In the depths of the tranquil desert there lies the reassuring whispers of sand dunes. I invite you to listen to the melancholic chords of Thousand Nights Camp, my husband and I just visited to discover the secrets behind the shimmering dunes. A once-in-a-lifetime experience, this is an ideal destination for your weekend excursions far away from Muscat city in A’Sharqiyah Sands, Oman (Around 240 km by road).
The most interesting part about this trip is the drive on the dunes. Yes, one has to drive through the sand dunes to reach this camp in Oman. We travelled here to celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary and this was by far our best luxury experience.
After travelling for almost 3 hours from Muscat and almost an hour and a half into the dunes, coming here was worthwhile. My husband (Sayonto) best describes the experience of driving on the dunes.
He says, “40 Kms into the depth of A’Sharqiyah Sands from Bidiya city was a long and adventurous drive. Thanks to our robust Jeep Compass 4×4, it was a smooth journey. A compact SUV but with extreme off-road capability, the Jeep took us to our final destination without any problems. We had to be extra cautious to not drive on the loose sand and get our wheels stuck, but if one follows the already laid path paved by previous drivers, you will be safe. Lastly and the most important point, deflating the tyres to 16 – 18 psi, of your SUV is a must, to drive on the dunes and the tyre pressure must be filled back once on the normal road.”
A mix of typical camping outdoors with all the modern facilities in fantastic Arab tents, which transforms adventure into a luxury holiday – or Glamping – is what we did! Glamping has significantly outgrown the popular term referring to experiences where glamour meets camping, where one would otherwise enjoy this approach to sleeping under the stars and to this fact, we know that every experience is different.
Founded by a nomad traveler and writer, named Abdullah Akhdar in 2001, The Thousand Nights Camp at A’Sharqiyah Sands offers you a variety of experiences – adventure, authenticity, and serenity. This camp gives you a feel of a complete luxurious stay. At the property, you can explore the desert experiences such as exploration of its scenic terrains, enjoy some sporting activities and take in some breathtakingly peaceful moments that you can only experience in this haven.
We reached the place at around 4:00 pm in the evening and were completely mesmerized by the starry desert night. This campsite has a restaurant named Arabian Nights which offers a lavish food journey with Arabic touch and Omani delicacies – dinner and breakfast, on the buffet. Here, at the camp, you will also watch the sheer beauty of the Arabian Oryx.
Why You Must Visit The Thousand Nights Camp in Oman
Traditional Experience: Nestled on the massive arches of sand, this campsite has been beautifully constructed with no faults. Every experience within the property had a traditional touch to it. The bonfire area, the restaurant’s architecture, the desert ship cafe which is almost 200 years old, is the traditional douhu of Oman. You can easily walk around the property through the walking trails that also guide you to your tents. We booked the tents that were quite luxurious, air-conditioned and well furnished. Our tent bordered with glass walls offered a panoramic view of the sunrise. For added relaxation, there’s also a pool area if you’d like to take a dip within the venue just opposite the dining area.
The Authentic Food: If you’re a foodie, prepare to dine with a huge appetite. Offering a variety of cuisine – Omani, Arabic, European, Italian and Chinese, there’s so much food on the plate. Platters of aromatic grilled kebabs, to freshly cooked chicken curry, with boiled rice and Omani’s popular chicken Kabuli this is your restaurant to be if you’re looking for different cuisines under one roof. We had rounds of excellent Omani dishes for dinner and breakfast to satisfy our taste buds (check out the pictures below). We also tried Omani sweets – Halva, Kunafa, Kaimati, Um-Ali and Omani coffee. Oh, let’s not forget, we witnessed the traditional dance performed by bedouins women which allured many travellers across the tables.
Serenity: Besides, spending some time amidst the sand dunes, allow your senses to also experience stargazing. Sit beneath the bright stars and enjoy a closer look at the night camp sky. There are also bean bags near the bonfire area for your comfort. So, go on, lie there, dive into a dreamy night or sit around the fire and forget everything in endless conversations.
People: I simply can’t ‘not’ appreciate the people! The staff was excellent and the service was great. Dressed in a uniformed outfit, the staff members are always around to help with your needs and requirements, from dropping off your luggage to the rooms to sharing information about the property and its rich history to the good morning wishes – You will be welcomed here like a prince/princess!
So plan a trip to the enchanting sand dunes of Oman and don’t forget to let us know about your experiences below!