Al Dharfa, showcase of bedouin lifestyle
Al Dhafra, the emirate of western region of AbuDhabi is where the desert meets the sea. Al Dhafra makes up over two thirds of Abu Dhabi emirate. Along its hundreds of kilometres of coastline are stunning beaches and islands and its history is encompassed in the myriad of ancient forts, set against dramatic landscapes. This place of Abudhabi is sure to provide a most adventurous off-road driving and most incredible and dramatic scenery, including the biggest dunes of the Sahara.
The drive to Liwa – a historic oasis town at the entry to the Rub Al Khali, an Empty Quarter is a great reason to explore this region. The world’s largest uninterrupted sand mass Liwa without any doubt blows everyone away with its massive expanses of awesome desert and huge dunes. This oasis town sits at the entrance to the famed Rub Al Khali, or the Empty Quarter, the world’s largest single expanse of desert. It’s a landscape of ever-changing endless dunes made famous by the British explorers in 1940s and 50s. Liwa is also home to a large date palm plantation consisting of more than 100,000 trees.
National Auto Museum
Emirates National Auto Museum is a kooky mirage, pyramid-shaped structure that holds some 200 vehicles, from prototypes to concept cars to American classics the oldest being a steam-powered 1885 Mercedes. It also bears a private car collection of Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, aka the ‘Rainbow Sheikh’.
Almost a fairy tale from ‘1001 nights’, the magnificent Qasr Al Sarab by Anantara rises up from flame-coloured dunes like a mirage, inviting adventure in the most luxurious of styles. Resembling an old Arabian fortress town nestled in the valley of mountainous dunes, this is actually a five-star resort letting you experience lots of desert activities like dune dawn walks, camel trekking, dune bashing, falconry shows and camp fire barbecues.
This is the one festival that embodies the spirit of heritage in this part of the world. This yearly festival held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi is a joining link between the generations in an ever changing social environment and to celebrate heritage. This festival of december showcase only pure bred camels from the Asayel and Majaheem lineage. The festival includes the famous Mazayna, a beauty contest for camels and a celebration of this most beloved animal that played a huge role in sustaining life in these arid lands long before the oil and wealth era.
Alongside the many cultural aspects, the festival constitutes an undisputed venue for huge business deals and multi million dollars camel purchases. Besides Mazayna, the festival program includes many activities and contests, including a photography competition, a popular bazar, Saluki dogs races and falconry shows.