Everyone keeps telling you you’ve really not experienced the UAE until you head out into the desert. So pretty to look at, wonderful to experience, but sleeping in it?? The sand, everywhere?!
I hear you. Whilst I’m long since a convert to “embrace the sand” and get on with it to enjoy the great outdoors, I know it’s far from many families favourite way to staycation.
So for all those families who prefer their “roughing it” a little more refined and a little less sandy, what are the best ways to experience the great outdoors in the UAE in style – or at the very least where a lot of the hard work is done for you?
You’re in luck as glamping in the UAE is now a burgeoning industry with many more hotels and tourism companies focusing on this market as a break from the traditional family resort.
- UAE Glamping spots map
- Glamping in Abu Dhabi
- Glamping in Ajman
- Glamping In Dubai
- Glamping in Fujairah
- Glamping in Sharjah
- Glamping in Ras Al Khaimah
- Glamping in Umm Al Quwain
- Urban Glamping adventures
Before we dive into our glamping guide to the UAE, you may also be interested in:
- How to desert camp in the UAE & Northern Oman (includes all our favourite locations and safety tips for camping on your own)
- UAE’s best luxury desert resorts – which are the most family-friendly and the best for romantic retreats
UAE Glamping spots map
Read on below to find out more about each, what facilities to expect and what you will pay per night for the experience.
- Blue = glamping and camp sites
- Orange = Solid structure glamping/resort (not canvas tent )
20 Incredible Glamping options in the UAE
There’s a huge range of glamping available in the UAE from those that border on luxury resorts to those where you’re really staying at a glorified party site with canvas – it depends how “peopley” vs remote you like your experience!
Naturally, if there are lots of activities and built-in facilities such as bathrooms and showers on offer, you can be sure you are sharing with many other campers; the more remote (or listings including “ensuite”), the more privacy you can expect and a chance of a good nights sleep for all.
Glamping in Abu Dhabi
Jebel Hafit Park, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi
Situated at the foot of Jebel Hafeet, the tallest point in Abu Dhabi Emirate on the outskirts of Oasis City, Al Ain, you’ll find this incredible new desert park. Offering bubble dome tents through to genuine camping, it’s really brought to life this fascinating but hidden corner of the Emirate.
As well as exploring on-site the ancient UNESCO site including the Hafeet Tombs which date back over 5000 years, there’s also plenty to explore in and around Al Ain. The Zoo is always a smash hit for families, drive to the top of Jebel Hafeet, explore the natural springs at Green Mubazzarah (which also offers chalets) and step back in time at the oasis and historical sites and museums of Al Ain.
Around the desert park, you can enjoy hiking, camel rides, bike rental, guided horse riding and dune buggies before retiring to your digs for the evening. Entry to just the Jebel Hafit park is now 5AED.
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.
Bab Al Nojoum, Al Hudayriat Island, Abu Dhabi
So close to the city but another world away on the new and improved leisure destination of al Hudayriat Island. Sitting just off the west coast of the main Abu Dhabi city island, Bab Al Nojoum by Mawarid Hotels and Hospitality has something for all levels of glampers; Enjoy a standard tent for two through to luxury tents for groups of four, six, eight or even a luxury two-floor offering with private beach frontage.
There’s also a camping area for families and camper van options. Expect bonfire areas and BBQ facilities. The Bab Al Nojoum waterfront also includes a beach cinema, restaurant, juice bar, food outlets and a kayak hire centre.
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.
Arabian Nights Village, Abu Dhabi
Sitting just beyond the Al Wathba area of Abu Dhabi, about halfway to Al Ain you will find the desert camp offering of Arabian Nights Village. As well as taking evening visitors from Abu Dhabi, they also offer several on-site Bayts – small houses to extend your visit to an overnight stay.
Spend your afternoon and evening enjoying desert sports and join a traditional dinner and evening entertainment. Rooms are electronics-free so perfect for properly switching off for the night but include AC! Breakfast is included in an all-inclusive package.
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 900AED++
Bayt al Bahar (Deluxe): Inspired by pearl diving, these bayts are modelled on traditional coastal residences. From 950AED++
Bayt al Bar (Premium): Meaning “desert house” a simplistic exterior but a stunningly luxurious interior. From 1000AED++
Al Manhal Tower: the grandest house with presidential bedrooms, each with its own opulent bathroom and a central majlis, ideal for 6 guests. From 2,600AED
Currently dates are restricted to only Thu-Sat each week.
Book your stay at www.arabiannightsvillage.com | Compare prices using HotelsCombined | See TripAdvisor reviews
Anantara Al Sahel Villas, Sir Bani Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
We were torn on including this one in amongst the glamping as it really is a luxury offering with outdoor adventures and incredible beach frontage thrown in. These self-contained units are part of the Anantara resort on Sir Bani Yas Island, approximately 2 hours west of the city, a short ferry ride away from Ruwais.
