BIG RED DESERT: Why you should visit: Big Red is located just at the border between Sharjah and Dubai, via Hatta Road (E44). It is a magnificent open dessert that’s open and accessible to everyone. You’ll notice that the further you drive away from the city, the deeper the red colour of the dessert becomes. Then you’ll get to Big Red, a pretty popular spot for bashing dunes, but a beautiful and picturesque desert away from the hustle of Dubai. This is one of the most popular dune bashing sites in the UAE. This spot is always filled with those looking for an adrenaline rush. This desert has the easiest dunes that can be manoeuvred by both amateurs and professionals. On weekends and holidays, the area is swarming with motorists looking to show off the latest tricks in motorbikes, buggies, quad bikes and jeeps. Location: Dubai, 24.969919230283388, 55.72327668101903
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AL QUDRA DESERT: Popular due to its proximity to the city, the Al Qudra Desert is perfect for those looking to escape for the day, while still surrounded by plenty of civilisation. Located just off the side of the Al Qudra Road, this is perfect for residents who set up little BBQ’s and spend the evenings on a picnic blanket. It’s not exactly the spot to go Duna bashing as the desert itself isn’t home to any crazy high dunes. Location: Dubai, 24.988678421118355, 55.34756365010763.
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LIWA DESERT A.K.A RUB AL KHALI: Why you should visit: Also known as “The Empty Quarter” only the very experienced dune-bashers go here. Liwa desert is known for the festivals and challenges that are conducted annually. Bordering Saudi Arabia, Oman and Yemen, myths and folklore narrate the story of an ancient city that once resided in the middle of the Rub Al Khali, but it was lost to the sands of time and till date, no one has been able to locate the ruins. It is the largest desert in the Arabian Peninsula. Spread over a wide area, with very soft sand, Liwa desert shares its border with Saudi Arabia. Stretching beyond the Abu Dhabi’s lush Liwa Oasis, with the Moreeb dune — the tallest in the UAE — a feat to behold. But novice drivers beware, it is easy to lose one’s way in the Rub Al Khali, hence it’s advisable to go as part of a convoy or with an expert guide. The desert offers a welcome blanket to set up camp but striking out solo deep into the Rub Al Khali should be avoided. While there, do take time to explore the town of Liwa, one of the few places that offers a brief glimpse into the origins of the country and its historical heritage. Location: Abu Dhabi, 22.848392331340335, 53.98949205387927.