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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for Best Things to Do in Liwa Desert – The Empty Quarter
Joanna James Joanna James
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Best Things to Do in Liwa Desert – The Empty Quarter

The 'Empty Quarter' or Liwa Desert is a rustic oasis of beautiful settings which also, highlights the stark reality of desert life; although, today, the place like most of Abu Dhabi is a top tourist attraction where legendary desert adventures await. Do read on for a list of Liwa attractions.


Explore the Sheikh Hamad Auto Museum

Located just 22kms from the coastal highway this museum is on the way to Hameem. The place boasts a collection of over 200 vehicles from across the world; enjoy treats such as viewing the 1890 Ford and the iconic yellow cab of New York. The Sheikh having a passion for collecting outlandish gadgets also has amongst his collection, a huge Dodge truck which is over 5 metres tall and boasts within its structure an apartment! The museum while not being open to the public can be explored by stopping and requesting for an entry pass, which you receive for a fee.


Enjoy a Desert Stay

The Empty Quarter is starkly beautiful and a stay there will be more than magical, hence places like Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara are amongst the unique few resorts in Liwa where one can savour, desert lifestyles in true Arabic fashion. From these Liwa desert resorts, you may book an Abu Dhabi desert tour, which will be tailor-made to suit your needs, whether it's a camelback ride across the dunes or even an overnight stay where you get to sleep under a blanket of stars, the experiences are quite awesome.


Explore the Forts

In olden days tribes living in the Liwa Desert, found they had to protect precious commodities, such as water from enemies. Hence, forts were built from straw, mud and clay as strongholds within which they barricaded themselves in case of an invasion. While forts and their uses are no longer necessary, the government strives to protect these ancient structures as much as 200 to 300 years old; exploring one will certainly be a step back in time experience.


Check Out the Town of Mezairaa

Liwa's main town, Mezairaa is situated between Arada and Hammam. Since the Abu Dhabi administrative centre has been moved to Liwa, plans are underfoot to develop the town. All basic amenities of a modern town are located in Mezairaa which exudes that laid-back rustic desert town ambience; a pretty good place to explore and chill with a good meal and cool drink. The town offers a collection of little shops which you will find fascinating to browse, while campers are treated to facilities of outdoor charcoal barbeque pits.


Drive the Moreb Dune

Standing tall at 200 metres from sea level the Moreb is thought to be the highest in a dune in Liwa. The dune is easy to reach from Mezairaa as its only 30kms from the south-west of the town. The roads are well paved; hence, a normal sedan is able to navigate the route. Make sure to head over to Moreb, closer to sunset as that is when it's most spectacular.