The Empty Quarter Abu Dhabi Explained

The Empty Quarter Abu Dhabi Explained

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By Robeena Brown

August 16, 2022 | 13 min read

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The Empty Quarter Abu Dhabi, also known as "Liwa," is one of the world's largest and safest unbroken dunes. It is located in the Western Region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. The Empty Quarter Abu Dhabi is one of the most visited places in the world.

Empty Quarter is a part of the huge desert area known as Rub al Khali, located in the southern Arabian Peninsula and makes up most of the Arabian Desert. If you envy to visit is desert part of Abu Dhabi, you can check Arabiers Arabiers Liwa desert safari guides. You will learn Empty Quarter places to explore with well-planned desert tours.

In this guide, we have all details you need to know about Empty Quarter Abu Dhabi, from how to get there to festivals.

How to Get There

The Empty Quarter Abu Dhabi Explained

The Empty Quarter can be reached from the north through either of two different roads. In the vicinity of Tarif, the main road forks off of the E11 highway. After that, the trip is one hour long over a four-lane asphalt road in good condition and passes by Madinat Bayed.

There is one modern station on the way from Madinat Zayed and numerous older-style stations along the road that travels through the Empty Quarter.

ADNOC operates several gas stations in Liwa. They are not very well marked; nonetheless, you should keep an eye out for the white "fort" that used to be typical of ADNOC stations.

By Bus

You can also get to Empty Quarter by bus. There is a bus station in Abu Dhabi where you will board the bus. It is highly recommended to arrive early and inquire about the matter at the station.

Get around

To get around Liwa, you'll need your car. If you want to explore the dunes, you will need the help of a professional 4x4 guide.

Day Visits

The experience of visiting the Empty Quarter Abu Dhabi is very much like going on a trip to another planet. "Otherworldly" is one of the adjectives used most frequently to describe this dessert.

Once you go past the buildings, power wires, and streets, all left in front of you is a landscape that has not been touched by human hands and seems like something out of a science fiction movie.

The films "Star Wars" and "The Matrix" feature desert landscapes as background settings. Authors such as H.P. Lovecraft, Frank Herbert, and Clive Barker have all found inspiration in the desert landscape when developing their unique fantasy worlds.

A visit to Rub al Khali is the next best thing to becoming an astronaut if you want to feel as though you have left the earth as you know it behind without really having to do so.

Full day Liwa Desert Safari

Full day Liwa Desert Safari Full day Liwa Desert Safari

Starting from 1800 AED

BOOK NOW Full day Liwa Desert

We at Arabiers are happy to organize day trips for you to visit the Empty Quarter. On the way to Empty Quarter, we will frequently make a pit stop at the Emirates National Auto Museum to kick off our full-day Liwa trip.

You will get a glimpse of some of the Sheikh's off-road vehicle collections, historic American automobiles, a fleet of Mercedes automobiles in every color of the rainbow, and the truck that holds the record for being the largest in the world here. The location would be instantly recognizable to devoted viewers of Top Gear as it was utilized in one of the show's episodes.

When guests arrive in Empty Quarter UAE, they will immediately participate in an exhilarating activity called "Dune bashing" while riding in Toyota 4WD Land Cruisers.

It is recommended that attendees do not consume anything at least sixty minutes before the experience to reduce the likelihood of being nauseated during the event.

After that, we will continue our adventure with a visit to the well-known Liwa Oasis. Dune bashing is an adventure that can be experienced through dunes 984 feet above the earth.

At the peak of the tallest dune in the world, you can try sandboarding and take some pictures with your camera. You have nothing to worry about because an expert guide will be there with you the whole time during your Liwa Safari adventure.

Overnight Stay

Liwa Overnight Deser Safari

Liwa Overnight DesertLiwa Overnight Desert Safari

Starting from 2200 AED

BOOK NOW Liwa Overnight Desert

This overnight camping expedition in the Empty Quarter in Liwa will be unlike any other desert camping experience you've had before.

