The Best Camping Spots in the UAE

Camp in the UAE and youll be welcomed by sprawling natural views every morning
Camp in the UAE and you'll be welcomed by sprawling natural views every morning | © Kertu Saarits / Alamy
Thais Kelly

Although the UAE is best known for its luxurious hotels, there is no shortage of campsites that are much more beautiful than any five-star resort. From mountains to beaches to desert dunes, all you need is a tent, sleeping bags and snacks to get through the night. Here are the best places to go camping in Abu Dhabi and beyond.

1. Jabal Bil Ays

Natural Feature

A tent in the UAE with large mountains in a blue sky in the background
© Kingsly Xavier George / Alamy

Jabal Bil Ays is the tallest mountain in the UAE located in Ras Al Khaimah. The mountain provides campers with the view of vast valleys and grandiose hills, where anywhere is welcome to come and camp. This is also soon to be the home to the longest zip line in the world, which will provide visitors with an exciting day experience to enjoy before setting up camp. Temperatures here drop significantly compared to the city, so it’s important to prepare for the cold.

2. Al Dhafra Beach

Hotel

A family and young children playing with boats in shallow water at Al Dhafra Beach
Courtesy of Al Dhafra Beach Hotel / Expedia

Just outside of Abu Dhabi, there’s the perfect campsite for all of those who love the beach. Al Dhafra beach allows people to camp near the sea, where if they are lucky, they might even spot turtles and other sea life. It’s important to remember to pack a bathing suit, because this is a great spot to do water sports such as kayaking and even go snorkelling.

3. Al Qudra

Natural Feature, Park

aerial view of Al Qudra Lakes in a desert in Dubai
© Kairi Aun / Alamy

Al Qudra is perhaps the most popular camping spot in Dubai. This area, only a short half an hour drive from Mall of the Emirates offers two different settings: the desert and the oasis. Those heading into the Al Qudra desert to camp will find themselves surrounded by dunes and if they are lucky, they might even spot camels in the morning. Others, who choose to camp at the Al Qudra Lake, will have a view of the beautiful oasis, which is home to swans and flamingos.

4. Umm Al Quwain Beach

Natural Feature

White-sands beach with palm trees in Umm Al Quwain, UAE
© philipus / Alamy

As an Emirate, Umm Al Quwain is often overlooked when compared to Dubai or Abu Dhabi. However, this is home to one of the best camping spots in the country, the Umm Al Quwain beach. People are allowed to fish here, making it a relaxing and unique experience. It’s important to note that this is a beach, so campers should be mindful of the tides and pitch their camp far enough from the water in order to avoid getting wet overnight.

5. Fujairah

Hiking Trail, Hill Station, Natural Feature

A beach and a blue ocean in Khor Fakkan, Fujairah, United Arab Emirates
© philipus / Alamy

Fujairah is the only Emirate located on the east coast of the UAE. This is the best place for people who love both camping and the beach. The Emirate provides a stunning contrast between beach and mountains and there are a few public beaches where anyone can come by and set up camp. This is also a great chance to snorkel and check out marine life. The drive from Dubai to Fujairah takes about three hours and there are beautiful sights along the way.

6. Hatta

Natural Feature

A wide shot of Hatta in Dubai, UAE, at sunset
© Aleksandar Tomic / Alamy

Just on the outskirts of Dubai, people will find the beautiful area of Hatta, where they will find themselves surrounded by mountains and of course, the Hatta Dam. This unique piece of nature is unlike anything else people can find in the UAE. In between large mountains, a lake of crystalline waters allows people to kayak and paddleboard. This is also a fantastic place to set up camp and enjoy the outstanding surroundings.

7. Hajar Mountains

Natural Feature

A white mosque partially obscured by palm trees, with a brown mountain in the background
© Jon Arnold Images Ltd / Alamy

The Hajar Mountains are mostly located in Oman, however certain parts of them belong to the UAE. This is the perfect place for a long camping trip, taking days to get better acquainted with the mountains and doing some trekking. For those more adventurous, this is also the perfect place to rock climb. It’s important to come prepared, as this trip may be more appropriate for more experienced campers.

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