Tuesday, 20 October 2015


UAE, has one of the most happening cities of the world, DUBAI, where there is no dearth for fun, socializing, shopping, movies, restaurants or any other exciting activity that a major city can provide. But what if you yearn for a break from all this? What if you long to go back to nature enjoy some solitude? But you, at the moment lack in time or money, to travel to Europe or Asia or elsewhere in this world?

Fret not.

Peel off UAE's glossy layers and you have an immense option of adventure. UAE's terrain ranges from vast stretches of sand , pristine beaches, rocky mountains, oases, and even mangroves.
Be what may be your interest, photography, cycling, bird-watching, hiking or even just camping there is a place for it all, if you manage to do enough research.

CAMPING WITH FAMILY IN UAE: A Beginner's guide @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

Last year we camped for the first time with our little daughter in MUSANDAM and then in UMM AL QUWAIN, and Jabal Jais in RAS AL KHAIMAH. It is really addicting especially in winter.

So here's a list for anyone taking the plunge of camping in and around UAE.

When to camp?

Ideally October to March is the best time to camp in UAE and nearby OMAN (which is accessible through a road trip). The temperatures vary between an average of 18 to 35 degrees centigrade depending on the time of day and the month.
Choosing the place and time of camping is very essential .
If you plan to visit the mountains always remember the temperature is probably 10 degrees cooler, and the nights are probably very chill in winter.
When camping near the wadis always be careful of flash floods. The rains fill up the wadis in an instant.
Do look at the weather report for the week.
But luckily UAE's temperature isn't as unpredictable as the rest of the world's is :)

Choosing a camping spot.

This depends on what you would love doing.

If you are an adventure sport enthusiast there is nothing like the Mountains- for trekking, hiking, watching stars, mountain biking, rock climbing etc. The Hajjar Mountains have amazing hideouts and wadis, if you follow well known trails on a 4x4.
CAMPING WITH FAMILY IN UAE: A Beginner's guide @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

If you have kids and love a lazing day of sun, water and sand then the Beaches are the places to set up camp at. Added to swimming, kayaking, picking sea shells and also building sea castles, the beaches are an endless source of water even if salty:)
The beaches are our favorite spot for camping. Luckily this tiny country is blessed in bounty in this department. But you need to hunt for beach areas designated for camping. Sadly the beaches are underutilized for these purposes.
CAMPING WITH FAMILY IN UAE: A Beginner's guide @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

If you love to be the Bedouin for the day and don't mind the sand all over you then the Desert is the right place for  desert drives, animal spotting, dune bashing and of course star gazing. This is in plenty too. With many tours companies providing deals and packages for night out at the deserts.
CAMPING WITH FAMILY IN UAE: A Beginner's guide @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

Sadly, we would love to add forests/ National parks to the list, but there are none that we know of in the country, where designated camping sites are present. How nice it would be to doze on a hammock in the shades of trees:/

Where to camp?

Must have guide for road trips and camping in and around UAE and Oman. seen frequently in the stands of petrol bunk convenience stores and sports shops.
CAMPING WITH FAMILY IN UAE: A Beginner's guide @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

CAMPING WITH FAMILY IN UAE: A Beginner's guide @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

We are yet to camp in all the places on our list,but have frequented RAK (Al Hamra), Umm Al Quwain (Al Rafaa), Jabal Jais (RAK), Jabal Hafeet (Al Ain), Al Qudra (Dubai) and Musandam (Oman). The others are all on our bucket list for camping.

