Liwa Desert, United Arab Emirates
When to go
Basking in year-round sun, with little rainfall and cloudless skies, the Liwa is primed for pool action regardless of the time of year you visit. Bear in mind that from May to September, the midday mercury can hit a staggering 40 degrees – you may prefer to visit in the cooler months of November–March, when the rays are less intense and desert activities more plentiful. During Ramadan, many hotel restaurants and bars have restricted service (or close altogether), so check what's on offer when booking.
PlanesAbu Dhabi International Airport (www.abudhabiairport.ae) is the closest option, a 200km or two-hour drive away – Dubai International Airport (www.dubaiairport.com) is an alternative option (it’s further though, at 300km away). Arrange transfers in advance.
AutomobilesThere’s only one highway running poker-straight through the middle of the sand – you can choose to hire your own car and drive from the airport, but don’t bank on using it during your stay at the hotel. The only way to take on the desert once the highway’s in your rear-view mirror is in a 4WD offroader – and even then you'll need a bit of desert know-how and emergency supplies.