'Like taking your home around': This Dubai resident spends every weekend living in a caravan

Maged Mohamed said his 'home' is not just comfortable and well-equipped with all the essentials for a cosy life; it is also easy to maintain

by

Nandini Sircar

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Published: Thu 23 Nov 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Thu 23 Nov 2023, 3:43 PM

Maged Mohamed is an adventurer at heart. The Egyptian expat seeks refuge in the unconventional — his home on wheels, a caravan, takes him to various beachfront escapes every weekend.

As the sun begins to peek over the horizon and the first light seeps into the caravan, it gently nudges Maged Mohamed awake. The distant sounds of nature mark the beginning of the day for this UAE resident.

“I take my caravan to different beaches on my days off…just like today (Wednesday) or on my weekends. I spend almost every weekend in my caravan. On Sundays, I leave the spot, because I have to return to work on Mondays. It is particularly nice living in a mobile house during this time of the year when the weather gets pleasant because one can explore life in different locations,” he told Khaleej Times.

Photos: Nandini Sircar
Photos: Nandini Sircar

“I go to various places sometimes with my girlfriend or with my friends. It gives me the feeling of a relaxed lifestyle.”

Maged’s caravan is currently parked at the Jebel Ali Beach in Dubai South among several other caravans used by residents who either own or rent them for weekends and holidays.

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He reiterated that his home is not only cozy, and equipped with all essentials for a comfortable life but also simple to maintain. Approximately the dimensions of a studio apartment, it includes a single bedroom, a kitchen, a living area with television, and a quaint beach garden with outdoor chairs to sip his cuppa.

Although he possesses the caravan, he doesn’t own the land it occupies. Consequently, he pays ground rent to the beach’s proprietors, who, in exchange, manage water supply and waste disposal services.

“The Dubai Municipality (DM) takes care of this place…right from security to maintenance and clean-ups. One can park their caravan here for a maximum of 30 days after that you need to vacate the spot. After a gap of 15 days, one can apply for fresh permission. The rest of the year the caravan is parked in my house.” he added.

Maged explained his day starts with a cup of freshly brewed coffee or tea, which is often the first order of business, accompanied by the aroma of a simple breakfast, prepared in the caravan’s compact kitchenette.

Unconventional lifestyle

He developed a love for this unconventional lifestyle at the age of 16.

“My father also owned a caravan. I would say I got introduced to this early, in my teens. I am an Egyptian, but I was born in this country… camping and going to the desert is common here. So, I’ve embraced it too,” said the 42-year-old.

Although many assume caravans are primarily used in winter, he challenges this belief.

“I also go out with the caravan in the UAE during the summer months. But caravans need to be equipped with air conditioners. The destinations change with the seasons. I’d opt for an oasis in the summer, where I’d explore on a bike. When winter arrives, I enjoy swimming in the sea. It’s delightful,” he added.

He finds pleasure in travelling with his caravan to different beaches like Fujairah, or to events like the Liwa desert festival, where caravan facilities are available.

“Sometimes, I venture out of the UAE as well and go to places like Musandam in Oman. The view is picturesque. It’s difficult to describe it in words. I love the lifestyle,” said the expat who is the head of design in an Abu Dhabi-based company.

Maged bought his current caravan in 2022 before possessing two other such trailers. He explains managing a caravan is akin to managing a home studio.

“The caravan I own is a Jayco made in America and its price is approximately Dhs 120,000. Mine is a fairly new one. As for the maintenance cost, it varies depending on type and size. The one I have has water storage tanks, pipes, and motors to push the water. These are things to be managed, just like a studio. But it’s not an expensive affair, it’s relatively reasonable.”

Recommending others to purchase caravans as they are a delightful option for couples and families, he added, “It’s a very enjoyable experience to be living in a caravan. It’s like a portable studio. Instead of your home being in one place you can just take it around.”

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