Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is famous for its fascinating skyscrapers, luxurious resorts, and vibrant culture. However, beyond the city’s glamour lies the mesmerising beauty of the desert, offering a plethora of exhilarating activities for adventurous souls. Here are five must-try desert adventures in Abu Dhabi:
1. Dune Bashing
Hold on tight as you become part of a heart-pounding journey through the desert sands with dune bashing. Strap into a rugged off-road vehicle and conquer the towering sand dunes of Abu Dhabi in an adrenaline-fueled escapade. Feel the rush of excitement as you navigate steep slopes and cascading sands.
2. Saluki Show
Delve into the rich heritage of the Emirates with a captivating Saluki Show, hosted by Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara. Witness the majestic falcons in flight as they demonstrate the ancient art of falconry, a cherished tradition of Bedouin culture.
3. Camel Trekking
Embark on a timeless adventure with camel trekking through the rolling dunes of Abu Dhabi. Traverse the golden sands aboard these gentle giants, following in the footsteps of ancient Bedouin nomads. Led by expert guides, journey into the heart of the desert as you experience one of the best desert adventures.
Experience the thrill of sandboarding amidst the towering dunes of Abu Dhabi. Strap on your board and glide down the pristine slopes of the desert, feeling the rush of adrenaline as you carve through the soft sands. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned pro, Abu Dhabi offers sandboarding experiences suitable for all skill levels.
5. Guided Desert Walk
Immerse yourself in the splendour of the desert landscape with a guided desert walk. Embark on a journey of discovery as you learn about the local flora, fauna, and cultural heritage from knowledgeable guides. Choose from a variety of trails tailored to your interests and fitness levels, and enjoy a memorable family-friendly excursion.
Abu Dhabi, a city of opulence and modernity, hides a host of adventures within its golden deserts. Venture beyond the urban skyline, and you’ll find an exhilarating world of dunes and solitude waiting to be explored.
Dune Bashing Delight
Venture into the vast expanse of Abu Dhabi’s deserts for an adrenaline-pumping experience of dune bashing. With skilled drivers and powerful off-road vehicles, you’ll feel the rush as you ascend steep slopes and descend with a thrilling slide. It’s a straight-up adventure that combines speed, skill, and the breathtaking beauty of the desert landscape. Buckle up for a wild ride!
Safari adventures unveil the mesmerising secrets of the desert. Guided by experienced professionals, usually offered by hotels such as Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, you’ll traverse the undulating sands to discover the hidden wonders of Abu Dhabi’s arid wilderness. Encounter the diverse flora and fauna that thrive in this seemingly inhospitable environment, gaining insights into the delicate ecosystem that exists beyond the dunes.
Experience the magic of the dunes at twilight as part of your desert adventure. Witness the sun setting over the rolling dunes, casting a warm glow across the landscape. The serene beauty of the desert during sunset creates a captivating atmosphere, providing a perfect backdrop for capturing stunning photographs and creating lasting memories with family and friends.
Imagine a heart-pounding activity that combines the thrill of a rollercoaster with the awe-inspiring beauty of the desert. That’s precisely what dune bashing in Abu Dhabi offers – a sand-sational escapade that’s sure to leave you both exhilarated and humbled. Here’s more on what you need to know, so, buckle up and get ready for the ride of your life!
What Exactly is Dune Bashing?
Dune bashing is a sort of off-roading that only takes place on sand dunes. On such desert adventures, visitors are taken up and down the dunes in 4×4 vehicles traversing at various speeds, while following the ebbs and flows of the shifting sands. The 4×4 is expertly manoeuvred by a skilled driver trained to maintain the vehicle’s stability be it when ascending or descending the slopes for you to fully experience this activity.
When and Where to Go
For the ultimate dune bashing experience, consider the magical hours of sunrise or sunset when the desert comes alive with a soft, golden light. The Empty Quarter, the largest sand desert on the planet, is the pièce de résistance when it comes to this activity offering endless dunes to conquer; look to be based here at properties like Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara which offers dune bashing too. Other locations to consider include the Al Khatim and Al Khaznah deserts, both promising whirlwind journeys along the sands.
Key Things to Keep in Mind
While dune bashing is a wild ride, safety should always come first. Only venture out with a trusted tour operator / resort that offers a qualified professional driver in a suitable safari vehicle. Don’t eat a large meal right before you set off on this excursion to keep the ride ‘tummy friendly’. Remember, this activity isn’t for the littlest ones, so check ahead for age restrictions. Dress in simple, comfy clothing, and opt for sandals or slippers – you will likely be hopping out for some Insta-worthy dune snaps!
Other Desert Escapades
Why stop at dune bashing when you can amp up your desert experience even more? Combine it with other exhilarating activities in Abu Dhabi like fat biking (these are special bikes designed to tackle sandy landscapes), sandboarding, or zipping along the dunes in a 4×4 buggy. For a more laidback experience, enjoy a traditional camel trek at sunrise or sunset, captivating horse riding, or a tranquil desert walk. There are many thrills and secrets to uncover amidst this wondrous sea of sand.
