UAE National Day Liwa Trip 30th November-2nd December 2017

The UAE will celebrate its 46th National Day on December 2nd, and where better to spend it than the traditional home of the country’s rulers?

Last year we had a two night – two location – camping trip with dune driving, fort visits, some impromptu falconry and fine conversation round a roaring campfire; this year we will do something similar.

In a nutshell

  • Offroad and camping trip commencing on a Thursday evening in the Liwa Area of Abu Dhabi Emirate
  • Two nights’ desert camping
  • Easy sand dune driving
  • Fully catered


Thursday 30th November (we believe this will be a public holiday due to the Prophet’s Birthday)

We will meet in Madinat Zayed, Al Dhafra (Western) Region at 1pm.  It will take you just under 3 hours to drive here from Dubai, a similar time from Al Ain and only 2 hours from Abu Dhabi.

  • 1300hrs: meet
  • 1315hrs: shwarma/falafael lunch (included in trip price)
  • 1400hrs: drive into dunes, set up our tents
  • 1430hrs: easy dune drive
  • 1600hrs: return to camp to watch sunset
  • 1830hrs: BBQ and campfire

If we are lucky we may see falconers practicing their traditional art

Friday 1st December
  • 0800hrs: cooked breakfast
  • 0900hrs: dune drive  to tanker
  • 1330hrs: return to camp, have a light snack lunch
  • 1400hrs: relocate to Himeem Area
  • 1530hrs: coffee at 5* Qasr Al Sarab (included in trip price)
  • 1630hrs: set up camp
  • 1830hrs: BBQ and campfire
Saturday 2nd December
  • 0800hrs: cooked breakfast
  • 0900hrs: pack up camp
  • 0930hrs: dune drive in Himeem Area
  • 1200hrs: return to road

Suitable vehicles:

Not all four wheel drives are created equal!  I have listed some of the more popular cars, suitable for dune bashing, below, but the list is not exhaustive so please enquire if you would like to come and your 4×4 is not on the list.

  • Dodge Ram (lifted),
  • Ford F150 (lifted), Raptor, Ranger 3.2TD
  • GMC Silverado (Lifted),
  • Jeep Wrangler,
  • Landrover Defender, Discovery, LR3 or LR4,
  • Mitsubishi Pajero,
  • Nissan Patrol Safari, New Patrol (models with “City” bumpers not recommended), Pathfinder pre-2005, Xterra,
  • Toyota FJ Cruiser, LandCruiser, Landcruiser Prado, Tundra (lifted)

4×4 vehicle

  • Must have recovery points front and rear
  • Must be in tip-top condition (this includes the spare tyre too)
  • Those with locking wheel nuts should carry a key to release them

Essential Equipment

  • 2 x shackles which fit in the recovery points of your car, unless you have recovery hooks instead of loops
  • Tyre Pressure gauge
  • Shovel


Please arrive at the start point with a full tank.  There is no requirement to carry extra petrol.


We will camp in two different locations  We will set up a temporary camp with a shade, tables, campfire/bbq and a portable camping loo.  We also have a battery powered shower if you wish to use it.   

Camping Kit

We recommend you pack the following

  • Tent
  • Sand pegs – the ones that come with the tent may not hold it securely in sand. Standard or rock pegs too as second night will be camping in the mountains
  • Camping chairs
  • Mattress – air or foam – to sleep on
  • Sheet, pillow, blanket or sleeping bag. It may be too warm to sleep with a sleeping bag in the evening yet really cold in the morning and we find a couple of blankets give most flexibility.

 Tent/Camping Equipment Rental

Ibex Adventures can lend you a quality tent and camping equipment – Colemans Instant tent, mattresses, camping chairs and a torch – for only 150aed for two people.  Sleeping bags and pillows may also be hired for 50aed per person.Please contact us if you would like to come on the trip but do not have your own camping gear.

Travel Essentials to Pack

  • Coolbox with soft drinks
  • Food – something for lunch as snacks for during the day.
  • Baby wipes and hand sanitizer
  • Pharmacy supplies – paracetamol/aspirin or similar mild painkiller. Cream for mosquito bites, insect repellent, sunscreen if you need it.
  • Please note that the nearest pharmacy is in Ibri, so carry any prescription meds you need too.

What to wear

We are heading deep into the desert so wear comfortable clothes.  We suggest lightweight knee length shorts or trousers and loose fitting t-shirts or a shirt.   A wide brimmed hat can be useful when outdoors.

We suggest wearing modest clothes while in public. Knee length shorts and short sleeved tops are fine; short shorts and vest style t-shirts are not.

Please wear trainers or boots in the dark and around the campfire – it may be the “empty” quarter but there are some creatures there which will bite or sting you if you stand on them by accident!  If anyone should be unlucky enough to be stung by a scorpion, then we will drive them out to the nearest hospital – it will take around 1 hour to reach there.

Please Note

  • This trip is suitable for families, couples and individuals.
  • Children above 2 years old are welcome but there is a lot of driving so we suggest you take suitable activities to alleviate boredom in the car. Young children MUST be seated in car seats
  • Maximum persons per car – 4
  • All persons should wear seatbelts whenever the car is moving.
  • Apart from initial meeting time, all timings are approximate


  • Car plus driver – 1000 AED
  • Passengers – 550 AED
  • Children aged 5-12 – 350 AED
  • Children under 4 – 150 AED

To book, please download the form either from below or from here.  Send your completed form by email to, indicating how you would like to pay.

[pdf-embedder url=”” title=”master registration form camping”]


Payment can be made by bank transfer or Visa/Mastercard.  50% deposit is required at time of booking; balance due by 16th November 2017.

Enquiries please whatsapp Marina on +971 509 478 563.

Essential reading:

Arabian Sands by Wilfred Thesiger


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