Desert Camping In The UAE
Updated: Nov 1, 2020
What a lousy year, eh? The blog has been gathering cobwebs (sorry about that) - zero motivation to do much. When the year started, we had plans to hit 9 countries. Now? If we make it to one, I will concede the year was not a complete and utter waste.
Most of you probably know that the the UAE (well Dubai in particular) started to open places to residents and tourists back in July. There are restrictions in place though (masks and social distancing are mandatory both indoors/outdoors when you are around other people).
Work and travel keeps us busy, so we don't get to take advantage of our beautiful city.. but this year, we have made a few exceptions already. The last one being a star-light night out camping in the middle of nowhere.
I came across a cool article on Whatson Dubai about a young South African couple who realized there was a gap in the market for something as cool as hassle-free camping. Intrigued? Yeah, I was as well! I quickly got in touch with the good folks over at Campr.
What? How? When? Where?
The good thing is that you get to control most of these factors when you book with Campr. The process is real straightforward too.
Step 1: You get on the website, choose the campr you want to rent (options vary from campr for 1 night to 4 weekendr). We opted for the campr2 for one night. When you choose your campr you are also asked to choose the date(s) you wish to rent the tent for, how many people and also the location (your options are desert, wadi, mountain).
We obviously opted for the desert since that would be the best place to view stars and get a real feel for the early onset of "winter".
Step 2: Wait for a response. Christine responded in less than two hours after I dropped the email with information on what is included and payment details.
Step 3: low down on the cost and what is included.
If you chose the desert in Dubai like we did, it would cost you aed 950.
If you choose the wadi or mountain, the cost is aed 950 plus aed 300 transport cost because these would be outside Dubai. Again, depends on what you want to see. We have camped out in the wadi in summer and it can get very uncomfortable real quick. I would suggest you speak to the Campr team and make a decision based on the time of year.
What the cost does not include: food & drinks (drinking water as well). You can choose to add on these additional frills for a cost.
A lot of people asked me about the toilet situation - there are two options you can add on for a cost; a mobile toilet unit and a split toilet/shower unit. Having used both these options in New Zealand, I don't find them very comfortable. There are rarely any toilets needed out in the wild. We are used to this thanks to our other camping trips, so it was no issue for us (since we just stayed the night).
Step 4: You are all set. The team will drop you reminders during the week for what you must have handy before you leave (coffee, milk, sugar for instance).
Three days before your trip, you will have an approximate location for where you are heading - only the campr team knows the final location. I actually loved this small element of surprise!
Their team dropped us a pin for the exact location a few hours before our trip. 45 minutes later, we got to the location at about 4 p.m. The team had set up everything up and were waiting for us - just to give us a run down on the inventory and how everything works.
The wind was mighty strong that evening until about 6 p.m. but in half hour, the wind had died down and out came our jackets.
Special mention to the massive tent set up that comes up with the package. We could have sat there for hours just taking in the fresh brisk air and endless sand dunes.
It was actually great to get there early (though we were a little apprehensive about the sun being too harsh) - we had a lot of time to click pictures of these phenomenal dunes and play frisbee before the sunset.
You can almost think of it as a desert oasis where time stand stills.
Before the sunset, I did cozy up for a bit inside the tent.. which is generous and sturdy, easily fits two adults (was no issue even with hubs' height).
The queen mattress was plush and extremely comfortable; I'll be honest, we usually end up with a sore back after a night out camping but not this time around. We slept like babies.
Don't forget to carry your own pillows, bedsheet and quilt.
The sunset itself was a sight to behold.. with work keeping us busy, we hardly get to appreciate all the amazing views our city of wonder offers.
Dinner time: we did not want to light a fire, so we had our pre-packed homemade dinner and snacks.
Post dinner, the stars were out and how. It was COLD - fall weather in Dubai is usually a rarity unless you venture this far out of the city. So glad we packed our jackets. It was around 11 p.m. before we called it a night.
Next morning, I woke up for the sunrise - again, pretty chilly but worth waking up for this.
Took a long walk along the dunes before coffee and more down time under the tent.
I am definitely a sucker for vast lonely landscapes mostly untouched by humans. A lot of folks feel Dubai is all glam, but truth be told, so are most cities.
Dig a little deeper and you are never far away from finding stunning places like this hidden gem.
Glamping is not our style, we like to go rustic and set up things ourselves but we are not complaining. It felt like a whole other world with not another soul in sight - this is what we aim for on every trip.
Not having to fret about the set up or permits was a refreshing change!
Sleeping under gazillion stars, the chilly weather, the hassle-free set up, being one with nature.. it took us back to our time in New Zealand.
I would highly recommend this experience if you are looking to escape the boring humdrum city life for a night or two.
Get in touch with Campr to book your getaway this winter.
P.S. this is not a sponsored post. I paid in full!
Feel free to hit me up on IG if you have any other questions about our trip.