One of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors in Abu Dhabi is to pitch a tent under the stars. However, we know that the idea of sleeping on sand or rocks doesn’t always appeal to everyone.
The good news is, the outdoor hospitality market has revolutionised in Abu Dhabi over the past 18 months with the opening of several glamping options, both around the city, in the desert and in the historic city of Al Ain.
- Sensational glamping spots in Dubai
- Abu Dhabi’s best hotels & resorts on the beach
- The UAE’s best luxury desert resorts
- Enjoying the Abu Dhabi desert on an organised safari
Abu Dhabi Glamping
Nearby city destinations and further afield you can find these glamping options where all the hard work has been done for you in putting up the tent, plus a few luxury extras thrown in:
Bab Al Nojoum
Sitting incredibly close to the city in the newly developed Al Hudayriat Island (off Abu Dhabi island’s west coast) you’ll find Bab Al Nojoum. Operated by Mawarid Hotels and Hospitality this glamping site has something for all levels of glampers on the beachfront. From a luxury two-floor offering with its own pool and private beach frontage, through to standard tents and luxury tents, even campervans!
Expect bonfire areas and BBQ facilities, as well as a beach cinema, restaurant, juice bar, food outlets and a kayak hire centre.
How much does it cost? There are various glamping and on-site tent camping options available to suit your group size and level of luxury! Pricing starts from 150 AED weekdays / 200 AED weekends. Inquiry direct for pricing on your dates from these options:
Duplex tent: Family groups up to 4 can enjoy their own private plunge pool, fully equipped kitchen, 2 queen-sized beds and a private bathroom with AC.
Chalet Tent: These spacious tents include a mini kitchen, dining table and chairs, terrace and a plunge pool. Accommodation is 1 queen-sized bed, 2 singles and a queen mattress allowing groups up to 6. Enjoy a private bathroom and AC.
Camping on wheels: A totally unique concept, Waghi 1 & 2 are converted VW’s or Blazar the vintage Defender can fit two campers with mini kitchens, AC, sofa beds and towels (shared toilets and bathrooms).
Beachside Camping: Several on-site tent options exist with shared bathrooms per cluster. Campsites also share a BBQ area and picnic tables and seating are spotted around. Al Najm tents suit 2 campers, while Al Helal can fit 4 and Al Badr fit 6. Wave tents for 2 are located right on the beachfront.
You need to provide your own sleeping bags but mattresses and towels can be provided. Note air mattresses over ground mats will reduce your tent capacity, you book these in addition to your tent.
Where to find it: Al Hudayriyat Island, Abu Dhabi, accessible in a standard vehicle.
>> Learn more at babalnojoum.com
Jebel Hafit Desert Park, Al Ain
Sitting at the foot of Jebel Hafeet, the tallest point in Abu Dhabi outside of Al Ain (right on the Oman border) you’ll find the Jebel Hafit Desert Park. As well as being home to one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Al Ain (the Beehive Tombs) the desert park offers several outdoor recreation opportunities from hiking to mountain bikes and horse riding – and as it’s quickly become famous for, desert glamping!
The arrival of bubble tents and luxury domes, alongside regular campsites with all the amenities you need has really breathed freshlife into this corner of the Emirate.
How much does it cost? There’s a wide range of glamping and camping options on offer at Jebel Hafit Desert Park depending on the level of luxury you’re looking for (relucatant campers breathe a sigh of relief!):
Camping Site: BYO tent and gear and enjoy a reserved spot for up to 6 (4 adults 2 kids max), access to public toilets and a fire pit from 250AED++ per night.
Bedouin-style Tent: Have a tent pitched for you from 400AED++ per night, includes shared bathroom facilities and fire pit, fans but not AC. Capacity 4 adults 2 kids.
Luxury Dome tent: With AC, shower and private bathroom, telescope, your own terace and fire pit, Capacity 2 adults and 2 under 12’s 1,800AED++ per night.
Bubble Glamping Tent: With AC, private bathroom, fridge and terrace, fall asleep with an exclsuive view of the sky a star lit sky. Capacity 2 adults and 2 under 12’s for 2,000AED++ per night.
Park Entry Only: 5 AED
Where to find it: Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi
>> Learn more at jebelhafitdesertpark.com
Arabian Nights Village, Al Khatim Desert
This one could almost be classified in the desert resort category with facilities on offer and the fact you are in a house or “bayt” rather than a tent. Sitting less than an hour away from Abu Dhabi on the Al Ain Truck Road, you can access the site with your own AWD/4WD, or take advantage of their city pick up service to be whisked away for your overnight desert adventure.
Enjoy their evening array of outdoor activities including camel rides, sandboarding, desert safari, quad biking, fat bikes or even the beautiful oasis pool. Then relax and be entertained over BBQ dinner before retreating to your beautifully appointed bayt. Rooms are electronics-free so perfect for properly switching off for the night but include AC! Breakfast is included in an all-inclusive package.
How much does it cost? The Bayts have flexible floor layouts meaning you can either have a bedroom and living room or covert it to a double bedroom suite for a family. Couples can book doubles only – all bedrooms come with an ensuite.
Bayt al Shaaer (Superior): Meaning “woven house” this will give you a (quite luxurious) touch of a Bedouin tent design. From 900 AED++
Bayt al Bahar (Deluxe): Inspired by pearl diving, they are modelled on traditional coastal residences. From 950 AED++
Bayt al Bar (Premium): Meaning “desert house” a simplistic exterior but a stunningly luxurious interior. From 1000 AED++
Al Manhal Tower: The grandest house with presidential bedrooms, each with its own opulent bathroom and a central majlis, ideal for 6 guests. From 2,600 AED++
NB They are currently only operating Thursday to Saturday
Where to find it: Arabian Nights Village Rd – Mshayrif – Abu Dhabi
Pura Eco Retreat, Jubail Island
The ethos at Pura is simple. Switch off, relax and reconnect with nature.
