For a couples’ getaway not far from downtown Dubai, arrange a stay at an authentic Bedouin campsite. Just an hour from the city, you’ll find the perfect backdrop for the most romantic Arabian nights you and your partner will experience in the Emirate. Leave your city cares behind, dress to camp, and get ready to step back in time, because you’re headed straight for the heart of the desert.
A hot, bumpy drive takes you to the land of the Bedouins: the nomadic desert-dwelling peoples scattered throughout the Arabian Peninsula. The outlines of Dubai’s elegant skyscrapers and the turquoise Arabian Sea fade away long before you hear the hollow ring of cowbells and the flap of goatskin tents characteristic of these herders’ and nomadic traders’ village. You’ll know you’re drawing near when you see a falcon soar above you, or hear it occasionally break the silence with a high-pitched shriek.
Soon, small, stone houses with roofs of brush appear over the huge desert dunes. And as you approach, you notice a bustling village with tents and huts laid out in a maze of narrow alleyways. Women sit on cushions, weaving textiles. Others milk cows and churn labneh: a tart yogurt-like cheese sprinkled with mint that you may be offered later with sweet tea or qahwa (Arabic coffee) and fresh saj flatbread.
Before dinner, the welcoming Bedouins will give you and your partner an opportunity to really experience this way of life by taking you on a camel ride. Wrap a scarf around your head, take a deep breath, and climb onto the camel’s back; this gentle, calm animal will take you on a rhythmic journey through the stark but beautiful desert landscape.
The evening promises delicious treats you can both enjoy. Settle down onto a thick, soft Arabian rug and enjoy barbecued meats, fresh fruits and salads, sweets, and tea. As you relax after dinner, you can watch a belly dancer adorned in traditional Bedouin silver jewelry that reflects the orange flames of the crackling campfire. She’ll move to the melodic sound of traditional music plucked from a simple stringed oud. Finish your evening smoking shisha with the Bedouins and hearing stories that have been handed down for centuries. Then bed down under the star-filled, clear desert sky — you’ve never known a more peaceful night’s sleep in your life.