A night with Magic Camps

Bedding Down in the Desert

Deep in the deserts of Oman, Dubai and Abu Dhabi – where the only noise is the gentle whisper of the wind making curves in the dunes – you’ll find the eco-friendly, canvas tents of Magic Camps. Wanderlux Editor Hannah Dace recently spent a night in the Sharjah desert – here’s what she thought. 

Bedoin-inspired Bedrooms

Magic Camps take inspiration from Arabia’s Bedouins – nomadic tribes that have roamed the peninsula for decades. These tribes are romantics, explorers – they move around the deserts freely. While the Magic Camps tents are made in the local style, using canvas and eco-friendly materials, inside they aren’t quite so rustic: cloud-like beds, private bathrooms and creature comforts are all included (you’ll be pleased to find cosy blankets, musky candles, plush slippers and fluffy robes). Each tent has a shower room (in reality, Indian terracotta jars of hot and cold water and organic toiletries); and flickering lanterns lead the way from tent to tent when the sun ducks its head for the evening. 

A Majlis tent sits at the centre of every camp. These meeting places are made of organic tentickle, and are furnished with natural materials such as wood, bamboo, canvas, jutes and cotton. Lounging is very much encouraged: take refuge from the sun with a bowl of fudgy dates; share stories with fellow travellers before dinner; or settle world debates here after dark. The Berber rugs, rattan chairs and hanging lanterns appeal to the Arabian aesthetes among us. 




Sandy Sundowners & an Arabian Appetite

You’ll just about be getting used to the unfathomable vastness of the desert when you’ll be given the chance to experience its silence, too. A few minutes form your camp – just over the crest of a dune – is a private sundowner set-up; Berber rugs and Moroccan-inspired pouffes are gathered around a low table stacked with juices, olives and crackers. Soak it up as the sun descends to kiss the horizon, eventually turning the sky ombré.

Sunset savoured, and it’s back to the camps for dinner, which is no short of an Arabic feast. Enjoy hummus, tabouleh, mezze, flatbreads and Arabic salads (and this is just for starters). Your personal chef will be busy grilling meats, fish and vegetables on the BBQ; followed by a traditional Arabic custard-like dessert. Dine under a canopy of stars before moving a few metres to the pre-lit bonfire, framed by chairs laden with soft blankets. 

Leave a Lighter Desert Footprint

Magic Camps leave no trace on the environment: each set-up is temporary, and the teams are meticulous in ensuring the land is left exactly as it was found. No plastic is used in the kitchen, and the toiletries are all organic. Energy is solar-powered, and each tent has three to four-hours of electricity during the evening, after which it’s down to candles, torches and lanterns (bliss).

Made with romance in mind, the pitch-perfect Magic Camps are an all-in desert experience: expect feasts of Arabic mezze, an incredibly aesthetic Majlis tent, a star-studded sky and a bountiful breakfast. There’s certainly a luxurious edge to the tents, but you’ll come away with far more to think about than the amenities: the desert reminds you just how small we are, and yet how much impact we have on the environment.  

“If dining under a canopy of stars with your closest friends and a plate of Arabic mezze is up your street, then we’re confident that you’d love Magic Camps. Sustainable, environmentally-friendly camps tailored to you in Oman, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.”

Hannah Dace, Wanderlux Editor

Do you have any particularly fond memories from the trips?

Oman is a magical destination, as we discovered on this trip.

Learn more about its rich history, culture and terrain in Oman: The Undiscovered Terrains 

Written by Hannah Dace, Wanderlux Editor

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