Full day Liwa 4×4 Safari from Abu Dhabi

The guide to visit Liwa Oasis

The United Arab Emirates represent a perfect destination for people who want to try a beautiful experience in the Middle East and enjoy different kinds of activities and attractions.

For this reason Uae became, in the last years, a paradise with millions of visitors. One of the ”not to be missed” trip is the desert safari, a must for travelers who want to try an amazing experience in the Rub Al Khali, (also called Empty Quarter), the second largest sandy area in the world that extends throughout the Arabian Peninsula.

Rub Al Khali desert, Uae desert
Rub Al Khali desert, Uae desert

Usually people arrange the desert safari from Dubai where several companies offer various packages with many activities for different prices: dune bashing rides, camel rides, sand boarding, dinner and entertainment, safari nights, 4 wheel atvs rides and many other things.

We tried most of these activities with different local tour operator and we were always satisfied for the service. Just a thing, remember to check before booking which services are included in your tour to avoid to pay extra maybe not mentioned.

Road to Liwa Oasis, Uae desert
Road to Liwa Oasis, Uae desert

Anyway, although we love the desert around Dubai, i really want to recommend you an underestimated place rich of beauty and wildness, located at 220 km southwest of Abu Dhabi: the Oasis of Liwa. If you like to discover unusual itineraries, far from the crowd this is the right choice! Once arrived in Abu Dhabi we arranged a Liwa desert safari with a local agency found on the web. In the past, Liwa was known as Bu Fallah desert because of the Bu Fallah tribe that was living in this area.

The next day, very early in the morning, we jump on  the 4 wheel drive Toyota  and after a couple of hours driving on tarred road, we switch to the desert, finally beginning our ride along a track.

Road to Liwa
Road to Liwa

The stunning landscape is characterized by an endless sweep of huge shimmering dunes, the color of the sand ranges from an almost orange-red color to a golden brown, while the clear sky creates a wonderful contrast with the color of the desert.

The heat is quite stronge, because temperature out of the car is around 40 degrees and the breeze is  hot, but this magical place makes us forget everything; in this area there is also the opportunity to see wild camels or gazelles and this also makes the trip more charming and wild at the same time.

On the way to Liwa Oasis, about 25 kilometers away, we stop in a spectacular place called Moreeb Hill, know as the Scary Mountain: considered by many as the highest sand dune in the world, it is definitely one of the highest  we have ever seen.

Moreeb Hill ( the Scary Mountain), Uae desert
Moreeb Hill ( the Scary Mountain), Uae desert

With more than 300 meters high and with a 50 degrees slip-face, this spectacular wall of sand is a favorite destination for sandboarding lovers who arrive every year in this place for the Liwa International Festival.

After taking some pics in Moreeb Hill, we proceed to Liwa Oasis and, not far from there, we reach this nice and isolated paradise, lost in the vast desert: renowned for its crops of dates, it was a region populated by a lot of Bedouin tribes, due to the water richness and the not so far distance from the big city of Abu Dhabi and Al Ain Oasis.

Once there, we spend some time with an old man resident in the place, who offers us a mint tea with dates and we discuss a bit about life in the Oasis, sure really fascinating but at the same time very  hard. In the late afternoon, after spending a beautiful day in this remote place, we leave  the desert with the warm sun light coloring the horizon in the background and still in our mind the beutiful experience done.

Rub Al Khali desert, Uae desert
Rub Al Khali desert, Uae desert


Need to Know

How to book the tour

We booked our desert safari to visit Liwa Oasis with Arabin Adventures, riliable company with which we had a very good experience. Anyway there are many other ways to book your desert tours / activities and one of the easiest is by using online travel agencies such Viator or GetYourGuide. These two platforms have very good deals and you can choose what is more suitable for you among many packages. Click below to see Viator and GetYourGuide tours / activities in Abu Dhabi.

What to wear

Firstly I recommend a hat, a scarf or, as you are in an arabic country, a typical kefiah to cover your head since the day is very hot. Sunglasses are very important because sun is quite strong over there. T-shirt or shirt, long or short pants, sneakears or sandals, it is up to you. Just remember to wear something comfy because it is very hot and sands inevitably gets into everything. If you want, take also a sweater with you because after sun sets there is a temperature variation and you could need that during the dinner and dancing shows. 

Highlights of the tour

1. Hop into a 4WD vehicle for a day of dune bashing and desert exploration.

2. Visit Moreeb Hill, the highest dune in the world.

3. Discover Liwa Oasis and eat its delicious dates.

4. Take a camel ride through the dunes of the Dubai desert for a traditional view of the stark and spectacular landscape.

5. Experience the thrill of sandboarding down desert sand dunes.

6. Watch a falconry demonstration to learn about the hunting skills of the Emiratis’ favorite bird.

7. Tuck into an alfresco BBQ dinner while watching a live tanoura (whirling dervish) and belly dancing show.

8. Visit the beautiful Qasr al Sarab.

What you eat

It depends on your tour but here below what we had. Sample Menu Starters (choice of one): Arabian-style salad with flatbread, coleslaw, tomatoes, olives, cucumber and hummus (chickpea dip). Second course (choice of one): Marinated chicken, beefburgers, lamb chops, BBQ potatoes, sautéed onions, lentil curry with steamed rice. Dessert: Dates and Arabian coffee.

Looking for the best websites and companies to save money with?

Check out our Travel Resources for the best companies to use for arranging your trip! And don’t forget to get your Travel Insurance! Travel safe!

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