Set on Jubail island, this is an adults-only eco-retreat. Their simple and minimalistic dome tents feature plush king-sized beds fitted with top linens in natural tones. Small but luxurious amenities such as coffee machines and speakers are included, but leave your cars at the main entrance; you’ll be shuttled by small golf buggies to the exclusive, vehicle-free tented area and enjoy a wifi-free environment to relax and unwind.
Butler service is still on hand keeping it up there in the luxury glamping stakes. Enjoy outdoor seating and fire pits to sit around or snuggle up in your tent and enjoy this exclusive blissful touch of nature in the mangroves of Jubail Island.
How much does it cost? There are currently two options at Pura Eco Retreat:
Minimalistic Chic Domes: King size bed for 2 with scenic views, private ensuite & outdoor seating. Price TBC.
Native Tents: “Raw & authentic” tent for 2 for nature seekers. Price TBC.
Where to find it: Jubail Island (between Saddiayt Island Yas Island on the E12), Abu Dhabi
Part of the exquisite Qasr Al Sarab luxury desert resort deep in the Ras Al Khail desert, this is one of Abu Dhabi’s most exclusive glamping locations.
Situated in a private spot near the hotel but remote enough in the desert you will feel completely secluded. Your glamping package is a complete Bedouin experience which includes desert activities, a BBQ dinner with storytelling and breakfast over a falconry display.
Sure to be a truly unforgettable Abu Dhabi desert Bedouin experience with all the luxury trimmings.
How much does it cost? Prices start from 2,000 AED++ per person and 2,400 AED++ with house beverages.
Where to find it: Anantara Qasr al Sarab Desert Resort, Al Mirayr, Abu Dhabi. resort accesible by 2WD then you’l be escorted to camp.
A quick note on ++ Most accommodation pricing in the UAE is quoted prior to all taxes. It SHOULD include the 5% VAT, but you’ll also find there are added municipality charges, service charge and tourism fee added, up to around 20% – make sure you budget for this as payments made in advance may only be for the room.
Beach Camping in Abu Dhabi
If you are prepared to rough it a little and have all the equipment you need, why not enjoy your great outdoors for free? Many of the best spots for beach camping in Abu Dhabi emirate sit to the west of Abu Dhabi city.
Situated 90 minutes west of Abu Dhabi along the E11 you’ll come to one of Abu Dhabi’s undoubted hidden gems, the long wide stretch of beach of Al Mirfa (also known as Al Marfa). An annual watersports competition brings the beach to life but otherwise, much of the year you can enjoy this pristine stretch of sandy white beach in peace.
Keep heading along the E11 and past Ruwais to the long stretch of beach between the Shuweihat Power Complex and Shuweihat Island. It is quite exposed here so best for winter camping only and BYO everything!
Shuweihat Island and it’s stunning rock formations nearby are actually considered Government property so technically should not be visited and are fenced off – though we do continue to see photos regularly posted on social media. A 4WD is recommended for getting over the small beachfront dunes, and do watch the varying tide.
Desert Camping in Abu Dhabi
If you are equipped with all your own camping gear and the right vehicle, then try these sensational outdoor spots in the Abu Dhabi desert over winter.
This is an easy beginner campers location as you are not far from civilization (the Al Wathba cycling track is nearby) and the dunes are relatively easy. Even some smaller SUV’s/AWD vehciles could cope in most parts.
Due to its location, it can suffer a little for light pollution and noise into the evening but it’s a great place to get started and familiar with desert camping in Abu Dhabi.
The stretch of desert between Al Wathba and Al Ain is known as Al Khatim Desert. It’s popular with a number of the tour operators (see more below!) as it’s easy to reach from the city but you should still be able to pick out a favourite remote spot and pitch your tent.
The larger, richer red dunes here encourage the sand sports fans, brilliant for sandboarding, but just watch out for any late night 4WD or dune buggy action when you set up camp.
You can also join a tour group here that will help you through the dunes in your own vehicle, including introductory lessons.
Arguably one of the most beautiful and isolated parts of the Arabian Gulf, the Liwa Desert holds endless possibilities for exploring, and finding your own exclusive spot nestled in amongst the dunes – and most definitely the best spot for star gazing.
Its isolation can also play against campers, however. It is not recommended for novices due to the difficult driving and lack of mobile phone signals in this area of the country.
The dunes are magnificent though so it’s definitely one for your motoring enthusiasts and more experienced campers. Be warned the overnights can get super nippy in winter, and always travel in a group with plentiful food and water supplies.
Organised desert camping Abu Dhabi
If the idea of setting up your own camp feels quite terrifying or your only visiting Abu Dhabi and don’t have the appropriate gear with you, your best bet is to join an organised evening and overnight tour into the desert.
There are many tour companies that will do the hard work for you, including city pickups and take you off to their own exclusive patch of UAE desert to enjoy an evening dinner and show before tent camping under the stars.
Camping of this nature must not be confused though with glamping! You tent set up is likely to be basic and facilities shared. But still, an unforgettable way to experience Abu Dhabi at night.
Before you go… Important things to consider planning a trip to Abu Dhabi
- Pop into our essential planning information page, it includes everything you need to know about getting around Abu Dhabi, a handy guide on what to pack as well as top tips for first-timers on the dos and don’ts, laws, and customs in the UAE.
- Check current entry requirements for Abu Dhabi.
- Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!
- Discover the best places to stay in Abu Dhabi, or bag a bargain on your accommodation here: