Liwa Oasis

Travel Guide Middle East United Arab Emirates Liwa Oasis

edit

Introduction

The Liwa Oasis is a cluster of villages and oasis in the United Arab Emirates. Liwa Oasis is the historical home of the Nahyan family, the leaders of Abu Dhabi emirate and the UAE. It was historically, and remains, a date-palm cultivating region for Bedouin tribes, especially the Bani Yas. The cultivated palm forests may come as a surprise in the middle of the desert.

Liwa is at the edge of the UAE's most impressive desert region, when considering the size of the dunes. It is a great start point for self-led or pre-arranged dune-bashing and other desert safaris. It may also be a good place to learn more about Bedouin culture, though most of the settlements are by now built of concrete, and walled off to the rest of the world.

Top

edit

Cities

The area is populated by a collection of Bedouin villages that follow along the oasis at the Northern edge of the Rub al Khali (Empty Quarter). The center of this is Mezaira'a, which offers a few shops and services as well as a service station.

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

The most impressive dune in the Emirates, Moreeb dune or Tal Mireb, is south of the other settlements, and though most of the year there are no events there, the way to the dune makes it worth visiting anytime. Few cars use the road as virtually nobody lives along it. You will bump into more camels than people. In addition it is one of the roads were very few trees and overland power lines spoil the view across the dunescape.

To get to Tal Mireb road follow the brown signs as shown in the picture. Markers can be found along the main road as well as the roundabouts in Mezzaira'a. It's a one mile drive to the road from the main roundabout in Mezzaira'a. The dune itself is about 25 km along the road, be sure to have petrol for the round trip, as the road is hilly.

Top

edit

Getting There

There are two roads from the north leading to the oasis region. The main road branches off the E11 motorway near Tarif. From there on it is about an hour drive passing Madinat Zayed on a well maintained, four-lane paved road.

Settlements in the oasis region are lined up on the only big road like a pearls on a string. If you arrive from Tarif the road ends in Mezaira'a, at the center of the area.

At the eastern end of the oasis region a new road connects straight back to the E11 motorway close to Abu Dhabi. Though it is wide and well maintained, at only two lanes speed limits are set to 80 kph, vs. 120 kph on the main road.

There are several ADNOC gas stations in Liwa, one new station on the road in from Madinat Zayed, and some older-style stations along the road through the oasis. They are not well signposted, keep an eye out for the white 'fort' that used to be characteristic of ADNOC stations.

Top

edit

Getting Around

You must have your own car to get around in Liwa. There is some hitchhiking but do not count on it.

Top

edit

Eat

There are a few local restaurants in Mezaira'a, and a Cooperative Society grocery store on the road from Madinat Zayed. For tourism-quality restaurants, eat in the Liwa Hotel.

Top

edit

Drink

Like most of Abu Dhabi emirate, alcoholic beverages are only served in the hotel.

Top

edit

Sleep

  • Liwa Hotel. Basic luxury hotel belonging to the Danat chain. It is pricey but the expansive pool area is a luxurious and quiet retreat in the desert.
  • Liwa Rest House, ☏ +971 2 882 2075. A government-operated traditional resting place open to the public. Reservations strongly recommended.
  • Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, ☏ +971 2 886 2088, ✉ infoqas@anantara.com. Luxury desert resort on the eastern edge of the oasis, caters to weekend retreats for wealthy city types from the capital and Dubai. 205 rooms, villas and suites, swimming pool, workout room. Various activities such as camel rides, cooking classes, tennis & yoga are available with clubs for children. Room rates start at $326.
  • Tilal Liwa (in Madinat Zayed (50 km away)). an upper-end desert resort with an Arabian feel.

Camping is an option out in the desert. Check with a travel service to arrange vehicles and for more advice. Always have more than one 4x4, some means to remove the vehicles from sand, and ample water supplies if going off road. Though uncommon, it is possible to camp near the road to Tal Mireb without driving off road.

Top

Liwa Oasis Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Liwa Oasis

This is version 1. Last edited at 8:33 on Jul 12, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License