Liwa Unveiled - 16 Things to do in Liwa as never before

2019 October updated

Liwa is an exciting destination with amazing & breath taking things to do. Our list of things to do in Liwa, it’s a perfect guide giving more information about free activities, interesting desert experiences, favorite Liwa attractions, activities ideal for kids and some other details that will helpful in planning your Liwa visit.

Free things to do in Liwa

1. Feel alive in the Empty Quarter - Liwa Oasis

Source : Arabiers Liwa Destination Experts

Visit one of the largest palm tree oasis in Middle East region. A vast desert spanning a total area of 650,000 square kilometers, the Empty Quarter is a magnificent sea of dunes that has been untouched by mankind. Situated at the northern border of the Empty Quarter is the Liwa Oasis which was occupied by the Bani Yas tribe. The underground freshwater resources in Liwa have enabled it to be a leading cultivator of dates in the UAE & largest palm tree oasis. The contrast of lush date palms with the rolling sand dunes of the Empty quarter will be a memory etched into your mind. Amazing place for BBQ, lunch gathering and friends picnic.

2. Climb UAE’s Tallest Sand Dune - Tel Moreeb

Source : Tel Moreeb

Tel Moreeb

Tel Moreeb is evidently UAE’s tallest sand dune and one of the world’s biggest dune hill to climb which is no surprise why its name translates to English as the ‘scary mountain’. The summit is a bit tough to reach but the view of the uninterrupted desert is breathtaking. If you enjoy adventure

3. Observe black camels (Camel farm)

Source : Camel Farm

Camel Farm

When we speak of the desert we immediately think of camels, don’t we? Well, Liwa oasis has its own breed of camels known as the Liwa camels. Drop by for free at any of the Bedouin-run camel farms on your way to Moreeb dune in the Liwa desert. Unlike their Abu Dhabi counterparts, Liwa camels originated from Saudi Arabia and are black in color. You might be one of the lucky ones if you get to view black camels passing in herds across the red sand of Liwa desert. While at the farm, why not try out some fresh camel milk, if you are lucky to get hold of the owner or the worker at the farm

4. Visit a real-life sand castle (Fort Dhafeer)

Source : Past Travelers

One of the many forts that were built across the oasis to safeguard from invading tribes, the Dhafeer fort looks like a sand castle in reality. The fort doesn’t offer much in terms of history, apart from giving you a good idea of the mud-brick architecture that was at large in the 19th century. The highlight of this attraction is climbing up the stairs to the terrace which will bring you face-to-face with a heightened view of the never-ending sand dunes that seem to go beyond the horizon.

5. Watch an exciting desert race - Liwa Sports Festival / Moreeb Hill Climb event 2019

Source : Liwa Sports Festival Commitee

The Liwa sports festival goes on for 9 days and is a magnet for expert four-wheel drivers and desert bikers. It also celebrates the UAE heritage for a week and offers participants and visitors with camping facilities in the Moreeb dune. Events of this festival include camel racing, horse racing, drag racing, bike racing and motocross track challenges. The best part of the festival is the bike and car races that have to climb the 300-meter-high Moreeb Dune with a staggering 50-degree incline.

6. Liwa Dates Festival 2020 - Taste Emirati Ratab

Source : Liwa Dates Festival

An initiative taken to preserve one of the many famous aspects of Emirati heritage, the date palms and the half ripe date fruit obtained from it locally known as Ratab. The date festival of Liwa is famously recognized as a unique event for individuals and companies passionate about the Emirati date trees. In addition to showcasing all things date-related it also is an excellent chance to learn more about the local handicrafts, the Emirati customs and traditions. The 2019 event is over, but you can experience it on 2020.

7. Al Gharbia Watersports Festival

Source : Al Gharbia Watersports Festival - The National

With a prize fund of 4 million AED, the Al Gharbia watersports festival is a hub of thrilling water activities, theatre competitions and water-related heritage activities. Held in a site that expands over 20,000 square meters, some of the activities you can witness the rowing race, sailing races, kite surfing competition, Kayak race, swimming race and parachute sailing. Local activities like the traditional dhow race and the UAE sailing National championship are also held. Additionally, there are also competitions related to team sports like beach football and volleyball.

8. Desert walk

Source : Past Travelers

A walk is always a way of connecting with nature and always brings about a soothing and invigorating feel. A walk through the Liwa desert will give you a chance to observe the mighty sand dunes beneath your feet and the desert wind on your face. However, make sure to maintain a safe distance from your car and always keep it at eye-level. Since you can easily get lost in the desert it is best to stop by near a camel farm and take a walk.

Tackle the Empty Quarter

Talks of Arabia conjures up images of rolling deserts and camels, both of which are abundant in the Rub Al Khali and is untouched by humans. Spanning an area of 650,000 square kilometers and intimidatingly known as the Empty Quarter, the Rub Al Khali is bordered by Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Tackle the sea of sand with experienced Liwa desert experts and realize that the gigantic dunes are not that intimidating after all. Take a look at the tours that you can explore the Empty quarter with.

9. Champagne on top of a dune – Liwa Dune Sunset Champagne

Source : Past Travelers

Get out of the Liwa city into untouched expanses of golden desert and witness the splendid magnificence of the Rub Al Kahli. Explore the rise and fall of the dunes with a dune bashing experience. Next, observe a desert sunset sitting on the summit of the highest dune and toast to the beauty of the desert with a glass of champagne.

