Al Dhafra

Al Dhafra makes up over two-thirds of Abu Dhabi Emirate. Along its hundreds of kilometers of coastline are stunning beaches and islands, which are gradually being developed for visitors.

Let’s start exploring this vast region in a historical and encompassed in the myriad of ancient the Al Dhafra Fort and driving you down the outskirt of the desert to a local camel ranch nearby to experience the Bedouin hospitality, culture, and traditions.

And to the great reason to visit this region is the drive to Liwa – It is the world’s largest contiguous sand desert encompassing most of the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula.

Covering over 650,000 sq km, about 80 percent of it lies in Saudi Arabia, while its eastern edges extend to the United Arab Emirates, and its southern border is in Oman. Parts of its southern and southwestern limits lie in Yemen. Approximately 1000 km long and 500 km wide the desert is covered with reddish-orange sand with dunes with heights up to 250 meters as well as brackish salt flats like Umm Sameem on the eastern edge.


Bedouin tribes

The Evidence of human activity in Empty Quarter dates from 3,000 to 2,000 years ago, including chipped flint tools, but no actual human remains have been found.

Contradicting the very name that suggests it is uninhabited, many tribes have lived and continue to live in the region.

According to St. John Philby, traveler to Arabia, the Bedouin tribes termed it the Empty Quarter to refer to the vast and mysterious wilderness that virtually looked like no one lived there. Present-day inhabitants belong to different tribes who are citizens of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Qatar. These range from the largest group of Al Murrah down to others such as Al Manaseer, Al Manaheel, Al Awamir, Al Rawashid, Al Mahra, and Al Sa’ar. With the acute scarcity of food and water, these tribes are amazingly adaptable, surviving with their camels and whatever the barren deserts offer them in the form of water from the wells dug in the ground and dates which are grown in the oases. They also eat Gurs, a kind of wheat bread cooked in the fire and drink lots of camel milk.