Your knowledgeable Arabiers safari guide will pick you up from any location in the United Arab Emirates and then drive you to the world's largest sand desert in a 4x4.

A trip to the Empty Quarter tours is among the activities that tourists and locals in Liwa look forward to the most. These tours take place in an area home to some of the most exhilarating dunes, and they promise campers an experience that cannot be topped.

Enjoy the thrill of driving your four-wheel drive vehicle over the towering dunes and tackling the Tel Moreeb, the tallest dune in the world. As your four-wheel drive vehicle maneuvers up and down the steep, 50-degree slope, you are almost certain to feel a surge of adrenaline.

Stopping by a camel farm in the area is a great way to gain insight into the people who live in the Empty Quarter. You can see camels of a breed indigenous to the Liwa desert here.

In contrast to the white camels common in other regions of the UAE, these camels have a dark coat. This calls for a few pictures of you with the camels from Liwa.

You should go to the campsite and settle to watch the sun go down—delight in the calm and serenity of a breathtaking desert sunset. Spend the time you had left before dinner huddled close to the fire to keep warm and comfortable.

Enjoy a live BBQ while taking in the refreshing desert air and taking in the scenery of the desert at night. Stargazing in the Empty Quarter night sky is an experience that is sure to take your breath away, thanks to the unobstructed views of the sky. Then get comfortable in your sleeping bag and prepare for a restful night's sleep.

Wake up to the sight of the sun rising above the desert horizon. Its warm light will bring the desert back to life. Arabic coffee, called kahwa, and a simple breakfast can give you a lot of energy.

On your way back to your cities, you will stop at a vegetable farm and the Mezairaa Fort. Both of these stops will depend on how much time you have. Camping in the Empty Quarter is a unique way to spend time in a place that doesn't sound like much fun, but it also reveals its hidden treasures to those brave enough to go there.

Even though there may be a lot of desert camping tours, camping in the Empty Quarter is not only a unique experience but also an accomplishment.

Activities Around

Empty Quarter is a fascinating place where you can do amazing and stunning things. The following are the best activities around Empty Quarter.

Visit a real-life sand castle.

The Dhafeer fort is one of many that were built around the oasis to protect it from tribes that wanted to move in. In reality, the fort looks like it was made out of the sand.

The fort doesn't tell you much about history, but it will show how mud-brick buildings were built in the 19th century.

The most exciting part of this trip is climbing the stairs to the terrace. From there, you can see the seemingly endless dunes that go all the way to the horizon from a higher point of view. This is the best thing about the attraction.

Desert Walk

Most of the time, a walk is a great way to connect with nature, and it almost always leaves you calm and energized.

If you take a walk through the Liwa desert, you'll be able to feel the cool desert air on your face and look at the tall dunes below your feet.

But always keep a safe distance from your vehicle and look it straight in the eyes. Since getting lost in the desert is easy, it's best to stop near a camel farm and take a walk.

Observe Black Camels

When we think of a desert, camels are probably the first thing that comes to mind. Now, the oasis of Liwa has its kind of camels. These camels are called Liwa camels.

Stop at Bedouin-run camel farms on your way to Moreeb dune in the Liwa desert to ask questions and get free camel rides. The camels used in Liwa are black and come from Saudi Arabia, while the camels used in Abu Dhabi are white and come from Iran.

If you are lucky enough to see groups of black camels walking across the red sands of the Liwa desert, you are one of the lucky few. While you're there, why don't you try some fresh camel milk? You might be able to talk to the farm's owner or one of the people who work there if you're lucky.

Hotels Near the Empty Quarter

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara

Empty Quarter is beautiful during the day or night when the stars are out. It is also home to the magnificent Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, one of the most luxurious hotels in the world. It is among the Empty Quarter proper hotel to stay.

