Abu Dhabi Weather

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Empty Quarter

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.


  1. Getting to Liwa Oasis and Moreeb Dune is pretty simple and hard to mess up. When leaving Abu Dhabi, turn off on Route 30 towards Tarif then take a right onto Route 11. If you miss the turn off like we did, take 22 and turn right on 11. Drive for about 110km towards Tarif and turn off onto 45. From there you'll pass through Mandinat Zayed. It's pretty much a straight shot to Moreeb Dune. There is one little zig-zag near the palace (the only tree and grass covered hill along the whole road) but it's not too difficult as long as you follow the signs. If you're not sure, have a look at the map provided in the link in the above post.

    For more information, go to the website of Abu Dhabi Motors Club and have a look around. (Don't forget that you have to click on the red button on the top left of the page that says "English.") The site is: www.admc.ae

  2. Good Post Keep Posting



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