The Best Desert Escapes Around Dubai

Dubai Desert Offroading |  ©  Yanis Ladjouzi /Pixabay
Dubai Desert Offroading | © Yanis Ladjouzi /Pixabay
Photo of Erina Baftiroska
25 August 2016

Visiting Dubai, you would expect to see and be directed towards the record-breaking architecture, adventure parks, and countless numbers of malls and dining experiences – but not so much of UAE’s nature. If you’re more of an outdoors type, don’t worry – there’s plenty of ways to keep yourself busy camping or driving through the UAE deserts when the weather is just right from October to February.


Al Qudra Desert & Lakes

One of the closest deserts to the Emirate of Dubai, Al Qudra Desert, located less than an hour’s drive from the city, is one of the most popular camping spots amongst residents. Perfect for quiet weekend escapes or a campsite party by the many lakes, it’s close enough to feel like home and far enough to see a sky full of stars! Make sure to head out with a 4×4 and a first aid kit, but don’t worry, you’ll still get a network as you’re close enough to the city.

Al Qudra Desert, Dubai, UAE

Cotton candy skies in #MyDubai 😍😍 Who would you want to share this sunset with ? #picoftheday

A photo posted by Ghida Arnaout غيدا أرناؤوط (@monkyseemonkydo) on


Sweihan Desert

Located between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the Sweihan Desert is a great choice for heading out on an off-roading adventure! Local groups like Offroad Bug and MTM Powersports organize themselves and head out, but get in touch before thinking of catching a ride – they make sure these tours are with pro drivers only!

Sweihan Desert, United Arab Emirates

With the right group, sweeping gives you the best seat in the house! N 24.44700°, E 055.41210°

A video posted by Offroad_Bug (@offroad_bug) on


Jabal Al Jais Mountain

One of the tallest mountains in the UAE, located just along the UAE-Oman border in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, is a trekking experience for all. With regular marathons held from the base to the peak of the mountain, residents and tourists can have a great day getaway. Reaching the top is as rewarding and refreshing as the journey away from the city noise and also makes a great place to set up camp if you’re in for the night.

Jabal Al Jais Mountain, Border of United Emirates and Oman

Chasing winter sunrise with @samisasso #roadtrip #sunrise #throwback #JabalJais #RAKCity

A photo posted by Erina Baftiroska (@erina.baftiroska) on


Although the Dubai Safari Park project has not yet been finalized, if you’d just like a mini day tour of the Dubai or Abu Dhabi deserts while visiting, you can still always book for a desert safari. This is most likely to be the first thing hotels would expect you to look for, so ask your concierge, and they will definitely put you in touch with a partner company! It’s safe and fun for the entire family, complete with safari rides, sand boarding, henna painting, food, and evening music entertainment. It’s a great way to enjoy the UAE outdoors if you’re visiting on a short trip!

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