Sila Beach
Pearl Coast
Many of the islands

Al Ain 
Al Hayer forest
Jabal Hafeet

- Ganthoot
- Jebel Ali
- Al Qudra

- Deserts of Maliha road

Umm Al Quwain
- Al Raffa Beach

Ras Al Khaimah
- Al Hamra
- Jabal Jais

-Al Aqah Beach, Fujairah

-Musandam, Khasab
-Turtle Beach
- Sohar
- Sur

There are umpteen number of Wadis where people especially those with 4x4 do go.
- Wadi Bih
- Wadi Sana
- Wadi Madhbah
- Wadi Wurayah

Where to shop for a first time camper?
  • Carrefour camping section
It has almost everything you need, at amazing prices. within 300 AED you probably could haul everything necessary for a small family of 2 to 4.
Location : Deira City Centre, Dubai

CAMPING WITH FAMILY IN UAE: A Beginner's guide @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

CAMPING WITH FAMILY IN UAE: A Beginner's guide @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

CAMPING WITH FAMILY IN UAE: A Beginner's guide @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

  • Declathon
This place is an amazing one-stop-shop for anything related to sports. It has to-die-for camping section where you get the right stuff with the right info. This is the place for a novice who wishes to take up serious camping. And don't forget to pick their 'Outdoor Check list'. 
Location: Mirdiff City Centre, Dubai

CAMPING WITH FAMILY IN UAE: A Beginner's guide @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

CAMPING WITH FAMILY IN UAE: A Beginner's guide @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

CAMPING WITH FAMILY IN UAE: A Beginner's guide @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

  • Adventure HQ 
If you are a pro,this is where you should go to get your gear from. 
Location: Times Square Centre, Shk.Zayed Road
+971 4 346 6824 | +971 4 346 6909

  • Ace Hardware
We seen some cool camping stuff at Ace Hardware too.
Location: Dubai Festival City

  • GulfCamping.com
If you are on the fast track and love shopping online, you must must check out this site. This is THE camping website for this part of the world. Just browsing through all that's available makes us want to plan our next trip :)

CAMPING WITH FAMILY IN UAE: A Beginner's guide @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

  • Bling My Truck.com
Another cool website for off-roaders, with a lot of serious camping stuff

  • Dubizzle
Don't forget to check through Dubizzle, for much pre-loved items. You might just find a steal. 

If you still haven't sorted out your stuff even on a Thursday morning, We have still found barbeque stuff and coal in most of the petrol bunkers near the camping sites and in other Supermarkets like LuLu and Nesto

The camping list 

For beginners an easy pop-up tent would do if its for day-camping or just one night under the stars.
The pros can go in for the good gear with all inflatable mattress and other accessories.

Ropes and tent pegs (in case you don't find stones to weigh down your tent or if your tent is pitched on soft sand)

If on a smooth terrain like the beach , a mat, sleeping bags and pillows would do. But your sleep will be much better if you have an inflatable air bed and some comforters especially in the mountains and deserts. 

Camping lights, be it a flash light, or a camping lamps. The head lamps are an amazing accessory especially when you are cooking outdoors and in darkness. 

Lawn chairs. We find it a necessity more than a luxury. We scored an amazingly comfy camping chair at 19 AED in carrefour. Oh since then camping has been so much more delightful.

A Portable chemical toilet, if you are queasy about the shovel and sand method.

Cooking equipment:
- A barbeque kit.
- Charcoal
- Lighter fluid
- Matches and lighter
- Cooler box
- Simple kitchen utensils- like a tea pot, skewers, tongs, plates and cups etc.

Firewood, for the warmth and the campfire to set the mood through the night.

Lots and Lots of Water. This is the most essential item on the list.

Garbage bags and tissues or used newspapers.
Can't stress this enough please, please, keep the area clean and take your garbage with you.

Entertaining equipment:
- Music box. Please keep the volume low with respect to others nearby :/
- Board games
- A book to read 
- Literally anything that makes you happy.

Definitely a GPS for any kind of road trip in UAE.
Charged phones.
Extra batteries if needed
Or a power bank, in case of emergency

UAE Offroad Explorer
 for the best places and their locations.

On person, wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
Extra clothes, Beach wear, hats, sunscreen lotion, insect repellents.

A complete first-aid kit

Completely serviced up-to-date car or 4x4.

