It's time to pitch your tent – the 5 best camping spots in the UAE
And you won't need a 4x4 for all of them
Get your friends, grab some marshmallows and a deck of cards...it's still camping season in Dubai and we've found some of the best spots around.
You don't need to be Indiana Jones to be able to camp but a little bit of common sense doesn't go astray. Make sure you pack up your car with plenty of food, water, a full tank of extra gas, and maybe a torch for spooky stories. Blankets, sleeping mats, a few hoodies, a first aid kit, pen knife and can opener will all come in handy at some stage too!
Be smart people. Be safe.
Also please make sure you bring plenty of refuse sacks. No one likes a litter bug.
Al Dhafra Beach, Abu Dhabi
This gem of a camp spot is about three hours drive away, just outside Abu Dhabi. It's pretty much ideal regardless of what type of camper you are. It's perfect for just pitching a tent, donning a check shirt and soaking up some of the beautiful scenery.
If you're a fan of snorkelling/diving/kayaking this is as good a spot as any so make sure you bring your speedos.
Tip: For all you Instagram fiends - this spot will definitely have some IG worthy shots so bring your phone, or better yet bring a go-pro if you have one. Apparently, if you're lucky, you might catch some cool shots of Flamingoes and Turtles.
Al Hayer Forest
This camping treasure is located just off the Dubai-Al-Ain Highway. The forest is a nice gathering of traditional Ghaf Trees which give you plenty of shelter from the blistering sun.
If you are lucky enough to own a 4X4 and you're feeling a bit adventurous; there are plenty of sand dunes in the vicinity for you to bounce around on.
Tip: Apparently the trees in Al Hayer Forest are completely non-renewable. The saplings keep getting eaten by Camels so please do your bit for the environment and don't use the trees for firewood
More important tip: Shake your shoes out for Scorpions.
Jebel Shams, Oman
Jebel Shams,the Grand Canyon of Oman, is definitely one of the most breathtaking sites in the region (granted it's not UAE but thought it was worth a mention) and is one place you need to have on your bucket list.
Just down from the main viewing point, there is a pretty awesome hiking trail – manageable enough for even the most fledgling hiker.
To find the main campsite or "Sunrise Camp", follow the directions for Jebel Shams but swing a left at the camp's signboard a few kilometres after the end of the sealed road, before you get to the Jebel Shams Plateau.
Tip: Bring good boots and a camera with a panoramic camera. Also when we were saying that some places get cold at night, we were talking about Jebel Shams especially.
Wadi Sana, Dibba Al Fujairah
This Wadi is probably one of the most accessible around and also offers some spectacular sites. The view from the tip of the Plateau being one of these. Wow.
This spot is perfect if you're a mountain biker...so bring your bike.
Tip: Okay you may need a 4X4 to get to this rocky retreat.
The Beach at Umm Al Quawain
Another pretty nifty camping space. Make sure you pitch your tent a little bit away from the shore because tides have a mind of their own sometimes. Also bring your fishing rod so you can work for your dinner!
For camping novices or families you can also camp with the UAQ Marine Club provided you're a member. They have sheltered areas to place your tent and BBQ units.
Tip: As we've already said, park your tent away from the shore.