8 Desert Camping Experiences in the Middle East

Ever wondered what it’s like to live in a desert? Or perhaps yearning to tick “Desert Experience” off your bucket list? The Bedouin tent experience awaits you! The Bedouin are pastoralist nomads who lived in mobile tents in the regions of North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq and Levant.

Many Bedouins have long abandoned their nomadic traditions for a modern urban lifestyle, but Bedouin tents remain a spectacular attraction in the Middle East with its fun-filled desert activities at hand. Read on and discover these eight vacation retreats in the Middle East which are sure to render a peaceful respite and bring out the inner desert explorer in you!

1. Desert Nights Camp, Oman

Desert Nights Camp, Oman
Image credit: Desert Nights Camp

Kickstart your desert adventure holiday with a stay at the Desert Nights Camp, a five-star Bedouin-style tent accommodation which promises a spectacular and rejuvenating stay at the Omani-styled majlis within the vast isolation of the Omani desert! Desert Nights Camp is a mere two-hour drive from Muscat, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman.

Enjoy a camel ride in the sunset, dune bashing in the golden sands of Wahiba and a magical feast on traditional Omani cuisine. Home to thirty luxurious Bedouin-style tents and a sanctum amidst the barren world, Desert Nights Camp will certainly be a desert stay to remember.

Price: AED 569 to AED 1,554 (~S$212 to S$580)/night

2. Arabian Nights Village, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Arabian Nights Village, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Image credit: Arabian Nights Village

A diamond in the dunes, the Arabian Nights Village is a sight to behold. The traditional Emirati architecture of the Arabian Nights Village is a timeless charm that harnesses the soul of old Arabia in the Al Khatim desert. There are four types of accommodation to choose from at the Arabian Nights Village, namely the Bedouin tents (Bayt Al Shaaer), palm houses (Bayt Al Bahar), desert houses (Bayt Al Bar), and The Fort Tower (Al Manha).

The village also offers a range of activities such as the morning safari, spectacular camel trekking experience, ‘fat’ biking and sand-surfing. Wait no more – the Arabian Nights Village will be an indelible journey into the historic Abu Dhabi!

Price: AED 1,568 (~S$585)/night

3. Anantara Qasr al Sarab Desert Resort, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Anantara Qasr al Sarab Desert Resort, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Image credit: Anantara Qasr al Sarab Desert Resort

In the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in his novella 
The Little Prince, “What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.” The Anantara Qasr al Sarab Desert Resort is the ‘well’ within the Liwa Desert, featuring a desert panorama from your room and a multitude of activities organised by the resort’s Desert Excursion Centre such as dune bashing, camel treks and desert walks.

Guests may also enjoy a relaxing massage at the Anantara Spa or the authentic hammam. The isolated desert location may be a disadvantage for some, but the Qasr al Sarab Desert Resort is surely a haven for those yearning a peaceful retreat!

Price: AED 966 to AED 1,858 (~S$360 to S$693)/night

4. Bedouin Oasis Camp, North Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

Bedouin Oasis Camp, North Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
Image credit: Bedouin Oasis Camp

If you’re looking for an honest-to-goodness Bedouin getaway, the
Bedouin Oasis Camp is simplicity at its best, retaining an authentic traditional charm of Bedouin life! Located in Ras al Khaimah, the Bedouin Oasis Camp offers many activities you can partake in during your stay such as drumming sessions, DJ parties, horse riding, educational activities for children, and more. The accommodation includes bed linen, outdoor seating area and a fireplace as you bask in the star-filled night sky amidst the desert.

Price: AED 360 to AED 496 (~S$134 to S$185)/night

5. Kfar Hanokdim, Israel

Kfar Hanokdim, Israel
Image credit: Kfar Hanokdim

The Bedouin Stay at Kfar Hanokdim is as real as it gets! A truly unique and authentic experience awaits you at Kfar Hanokdim where you will learn about the Bedouin lifestyle and culture shared by a real Bedouin. This Bedouin experience caters to large groups of people with a communal sleeping arrangement. Enjoy a camel ride, night walk in the desert and bonfire gathering during your stay.

Price: AED 926 to AED 1,583 (~S$344 to S$589)/night

6. Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa, Dubai, UAE

 Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa, Dubai, UAE
Image credit: Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa

Desert resorts are aplenty in Dubai but nothing is quite a stunner like
Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa. A five-star property located 23 km from Dubai Studio City, Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa is simply the epitome of a desert paradise, boasting a luxury stay and first-class hospitality juxtaposed against fine rustic appeal.

Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa also features a desert ecosystem that hosts gazelles, birds, geckos and a rich wildlife. Enjoy a rejuvenating massage at the Satori Spa and indulge in a feast from the East at the famous open-air Al Hadheerah Desert Restaurant. An oasis amidst the dunes of Dubai, Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa promises an exceptional multi-sensory desert experience!

Price: AED 580 to AED 2,075 (~S$216 to S$768)/night

7. The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert, UAE

The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert, UAE
Image credit: The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah

With its world-class dining, award-winning hydrotherapy spa, and an abundance of family-friendly outdoor activities, anticipate an all-immersive luxury-cum-traditional desert experience at The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah. Connect with culture amid the 1,235-acre protected preserve and enjoy daily falconry shows and nature walks, as well as Arabian Oryx, Arabian gazelle, and camel and horse encounters.

The Ritz Kids Club also provides an outdoor playground and an array of activities for children such as archery, pony riding and owl interactions. With its spectacular Bedouin architecture, private outdoor pools, breathtaking desert views and unique dining experiences like no other, your stay at The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah will not disappoint.

Price: AED 1,568 to AED 3,768 (~S$585 to S$1,406)/night

8. Al Maha Resort, Dubai, UAE

Al Maha Resort, Dubai, UAE
Image credit: Al Maha Resort

Imagine sipping on some Arabic Coffee at the sundeck sitting area with a view of indigenous Arabian wildlife… Al Maha Resort brings all that to reality! Located in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, Al Maha Resort Dubai showcases Dubai’s magical dune and Bedouin architecture.

Each guest enjoys two different complementary desert activities every day on their stay. Whether a holiday, wedding or other special events, the Al Maha Resort is a perfect location that will surely ensnare you in its charm!

Price: AED 2,387 to AED 9,267 (~S$890 to S$3,456)

If you have long yearned for a desert adventure, wait no longer. With a motley of Bedouin-rich experiences to choose from, there’s something for everyone to make their dream desert retreat come true!

Also read: Middle East: 6 Safe Muslim-Friendly Countries to Visit 

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