The Best Glamping Sites in the UAE

Bed down under the starry desert sky with a glamping holiday in the UAE
Bed down under the starry desert sky with a glamping holiday in the UAE | © Parker Hilton/ Unsplash
Culture Trip Travel Team

Glamping in the UAE? It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Dine on epic meals under the starry desert sky; bed down in a luxe tent pitched on rambling sands; wake to panoramic sunrises over glittering surf – wherever you choose to book, one thing’s for certain: it won’t be run-of-the-mill. And whether you want a bird-watching retreat in Sharjah or a beachfront camp in Ras Al Khaimah, we have a place to suit. Here are the best spots for glamping in Dubai and the UAE.

1. The Longbeach Campground


The Longbeach Campground room with sofa, bed and lamps
Courtesy of The Longbeach Campground/

There’s nothing better than waking up to a view of the sun-drenched sea. And this luxe campsite in Ras Al Khaimah, perched on the Arabian Gulf, lets you do just that – from pre-pitched glamping domes or tipi-style tents, set right on the powdery sands. On-tap activities – including morning yoga, kayaking, kite-flying and massages in the outdoor spa – ensure you’ll never get bored. Kids particularly enjoy the waterfront obstacle course and night-time bonfires, while couples love the atmospheric floating theatre.

2. Kingfisher Retreat


Kingfisher tent with sofa, tables and shelves
Courtesy of Kingfisher/

The pampering at this nature-focused Sharjah retreat starts from the get-go: you arrive by private boat transfer, gliding across mirror-like Arabian Sea waters. And it just gets better from there, with mornings bird- and turtle-watching in the nearby mangroves, and evenings bedding down in a glam tented lodge, complete with proper bathroom, plunge pool and four-poster bed (the largest has three bedrooms, ideal for families). The restaurant serves organic, globe-trotting cuisine but you can also ask staff to sort out a DIY barbecue for your tent.

3. Al Badayer Retreat


Al Badayer Retreat with desert and palms beyond
Courtesy of Al Badayer Retreat/

A night in the desert is a must when you come to the UAE, and this Sharjah glamping retreat lets loved-up couples or groups of friends do it in style. A grand central Emirati ‘castle’ complex houses dining spaces, a health club and a cool indoor pool – a perfect retreat if the Arabian heat starts to overwhelm. But come nightfall, you’ll retire to one of 10 tents, complete with dune-facing pools and swish, locally inspired furnishings.

4. Bedouin Oasis Desert Resort


Bedouin Castle with balconies and domes on a sunny day
Courtesy of Bedouin Castle/

There’s no chance of getting bored at Bedouin Oasis – this Ras Al Khaimah pad will sort you out with desert activities galore, from quad biking to camel trekking, desert safaris to visits at a local date farm. Even dinner comes with entertainment, in the form of belly dancers, henna painting and fire juggling. Book into the family-sized tent and treat the kids to a private bonfire under a patchwork of stars.

5. The Dunes Camping & Safari


The Dunes cabin with stairs in desert
Courtesy of The Dunes/

Whether you’re catching up with colleagues or celebrating a birthday with family, the social vibe at the Dunes in Ras Al Khaimah feels perfectly suited to groups. A mix of accommodation styles – stilted treehouses, luxe domes, intimate igloo tents – means there’s a sleeping arrangement to suit everybody, while a host of diverse activities lets all ages get involved. Sign up your crew for a sandboarding session before sunset, followed by a blowout buffet dinner.

6. Hatta Damani Lodges Resort

Budget Hotel, Glamping

Hatta Damani Lodges Resort with terrace offering desert view
Courtesy of Hatta Damani Lodges Resort /

A visit to the UAE isn’t only about desert and sea. This mountainside retreat gives you a whole other side of the country – cooler-climate Hatta, with its historic watchtower, lush greenery and kayaking lakes. Nearby, the Hatta Wadi Hub has everything from mountain biking to zorbing on tap, so this is a great pick for families with busy kids. The cabin-style rooms at the lodge, which come with ace hilltop views and modern furnishings, can sleep up to four too.

7. Liwa Nights


Liwa Nights seating area with window overlooking desert
Courtesy of Liwa Nights/

Perched on the edge of the largest uninterrupted sand mass in the world – known as the Empty Quarter – this glamorous Abu Dhabi stay combines romantic Bedouin vibes with Instagram-perfect styling. The tents, set right on the red sands, look straight out of a glossy magazine, with patterned carpets and rattan-style furniture; a dreamy set up for couples. Meanwhile, fill your days with all the classic desert activities, from camel rides to barbecue dinners under cloudless skies.

8. RAK Glamping


RAKGlamping interior of tent with pattern walls and traditional rugs
Courtesy of RAK Glamping/

Less than 15 minutes’ drive from the centre of Ras Al Khaimah, this glampsite gives you a taste of the Emirati rural life without a long trek – just the ticket if you’re only visiting for a short time. If you have a pet in tow, this is a dog-friendly stay, with many owners coming to let their pups roam free among the shade-casting trees or russet sands. Choose from a cosy pitched-roof pod with double bed or, if your pooch needs room to stretch out, a larger lodge.

9. Arabian Nights Village


Tent at ArabianNights with traditional decor and carpets
Courtesy of Arabian Nights/

You might argue that with so many luxe amenities – sun-drenched swimming pool, rambling terraced restaurant, ornate villa-like sleeping spaces with traditional Emirati prints, lanterns and sculpted alcoves – that this is a step above glamping. And yet despite the indulgences, this Abu Dhabi getaway channels the vibe with its remote location, in the red-tinged dunes southeast of the city. Let staff welcome you with cardamom-spiced coffee and gooey dates, then sign up for an afternoon of fat biking on the sands.

This is an updated version of an article originally by Jessica Harn.

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