Winter magic comes alive in the world's largest dunes of Liwa

The Liwa desert is home to the world's most giant dunes

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Published: Tue 28 Nov 2023, 4:12 PM

When you think of the desert, you usually conjure images of scorching heat, sea-like dunes, scuttering lizards, cacti, and maybe a mirage. As the temperatures in the UAE begin to dip, ushering in the much-awaited winter season, an enchanting transformation occurs amidst the vast expanse of the Liwa Desert. To see a crackling campfire, a comfortable private desert setting, and live BBQ dinner in the desert might seem like a fantasy. But, this is a familiar experience for those who approach Arabiers to make their winter nights in the extraordinary deserts of Liwa.

Belonging to the Rub Al Khali, the Liwa desert is situated near the Saudi Arabia border in the western region of Abu Dhabi. It was once considered a daunting place with its towering dunes and uninterrupted stretches of arid landscape. Wilfred Thesiger, a British explorer, played a pivotal role in transforming the image of the Liwa desert from a daunting, uncharted terrain to a captivating destination. The Liwa desert is home to the world's most giant dunes. The Liwa desert's intimidating reputation has been transformed into a source of fascination and wonder. Anyone interested in exploring what Liwa offers on a winter night can experience it through Liwa desert safari tours.

A winter night amidst majestic dunes

This experience promises a memorable night that begins aboard a comfortable 4x4. You will traverse the mesmerising landscapes of the world's largest uninterrupted sand desert. Enjoy the thrill of driving on the largest dunes and relish the solitude of the shifting sands as your senses are brought to life with the sound of the wind and the soft crunch of sand beneath the tires. As the sun dips below the horizon, casting hues of orange and pink across the vast dunes, the magic of Liwa unfolds. As night falls, immerse yourself in stargazing away from city lights, guided by experts.

A live BBQ dinner under the starlit canopy

A night in the Liwa Desert is incomplete without a live BBQ dinner under the stars which reminds the past of UAE Bedouins. Engage in conversations by the flickering light of the campfire, savouring BBQ with Bedouin hospitality. Once a realm of adventure, the desert transforms into a serene sanctuary where time seems to stand still.

What else you can do in Liwa

Experience a unique adventure by visiting Fort Dhafeer, a living sand castle in Liwa. Immerse yourself in the captivating exploration of this historic site, where you can observe the delicate harmony between heritage and sustainability.

If you are visiting Liwa from December 16 to January 6, you can participate in the famous Liwa Moreeb Dune festival 2023. The festival is famous for its freestyle drifting on the Moreeb track. Moreeb is 50 degree slip face at a height of 300 meters. Visitors can also see other races such as camel race, horse race and classic cars competition.

Emerging Eco-friendly desert tours

The desert serves as an ideal representation of Bedouin life. Numerous initiatives have been implemented to ensure responsible tourism, including testing emission levels of desert tour vehicles, adhering to leave-no-trace measures, maintaining a respectful distance from wildlife, and refraining from disturbing, trampling on, or picking desert plants. Travelers are encouraged to bring reusable food and water containers, allowing them to explore the world's largest dunes without causing harm to the natural environment.


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