Wildlife and outdoor enthusiasts visiting Abu Dhabi should visit the Eastern Mangroves National Park. The national park is a protected territory within the eastern section of Abu Dhabi Island. You can encounter many marine life and birds like flamingoes while exploring this unique habitat.
Where is The Eastern Mangroves?
This mangrove park is on Sheikh Zayed Street in Abu Dhabi close to Anantara Eastern Mangroves Abu Dhabi. The protected region includes 75% of the complete Mangrove forests found in the UAE. This biodiversity hotspot is home to many species of flora and fauna. No other activities are allowed apart from Kayaking. Kayaking in this national park is considered one of the best things to do in Abu Dhabi.
Typically, a two-hour tour will cost around 160 AED for adults and 130 AED for kids. The prices may change according to the duration and type of kayak hired.
Preparing for Your Kayaking Adventure
Wear clothing that can withstand getting wet, as there may be splashes during kayaking. Remember to bring a change of clothes and a waterproof bag; tour operators will take care of the rest.
Kayak tour operators
There are multiple certified kayak operators who have been granted permission to lead tours. They will provide all the equipment and gear and can be rented by the hour.
If there’s one place in Abu Dhabi that stands out from the rest, it’s the National Aquarium. With a diverse range of aquatic creatures in their element, you will find yourself lost in an adventure. Here are some tips for you to make your journey to the aquarium easier.
Book Your Tickets Early
The first thing you need to do before visiting is to book the spot online. A visit can take approximately 2 hours, so it is best to clear up your schedule for 2-3 hours for a better experience. Kids under 12 have to be accompanied by an adult of 16 or above. You can reach the aquarium in 20 minutes from your stay at Oaks Liwa Executive Suites, which is one of the most convenient serviced apartments in Abu Dhabi.
You will find many ticket options starting from Dhs105 per person, and the most popular options are the aquarium journey, animal encounter, or the all-access pass. The aquarium journey costs Dhs105 per person, animal encounter costs Dhs180, and all-access costs Dhs180. You can also combine other activities with the tour such as a boat ride in a glass-bottom dhow boat.
The National Aquarium opens its doors at 10 am and will close to the public at 10 pm. Many activities will require a bit of time, which is why it is important to reserve a few hours of your day to enjoy the full experience. The place stays open daily, and children under 3 can enter the aquarium for free.
A rich and important aspect of UAE history and culture is pearl diving. Many of the riches and traditions that still exist in the nation today are a direct result of it. Even if pearl diving is no longer done for profit, it nonetheless contributes significantly to the industry and continues to attract tourists! Here are a few things you should know if you’re planning to do it.
Why is pearl diving so popular in the UAE?
In the past, pearl diving was a thriving industry in the UAE, supporting numerous prosperous careers. It frequently established the solid financial groundwork for numerous affluent Arab families. In the UAE, pearl diving is still regarded as a precious tradition and a significant aspect of local culture and is one of the most popular tourist activities in Abu Dhabi.
Where to go pearl diving?
From Yas Marina, travellers will board an authentic Emirati dhow and set sail toward a diving site one nautical mile away. You can join the hosts in singing along to classic Emirati songs while listening to legendary tales about pearl diving. After you’ve anchored at the diving location, you’ll be instructed in the traditional techniques for harvesting actual oyster shells from pearl beds in the Arabian Gulf.
Places to stay in Abu Dhabi
While admiring the city’s fantastic high-rises, which appear to defy structural logic, take advantage of a variety of beautiful beaches, gardens, and promenades to stroll or cycle. Several top-notch restaurants and shopping opportunities are nearby, from chic malls to souks. You can find many luxurious accommodation options such as Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villa Resort.
How did the commercial pearl diving industry decline?
In the 1920s, the Gulf pearl business started to decline. By the late 1920s and the early 1930s, it had further deteriorated. At that point, the Japanese had developed a method for creating perfect artificial pearls. This was the primary cause of the pearling industry’s downfall. Pearl divers in the UAE lost business as a result of the start of the Great Depression and the decline in returns from the pearl banks.
After reading this informative guide, your experience on the Abu Dhabi desert safari will be so much better. Discover the ideal time to visit, how to pick the finest excursions and advice on how to dress for your safari.
What is a desert safari?
The desert has always fascinated travellers, but many were put off by its harsh weather and lack of water, not to mention the potential for getting lost among the endless miles of sand hills. A desert safari is an expert-led tour of the desert where you can engage in a variety of activities that the native Bedouins of the area enjoy, examine the desert’s natural habitat, engage in exhilarating desert activities, or unwind by watching a desert sunrise or sunset.
When to go?
The best time for desert adventures in Abu Dhabi is during the winter, which lasts from October to April. To ensure that your trip is enjoyable, the weather throughout the winter months is neither overly humid nor overly hot. Visit the country during its summer months, which are between May and September, if you want to get more reasonable hotel prices.
What to wear?
