As a passionate camper for more than 10 years, I can provide some advice regarding camping in Saudi Arabia.
Camping in Saudi Arabia will be one of those memorable experiences you could never forget.
The only place you can camp in Saudi Arabia is the Asir National Park, one of the greatest national parks in the world. The place has no electricity, water or modern conveniences but camping here is free.
The Empty Quarter is open up for explorers, camping in the desert is popular because you could never get bored in a place like that. You can ride camels, sand board down the dunes or just relax and enjoy the serenity and the vastness of a place that not many people have seen.
There are some things one has to know if he wants to travel in the Empty Quarter. First of all, it is necessary to first get permission from the National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development because the Empty Quarter is a protected area. The permission can easily be obtained and you don’t have to pay for it.
In my view, the Empty Quarter is not for Sunday drivers and even the most professional desert drivers can meet with difficulties in unknown terrain.
There are some rules you have to follow (even though it may sound a bit difficult, anyone that has ventured into the silence of the desert will tell you it’s worth the effort). The first rule is never to begin the new venture on your own.
You have to make sure someone knows where you are going and when you are going to return. Remember, you are going in the desert. You should make sure you bring a hat, a pair of sunglasses, light clothes for the day and warm clothes for the cold nights.
Don’t forget to take a comprehensive tool and first-aid kit. Another suggestion for the amateur desert campers – plan your desert trip for the winter, it is the perfect time for it, it’s rather undesirable to take it in the summer when campers could die of heat prostration if they don’t take certain measures. Treat this as an Outdoor adventure and not like an “Indiana Jones” movie.
Camping in the Empty Quarter was a kind of religious experience to me and I strongly recommend novice and experienced campers to take advantage of a unique environment, to see the animals of the desert, to hear the haunting sounds of the dry and whistling winds.
The experience is something out of an adventure book, deeply anchored in the reality of that part of nature where survival is a battle with life and odds and when you can meet your true self. If you ever thought that camping is something corny, the Saudi Arabia will for sure change your mind.
The trip has left me speechless with the clear night sky of the desert, the jackal calls in the night air, the perfect silence of the morning when the only thing connecting me to reality was the wind telling about the Arabian Nights stories of my childhood.
An old native told me when I was buying water that the desert will make me a different person and I must say it did more than that.