The Essence of Life
The supply of water has always been the chief limiting factor on life in the Arabian deserts. However, for Abu Dhabi the water is best and most plentiful in the Liwa desert, where it is found chiefly on the north side of the depressions at the foot of the dunes, at depths of between one and 25 meters.
The best water is usually found in the deepest wells (which are hardest to dig). Sweet water floats on the top of salt, which meant that often only a limited supply of usable water could be drawn off at any one time.
Today, the water in Liwa is primarily used to support the date plantations and domestic animals (mainly camels).
Seeing the Liwa Oasis for the first time is like a mirage amidst the sweeping dunes. Its lush presence is such a contrast that it leaves you utterly baffled. That is until you learn that Liwa Oasis owes its existence to an underground river flowing for more than 130 km (80 miles).