When visiting the United Arab Emirates, it can seem difficult to find authentic old-world Emirati cultural experiences among the glistening residential towers and sprawling shopping malls. However, a short 1-hour drive outside of Abu Dhabi lies an oasis of Emirati cultural immersion. Built on 85,000 square meters, the Arabian Nights Village offers visitors a taste of traditional Bedouin life that cannot be missed.
Your experience begins in Abu Dhabi, where you will meet your driver and begin your 1-hour journey into the rural desert outskirts of the city. The drive takes you past beautiful scenery like Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, date palm farms, camel ranches, and picturesque dunes. Eventually, you end up on an off-road path down a dune valley, where you will soon be greeted by the towering palm tree standing at the entrance of the village.
The Arabian Nights Village offers visitors a choice of day trips or over-night stays. There are 36 rooms on the property, comprising four different types of accommodations: Bedouin tents, palm houses, Desert houses, and The Fort Tower. Each guesthouse is its own independent, detached dwelling with air conditioning, en-suite bathroom, and complimentary drinks.
What makes the Arabian Nights Village a memorable destination is its roster of activities. From relatively tame (camel-back rides) to the extreme (dune bashing), you will have to put effort forth to feel bored for even a minute. For those looking to relax and catch some sun, Arabian Nights Village offers a beautiful swimming pool and sunbathing spot aptly named “The Oasis.” The palm tree-lined area includes a waterfall and lounging pods as well. The adventure seekers will want to head back to the SUVs and head out for the dunes! The dune-bashing excursion can only be described as a rollercoaster on the sand. The experienced drivers take you on an un-tethered, high-speed ride-n-slide through the shifting sand dunes surrounding the village. I highly recommend opting for the evening excursion, where you will get to witness the impossibly orange sun setting behind the haze of the dunes. During your dune bashing journey, you will also have the opportunity to visit a camel ranch and do some dune boarding!
The Arabian Nights Village rounds out its offerings with a traditional restaurant, Al Maquam Restaurant, which acts as the town square, if you will, of the village. Not only can you indulge in a traditional meal and shisha, you can also enjoy live music, belly dancing, get a henna application, or even pet a falcon. At night, the fire pits outside the restaurant are a great place to unwind and take in the magical happenings of the day, while enjoying the canopy of stars that appear in the desert night sky.
Arabian Nights Village Rd – Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates
+971 2 676 9990
Lifestyle Editor at World Bride Magazine.