I was browsing the desert of Abu Dhabi on Google Maps, looking for some hidden gems, when I stumbled upon Tilal Liwa Hotel.
As soon as I clicked on it I knew that it would be the perfect spot for our first time desert experience.
It’s just two hours away from Abu Dhabi, on the edge of the Rub Al Khali ( The Empty Quarter, the largest uninterrupted sand desert in the world) and the road to the hotel was quite picturesque, industrial area apart. On both sides of the highway there was something white on the sand which I was unable to identify and even Google didn’t help. Here is a picture of it, if you know what is it please enlighten me in the comments because I am really curious.
As we were getting closer to Tilal Liwa Htoel the road started getting exactly as I had imagined it – covered with sand and surrounded by dunes. We stopped to take a photo with the Million Dollar Street sign (it’s a good omen, right? not that I dream so small of course!).
The hotel itself was far beyond my expectations. I thought that being the desert there would be not much to do but it was quite the opposite. Tilal Liwa offers so many activities that we should have stayed at least 3-4 days to try them all.
We couldn’t get enough of the swimming pool overlooking the Liwa dunes. It was one of a kind and awe-inspiring experience and so was exploring the majestic desert around us. We had a quod ride for sunset which was very fun and I also manged to burn my top (tip: don’t wear anything long on the quod), while the next morning we rode a bike, which was quite an uneasy task on the sandy roads. We wanted to reach the camel farm nearby but at nine in the morning the sun was so hot that we decided to escape under the palm trees of the hotel.
In the to-do list for the next time we left the desert jeep safari, sandboarding and moon gazing. Hopefully we will return soon and tick them off.
Why Tilal Liwa Hotel: because you will enjoy a small oasis with spectacular desert views.
I also made 1 minute video from our desert days. You can see it here.