The Empty Quarter Abu Dhabi Explained

This serene retreat is in the middle of the desert, and it looks like a castle in the desert. From here, the view is beautiful. A spa, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool are also there.

The rooms at Qasr Al Sarab are made of rich materials and have warm colors. Every room has a terrace that looks out over the desert. Sliding glass doors let people in and out. In addition to a deep soaking tub and a rain shower, they have a pillow menu.

Through the hotel's Desert Excursion Centre, you can arrange to go on desert walks, rides on camels, and "dune bashing" down big dunes.

For the convenience of its younger guests, the Anantara Qasr Al Sarab has a kids' club and a tennis court. Mountain biking, mountaineering, and horseback riding are other things to do.

Guests can cool off in the outdoor pool, surrounded by sun loungers and palm trees, after a day of exploring in the desert.

Guests can also try out the traditional hammam or go to the hotel's Anantara Spa for a relaxing massage. At the Anantara, the Al Waha restaurant serves delicious Arabic food, while the Suhail restaurant serves French food.

Some lighter dishes are served at the Ghadeer restaurant on an island and can be reached by bridges. This desert resort is about 2.5 hours by car from Abu Dhabi desert. Guests can use the free Wi-Fi and park for free.

Resort Tilal Liwa Hotel - Madinat Zayed

This four-star resort has a beautiful view of the Empty Quarter Desert from the infinity pool and the patio with furniture.

The rooms at Tilal Liwa are big and comfortable. They are decorated in an Arabian style and have high-quality furniture. At Tilal, every room has air conditioning and a view of the grounds, the pool, or the desert.

Some of the apartments have fully furnished private balconies. Each room has a satellite TV and a bathroom with toiletries that are provided for free.

Resort Tilal Liwa Hotel

The hotel has two restaurants serving local dishes and dishes from around the world. At Al Liwan, guests can relax in a calm area with a garden view.

At Al Badiya, they can watch chefs make food in an open kitchen.

Layali has a cozy setting and alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks for their guests. You can also choose to have brunch on Friday.

During their stay, guests can do things like go to the thermal bath or go on a desert safari. In addition, there is the chance to go sandboarding.


You can visit the Empty Quarter entertainment set dates if you love entertainment. During these dates, there are famous festivals which are held.

Liwa Dates Festival 2022

Sat, Jul 16, 2022 04:00 PM - Sun, Jul 24, 2022 10:00 PM

The main goal of this event, which happens once a year, is for local farmers to share their knowledge and experiences to grow the best palms and fruits.

The Liwa Date Festival is held annually in the Abu Dhabi region of Liwa City Al Dhafra. The festival aims to teach date farmers about modern farming techniques and help them share information about how to grow the best dates.

The festival has many important events, such as competitions for dates, fruits, the most beautiful fruit basket, the most beautiful heritage sculpture, and the model farm. All of these events, as well as others that focus on heritage, are meant to show how important agriculture is.

The festival is one of the most important heritage events and tourist attractions in Abu Dhabi. It also shows how dates have affected the country's culture, history, and economy.

It is a great place for people to learn about dates and try some of the most popular dates grown in the UAE.

Liwa International Sports Festival 2022

December 16, 2022, to December 31, 2022

The 16-day festival happens annually and is one of the biggest motoring events in the Middle East. It is made for motorsport competitions.

It is a one-of-a-kind event for people who love racing cars and bikes, camping, going on adventures, dune bashing, and other fun things happening in and around the Liwa desert.

Empty Quarter Weather

The empty Quarter region is known as hyper-arid because it gets less than 35 millimeters (1.4 inches) of rain annually and has a relative humidity of 52 percent in January but only 15 percent in June and July.

During July and August, the highest daily temperatures reach an average of 47 °C (117 °F) and can go as high as 51 °C (124 °F).

Even though the average daily low temperature in January and February is 12 degrees Celsius, frost has been seen (54 degrees Fahrenheit). During the day, the temperature can change quite a bit.