Camping in UAE and Oman

As the mercury slips below 40C, and the evenings become beautifully balmy, many Al Ain locals start venturing out to the desert to camp. Camping season in this area lasts from October to March when the weather starts warming up again, and you therefore have around 5 or 6 months of outdoor fun to be had for the whole family. Those venturing out for the first time, here are a few things to consider while camping in this area.

 

  • Wear sensible footwear to avoid any injuries from left behind glass, tins and other debris from previous occupants.
  • Make sure you have markers of some sort on the top of the dunes to alert quad bikers, and other drivers of your presence! Cylume sticks are a good long term marker. Do take fire wood with you if you can. Bundles of firewood can be purchased from the souk behind Bawadi mall for around AED 35.
  • Always take more than one car when going off road, as well as recovery equipment, snatch straps, D rings and a shovel.
  • Teach your children the fire safety rules, and ensure that their clothing is non-flammable, the dry wood here burns readily, and the wind can fan the flames.
  • It is very difficult to evacuate in an emergency by car, so ensure that someone has a GPS and your location can be given to any emergency services.
  • In December & January the temperatures at night can be extremely cold so make sure you have ample bedding and warm clothing with you.
  • Make sure you have some knowledge of basic recovery and a well-stocked food & drink supply, as well as a good first aid kit and insect repellent.
  • GPS is a good pin pointer for the next trip
  • If you are venturing to Oman don’t forget your passport, ensure that you have car insurance that covers Oman, and be aware that it is illegal to take alcohol across the border!

 

Camping in the desert is one of the most relaxing and beautiful experiences this area has to offer, the colours of the dunes and the sunsets are astonishing, and to sit in your camp chair and watch the sun go down, whilst sipping an ice cold drink is an experience few will forget.

Recommended spots are:
Musandam beach camping (north of Oman), Dibba, Ray in Oman on the way to Hatta, For the more adventurous, Jebel Akdhar and Jebel Shams in Oman, amazing views, but at an elevation of 3000m it will be cool at night! Note for the Jebel Akdhar and the Jebel Shams, the road is very long and very steep, so the pressure on your car braking system is high. You need to have a car that can cope with this, a four wheel drive vehicle with a low range gear will take the pressure off your brakes. The Wahiba Sands, and Bar al Hikman peninsula are more remote and need a more experienced driver, and at least one other vehicle.

Locally, Al Ain has several sites on our door step. Out past the airport – turn into the desert at the Camel Roundabout and find a spot, also out past the Camel Race track – turn into the desert on the northern road near the half built Palace.