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 few years with the opening of several glamping options, both around the city, in the desert and in the historic city of Al Ain.
This guide will take you through all your options for camping and glamping in Abu Dhabi emirate.
- Jump to Abu Dhabi Glamping Spots here
- Where to Go Beach Camping in Abu Dhabi
- Where to Go Desert Camping in Abu Dhabi
- Organised Tour Desert Camping in Abu Dhabi
You may also want to check out:
Abu Dhabi Glamping
Nearby city destinations and further afield, you can find these Aby Dhabi glamping options where all the hard work has been done for you in putting up the tent, plus a few luxury extras are thrown in:
Bab Al Nojoum – Hudayriyat
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, BBQ facilities, a beach cinema, a restaurant, a juice bar, food outlets, and a kayak hire centre.
How much does it cost? Various glamping and on-site tent camping options are available to suit your group size and level of luxury! Pricing starts from 300 AED on weekdays. Inquire direct for pricing on your dates from these options:
- Duplex tent: Family groups of up to 4 can enjoy their own private plunge pool, fully equipped kitchen, two 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 one queen-sized bed, two singles and a queen mattress, allowing groups of up to 6. Enjoy a private bathroom and AC.
- Camping on wheels: A totally unique concept, Waghi 1 & 2 are converted VWs 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 two campers, while Al Helal can fit four and Al Badr fit six. Wave tents for two are located right on the beachfront.
You need to provide your own sleeping bags, but mattresses and towels can be provided. Note that 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.
Bab Al Nojoum – Al Mugheirah Resort
A second branch of Bab Al Nojoum has opened on Mirfa Beach, approximately 1.5 hours west of Abu Dhabi city. Much more than just the glamping experience itself, guests are invited at Al Mugheirah Resort to disconnect from their tech and truly enjoy their surroundings with plenty on offer through the activity hub.
Located within the Marawah Marine Biosphere, this eco resort includes a bike rental store on site with 4.5km of dedicated bike paths around the 45-hectare property. Guests are also invited to choose from a menu of additional activities, including falconry, horseback riding and cooking classes.
This remote site, set just 100 metres off the beach, offers visitors the choice of staying in a converted Airstream trailer or a one or two-bedroom cabin made from recycled shipping containers. All up, there are 40 caravans/cabins on the site, well spread out, so each offers the guest some privacy.
BBQs are included if you want to BYO or sit around your own fire pit. Alternatively, join in a communal Braai experience for dinner, and breakfast can be provided by the on-site chef.
How much does it cost: All offer very comfortable glamping surrounds, AC and private bathrooms, you can expect:
- Airstream: Ideal for couples, the caravans sleep 2 with a private bathroom, terrace, minibar and outdoor dining. From 1000 AED++
- One Bedroom Cabins: Offering one double bed, a small kitchen/living space, a terrace with a private plunge pool and a BBQ pit, these are ideal for two people. From 1200 AED++
- Two Bedroom Cabins: Best for a family of up to 5 with one double bed, two singles, a sofa/bed in the kitchenette/living space, terrace, pool and fire pit. From 1700 AED++
Where to find it: Mirfa Beach is around 150km west of Abu Dhabi city along the E11, accessible in a standard vehicle the journey takes around 90 minutes.
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.
Extra activities on offer at Pura Eco Retreats include yoga, kayaking, cycling, horse riding and BBQ’s.
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. Prices start at 1650 AED per night.
- Native Tents: “Raw & authentic” tent for two for nature seekers. Prices start at 900 AED per night.
Pura Eco Retreats – Jebel Hafit Desert Park
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 fresh life into this corner of the Emirate. Now managed by Pura Eco Retreats, there’s a huge range of options for outdoor enthusiasts to combine with whatever level of luxury they desire from their accommodation:
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 (reluctant 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 250 AED++ per night.
- Bedouin-style Tent: Have a tent pitched for you from 400 AED++ per night, including shared bathroom facilities and fire pit, fans but not AC. Capacity 4 adults and 2 kids.*
- Luxury Dome tent: With AC, shower and private bathroom, telescope, your own terrace and fire pit, Capacity of 2 adults and 2 under 12’s 1,800 AED++ per night.*
- Bubble Glamping Tent: With AC, private bathroom, fridge and terrace, fall asleep with an exclusive view of the sky. Capacity 2 adults and 2 under 12’s for 2,000 AED++ per night.
*Book here via booking.com for the “Late Escape” special rates on offer during October 2022 to save!
Park Entry Only: 5 AED
Where to find it: Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi
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 convert 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 1100 AED++
- Bayt al Bahar (Deluxe): Inspired by pearl diving, they are modelled on traditional coastal residences. From 1200 AED++
- Bayt al Bar (Premium): Meaning “desert house” a simplistic exterior but a stunningly luxurious interior. From 1320 AED++
- Al Manhal Tower: The grandest house with presidential bedrooms, each with its own opulent bathroom and a central majlis, ideal for six guests. From 3,400 AED++
Where to find it: Arabian Nights Village Rd – Mshayrif – Abu Dhabi
Camp Nujum – Qasr A Sarab
This is one of Abu Dhabi’s most exclusive glamping locations, part of the exquisite Qasr Al Sarab luxury desert resort deep in the Ras Al Khail desert.
You will feel completely secluded in a private spot near the hotel but remote enough in the desert. Your glamping package is a complete Bedouin experience that 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. The resort is accessible by 2WD, and then you’ll 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 charges, and tourism fees 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 necessary equipment, 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; otherwise, you can enjoy this pristine stretch of sandy white beach in peace for much of the year.
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 its stunning rock formations nearby are considered Government property, so technically should not be visited and are fenced off – though we 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 your camping gear and the right vehicle, 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 civilisation (the Al Wathba cycling track is nearby), and the dunes are relatively easy. Even some smaller SUV’s/AWD vehicles could cope in most parts.
Due to its location, it can suffer a little from light pollution and noise into the evening, but it’s a great place to get started and become familiar with desert camping in Abu Dhabi.
There’s also Al Wathba Lake, which has recently been upgraded with proper picnic and campsite facilities.
The stretch of desert between Al Wathba and Al Ain is known as the Al Khatim Desert. It’s popular with several 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 to help you through the dunes in your vehicle, including introductory lessons. Prices start from 1500 AED per person.
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, so it’s 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.
There’s also a detailed guide over here to desert camping in the UAE to help you with the “how to” of desert camping and some suggested spots to try in other Emirates, too.
Organised Tour Desert Camping in Abu Dhabi
If the idea of setting up your own camp feels quite terrifying or you are 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.
Many tour companies will do the hard work for you, including city pick-ups 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.
We talk more about what to look for in a great Abu Dhabi desert safari over here.
Camping of this nature must not be confused with glamping! Your tent set-up is likely to be basic, and facilities are 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 the most up-to-date COVID entry rules 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:
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