(Reopening from January 2021 with new features – still closed post-COVID at time of writing, we will update details as soon as we learn more!)
Glamping in Ajman
The small but mighty Emirate of Ajman has entered the glamping game with some attractive beachfront offering to consider for a fun and unique night out with the kids. (We’re yet to test either of these ones so give us some feedback and let us know how you get on!)
Caravana Alzorah, Ajman
A coastal campsite sporting ints own private beachfront, Caravana offers you a cosy van option rather than a tent – access outdoor cinemas, even a hot tub and room service!
The beauty here is although there are several caravans, you still get your very own private beachfront. Vans come with your own outdoor dining & BBQ area.
A family beachfront caravan comes with 1 double bed, a bunk bed & a sofa from 2,760AED++ per night. You will get a little kitchenette, AC and outdoor dining and ensuite.
Deluxe Beachfront Caravans with double bed and bunk from 2400AED++ per night can fit up to 4 guests with ensuite.
Standard Caravans start from 1680AED++ per night with a double bed and private bathroom.
Bianky Beach Camp Ajman
Sticking with the coastal theme these traditional Emirati huts at Bianky Beach Camp gives you the rustic beachfront feel while still offering access to a restaurant, outdoor pool and watersports. An open kitchen and BBQ area mean you can also cook your own meals.
Standard Hut 399AED++ per night
Sea View Hut 549AED++ per night
3 Bedroom Chalet with private beach 1,899AED++ per night
Glamping In Dubai
From the desert to the mountains, here’s what you can expect to find for family glamping options in Dubai Emirate.
Sedr Trailers Resort, Hatta, Dubai
American style airstreams are the hit attraction out in the mountains. Each of the 13 campers comes with basic bathroom amenities, mini-fridge, TV, tea & coffee facilities and wifi. Additionally, the Sedr trailers are serviced with Sedr Bites Truck, dedicated BBQs and bonfire, viewing deck and water sports activities.
Each van is equipped with a double bed plus a sofa bed – narrow but at a squeeze 2 small children could share for max a family of 4.
Priced from 986AED++ per night (NB Winter 2020/21 nearly sold out)
Damani Lodges Resort, Hatta, Dubai
Nestled in amongst the mountains is another luxurious glamping treat in Damani Lodges. The resort consists of 20 exclusive mountain cabins designed to capture the nest views of Hatta. You can access Wadi Hub food trucks and BBQ huts plus a huge range of recreational activities on offer at Wadi Hub.
All mountain lodges come with ensuite bathrooms with basic amenities included, plus tea and coffee making, AC, TV, mini-fridge and a terrace.
Standard Lodges – can house 2 adults in a double bed from 1,139AED++ per night
Standard Plus Lodges – also have a double bed, plus a single futon allowing up to 3 to share from 1,186AED++ per night
Mountain Lodge Suites – Offer a queen-sized bed + sofa bed fitting up to 4 from 1,285AED++ per night
A further note on Hatta Wadi Hub – Camping is permitted with your own tent as well on designated pitches. These are 129AED++ weekdays or 199AED++ weekends per night – this will give you access to shared washrooms, a dedicated BBQ area, parking at your campsite and access to all the amenities of Wadi Hub.
Starlight Camp, Dubai
Taking the Dubai desert bubble experience to new lengths, the Starlight Camp bubble tents allow unfettered access to the starlit night with comfort around you including nespresso machine, fridge, fireplace – even a telescope and bluetooth speakers.
As well as a crystal roof tents for two, there is an offering with an annexe big enough for 2 children as well making its way onto our family-friendly glamping list – they also allow dogs – with a dog bar and outdoor doggy day tent no less, so perfect for all the family to enjoy the desert!
This pop-up camp is at a secret location so you’ll only get the location map sent to you after you book! Pick ups from the city can be arranged if you don’t havea 4×4.
Expect outdoor camp toilet and shower facilities (shared) and everything you need to set up camp and cook your own BBQ dinner and breakfast. A food and beverage trailer is also available, and breakfast and dinner inclusive packages can be booked to take all the hard work away.
Priced from 2520AED for two tent only, annexe tent for families is additional
Check it out on Booking.com | Book with the venue direct at starlight-camp.com | See reviews on TripAdvisor
Sonara Camp, Dubai
We would almost have moved this one to our luxury resort listing – though technically it’s still tents, so we’re calling it glamping! For the reluctant camper who still wants a serious taste of luxury in the desert with a fully serviced campsite and all the bells and whistles, Sonara in the Dubai Desert Conservation reserve will not disappoint.