No off-road emergency services are available in UAE, so keep the UAE police number handy.

CAMPING WITH FAMILY IN UAE: A Beginner's guide @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/
CAMPING WITH FAMILY IN UAE: A Beginner's guide @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

CAMPING WITH FAMILY IN UAE: A Beginner's guide @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

CAMPING WITH FAMILY IN UAE: A Beginner's guide @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/


Do read this article and make wise choices about where and how you camp. 

Always better to venture out in groups at least with two vehicles if you are heading farther away from a city and accessible roads.

Always let your family and friends know where you are exactly going and when is it that you will return.

Look out for flash floods in wadis, scorpions and other poisonous beings in the desert dunes. Also, pitch your tent on the beach with an anticipation of a tide at night, lest you want a completely soaked up mess.

Great reading sites for information, sights, locations and prior experiences:

1- Outdooruae.com

2- UAE-Weekend-Lovers

3- UAE Offroaders

4- U.A.E Camping and other Misadventures

5- EveryTrail- UAE

6- Weekend UAE

Established camping organizers-- GLAMPING

If roughing it out in the outdoors is not your cup of tea, yet you love being in the lap of nature, then try out these well organised outdoor stays.

1- Banyan Tree Al Wadi for a luxurious and romantic getaway to a bedouin style desert resort. 

2-UAQ Marine club in Umm Al Quwain where the camps are set up already in a private beach area. 

3-FAKC.me This one is a pretty amazing group of Fathers and Kids Camping. But registration is based on referrals alone.

4- Relax RV Camping Resort Set in the dunes of Ras al Khaimah provides an RV style of luxurious camping.

5- Ecoventure provides adventure and outdoor education based camps for both families and school trips somewhere towards Al Jeer area near the border with Oman.

6- Noukhada.ae. This tour company provides kayaks and ferries your stuff to a desert island in abudhabi, then you are on your own till the next morning when they bring you back to mainland.

7- Dreamland Aquapark surprisingly has waterside chalets with barbecuing facility for an overnight stay in Umm Al Quwain.

TIPS for camping with Children:

- If you haven't camped before in UAE, start with day trips which are not too far off from civilization. Al Rafaah (UAQ) and Al Aqah (Fujairah) and Jabal Jais (RAK) beach are good spots.

- The age group of children with you can determine where camping would be the best enjoyable. For small kids it is the beaches are the best.

- Do carry enough food and water especially for the kids, and do not forget sunscreens, hats and other basic first aid that you may need.

- Make sure the children are watched over at all times. Especially when the bbq is on. There  are 4x4's and dune bikes riding around the beaches and deserts, so keep the kids safe.

- Take along simple games that the kids would love playing when outdoors. Of course its not a tablet :/

Fear not, camping is a very child friendly activity, especially in a safe country like UAE. Our daughter has always had fun and made some great memories and new friends, in our many camping trips. We find it to be a nice and amazing way to expose her to nature and free play. 

This link has great tips for family camping trips in UAE http://www.thenational.ae/lifestyle/family/uae-has-ideal-spots-for-camping-with-children

CAMPING WITH FAMILY IN UAE: A Beginner's guide @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/
Souring corals and shells left back by the tides

CAMPING WITH FAMILY IN UAE: A Beginner's guide @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/
Searching for animal (fox) footprints

CAMPING WITH FAMILY IN UAE: A Beginner's guide @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/
Making twig houses

CAMPING WITH FAMILY IN UAE: A Beginner's guide @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/
Watching ducks and birds

CAMPING WITH FAMILY IN UAE: A Beginner's guide @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/
Unlimited Beach time

So gather your tent, the winter is here, ride into the night, to unseen places, soak up the the sand and the sky, gaze at the stars, and leave the place with only memories.
Hope you make the most of the season!

