The impressive dunes in the Empty Quarter (Rub’ al Khali), the largest uninterrupted sand mass on earth, offer motorheads an awesome driving experience. If you're in the UAE in the winter and you feel like a real-deal adventure, rent a four-wheel drive, find a group of eager drivers and set out for the sand. Ensure your car is fully serviced and insured for off-road use, and head off with at least three other four-wheel-drive vehicles. Pack enough water and food, a first aid kit, and a spare tyre. If you've never driven off-road, you should first learn the ropes with one of the several tour companies in Abu Dhabi.
A trip to the desert isn't complete without a night or two under the stars – and be prepared to experience some of the clearest night skies you’ve ever seen! Arrange a camping adventure with a tour company, or rent a four-wheel drive and buy the equipment yourself. Camping supplies are surprisingly affordable in Abu Dhabi, and there is no need to buy the most expensive equipment. In fact, you could probably buy a tent and two sleeping bags from a hypermarket for less than a guided tour. But never go out in the desert alone! See our advice for driving in the desert above.