The paved road out to the Moreeb Dune (Tal Moreeb) is a decent taster of desert scenery if you don't have a 4WD. This is the edge of the beautiful but fearsome Rub Al Khali and undulating, orange sand-dune fields rim both sides of the road along the route. The bitumen runs out at the foot of Tal Moreeb (the name translates as 'scary mountain'), one of the world's tallest dunes, soaring almost 300m high.

The area directly under the dune is unfortunately rather built up, with a camel race track and various buildings and porta-cabins that are used in the annual Liwa Sports Festival, which spoils any romantic ideal of desert panoramas you may have had. Still, the dune scenery along the way out here makes the visit more than worthwhile. If you want more than this tantalising glimpse of desert majesty, you're going to need a 4WD.

To get to Moreeb Dune, turn left at the second roundabout, about 5km west of central Mezairaa, and keep right when you reach the old Liwa Resthouse building. Continue along this well-signposted, paved road for about 20 minutes; signs will say 'Moreeb Dune' or 'Tal Mireb'. The dune is where the road ends – you can't miss it!

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby attractions

1. Dhafeer Fort

10.47 MILES

This modest fort is one of a handful of strongholds scattered throughout the oasis that once helped guard the area from attack by rival tribes. There's…