Camping in the UAE & Oman

Camping in the UAE & Oman

The stunning backdrop of last week’s mammoth Wadi Bih Run triggered memories of many fantastic camping trips in the area and inspired me to share my recommendations now before the weather heats up and renders a night under the stars unbearable.

Where to go

There are some great places to camp here depending on whether you prefer to wake up to mountains, desert or beaches. Some of my favourites are across the border and into Oman, including the area around and into Wadi Bih, although with the recent changes to the visa situation, this is now more difficult and hotel/tour group bookings are needed in advance to cross the border at Dibba.

What to take

Call me a wimp but after several initial uncomfortable camping trips, I have revised my camping checklist to include some key essentials:

  • A pop-up tent (less time faffing with a tent, more to sit with a V&T and watch the sunset)
  • A blow-up double airbed (no uncomfortable rocks sticking in your back or uneven/cold sand)
  • Duvet and pillow (much warmer than a sleeping bag – people are always surprised by how cold it gets at night in winter here)
  • A camping chair (ideally with a hole in the arm for your drink)
  • A head torch (you may feel like a plonker at first, but will be laughing on the other side of your face when trying to see what you’re cooking/eating)
  • Glass, plate, cup, cutlery, bowl, kettle, BBQ (fairly obvious)
  • Toilet roll (again, fairly obvious!)
  • Food (meat for the BBQ, salad, nibbles, cereal, milk & juice, and some pre boiled eggs for the morning)
  • Binbags (don’t add to the piles of litter left behind by thoughtless campers/picnickers – take it with you, and any extra you can carry)
  • Passport in case of border crossings
  • Firewood (you can buy this on the roadside on the way to the East Coast/Oman if you’re heading to the desert/beach, and you can certainly find enough lying around in the mountains)

When to go

The weather generally seems to be cool enough from October/November through to April so I’m certainly planning on getting a few more trips in over the next month or so and combining with some offroading, hiking or diving!