See ya!!
Zain & Farz



                                               Monkey and Mouse


                                     Monkey and Mouse
Wander Mum


  1. Wow such a informative post! Camping sure is fun. .It's on my bucket list :)
    Nice family outing you had!

    1. Yes lavina, amazing memories! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Wow this is such a thorough guide. I'm ashamed to admit I never heard of Uae (how would one pronounce that) Good thing for google maps, going to look it up :)

    1. Haha, Its U.A.E. (united arab Emirates) the country that the world famous DUBAI is a part of. I hope you've definitely heard of Dubai. U must visit, its a great place especially in the cooler months.

  3. Wow, this is quite a definitive guide to camping!!! Your photographs are amazing!

  4. I would like to suggest another wonderful place in Abu Dhabi. It is called Al Dabiya Island. It is literally a fishing village with a few luxurious vacation homes for the Emiratis. THe left side of the Island has a military oilfield and the right side is full of beautiful Mangorves, birds, a dhow wreck, A marina pier, A beach on the father side of the island with waters bluer than Maldives or Mauritius. You can find it on Google maps under: Al Dabiya Camping spot. The island is a treasure trove for fossil seekers, replete with Salt flats, Corals, imprints of animals, shells and such, The place even has a mosque, small grocery, restaurant and a fuel pump station near the Marina pier. The nights we have camped, we were greeted by the stars, mornings, we were welcomed by a beautiful sunrise, we were lucky to spot a dolphin quite close to the Island, Pelicans and flamingoes hovering by and cute little black spotted crabs around. If you anyone is interested to know, do email me and I can give you complete details about the place. Email me on: irshu88@gmail.com / admin@mefoodie.net

    1. Wooooah... Tats a gem of a secret you have shared here. We have drafted a plan along the same lines u ve said, but to another of abudhabi s countless island. Now we are going to check the map to locate and plan all that you have mentioned.. Thanks a ton.

      You sound like a seasoned camper, Irshad. Hope you enjoyed our article. Il be mailing you, for the details soon 😊. Till then enjoy your weekends and do come back and share your wisdom on this page ....

  5. I would never have thought of camping in the UAE - or perhaps only as part of an organisation tour in the desert. But what a great guide to get started. Scorpions are something we don't really have to worry about camping in the UK! :) Thanks for joining up with #citytripping

    1. Every camping trip in UAE is an different experience itself. We are still learning from our trials :)

  6. I never thought of the UAE as a camping destination but it looks like a great place to pitch a tent. This is such s comprehensive guide and it looks like you really enjoy your canvas adventures there #citytripping

    1. Definitely Claire! Camping is never on the tourist's list, more on the residents though! Next time you must definitely try it here though!

  7. Wow what a guide. We shop at Decathalon too :D

    1. Thank you for stopping by! We love declathon :)

  8. 7 years in Dubai and I haven't tried camping ever! I guess I'm just not a camping-kind of person. Lol. This is very informative though, I'll share it to my friends who are into it. :)

    1. Neither did we, till we had a trip to Musandam for the first time. It was an experience of a life time. Since then we are hooked onto camping and hence the research and the article:)

  9. Great tips and very comprehensive list. I would never have thought of camping in the UAE either! Well done you guys for getting out there and doing it and exploring another side to the country. I bet the kids love it! Thanks for linking to #citytripping

    1. Yes, our daughter loves it. Thanks for hosting #citytripping

  10. It is good to learn more about the camping options in the UAE. It is the first time I read and article about this activity in the country. Is it a popular thing to do there? The locations you have shown here look great.

    1. Earlier maybe camping in UAE must have been for the adventurous souls. But of-late we get to see a lot of crowd on each of our expeditions. So I guess camping is getting popular here. Thank you for stopping by Ruth.

  11. i like outdoor camping with my family also. But of course during winter months :). I will follow your blog. keep posting. I am trying also to blog the places my family visited around UAE.

    1. Thank you for dropping by! Hope you enjoy camping and blogging!

    2. Thank you for dropping by! Hope you enjoy camping and blogging!