We had a four-day weekend for National Day and the Muslim New Year so I went camping near Liwa in the Empty Quarter, one of the world's biggest deserts. If you have an aversion to getting sand in your tent, I would advise against camping in the Empty Quarter. Fortunately, I've conditioned my wife to not worry about it.We arranged to meet up with some friends that live in Ras Al Khaima that we knew from Fukuoka, Japan. We went to some forts in the area that we read about.
Afterward, we drove to the Moreeb Dune area and after got our trucks stuck. Within minutes, a guy came out to help us get out of the sand and gave us his card saying that he would take us out dune bashing if we wanted. We told him maybe later and decided that was a nice enough place to camp for the night. Looking back at Moreeb Dune (otherwise known as "Big Red"), we could see and hear trucks driving up and down it. It has a 50 degree incline and goes up about 120 meters. At certain times of the year there are organized drag races. (For some videos of that, click here.) In the photo below, the little dots on the dune are trucks driving up and down.We went hiking in the dunes and noticed that it was a popular place for people to drive 4x4 trucks and dune buggies. This lasted until late at night, so unfortunately, we didn't get to experience the quiet of the desert the first night.
We were hoping to do some dune sledding, but the sheets of cardboard didn't really work out. Next time, we might bring some sleds meant for sand sledding. We did have fun playing in the sand dunes. Seeing my kids in the photo below gives an idea of the scale of the dunes.I brought a shisha pipe and in the evening, smoked some shisha tobacco. You can see my brand of choice below.
It got fairly cold in the night and in the morning, everything was covered in dew. There was a blanket of fog that stuck around until about a half hour after sunrise.The first night was fun but we wanted a more serene place to camp the second night. Soon after sunrise, we packed up and moved on to the next place, hoping to get in some dune bashing sometime during the day. For information on how to get there, here is a map courtesy the Abu Dhabi Motors Club.