A resident chef will be preparing your dinner while the kids enjoy sand sports – snowboarding, archery, volleyball are all on offer. Evening entertainment is included over dinner (they have evening only guests too) before you settle down to a movie under the stars, and on the weekends, a star gazing program.
Prices start from 860 AED per adult, kids are 380 AED (evening) + overnight Nomad tent 1500 AED or Lotus tent 2000AED.
Platinum Heritage, Dubai
Offering some of the ultimate in Dubai glamping experiences within the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR). Your overnight accommodation is actually in stone huts rather than tents and a mattress and bedding are provided for your comfort.
Their overnight packages include a full evening of entertainment, 4-course dinner and relaxation in the majlis. Retire to your accommodation, plus either night or morning eco safari, gourmet breakfast and the add on option of a hot air balloon ride at sunrise over the DDCR.
Overnight camps run from 1 October to 15 May. From 995AED++ per adult, 795AED++ per child before extras such as balloon rides and transfers from Dubai.
Glamping in Fujairah
Options at present are limited within Fujairah Emirate, though with news that free camping on the beach at Al Aqah is no longer allowed, this may mean news of more organized camps is on the way.
The Retreat Camp, Fujairah
Set in the foothills of the Hajar Mountains, The Retreat offers an eco-experience in this 17 room property. Light on thrills but heavy on ambience, this is far from a typical camp. Each hut only sleeps two so it’s not ideal for family stays but was too unique to miss off our list!
You are right on the doorstep to many mountain trails for hiking fans. Everything about the camp has been built with sustainability front of mind including the irrigation and how they grow their own organic foods.
Doubles from 1,260AED++ per night
Glamping in Sharjah
Glamping and exclusive luxury eco experiences have long been an area of the tourism market focussed on by Sharjah. In both the Sharjah desert adjacent to Dubai and on the east coast you can expect some spectacular lodging choices:
Mysk Al Badayer Oasis Retreat, Sharjah
You could easily slip this into the luxury resort offering in the UAE, but yes let’s call it glamping! This spectacular Sharjah Collection property is a stunning eco-resort built with Arabian styling and ornate touches throughout.
They offer a full range of desert activities as well as wildlife experiences with 21 rooms and 10 tents, all beautifully set out in this pristine and serene desert location.
Mysk Kingfisher Retreat, Kalba, Sharjah
Another Sharjah Collection property, Kingfisher Retreat set in the beautiful mangroves of Kalba, facing the Gulf of Oman. There’s a choice of one, two and three-bedroom luxury cabins, each with its own private plunge pool.
There are mountain bikes to hire in the cooler months and a wonderful continental breakfast served. With its larger sized rooms and remoteness, it’s an ideal choice for families.
Glamping in Ras Al Khaimah
It’s no surprise with the stunning rich red sand dunes in RAK there are some great glamping contenders looking to woo you, from more traditional glamping set up to pure luxury and a beachfront offering too:
Bedouin Oasis Camp, RAK
A glamping and camping experience with a little something for everyone, Bedouin Oasis RAK may be best known for its touristy nights out offering traditional desert experiences but it’s definitely worth checking out their glamping options too to extend your desert experience.
Lodging options at Bedouin Oasis Camp include:
Premium Chalets – with AC, attached washrooms and bedding, max occupancy of 4. From 802AED++ per night
Deluxe Bedouin Tents – with attached washrooms, some with AC, bedding max occupancy of 3. From 628AED++ per night
Deluxe Nature View Tents – with attached washrooms and bedding, max occupancy of 3. From 566AED++ per night
Igloo Tent Camping – equipped with bedding, shared washrooms
Room rates include shared BBQ dinner and breakfast, plus camel rides, henna, sand boarding and Shisha. You will also get access to Honey Dew Bar for drinks (extra). Private romantic dining can be arranged on request, as can quad biking and desert safaris.
The Dunes Safari & Camping, RAK
A relative newcomer to the overnight camping scene, The Dunes offers several different glamping options to suit your desert experience needs. Ranging from elevated treehouses to deluxe and premium camping domes, or even just a basic camping igloo, they have something to suit a wide variety of budgets
As well as the overnight accommodation offering, the Dunes offers an extensive entertainment program including desert safari, camel trekking, quad bike tours and a tour to Jebel Jais.
Premium Dome Tents – AC, private toilet & Shower. Capacity 2 people & room for 2 extra mattresses. 1100AED++ per tent – each child add 350AED++ with dune bashing included.
Deluxe Dome tent – AC, private toilet & Shower. Capacity 2 people & room for 2 extra mattresses. 800AED++ per tent – each child add 200AED++.
Treehouses — AC, private toilet, common shower – capacity 2 people only 700AED++.
