The history of recreational camping can be traced back to a an adventured by the name of Thomas Hiram Holding, a British travelling tailor, but it was first popularized in the UK on the river Thames.
Leaving the history behind camping has its own benefits. Most of us has participated in some form of outdoor leisure activity such as going on a picnic.
That’s the beginning of how I got into camping and I have never looked back again. Being more of an outdoor person I was often doing short trips on the outskirts alone or with a friend. We would spend a night and sometimes underprepared as time goes on, I have learnt so much more and as with the advancement of technology so does camping.
Camping can be divided into so many varieties and forms.
The most basic and popular type of camping. It involves heading into the outdoors, pitching a tent, you can choose to stay on a campsite, in the desert, mountains, woods, beach or anywhere else you desire.
Tent camping is a great option for all and to get started without spending too much money. It's great for I prefer tent camping as it challenges me to setup up the tent. Sleeping can be comfortable if you choose the right product.
(Glamorous camping) combines camping with the luxuries of a home or hotel. Glamping has been a trend especially in UAE. They are fully equipped with advanced tents, gadgets to make the camping experience comfortable. It might include generators, en-suites tents, separate sitting areas, modern cooking methods, comfortable beds or stretchers, coolers. Families may prefer this as they want their kids to be comfortable and love the outdoors. They can be very expensive and needs more work for setup. Once setup families can stay for couple of days with adequate food supplies.
Overlanding / Rooftop Camping:
Overlanding is the combination of camping as well as a bit of off-road. This requires more skills such being an experience in driving off-road with a 4x4 vehicle. Often the tent being attached onto a trailer or on the roof of the vehicle. Additional equipment like sand ladders, deflators, air compressor, Hi-lift jack is advised. This can to be riskier if you are not well prepared. Ensure that your off-road vehicle is thoroughly checked before
RV / Camper Van
A recreational vehicle, often abbreviated as RV, is a motor vehicle or trailer which includes living quarters designed for accommodation. Types of RVs include motorhomes, campervans, caravans (also known as travel trailers and camper trailers), fifth-wheel trailers, popup campers and truck campers. In a country like UAE this has become very popular. You have everything required inside the Van or the trailer to stay outdoors for week. A good camper can mobilize his resources very well to stay outdoors for months. This kind of camping is very expensive as it requires purchase of trailers or Van
Camping is an activity. You might not get it right at the first go. You will enjoy camping when you find challenges and you go the next time solving the early challenges.
Camping should be eco-friendly. It is our social responsibility to protect the environment by not dumping thrash everywhere. We need to abide and follow the regulations of the area or the country we reside in.
Places to Go
Getting There: Take Al Awir Road/E44 and then Dubai-Hatta Road/Ras Al Khor Road to your destination in Lahbab.
What to expect: Known for its unusual red sands, Lahbab. Many start off close to the familiar Fossil Rock that’s also a great place for star gazing. Attempting the ‘Big Red’, a 300-foot high sand dune, is a dune basher’s delight. You could also head over to the sleepy village of Madam just before the Hatta border crossing for more camping spots where you may have some wandering camels from local farms for company.
Getting there: Hit Mohammad Bin Zayed Road heading north and then get on to Al Dhaid Road (E88) in the direction of Masafi.
What to expect: Start off at Al Hala, a village in the foothills of the Hajar Mountains where there’s Wadi Taybah, not far from the village of Al Taybah. Drive through to Masafi, UAE’s version of Évian-les-Bains, famous for its spring water. There’s also a Friday market that actually opens every day. You could camp anywhere en route to the mountains. The picturesque Wadi Wurayah is about an hour’s drive from Masafi, not far from the foothills of the Hajar Mountains. Roughly 20km off the Khor Fakkan beach, the rocky terrain of the region will take you down winding ravines, leading you to serene waterfalls.
Jabal Al Jais
Getting there: Take Shaikh Mohammad Bin Salem Road/E11 in Al Riffa and then Khuzam Road
What to expect: Stunningly beautiful mountain scape with naturally sculpted rocks will take your breath away on your way up to Jebal Al Jais, the UAE’s tallest mountain. With temperatures recorded as low as -3 degrees Celsius (in January 2009 when the entire mountain cluster was covered in snow), it is also amongst the coolest places in the country, often making overnight stays here a bone-chilling affair.
Umm Al Quwain beach
Getting there: Take Mohammad Bin Zayed Road north towards Ajman and take Dreamland Waterpark exit.
What to expect: The beaches are a perfect gateway even for a daytime trip or a night-time barbecue. For more fun, you could also visit the old fishing villages along the peninsula at Al Raas where you may spot flamingos and other wild birds. Some adventure seekers even go as far as exploring the mangroves along the coast on a kayak. If a beach is what you want, there are plenty in the eastern coast of Fujairah as well. A popular destination is the quaint little town of Dibbah on the east coast entry point to the Mussandam Peninsula.
Distance: 2hrs 10mins from Abu Dhabi Corniche; 1hr from Safa Park