Desert crossing towards the beach

Crossing the desert to beach (from Al Arad desert to Tarif beach)

We decided to drive across the desert and end up at the hidden beach in Abu Dhabi as an overlanding drive. The plan is for 2 nights camping in the desert and on the beach. Some of my friends decided to reach the starting point – Al Ain the previous night to camp and avoid morning drive / reduce the stress. 

I decided to start early in the morning and reached the Day-0 campsite which is easy to reach located at (23.89052, 55.47767), and joined them for coffee before we started the trip. 

Now, it is time to get into the desert of Bu Kirayyah, Abu Dhabi (23°53’11.6″N 55°22’29.7″E). The starting point begins with tracks and a mix of loose sands for a few distances. We were claiming small and technical dunes (not technical as we see in Al Qudra desert, Dubai), the first stopover we made at “StarFish dune”, you can see the clear view at an elevation of 133m (23.85011, 55.17822) which is a breathtaking view. We have seen the starfish dunes continue from Abu Dhabi to Oman, In Fact, we have experienced driving and visited both sides of dunes during the empty quarter crossing. 

Our second stop was at a beautiful place and it’s quite a famous destination known to the offroaders “Bu Tais Tree Dune” (23°51’11.1″N 55°10’39.5″E)  to have a chat with coffee and take pictures.  You will feel cold at bottom of tree shadows.

Campsite Day-1:  Around 5 pm we reached the campsite located at 23°39’59.1″N 55°07’19.4″E. We had enough time to set up our tent and arrange a kitchen spot. I made a madras filter coffee for my friends and most of them it was their first time tasting the homemade coffee. The coffee and weather were perfect with a desert background where we are nowhere. My friend offered us a dinner which he prepared in his car kitchen, we had our food with lots of discussion under the stars and moon before we went to bed. 

Day-2: The day started with our famous filter coffee and started crossing the deserts. Here we have to cross some technical and some slide slopping to reach the gravel landscape. Mostly on day-2, we covered the Sabkha or gravel land where many places are salt-settled land. Overall the drive was easy towards fuel status (23°39’01.0″N 54°24’05.0″E)before we continued to Tarif (hidden) beach.  

The cars were filling up the fuel, topping up waters, refreshing, buying some food for day-2 camping. Once we were all ready we started around 3 pm which we are ahead in terms of our planning. So we were driving with some relaxation, and had lunch for a few minutes. From here the landscape and the routes were easy to medium (gravel tracks) likely to get stuck if we don’t give attention and right power to the 4×4 system. 

After crossing the gravel track section all vehicles changed to 2×2 mode, yes! We entered the road section and it was interesting to see the deserts with magnificent views similar to Sugar dunes in Oman. In short, the road section toward Tarif was amazing and it did not disappoint us. 

Finally, we reached the most awaited hidden beach (24°16’26.1″N 54°25’07.5″E). You will get an opportunity to walk in the middle of the coast and give you a breeze. After a short walk, we took pictures and videos, the next is started arranging our tents, cooking, etc., We went to sleep after having a delicious dinner (Arabic food) prepared by our friend, it was 5 mins and nobody realized why? We all were hungry and focused on eating 🙂 

The next day-3, we backed up and said bye for now and started to leave our home. I and my friend were heading towards Dubai and the other friend left for Abu Dhabi. Our planned drive ends with happiness and as planned, we are continuing our overlanding trips which you can see from other posts. 

About vijay
Hi! I`m Vijay – exotic travel junkie & a travel photographer. Join me as I share stunning photos, incredible travel stories and useful tips for people who love to venture offroading!