10 Camping Essentials l Al Qudra Lakes Dubai Overnight Camping

One of the favorite things we like to do at this time of year here in Dubai is to go on a desert camping.

Imagine full-day sun, clear blue skies, cool breeze, and zero percent chance of rain while in a beautiful desert landscape. It's a camper's dream.

Al Qudra Lake Camping

Same time last year, we camped at Al Aryam Island in Abu Dhabi, also a perfect camping spot. This time around, we didn't go far. We drove just 45 minutes to Al Qudra Lakes inside Saih Al Salam Desert, on the outskirts of Dubai.

Al Qudra Lakes is a man-made lake that spans up to 10 hectares and is home to more than 100 species of birds including migratory birds. A wonderful place to camp with family and friends

We used the Waze app to get there. The only problem was, once you reach the area, it was difficult for the app to help you navigate. We were already going in circles, good thing we luckily found our friends who came early to set up camp. It was dark as there is no lamp post, and there is no signage either so it is easy to get lost. It is advisable to come before dusk and if you are in a convoy, be sure to stick together.

Pitch dark Al Qudra Lakes - Oasis

I'm sure many of you know this already but I thought of sharing it again, for first-time campers and a checklist reminder for us as well

Essentials for an overnight camping

1. Tent/sleeping bags (update: popup tents and umbrella tents are the most convenient type of tents. It is easy to set up and easy to pack) 

Boys setting up the tent

2. Pillows & thick blankets especially at this time of year (December to February are the coldest months in the UAE). It really gets cold at night. Sleeping bags are also a good option.

Camping kids snuggled up inside our tent

3. Chairs for seating and mats to lie on while stargazing

BFF stargazing

4. Lights, battery-operated torch or gas torch
5. Grill, charcoal & lighter
6. Firewood to keep you warm and for smores!!! There are trucks along the road to Al Qudra Lakes that sell firewood for cheap, just AED 5 a bunch.

UAE Bloggers (L-R Abigail of Cuddles and Crumbs, Ken of Dubai Travel Blogger iKen, Shiela of AB and Me and Lady and Ed of Lady And Her Sweet Escapes) 


7. Camping food - bring something that doesn't spoil easily. I brought Binagoongan to share

Pork Binagoongan

some cooked rice, some snacks, marshmallows for smores, don't forget the bbq sticks for it

Kids roasting marshmallows. Smores!!!

eggs and sausage for breakfast.

Campers having breakfast

Bring other kitchen essentials you think you'll need, Also enough drinking water and disposable cups, plates, etc. Most importantly, black bags to put all your waste to take back with you out of Al Qudra. What's sad is that many campers leave their trash behind scattered everywhere.

8. First aid kits and painkillers like paracetamol. Thanks to my friend Shiela for the meds otherwise I would have stayed inside the tent for the rest of the night as I wasn't feeling well already.

9. Check the car before leaving the house, you don't want to get stuck in the desert with recovery getting lost finding you.

10. Never ever forget your camera and tripod for loads of pictures, for all those beautiful photos you want to take, a power bank, and for entertainment, a guitar or wireless speakers for some music


A tranquil morning at Al Qudra Lakes

Island at Al Qudra Lakes

Campers and Wild Ducks at Al Qudra Lakes

a pair of black swans, they're so beautiful

Black Swan in Al Qudra Lake
Black swans up close

Camping is so much fun. We always enjoyed it every single time.

It's the closest we can get to nature here in Dubai away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The best part, we didn't have to go far to experience this. It's just in Dubai.

Have you been to Al Qudra Lakes? It was quite an attraction, isn't it? We wanted to go back actually coz we haven't seen the flamingos yet.

My Yellow Bells

Carla is a lifestyle blogger based in Dubai who's thankful to call this ever-evolving city her second home. The pages of this blog are filled with stories about her expat life in the sandpit. It features dining and travel adventures in and around the city and beyond. It also features food recipes, parenting tips, and fashion style.

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