You’ll find endless treasures as you explore the deserts of Ras Al Khaimah. Fall in love with the history of the northernmost Emirate and unravel seven centuries of tales, conflict, poetry and song. Ras Al Khaimah will take your breath away as you navigate Bedouin culture, heartwarming stories, and the beautiful Islamic culture. The Emirate combines the past and the future and demonstrates the best of both worlds.

The rich nomadic lifestyle of the Bedouins dates back between 2500 and 3000 BC. For centuries, they would move around the region in nomadic cycles to find cooler weather, water and fertile land for their animals. Even though they constantly moved, they would ensure comfortable accommodation, plentiful food, and entertainment. They created simple yet beautiful traditions that continue today in parts of the Emirate, including Sonara Camp.

The Bedouins would erect tents in the desert when they decided they would stay 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, strips of fabric covering the walls and the tent’s roof to protect them and their animals from extreme weather conditions.

As entertainment, the Bedouins would chant Taghrouda, a mesmerising form of poetry composed and narrated by men as they travelled through the desert on camels. They believed the hypnotic rhythm would encourage the camels to walk in step. The poems are linguistically creative, with improvised praise and parody sung at celebrations and around campfires. Nabati is another form of poetry spoken by non-Arabic natives.

Bedouins are known for their keen sense of loyalty, and they treat their guests with friendly respect and share their food, coffee, dates and dried fruits. This tradition is strongly revered and upheld at Sonara and in Emirati life.

The desert lands of Sonara Camp are nothing short of spectacular. As the sun plunges over the Arabian Gulf, the peaceful firey-red dunes in the protected Al Wadi nature reserve come alive with native wildlife. The iconic Arabian oryx, sand gazelles, and Arabian red foxes start appearing at the watering holes throughout the protected park from their daytime hiding spots. Sonara Al Wadi is a breathtaking experience that showcases the best of the desert wilderness.

The Arabian Oryx was almost extinct in the early 1970s, but thanks to a successful breeding programme, the medium-sized desert antelope, also known as W’Dhehi, roam freely around the nature reserve. The oryx is primarily white and has dark triangular facial features and leg markings. Their impressive long, straight horns make them easily identifiable.

As you’d expect in rolling desert lands, there are plenty of camels. They have been at the centre of life in the UAE for centuries and played essential roles in transportation, food and entertainment. They symbolise Emirati cultural heritage and remain intrinsic to the country’s traditions and cultural practices. Explore some unique native lands that Bedouin people have traversed for several millennia. Experience some of the traditional activities that are so vital in the United Arab Emirates, from camel riding to the spectacular sunset falconry show.

Sonara Camp offers an epicurean adventure at sunset and well into the night. Sustainability is at the very heart of the experience, with a cleverly curated menu that embraces seasonal sea and farm-to-table produce. The chefs cater to various diets, including vegan and delicious food for children. Try local Arabic mezze and dishes straight from the grill; the menu features some of your favourite Mediterranean dishes and a perfect fusion of ingredients.

Feast on some of the finest canapes during sunset in the boho-chic teepees, and eat marshmallows around the roaring firepits. You can enjoy the fine collection of delicious cocktails, bubbles, vintage wines and craft beers whilst the little ones tuck into delicious shakes and freshly squeezed juices. As the evening wears on, enjoy the fire show, or curl up in camel or goat hair blankets, and watch movies under the stars.

The founder and soul of Sonara, Stephanie Danial, shares her passion for the sandy wilderness through her inimitable and unforgettable desert escapes. In Arabic, Nara means a small, sparkling fire and holds the initials of her four sons, Neil, Adam, Ryan and Adrian.

Choose from the sunset or sunset and dinner experiences. The dinner package includes a shuttle to the camp, soft drinks, Arabic tea and coffee and an exciting seasonal menu. You and the kids can play volleyball and soft archery and try your hand at sandboarding. Throughout the evening, live music takes you on a journey of 1001 Arabian Nights. As the sun sets, you’ll enjoy the introduction to the beautiful owls. Over dinner, playing a part in the interactive hawk show will leave you in awe of the speed and agility of the native birds. There is plenty of exciting entertainment and a fire show throughout the evening.

Sonara Camp Al Wadi

The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert

+971 50 336 0397, [email protected]

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