Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Magic Camps Dubai

Rates per night from$1,700.85

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD1,700.85), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

In-tents pleasure

Setting

Just deserts

The word ‘unique’ gets bandied around, but Magic Camps Dubai really deserves it – this private desert tent village is set up just for you, in a dune-scape that is continually reshaped by the warm Arabian breeze. It’s only an hour from the bright lights and glitzy nights of Dubai, but the experience couldn’t be more different. Ride camels, sandboard, or conquer the dunes on a quad bike – just make sure you’re back in time for cocktails at sunset and an barbecue feast sizzled up by your personal chef. Stargaze the night away under the deep desert sky, then bed down in your plush Berber-style tent.

Smith Extra

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Sunset drinks

Facilities

Photos Magic Camps Dubai facilities

Need to know

Rooms

Up to 15 tents, for private groups only.

Check–Out

Noon, check-in at 2pm, but both are flexible, subject to availability.

Rates

Double rooms from $1700.85, excluding tax at 17 per cent.

More details

Rates include continental breakfast of breads, cheese, labna yoghurt and jams.

Also

Here’s the magic thing about Magic Camps: they can set them up almost anywhere. Check out the red-sand Abu Dhabi alternative, or take an Omani adventure up in the mountains or down by the Indian Ocean.

Hotel closed

1 May to 31 August

At the hotel

Communal tent for lounging and dining, quad bikes. In rooms: Bottled water, soft drinks, snacks.

Our favourite rooms

The tents are all set up in the same way, so they’re all favourites. Depending on the layout of your camp, pick a pitch near the communal tent if you’re feeling social, or further away for total privacy.

Packing tips

Sunglasses (duh), and a tube of ache-soothing Deep Heat: you’ll be doing a lot neck-craning up to the stars.

Also

Unfortunately the camps are not suitable for wheelchair users.

Pet‐friendly

Pets aren’t allowed… unless of course it’s a camel. See more pet-friendly hotels in Dubai.

Children

Over-2s welcome. Cots can’t be provided (children stay in their own tents), but baby mats and baths are available on request.

Eco‐friendly

The old maxim goes ‘Take only memories, leave only footprints’, but at Magic Camps even the footprints don’t last long before a gust of wind buries them in a new layer of sand. With no access to mains electricity, the camp uses mainly solar energy and candles for lighting. The shampoo, hand sanitizer and soap are organic. The toilets are the old-fashioned type – no water, just sand.

Food and Drink

Photos Magic Camps Dubai food and drink

Top Table

The layout is adaptable, so you can ask for your table to be surrounded with just the right number of candles.

Dress Code

Loose cottons to stay cool, white robes and keffiya head scarves if you want to go local.

Hotel restaurant

The private chef kicks off dinner with hummus, tabouleh and other Arabian mezze, before bringing out the barbecue skewers of prawns and meats served alongside grilled vegetables and rice. You won’t go hungry, that’s for sure. Grab a blissfully cool soft drink from the ice box to wash it down – and fear not, they’ve got a stash of beer and wine too.

Last orders

This is your camp, so you decide the meal times. Typically, breakfast will be around 7am and dinner will be around 7pm.

Room service

No room service per se, but just ask if you’re peckish.

Location

Photos Magic Camps Dubai location
Address
Magic Camps Dubai
Silver Tower-2704, Business Bay,
Dubai
United Arab Emirates

Planes

The nearest airport is Sharjah International (45 minutes by car), but the megahub of Dubai is only 15 minutes further. Emirates fly direct from major cities all over the Europe, Asia, America… basically everywhere. Magic Camps provide free transfers from either airport for up to four guests; an additional charge applies for extra guests.

Automobiles

If you’re thinking you like the sound of driving into the desert yourself, think again. You’d have a hard job finding a pop-up camp surrounded by hundreds of miles of desert (and with no GPS, either). Magic Camps can provide transfers from locations other than the airport, such as other Magic Camps for US$250 each way for up to four guests, US$350 each way for five to seven guests, and US$450 each way for eight to fifteen guests.

Worth getting out of bed for

Here’s how a typical Magic Camp goes: in the mid-afternoon, you’re collected from Dubai and whisked off on a jeep safari through the desert – strap yourself in for some revved-up dune-bashing before your arrive at the camp. You’ll have time to freshen up and survey your sandy domain before sunset drinks are served on the crest of a dune (thanks very much, Smith Extra) at sunset. There’ll be nobody, and we mean nobody, as far as the eye can see, so you’ll just have the amber sun and your ice-cool cocktail for company. It’s after sundown that the real show begins: look skyward and gaze in wonder at the galaxy of stars above. In the morning, watch falcons soar and swoop in a private bird-of-prey show (US$495), or try your hand at sandboarding down the dunes. To venture further a-desert, take a quad bike for a spin (US$165), or clamber onto a camel ($US215 for a one-hour ride).

Local restaurants

If you face west and start walking, you might find a cafe about eleven hours and a whole lot of dehydration later. In other words, stick to the camp, you nutter.

Reviews

Photos Magic Camps Dubai reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this desert camp in the United Arab Emirates and unpacked their keffiyeh and agal, a full account of their Bedouin-style break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Magic Camps in Dubai…

It’s a remarkable, unfathomable, no-freaking-way fact that there are more stars in the sky than grains of sand on Earth. It’s practically impossible to get your head around, but the best place to try is Magic Camps Dubai. Spend a day here and you’ll stoutly refuse to believe it, while running fistfuls of golden powder through your fingers and surveying the endless dunes unfolding in every direction. Spend a night here, with your neck craned back and your eyes pinned wide in wonder, and you’ll understand. If you need a little time and space to let it all sink in, you’re in the right spot – alone with your thoughts and gloriously isolated from everything and everyone (except the lucky people who came with you).

The Guestbook

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