LIWA OASIS (وَاحَـة لِـيْـوَا)

We drove around a 150 km arc of villages and farms for two days. The Liwa Oasis hugs the edge of the Rub Al Khali (Empty Quarter) desert – an endless landscape of undulating dunes shimmering in shades of gold, apricot, and pink. We stopped next to a few fortresses scattered throughout the oasis that once helped guard the area against attack by rival tribes. One of them was Dhafeer Fort. There’s nothing to see inside, but it was worth a quick stop to climb the stairs to the roof for views of the surrounding dunes and to get an idea of the region’s 19th-century mud-brick architecture.