Before pre-dawn, the weather can be a little chilly, so you should bring a light cardigan. After sunrise, the temperature rises. Dress in long trousers made of fabrics like cotton or linen with t-shirts or tops made of the same materials to be able to manage between both temperatures. The temperature starts to fall in the evenings, so it’s not as hot. You can bundle up against the cool that starts to set in about sundown by dressing in trousers and shirts and carrying a lightweight jacket or sweater.
Where to click nice pictures?
Locations such as Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara will look stunning on your Instagram profile whether you enjoy sharing travel photos there or just want to showcase your gorgeous vacation in the desert. The Abu Dhabi desert offers fantastic photo opportunities everywhere.
Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE is not only a commercial city known for its skyscrapers and oil exports but is also an active tourism destination offering an excitement-filled vacation to travellers all around the world. Kayaking has become a recent favourite among the many activities offered to visitors in Abu Dhabi and here are some of the top kayaking spots in the city to explore.
Kayaking in the Mangroves
A vacation at Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villa Resort is a guaranteed pass to plunge into a range of water sports. Therefore, kayaking in the mangroves has become one of the most sought-after activities in Abu Dhabifor leisure and entertainment. Kayaking through the mangroves is a doorway to catch glimpses of migratory birds, rare animals, mammals and vibrant marine life.
Private kayaking adventures can often be organised by the resort, hotel or tour company by contacting a help desk. A tailored tour to glide your way into kayaking is perhaps the best method to explore the waters at your own pace. All private kayaking adventures will be guided by a professional who will allow tourists to move at a comfortable pace and offer advice on adventure goals and interests based on one’s experience level.
Sir Bani Yas Island Kayaking
Sign up for some nature-based sightseeing in Sir Bani Yas Island as you kayak your way to aquatic pleasure. The waterways amid the thriving mangroves of Sir Bani Yas Island reconnect with the sea, offering breathtaking sights of rare creatures, and migratory birds, as well as a sneak, peek into the marine life along the way.
Louvre Abu Dhabi
The routes, packages and tours that offer kayaking experiences to tourists are many. Louvre Abu Dhabi is not only a museum that represents the contemporary Arab world but also a hub of excitement for its visitors. The museum offers guests an opportunity to go kayaking around the museum in the stillness of the Arabian Sea. This unusual tour offers a new perspective of the museum as one circle around this marvellous structure.
Explore the desert landscape for a thrilling ride in the golden dunes on a sunny day. While these terrains will offer an action-packed adventure to whoever chooses to venture out into the desert, it is also important that one is equipped and dessert-ready for a hike.
It is no secret that your desert adventures will not involve any natural source of water. Therefore, staying hydrated is among the most important factors to adhere to, when setting off on a desert safari from your vacation lodging at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara. The harsh environment in the desert gives minimal shade and is likely to be a scorching experience, therefore, carrying plenty of replenishing juices, water and snacks to munch on will help keep you hydrated and energised to explore miles and miles into the desert.
Choose Off Times
Whether you are setting off on a desert safari or a hike, the rule of thumb is to avoid peak hours. Summer heat in the deserts usually climbs up to three digits and will not treat one kindly. Therefore, expert hikers choose their timings wisely. The ideal times for a hike in the desert would be early morning or late afternoon when there is shade and less heat.
Protection is Key
A desert’s biggest threat to a hiker is the sun. Therefore, the right items of clothing and sun protection should be chosen to survive the heat. Be sure to include sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and loose-fitting synthetic clothes to keep you protected from the scorching sun. It is advisable that sunscreen be applied every 1-2 hours in order to avoid sunburns and poisoning.
Be on the Lookout
A desert is not simply an empty land of grains but also a home for some of the most poisonous creatures known to man. Therefore, desert hikers are often warned to be on the lookout for rattlesnakes, scorpions, poisonous lizards and tarantulas who can camouflage themselves in the desert dunes. Therefore, do a thorough check of your sleeping bag before use and avoid sticking your hand in any wet or cold places.
Are you an adventurer with a penchant for outdoor activities? Abu Dhabi is the place for you! Read on to find out how you can get your heart pumping on the sand dunes and beyond, on your next holiday to Abu Dhabi.
Whether or not you’re an equestrian, riding the expansive dunes of the Empty Quarter, also known as the Rub’ al Khali will be a thrilling and unforgettable experience. Gallop in this wilderness which extends over an astonishing 250,000 square miles to enjoy the beauty of a wilderness like never before.
Explore a Fort
The Liwa Forts are an age-old stronghold in Abu Dhabi which are worth a visit. The Fort offers stunning panoramic views of the Liwa Oasis and the undulating sand dunes which lie beyond it. These 7 watch towers served as the guard of this oasis which was and continues to be the lifeline of the area.
Kayaking among Mangroves
The Mangrove National Park which is a protected reserve on the outskirts of the Emirate is a great place for some kayaking. A must-see for the outdoorsy type or the wildlife lover since this habitat is home to a wide variety of species from flamingos to dugongs!