Dubai: Camping is one thing. Glamping – camping with comforts – is quite another. I spent the weekend in Ras Al Khaima’s Longbeach Campground, an hour’s drive away from Dubai and a 30 minute drive away from Sharjah and honestly had the most wholesome weekend I’ve ever spent in Dubai.
Glampers aren’t like campers. Glampers are dry, cool and they don’t sleep on the floor. I know, I know… it defeats the whole purpose of camping… being “one” with nature, but you can technically still do that at Longbeach. You just end up going to bed on thread count white sheets.
Glampers can start their day at Longbeach with yoga on the floating deck, sea view aerobics, kite flying and kayaking. There’s a waterpark obstacle course, beach volleyball and stand up paddling. Kids can meet the farm animals at the petting zoo. Or enjoy the outdoor spa and sauna. But that’s just a few things you can do there.
Here is a guide. Everything you need to know about glamping, camping and more in RAK’s Longbeach Campground.
What is Longbeach?
Longbeach is a glamp-site located on the shorelines of Ras Al Khaimah. The site offers an adventurous weekend and honestly just something different to your usual weekend. It’s a great outdoor getaway, where you do things that bring you back down to earth… sort of.
With 109 deluxe and premium tents and 21 suite tents, all lodging options offer a glamping experience rich in comfort and furnished with essential amenities. All of the stays include half board packages with unlimited house beverages from 7pm to 10pm.
Everyone who stays will have access to a comprehensive list of interactive, educational, wellness and sporting activities. They are available at certain time slots throughout your stay. That meant, I could pick and choose which activities I wanted to try. For example, I totally did the kayaking, but totally skipped the petting zoo.
Which tent should I choose?
There’s a variety of tents, depending on how close to nature you really want to be. It ranges from fully enclosed, sleeping on a bed with indoor plumbing, to a tent on the beach.
1. Panoramic Dome Suite Tent
Dh2,699 per night
I personally got to try the Panoramic Dome Suite Tent, which everyone there liked to call ‘the dome’. It was perfect. Complete with bedding, enough to sleep four people, air conditioning, cushions, a bathroom with a shower, electrical outlets, lamps, a front door, carpets and super comfy tent décor.
It included all the amenities as well as outdoor chairs and a hot tub. The Panoramic Dome Suite has a hexagon style shape with a transparent panoramic view of the rest of the campsite and the beach. It felt like I was in another country. Living in a dome, having that amazing view ahead.
2. Safari Suite Tent
Dh2,499 per night
Add a dose of glamour to your outdoor stay with the Safari Suite Tent. With each private tent sitting on its own wooden elevated decking, it also comes with spacious bedrooms and comfortable beds, furniture, and accessories. You even get a private bathroom inside with complete bathroom amenities.
3. Prism Balcony Tent
Dh999 per night
Located directly on the beach, this tent features carpets, low bedding, pillows and of course a fan to keep you cool at night. It also has a great view of the beach. With this tent, you’re in the middle of all the action.
4. Authentic Family Tent
Dh1,299 per night
If you’re planning a family outing, then the authentic family beachfront tent is designed for more people wanting to do a family staycation. It is fully equipped with comfortable mattresses, complete with bed setting, soft cushions, and two outdoor camp chairs. Each deluxe tent fabric is suitable for the gulf weather with waterproof, UV rays and wind resistant materials.
5. Authentic Deluxe Tent
Cost: Dh799 per night
An authentic deluxe tent is a beachfront bell tent equipped with comfortable mattresses, complete bed setting, decor, soft cushions, and two outdoor camp chairs. Perfect for a group of four.
What can I eat there?
The Longbeach Campground has a few dining options, including the live cooking stations spread out by the beach offering international and local flavors. There’s a soup, salads a BBQ and so much more. A kid’s station is also available for younger hungry campers.
Dining seating is arranged in a beautiful outdoor dining tent decorated. It kind of feels like a wedding set up. White tablecloths, flowers, except your toes are in the sand.
Dinner is served with live entertainment by a saxophonist or violinist.
Everyone who stays will have access to the half board package (dinner and breakfast) with open soft beverages from 2pm to 6pm and house pouring from 7pm to 10pm at the Longbeach pool bar and beach bar. Shisha is also available at an additional cost.
Breakfast timings are from 7am to 9am.
Dinner timings are from 7pm to 9pm
The campground also features Longbeach Pool Bar that offers a la carte options of fresh salads, fresh juices, soothing drinks, appetizers, international main courses and mouthwatering desserts to calm your cravings. A special kid’s menu is designed to cater the littles ones too.
What activities can I do?
This is a totally active weekend, with so much you can do literally every hour. You will not get bored. Longbeach Campground offers sunrise yoga and beach games in the morning like beach volleyball, kayaking, stand up paddle and more. There are jet skis available for rent, or you can just swim in the pool or lay by the beach. Whatever floats your boat.
There’s also a few things you can do on land. I did some pottery and made two pots. Probably the most wholesome thing I’ve ever done. There’s also hand embroidery available and learn how to play the ancient Kalimba instrument at their activity center. Kids can participate in painting classes, sand castle building or take part in a junior chef competition as well as a karate class. Introduce your little ones to lovely animals at the petting zoo and have them ride a pony at the pony enclosure.
The fun continues with a life-sized monopoly, jenga, chess and darts. Adults can also enjoy a relaxing day in the infinity pool, outdoor hot tub or sauna, while children take a splash at the kid’s pool.
At night the campground features a movie at the floating theater with free popcorn and marshmallows that we could roast over an open fire. Kids have their own movie area, where they can enjoy animated films.
Important things to know:
Pack light clothes during the warmer months, as it gets a little hot in the morning when you wake up.
Bring an eye mask, because I think we forget just how early the sun rises. At least I did. Basically note that you are up when the sun is up.
Longbeach campground is only open on weekends. You should definitely book in advance
Standard Check in: 3pm
Standard Check out: 12pm
Children 6 and under stay free
No pets are allowed
Bachelor groups are not allowed on weekends
Extra rate info: An additional child between 0 - 5.99 years old: Free of charge, as they are expected to share the parents mattress or bed)C hildren between 6 - 11.99 years old will cost an additional Dh231 per night per child with extra mattress. 12 years and above cost Dh405 per night per adult with extra mattress
Location: Ras Al Khaimah
Cost: various depends on which tent you choose, but starting from Dh799 per tent
Timings: Longbeach is only open on the weekends. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.