Buyer's guide

Places to visit

Exploring the UAE with a roof top tent

The desert


Living in the UAE makes the desert quite an obvious choice to go for a night camping. There are endless options of places depending from where you start your trip. Generally the further you drive from the city, the less other people you will meet. Suwaydan is around an hour from Dubai, easily accessible via paved roads and with varying amount of desert traffic. Especially around Al Faya dune it can get pretty busy during the weekends. We camped in an slighly elevated position to have a better view and were fortunate to be greeted by camels in the morning. 
Make sure you are up to date regarding rules and regulations for camping in the desert.

Camping in the UAE Desert with a roof top tent

The MOuntains

Jebel Yanas

The road up requires a 4×4, which might be checked as you pass the barrier at the entrance. The mountain seems to be under construction for commercial activities, so conditions are subject to change. Camping spots are the parking areas you will pass on the way up and a few smaller spots towards the end of the road. Word has spread and it can get busy on the weekends, so it’s recommended to go early. At the end the road splits, the left part ends on a barrier and the right side is a dead end with the starting point of a pretty hike. Depending on your choice of camping spot and the weather conditions you will have a view of Ras al Khaimah and the ocean with beautiful sunsets. 

Jebel Yanas with roof top tent

The valleys

Wadi Naqab

The entrace of the wadi is located right next to the start of the gravel road up Jebel Yanas. The road conditions vary the further you go in and a 4×4 is recommended. There is a beautiful hike at the end, famous for it’s pools and villages. Camping spots are dotted along the drive to both sides. It can get busy during winter, so get there early and choose a spot with some distance to the gravel road. We camped at a quiet flat spot after the dam but still had one car driving past the camp in the middle of the night. Camping in the valley means the sun will hit you later in the morning, which can be an advantage.
Check the weather conditions and be aware of flash floods.

Wadii Naqab with roof top tent

The beach

Zighy bay

Beach camping spots in the northern emirates are not easy to find, especially if you prefer to stay away from the crowds and noisy roads. This spot is actually on Oman territory, just behind the Dibba border post. We combined the night on the beach with a days driving through Wadi Bih and a hike on Jebel Kiwi.
Since Wadi Bih has been closed off from the Ras al Khaimah side for the public, there are only locals using the road through the Wadi. Spectacular views and beautiful mountain scenery with very little traffic. Access to Zighy bay is restricted by the Six Senses resort staff, we had a special agreement to enter.