There’s something magical about camping in the desert. Sweeping sandy dunes and a sky teeming with twinkling stars make it a must-do UAE experience and now, thanks to a new pop-up staycation spot, your four-legged friend can join you.
The Starlight Camp is a pop-up experience which gets set up in the desert about 45 minutes from Dubai Airport. It offers guests the chance to sleep in a dome tent with amazing views of the sky above. It's super exclusive as there's only one tent and the entire campsite is set up for each visitor, so you'll have complete privacy and everything you need for a luxury staycation, including space for your dog.
The crystal roof of the 30 square-metre tent lets guests sleep directly under the stars, but in the comfort of a queen size bed. There are close-able curtains if you need them, but given that there's no other tents or guests onsite, you probably won't need to use them.
Inside the suite, there's a heater to keep things cosy as desert temperatures can fall to less than 10°C. There's also a Bluetooth speaker and electricity sockets to keep all your devices charged, books, board games and plenty of sleeping space for your pooch. Want to bring the kids? They can bed-down in small mattresses next to the main bed or they can have their very own mini-tent just next door.
Outside, a wooden-enclosed camping-style shower and toilet avoids one of the most common desert camping predicaments.
The company is owned by Swiss expats and long-term UAE residents Fabienne and Urs Eiselin who told The National about their saluki-labrador rescue dog called Safa. The couple are more than happy for guests to bring furry friends along and will even provide dog beds. Urs also explained: "For every third booking with people coming with a dog/dogs, we will sponsor a K9 Friends dog for a whole year."
Spend the afternoon wandering untouched dunes and keep an eye out for camels, gazelles and the occasional Arabian oryx. With endless desert, there's unlimited walks for your furry friend, and kids can enjoy a scavenger hunt where the treasures are buried in the sand.
At night, a pre-prepared bonfire makes the ideal campfire, surrounded by flaming torches and glowing spheres. All the BBQ equipment you might need is provided so all you have to do is bring whatever you want to grill and get cooking.
After a night under the stars, tuck into a picnic breakfast of fresh juice, pastries, pretzels and more, along with a morning cup of coffee from the Illy machine.
When you’re ready to leave, give the team a call and they'll come and collect you before clearing every thing away from the site, leaving the area fully undisturbed.
At the moment, Starlight Camp only pops-up in Dubai but the company are open to finding new locations in other emirates.
Rates start at Dh1,800 including breakfast, drinks and snacks. To book your stay: email firstname.lastname@example.org