The multi-purpose camping site surrounds a man-made lake, and a cycling track. Picture used for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Abu Dhabi Government Media Office

Dubai: If you want to experience the great outdoors in the UAE this winter break, Abu Dhabi has an eco-friendly camping and picnic site that is open to everyone.

The Al Wathba Lake Camp was opened to the public in February 2022 by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT).

The site offers free camping spots, a cycling and running lake, and views of a man-made lake and the surrounding desert.


Al Wathba Lake Camp is located in Al Wathba South, which is 50 minutes away from Abu Dhabi City. To reach the campsite, you need to take the E30 road (Al Rawdah Road) from Abu Dhabi City and after you pass the Al Wathba Palace to your right, take the exit directing you towards Razeen Road.

Next, follow the signs for Al Wathba Lake Camp, as there is a separate lane which will take you directly to the area.

Top three activities in Al Wathba Lake Camp

1. Set up a camp

There are 13 separate campsites to choose from, with views of the lake or the desert. You can either set up a tent or use recreational vehicles (RVs) in the area.

2. Picnic sites for visitors

If you aren’t camping, you can still set up a picnic at Al Wathba Lake. There are 25 picnic sites with dedicated areas for barbecues.

3. Cycling and running path

The area also has a 1,400-metre walking and running path around the lake and a 1,200-metre-long cycle track. In addition, there are also two volleyball courts, seven playgrounds and two observation decks to enjoy the views of the reserve.

There are also food trucks and cafes on-site.


The Al Wathba Lake Camp is accessible 24/7 and is open during all days of the week.

Camping do’s and don’ts
- Ensure your phone and additional power banks are charged.
- Pack warm clothes.
- Check your vehicle’s tyre pressures and fluid levels.
- Curate a list of food items and plan your meals in advance.
- Carry all the necessary equipment like tents, sleeping bags, first-aid kit and insect repellent.
- Set up camp in private areas.
- Place your tent at the base of sand dunes.
- Leave food out in the open during the night.
- Use heated equipment inside the tent.