides and the attractions make this destination a change from your average staycation trip.
Dreamland Aqua Park, Umm Al Quwain, Etihad Road, UAE, from Dhs900 per night. Tel (06) 768 1888. dreamlanduae.com
And a caravan-ing option…
Caravana Alzorah in Ajman
Good if you’re looking for something unusual
We all love a good staycation, but if you’re on the lookout for something different and unique, check out Caravana Alzorah where you and your mates will get to spend the night in a fully-equipped caravan right on the beach. Located in Ajman, the caravans are fitted with air conditioning, bathrooms, and depending on your booking, come with bunk beds, sofa beds, or double beds. The best bit? Each caravan comes with it’s own private beach area, your very own front yard and a barbecue area. There’s also fishing and cycling available within close proximity to the camping site, so come prepared and the Ajman Museum is also close by.
Caravana Alzorah, Ajman, prices start from Dhs1,125 per night, Tel: (06) 749 0441 instagram.com/caravana.ae