Our self-drive trip comprises a mix of on and off-road driving and sightseeing with plenty of time to relax too. Enjoy a “staycation” with a difference on the very edge of the largest sand dune desert in the world – the magnificent Rub Al Khali.
Bed and Breakfast in the Liwa Hotel, Liwa City (Mizaira’a)
The Liwa Hotel has been carefully upgraded and each spacious room boasts a balcony which overlooks the Liwa Oasis. Outside there is a large pool with a separate one for young children, as well as a 5-a-side football pitch and children’s play area. Located at the top of a hill the hotel’s grounds often benefit from a light breeze and there are shades to relax under as well as plenty of palm trees to afford shelter from the afternoon sun.
Up to three excursions are included in the package price – choose from options A, B, C, D or E below. You will be part of a small group – trips will have a maximum 8 cars plus leader.
Chilled water and fruit will be available on each excursion.
Marina aka the Desert Diva is an accredited Abu Dhabi tour guide and her main interests are the desert, nature and heritage and culture of the UAE. Let the “Liwa Diva” show you her most favourite area of the desert!
This is a self-drive event
- Guests need to use their own cars for all trips.
- Before embarking on excursions these should have at least ¾ tank of fuel.
- The number of persons per car should not exceed the number of seats and seatbelts.
- All children should use a car seat or booster cushion as appropriate for their age.
- Trip durations are approximate.
- All vehicles must have recovery points front and rear
- Vehicle should be in tip-top condition with a good spare tyre
- Occupants must wear seatbelts whenever vehicle is moving
- If you have recovery gear and/or a compressor, please take it
- Not suitable for children under 3 years old
- The driving will be smooth and easy but sometimes minor damage to vehicles is unavoidable. We recommend you check that your vehicle has offroad insurance if you are joining us on the 4×4 drives.
What to Wear
Liwa is a very traditional and conservative area so when you are away from the hotel we suggest you wear loose fitting comfortable clothes which will cover you from neck to just below the knee – short sleeved tops are ok, but not vest tops. Cut-off shorts are fine but short shorts are not recommended.
The sand will be very during the day so we recommend you wear closed in sports shoes or boots, NOT crocs.
Remember to take sunscreen if you need it and don’t forget to take your hat/cap and sunglasses!
Excursion Options – Up to THREE are included in the package price
- Liwa Crescent West ON-road Trip
- Duration Approx 4 hours
- Leaving Liwa Hotel Thursday 31st August 1500hrs prompt
- Suitable for all vehicles
Travel west to discover a fort, the original Liwa fish farm, a historical tower, date plantation and a desert viewpoint. We will start with a visit to a very interesting farm and finish watching the hot summer sun set over the desert.
- 4×4 dune driving trip
- Duration approx 5 hours including 45 minutes onroad drive to start point and of course return from there
- Leaving Liwa Hotel Friday 1st September 0600hrs prompt (packed breakfasts will be supplied)
- Suitable for 4x4s only *
- This drive is suitable for drivers with some basic offroad experience – we recommend at least two previous drives.
After travelling to our start point we will take a smooth dune drive out in the direction of Marina’s favourite abandoned tanker. (note – if sand conditions are super soft we may not have enough time to go all the way to the intended destination)
*Nissan: Xterra, Patrol. Toyota: Fortuner 4L, Landcruiser, Prado, FJ. Jeep: Wrangler, Cherokee pre-2000. Ford: F150 and derivatives, Ranger 3.2L. Mitsubishi: Pajero 3.5L and 3.8L. Mercedes: G-wagen. Note this list is not exhaustive and if your car is not on this list please contact us to discuss. Minimum engine size 3.0L
- Liwa Crescent East Onroad Trip
- Duration – approx 4 hours
- Leaving Liwa Hotel on Friday 1st September at 1500hrs
- Suitable for all vehicles
Travel eastwards from the hotel to take in a desert farm, two forts, some interesting rock formations as well as some incredible sand dunes. Discover the singing sands of Liwa and look at Saudi from a highpoint, 5km from the border. Watch the sun set over the red dunes of the Rub Al Khali. Discover more about the nature, culture and history of the UAE.
- 4WD track-based desert trip
- Duration – approx 4 hours
- Leaving Liwa Hotel on Saturday 2nd September at 0800hrs prompt
- Suitable for 4WD, AWD and 4×4 vehicles. NOT suitable for 2WD vehicles
Easty drive, mainly sand and gatch tracks through the desert to a remote solar powered oasis. There will be some short sections of sand and even though the driving is expected to be easy it will still be necessary to deflate tyres. WE have seen dhabi (gazelle and dhaub (lizard) on previous visits to this area – maybe we will be lucky this time too!
- 4WD track based drive with some easy dune driving
- Duration – approx 3 hours
- Leaving Liwa Hotel on Sunday 3rd September at 0730hrs prompt
- Suitable for AWD, 4WD and 4×4 vehicles. NOT suitable for 2WD vehicles
Easy drive into the beautiful dunes of the Liwa Crescent. Some easy dune driving as well as sand tracks. If time allows we will visit Tal Moreeb, the site of the annual Moreeb Challenge.
What last year’s guests had to say
“Thanks for organizing this wonderful trip! We had the best time and definitely worth the wait”
“I am especially grateful to Neil, who did an amazing job of looking after the car with his words of advice. As a result, we never felt out of depth and were able to enjoy the experience more. We also liked the knowledge and passion that Marina displayed for the area and culture.”
The package price includes
- Accommodation for two persons in a double or twin room
- Buffet breakfast (packed breakfast for those on the Friday 4×4 trip)
- All hotel taxes
- Up to three tour excursions (out of a choice of 5)
Three nights (Arrive 31st August, Depart 3rd September) – 2520aed (early bird discount price only 2268aed)
Two nights (Arrive 31st August, Depart 2nd September) – 2000aed (early bird discount price only 1800aed)
Hotel policy/prices for children
- Children under 6 go free when sharing their parents’ room/bed
- Children aged 7-11 receive a 50% discount on food when sharing their parents’ room/beds
- One extra bed can be placed in the room for a supplement of 150aed per night.
- Early bird bookings must be made and secured with a deposit no later than 10th August 2017
- Secure your place by paying a 50% deposit by bank transfer – your booking will be confirmed once this is received.
- Balance due by 21st August 2017.
- We will send you details of our bank account upon receipt of your completed registration form
We hope you will not have to cancel but if you do here are our charges. Cancellations should be notified by email or whatsapp.
- Cancellation before 23.59 hours on 15th August – 90% refund of amount paid
- Cancellation before 23.59 hours on 23rd August – 60% refund of package price*
- Cancellation before 23.59 hours on 26th August – 40% refund of package price*
- Cancellation after 00.00 hours on 27th August – no refund
*if we can find someone to take your place your payment will be returned, less a 5% administration charge. If you would like the security of insurance then there are some companies out there who cover UAE trips, but make sure you read the small print to ensure you have the cover you need.
Please download the booking form here and email it to –