10. Camp overnight in the Empty quarter dunes

Source : Arabiers Liwa Destination Experts

Camping in the world’s largest sand desert is bound to be an out of the world experience you can tick off your to do list. The Liwa Overnight Camping tour will make your visit to the Empty Quarter more memorable with invigorating dune bashing sessions, views of the intimidating Tel Moreeb dunes and an overnight stay to experience the coolness of this virgin land.

11. Self-Drive in the highest dunes of Rub Al Khali

Source : Rub Al Khali

Being driven to the desert is exciting but driving to the desert will give you a completely new feel. Get to know the highs and lows of the towering sand dunes as you maneuver your way through the sea of sand with the Liwa experienced off road guide

Are you planning a visit to Liwa? Get n touch with Arabiers’ Liwa destination experts to get a variety of itinerary ideas, a guide to plan your Liwa visit and insider tips of Liwa’s many attractions.

Planning a trip to Liwa? Speak to Arabiers' Liwa destination experts to get more liwa insights and guide to plan your Liwa trip & ask for more itinerary ideas.

Staying in Qasr Al Sarab & things to do around Qasr Al Sarab

Source : Qasr Al Sarab desert resort

Step foot into one of the desert world’s best hotels, the Qasr Al Sarab desert resort by Anantara. Situated right in the middle of the empty quarter with no connection to the outside world, the resort is only 200 kilometers away from Abu Dhabi. The resort is nothing less than a mirage taken right out of a fairytale and set itself ideally where no man has ever visited. This is your chance to connect with the desert and revel in the mysticism of this prominent setting.

If you have booked a stay in Qasr Al Sarab Resort, then your itinerary will definitely be a busy one.

12. Liwa Dune Safari

Source : Past Travelers

A desert drive is an exciting way to explore the desert. Get comfortable in a Qasr Al Sarab 4x4 vehicle most suitable for this kind of exciting adventure. Let your guide maneuver you across the picturesque desert’s dunes. Get to know more about the desert habitat, the animals that inhabit it and the plants that call it their home. If you want to challenge yourself, then the dune bashing activity will take your adrenaline to new levels.

13. Liwa camel trekking

Source : Visit Abu Dhabi

Explore the desert on the back of one of its oldest residents, the camel. Camels have been a mode of transport for the desert Bedouins and now you can enjoy the thrill of it. Choose from a variety of treks to suit your liking.

14. Bike across the liwa dunes

Source : Liwa Dune Bikers

Did you know that there is a special vehicle to ride the dunes? The fat bike is a bicycle that stands true to its name. The fat tires make riding across the Empty Quarter dunes a manageable feat. This adrenaline pumping experience can be enjoyed by beginner and expert fat bikers.

15. Watch hunting companions in action

Source : Visit Abu Dhabi

Falcons and Salukis have been companions of the ancient UAE Bedouins for thousands of years. Both species have inspired many Arabic poems and have become national symbols. The falcon’s agility and sharp sight along with the saluki’s speed and stamina have made them the perfect hunting partners. This show will teach you about the hunting techniques using these animals, a saluki race and more.

16. Desert Moonlit exploration

Source :Past Travelers

If you happen to visit the desert during the full moon, then you have come face-to-face with an amazing opportunity to explore the desert scenery. Choose your pick from a moonlight desert walk, a horse riding or a desert drive.

17. Sand boarding on highest dunes

Source : Past Travelers

Liwa Oasis

Challenge yourself to conquer the sand dunes of the Empty Quarter with a sand board. Explore the sand dunes in the vicinity of the resort; climb up the dunes and come sliding back down. Are you ready for an exciting adventure?

Other Hotels in Liwa

The Liwa Hotel

The Liwa hotel was the first hotel to pop up in the region. It is also the oldest and is in an excellent location in the heart of the oasis. Pros of this hotel are its well-maintained rooms and the unbeatable views of the Empty Quarter.

The Western Hotel in Madinat Zayed

A brand new 4-star addition to Liwa’s portfolio of hotels, the Western Hotel Madinat Zayed has good amenities and is budget-friendly. But it is a bit far from the Empty Quarter.

The Tilal Liwa Hotel

A better competitor to Liwa Hotel with better rooms and a good pool, the views this hotel offers of the desert are amazing. Although it is in a bit urbanized location it is a good choice and gives you the best of both worlds; amenities and views of the desert.

Frequently asked questions by first time visitors

Yes and most of the UAE residence visiting Liwa camping and making BBQ Dinner or stopping for lunch at liwa oasis

1. No, Liwa is part of Abu Dhabi Emirate which is one of the city of United Arab Emirates (one of the 7 emirates that make UAE) & there is Municipal region called Al Gharbia & it function under Abu Dhabi government, so you do not need a visa or boarder pass to go to liwa

There are no much liwa tours that operated by bus or sharing basis. Mostly it is private tours

If you are visiting liwa by yourself it would be hard to spot the animals in the desert. At the camel farm you may spot donkey & goats. But if you are staying in Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara there is a tour set called “Animal experience” it would be great if you are visiting liwa with young children’s, the guided tour included camel farm, Arabian horse stables, animal park farm with a donkey, rabbits and sheep, and falcon house shared with Saluki hunting dog.

moreeb dune festival take place at an ideal location for visitors and simply navigate through your Google map and facility has wash room, enough safe parking, restaurants and security during the events. Abu Dhabi is world 4th safest city and liwa too, during the event all facilities monitored and maintained by government. Check out below map and see the facilities around the moreeb festival

Source : Al Gharbia sports club

It is indeed very rare to spot Arabian Oryx in liwa area and we have no record

As long as you are having an on arrival visa or you have obtained prepaid visa to enter UAE you are free to visit liwa. Book with any tour operator in UAE that have expertise drivers & guides