Igloo Tent – Common toilet and bathroom – mattress and bedding provided – capacity 2 people only 450AED++.
Welcome treat, soft beverages, dinner and breakfast included with all overnight packages.
Book it now on Booking.com | Compare prices on HotelsCombined | Visit their website at www.thedunesuae.com | See reviews on TripAdvisor
Longbeach Campground, RAK
This is a real hybrid between campsite and a full-service resort! Yes, you are sleeping in waterfront tents, but on the site, you also have access to a water park, petting zoo, spa and sauna, kite flying, beach yoga, kayaking – the list goes on!
This is very much a modern take on the camping experience; all tents have access to toilet & showering facilities, and a large range of leisure activities. Accommodation choices include:
Fully furnished dome tent – panoramic views, comfortable beds, private bathroom and hot tub with fall ensuite bathroom amenities, king size bed.
Family tents – beachfront views with comfy mattresses, chairs. Max 4 adults 2 kids.
Safari Suite Tents – a more glamorous camping holiday set up with an elevated deck, private bathroom and spacious bedroom. 1 king bed and two singles plus a sofa.
Authentic Deluxe tents – beachfront bell tent with comfy mattresses, two outdoor chairs, simple but comfortable.
Sunset Terrace Suite Tent – chic wooden set up with rooftop deck, private jacuzzi, sauna, hammock & sea views queen bed
The Ritz-Carlton Al Wadi Desert, RAK
OK yes its most definitely a resort – but your accommodation here is still technically a tent so we’re classifying it as extreme glamping! Nevermind the fact you get your own bathroom and private plunge pool overlooking the desert from an enormous 158 sq metre Bedouin villa with terrace.
Set in the Wadi Desert nature reserve, there is a huge range of wildlife and heritage experiences are on offer too – this is definitely one to consider at the high end of glamping options in the UAE.
Glamping in Umm Al Quwain
Last but not least. Still a developing market when it comes to tourism but a classic glamping style option has been around for years. Arguably around since before glamping was cool?
Dreamland Aqua Park, UAQ
Set inside the Dreamland Water Park – one of the UAE’s cheapest outdoor thrill parks they have an overnight option. Wooden cabins can sleep up to 4 and they offer a half-board option for single night stays of full-board options for consecutive nights. Groups of 6 to 12 can book the VIP Deluxe Villa – and of course, use all the facilities of the aqua park during the day. Drinks available to purchase on-site and BBQ facilities provided.
Urban Glamping adventures
If it’s simply the experience of camping out the kids are after, you don’t always have to travel far from the big cities, these are some more urban offerings to consider:
Laguna Water Park, Dubai
Yes, camping in a waterpark! Your evening starts from 5:30PM where you can explore the water park action while its still open to the public. After dark its all yours with dinner, board games, and a campfire. At dawn, a breakfast basket is delivered and you can participate in Wave Oz activities from 8AM.
There are only 10 tents available for a limited winter season so you need to get in quick.
Priced at 1200 AED for a 4 person teepee, access to waterpark food and entertainment.
Camping in the Rainforest at The Green Planet, Dubai
For an ultra-unique experience – and one for those who aren’t too keen on the sand but want to experience a camping night – The Green Planet biodome offers an overnight rainforest-themed camp. Activities on offer include a scavenger hunt, unique feeding experiences and nocturnal animal tour before you snuggle in your hammock in a twinkly light tent while dozing off with the animal chatter
They can fit up to 18 people per night across 6 tents. Dinner and Breakfast at the Green Planet Cafe are included.
Learn more about visiting the Green Planet in Dubai here – plenty of other day time experiences to enjoy if you don’t fancy the full sounds of the rainforest at 5AM!
Groups of 2 from 700AED or a large tent/family group of 4 from 1400AED.
++ As with all our UAE accommodation guides, note that taxes are not always included in the quoted prices but this is really variable across the Emirates – check the fine print before you book to prevent any surprises. Always bring your Emirates ID/passport.
Want to learn more about travelling the UAE with kids?
You have come to the right place! Here on our website you can also find:
- The Ultimate UAE staycations guide – covering all 7 Emirates of the UAE, family things to do, where to stay cultural and leisure experiences.
- UAE Outdoor Activities – your ultimate winter guide to the Emirates, includes a printable checklist of outdoor things to do.
- UAE Best Family Beach Resorts – for the warmer months, here are all our favourites to consider for your next UAE staycation.
- 15 Exceptional UAE resorts with private pools – keep up social distancing with your own private swimming pool at these resorts.
Are you part of our Middle East Travel Community on Facebook yet?
Join like-mided parents to discuss travel opportunties with kids in the Middle East
Save this for later