When the weather cools in the UAE, it’s time to make the most of the country’s natural playground – its sprawling desert.
And one of the best ways to do that is by packing up for the night and heading out for a camping trip under the stars.
But for outdoor novices, finding the best spots to camp and getting hold of all the equipment can be a bit of a headache, but a new outdoor company in the UAE aims to do all the hard work for you.
Campr vows to take the hassle out of camping by supplying you with all the equipment – all you need to do is pack your own food, drink and bedding, and turn up.
The company will also surprise you with the location. Users just need to select the emirate along with their terrain preference – beach, desert, mountain or wadi.
The team will head to the secret location in advance to set up everything needed for a comfortable night in the great outdoors, including the tent, blow-up bed, shower facility and cooking equipment.
And if you are looking for an extra cosy experience, you can choose to add on traditional majlis seating and Arabic lanterns for a fee.
The company was founded by Christine Vorster who, after five years of living in the UAE, wanted to find a fuss-free way to introduce camping to the masses.
“I love the outdoors, but there’s always the stick of packing up all the camping equipment and dealing with things like deflating mattresses,” she says. “So I decided that I needed to come up with a solution.”
Vorster started to work on the idea in January of this year, and when the pandemic hit, she spent months at home finalising plans for Campr to launch in time for the UAE’s winter season.
“The idea behind Campr is to make things as simple as possible for people,” she says. “If, in the spur of the moment, you decide you fancy going on a camping trip, you can literally just pack your bedding and your food and go off on an adventure. Everything else you need, even down to the last details of washing-up liquid, is there waiting for you.”
Vorster says she hopes the concept will appeal to the masses, but particularly to seasoned campers who no longer want to deal with packing up the car and setting everything up themselves, as well as younger people living in the UAE who might not have 4x4s or feel confident in finding the best camping spots.
“We are permanently outdoors searching for awesome spots,” she says. “The idea is to find somewhere that is accessible for people, but also not somewhere that is very well known and will be secluded. To the best of our ability, we try and provide an experience where it is just you, which is why we will keep the spots a secret until a booking is made.”
The team at Campr send guests the co-ordinates, as well as parking information once a booking is made. So far, Campr has secret locations in Dubai, Sharjah and Ras Al Khamiah. For camping in Ras Al Khamiahand Sharjah, there will be an additional travel fee for the transportation of the equipment.
Campr is currently offering tents and trailers for groups of two and four, and has plans to accommodate larger groups post-pandemic.
“The response so far has been unbelievable,” says Vorster. “We launched two weeks ago on social media and we are already fully booked for weekends until the first week of December. We are in awe.”
For two people, prices start at Dh950. More information is at campr.ae