Thursday, June 08, 2023 | Dhu al-Qaadah 18, 1444 H
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The dome rooms of Bidiya allow for a million-stars experience in the desert


Erin Coyle

There's something about the desert that allows one to forget about problems and stress. When thinking about staying in the desert, tents and sleeping bags may come to mind. However, a new camping style allows for a million-stars experience in Bidiya.

Starry Domes Desert Camp features dome-shaped rooms complete with a bathroom and shower, a king bed and two chairs to enjoy the sunrise in the morning. You do not even have to leave the room to watch the sunrise; open the curtain, and it is right in front of you. The outside of the dome has two lounge chairs, a small table with two chairs, and a sitting area on the sand with cushions and a small white net on either side of two sticks that make this look like a teepee.

There is a wooden swing to relax on. There's also a traditional wooden door next to a reflection mirror for picture lovers. Do not miss a chance to take a picture in front of the mirror. Sunrise is the best time because of the lighting. The reflection plus the golden colour sand with a hint of yellow coming from the sun makes for a nice shot.

Guests can order dinner and breakfast on-site for a small fee, or bringing your food is also an option. Dinner can be grilled chicken and bbq meat with salad and hummus. The breakfast menu includes a choice of french toast, fava beans, eggs, pita bread and croissants.

The best time to arrive is late afternoon. Take in the red and beige sand ripples and climb up a small hill to appreciate the sunset. The domes have lights around the sitting areas when it gets dark, making this another chance for good pictures. There is also a zipline, so make sure to try it when you come.

Salim bin Mohammed al Hajri, the owner, has thought of everything for guests to feel at ease. The rooms also have ACs, hot water and heaters when it gets cold. There are even toiletries in the bathroom. He said he wanted to make these domes so visitors could have a five-star stay in the desert while feeling very comfortable and relaxed. He has provided a unique experience and makes guests feel at home.

It is so peaceful looking at the stars at night while sitting in a lounge chair outside. I recommend bringing cards or any game for night-time. The rooms also have chips and biscuits, but getting extra snacks is good.

The Mars and Venus rooms currently hold two people, while the Jupiter room has a small jacuzzi. A small camping mattress is also an option for an additional person to share the space. The domes are about 100 metres from each other, feeling like you have the place to yourself.

A four-wheel drive is needed. However, guests can be picked up in Bidiya and taken to the site for an additional fee. Choose the desert crossing option so the driver can take you up and down the dunes. Have cameras ready to take some pictures of camels.

The rooms sell out quickly, so book as soon as possible. Weekend prices are RO 70 for Mars and Venus, while Jupiter costs RO 90. Transportation is RO 25 for the desert crossing option or RO 20 without the crossing. Check Instagram @starry.domes for booking and other information.

It is worth visiting and staying at this site. For those wanting a desert experience without the hassle of having to bring camping gear, make sure to check this out. It has all the amenities while still providing the chance of a magical night in the desert that allows for all worries to go away.

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