Are you planning a trip to the UAE and want something different from the usual hotel stay? You’re in luck…
It is rather otherworldly being in the desert with nothing but the sounds of the moving sands under a bright full moon. Enjoy back-to-nature eco-accommodation in the flame-coloured dunes in Ras Al Khaimah’s desert lands. The moonscape deserts have been home to Bedouins for centuries as they moved around the region in nomadic cycles to find cooler weather, water and fertile land for their animals. Even though they constantly moved, they would secure comfortable accommodation, plentiful food, and entertainment.
Historically, Bedouins would erect tents in the desert when they decided to stay in situ for a while. The Bedouins made their tents from goat or camel hair or sheep wool. The women would weave the fibres into tight shiqaq, or strips of fabric covering the tent’s walls and roof to protect them and their animals from the extreme weather conditions.
The Bedouins had a staple diet of goat and camel meat, rice, flour, nuts and dried fruit. The women would cook their food on campfires or buried deep in the sand. Sweetened tea, goat and camel milk, and coffee were all popular drinks. This delicious food is replicated at the various camps in Ras Al Khaimah and cooked on big charcoal grills and in underground ovens covered with sand. The age-old recipe is cooked for at least 24 hours, mouthwateringly tender, and the meat falls off the bone. Other traditional dishes include hummus, fattoush, shish tawook and Arabic bread.
Bedouins made their own entertainment, and after dark, their camps would become alive with music and the willowy movements of the belly and tanoura dancers. As night falls, the oasis lights up with antique lanterns, shimmering candles and paraffin lamps as the resident DJ plays soothing tunes to complete a magical day. You’ll have a memorable experience akin to 1001 Arabian Nights.
Experience a wonderous day in the life of a Bedouin and learn more about their ancient traditions. If you are a nature lover, you will enjoy being in the vast open landscapes of rolling dunes as you ride soft-footed camels. If you prefer your creature comforts, a driver will skillfully manoeuvre a luxury four-wheel-drive car through the dunes. Quad bikes and dune buggies are also popular; the adrenaline adventures will take you at speed through the moon-like Saharan lands. At the camp, the men proudly show off their falcons, the fastest bird in the world, whilst the local Bedu women hand paint exquisite henna tattoos. Enjoy a full evening of entertainment and divine food from the grill before settling into your bedouin tent or chalet or returning to your hotel for the night.
Bedouin Oasis, https://www.bedouinoasis.org/
Deep in the terracotta desert, you’ll find Bassata Desert Village, where you can experience traditional Bedouin and Arabic activities, including camel riding and watching the lythe tanora dancers. Bassata is an Arabic word meaning simplicity, and the village is just that. Explore the desert and try your hand at exciting dune bashing in luxury 4X4 vehicles or on quad bikes. Listen to stories of 1001 Arabian nights as you dine around the open fires in the evening and feast on delicious Bedouin-inspired cuisine as thousands of twinkly stars appear in the night sky. The camp has various VIP tents so that you can enjoy the magical sunsets in comfort. If you want to experience camping under the stars, bring your sleeping bag and hunker down for a night or two in one of their tents.
Bassata Desert Village, https://goo.gl/maps/CbEtgffVQMW3m8Ru8
Families with a sense of adventure can participate in various exciting desert-centric activities and explore the various breathtaking terrains in the Emirate. Deep in the terracotta deserts, visitors to the Emirate can experience an extraordinary Bedouin-inspired journey. The Dunes has comprehensive offerings, including the world-famous dune bashing as you tear across breathtaking moonscapes in a luxury 4X4 Landcruiser. You can ride atop a camel in a lazy caravan or visit a local farm and meet various desert animals. Perhaps enjoy a family picnic safari in the shade of an acacia tree or camp under the stars in a traditional heritage tent or futuristic dome.
The Dunes Camping & Safari, https://thedunesuae.com/
The down-to-earth experience at RAK Glamping affords you a true desert adventure with home comforts. RAK Glamping embraces traditional Arabic living blended with the finest British hospitality. Choose from the Bedouin tents, an A-frame cabin or the couples lodge. The rooms are home-away-from-home and are furnished with board games, desert-inspired folkloric bedtime stories and Netflix. Each room has AC to ensure complete comfort throughout the year. Outside is a fire pit and charcoal BBQ; why not stock up your fridge with delicious goodies from the local butcher for a feast as the sun sets over the desert? You can even bring your well-behaved doggies; they have their swimming pool, safe play area, delicious dog ice cream and a pet shop. The founders, Amanda and Neil, are certified pet sitters, so if you want to explore Ras Al Khaimah for the day, you know your doggies will be in good hands.
RAK Glamping, https://www.rakglamping.com/