Northern Emirates lure tourist dirhams with a combination of thrill-seeking and natural beauty.
Sharjah's Al Badayer Oasis will offer visitors comfort and adventure
Dune bashing meets glamping, as Sharjah announces it is to expand its new Al Badayer Oasis project before it is even completed.
The development, set in the dunes of the Al Badayer Oasis around 40 minutes’ drive from the centre of Sharjah, is intended attract visitors looking for a resort experience combined with the thrills of a desert adventure.
With the project due to open later this year, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) has announced they are expanding the complex, with two new buildings, and raising its investment from Dh45 million to Dh60 million.
The Oasis is intended as an escape to the emirate’s more remote areas but with all the comforts of home. Based on traditional architecture, it will feature palm trees and water channels and streams crossed by walkways and bridges.
Covering 24,000 square metres, Al Badayer’s facilitites include both a camp and a resort, along with restaurants, cafes, shops and an open air majlis. There will also be a mosque and an amphitheatre for live events.
Outside the camp, visitors will be able to try desert motocross. 4X4 trips, desert safaris and expeditions to observe wildlife in its natural state.
Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, the chief executive of Shurooq, described the oasis as: “A premier attraction for desert adventurers from the UAE and beyond.”
He added: “Once completed, we fully expect that Al Badayer Oasis will become a first choice destination for both residents and tourists in the UAE who wish to experience the incredible natural beauty and topography of the desert environment.”
The project is part of a concerted effort by the Northern Emirates to boost their economies by attracting more visitors.
Much of this is aimed at the more adventurous tourist, looking to experience the region’s unspoiled natural beauty and traditional culture.
In October, Ras Al Khaimah will open an observation platform near the summit of Jebel Jais, the UAE’s highest mountain, and a complement to the Via Ferrata, which uses zip wires to descend from the peaks.
Shurooq also has other developments underway, including the Mleiha Archaeological and Eco-tourism project, based round the historic village of the same name, and featuring Bronze Age tombs.
The Kalba Eco-tourism development on the Indian Ocean is said to be the largest of its kind in the UAE, along with the five-star Kingfisher Lodge, which features luxury tents set in among mangrove plantations, due to open shortly.