A Quick Guide to Off Roading in Dubai
Out of all the things Dubai is known for – one important thing is the Off-roading culture or off roading adventure sports.
Dubai is host to different Off roading events throughout the year and is known across the world for the amazing terrains for off-roading adventures. Tourists from across the globe come by Dubai adding off-roading as one of the priorities to experience.
The off-roading culture in Dubai is so huge because of the Dessert train and the rocky mountains. And the dunes in the desert make it even more interesting.
Here’s what the popular off-roader says about off roading in Dubai “It is a soulful experience”
Different Off Roading sports in Dubai
The desserts are known for the dunes. The dunes of the desert are formed when the sand deposits on top of each other because of the wind. Dune bashing is one of the most popular off-roading sports in Dubai.
What makes Dune bashing interesting? You have to drive at increasing speed and decrease the speed according to the dunes. It gets even more interesting because the sand surface keeps on sliding.
Off road racing is a popular form of racing, not just in Dubai, but across the world. The longest off-road race is the Vegas to Reno race in the US which goes as long as 1000 miles! And, there are short course off-roading races too.
Off roading racing events for professionals are held in the Liwa in Dubai. But apart from the professional races, amateurs, and off roading clubs also have fun at the different off roading trails.
Another form of off road racing is on rocky surfaces like mountains.
Cross country off-roading is based on long routes and lasts for several days. In normal dune bashing, you plan your trip according to the main dunes or some obstacle. But when in cross country you go along with the undiscovered routes and enjoy the thrill as you go.
To have a cross country off roading experience in Dubai, you need to know professional off roading and you should be prepared with maps, mobile chargers, compass, and extra tires.
As we discussed earlier, off- roading is not just about riding in deserts, it is about driving on rocky surfaces too. Rock crawling is an off roading experience on mountains and rocky terrains. And, the good news is that Dubai caters to both desserts off roaders and rocks off roaders.
Although you need to be extra careful about having the right vehicle with the rocky terrain. The suspensions, tires, and engine need to be well maintained. You also need to have a strong and solid front axle for a good off roading experience in rock crawling.
Mudding and mud plugging
Mudding and mud plugging off-roading is probably the oldest form of motorsport which is done even today. The history goes back to the 1920s.
The fun and thrill in mudding are to cross the decided routes without getting stuck in the wet mud. This form of off-roading sport is more common in the US and UK. There is very little chance that you could experience Off road mudding in Dubai, as the Dubai is land of deserts and the sand in Deserts get easy to ride in wetness, it doesn’t cater to what we call a good mudding trail.
There are other forms of off-roading sport too, but these are the most popular off roading adventure sports in Dubai.
Now, let us discuss some of the most popular off roading trails in Dubai.
Popular Trails for Off Roading in Dubai (and UAE)
There are numerous trails for excellent off-roading experience in Dubai.
Let us discuss some of the most popular off roading trails that will definitely make your adventure extremely exciting.
Liwa is located near Abu Dhabi, at Al Gharbia. Liwa is popular because it is the largest Oasis of the UAE. The area is stretched across 100 KM east to west. Liwa is home to many exciting off-roading events including off-road car racing and camel racing. Moreover, you can find your perfect vehicle here, there are multiple private organisers offering services for off roading in this region. Thousands of tourists visit Liwa throughout the year.
Masafi could be found at the edge of the Hajar Mountains. The village is partly in Fujairah and partly in Ras Al Khaimah. You’ll find trails of twisty mountains. The experience is quite thrilling and is bound to boost your adrenaline. There are easier routes for other tourist spots from Masafi like Siji, Dragon mart, and Khorfakkan. If you’re planning a trip to Masafi you’ll first have to go to Dibba and then proceed to the road towards Masafi. You’ll also find other beautiful experiences such as Masafi like springs of fresh sweet water and traditional food.
Bidayer (Big Red desert)
Bidayer is also called the Big Red desert. The desert is located between Sharjah and Dubai. You’ll have to plan your route through Hatta Road. The Bidayer is a huge, beautiful dessert open for anyone. It is popular for bashing dunes. But the dunes here are not harsh for new off roaders – they are easy even for the amateurs. You’ll not just find cars off roading here, but the place is filled with motorists and quad bikers trying out tricks and having fun.
If you’re planning to go away from the city, but not so far that you’ll lose out on the activities. You will get to experience an amazing view of nature and have fun with the accessible activities. You can enjoy hill climbing and Paragliding here. And if you feel like hiking or mountain biking you could go towards the Hajar Mountains. And if you want to enjoy even further there is kayaking in the nearby Hatta Dam.
Wadi Asimah is one of the most beginner-friendly off roading trails in the UAE. Asimah is located on the road passing between Jiri plain, it is between Manama and Ras Al Khaimah. The trail will connect you to Tayyibah Wadis. And, Tayyibah Wadi is also among the off roading trails to carry on your adventure, if you wish to.
If you’re a history geek you’ll also find a museum in Ras Al Khaimah, it is a recommended visit.
Best Cars for Off Roading in Dubai
Some of the most used cars for off roading in Dubai are as follows:
- Jeep Wrangler
- Toyota Land Cruiser
- Toyota Prado
- Nissan Patrol
- Mitsubishi Pajero
- Land Rover Discovery
- Ford F-150 Raptor
- Mercedes-Benz G-Class
- Land Rover Defender
- Dodge Ram
- Nissan Armada
- Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
- Ford Bronco
- Nissan Titan Pro-4X
- Lexus LX570
- Ram Power Wagon
- Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro
- Bowler Bulldog
- Jeep Gladiator Mojave
Please note: These cars are in no particular order or ranking.
Guidelines to take care of while Off Roading in Dubai
Off roading is a heck of an adventure but it is not a piece of cake. Everyone can’t go off-roading. That’s the harsh truth. You need to follow some basic guidelines to get your car in the off-roading zone
Have a Driving licence
If you’re driving in Dubai or any other country for that matter, you need to have a driving licence. Having a driving licence gives clarity that you are competent to drive. When off-roading, driving is difficult because you need to have a licence.
If you are a tourist and you have an international driving licence you can go off roading in Dubai.
Have well maintained off roading vehicle
Make sure that you have a vehicle that is well maintained. Please take note that there is more stress on the vehicle engine and other parts while off roading. Your car might overheat, might consume more fuel and it could get a rough ride for your car. So please have a well-maintained vehicle, especially check if the tires are worn out, brakes, cooling system, engine oil, and the car suspensions.
Have another off roading car come along
When you are going on trails that can take you deep into the desert, you never know (God forbid) if your car might break down or if any other problems occur. So please have another off-roading car come along with you. Especially if you are a beginner off roader.
Important and essential things to carry during your off roading adventure:
- Spare tires
- First Aid Kit
- Updated GPS
- Portable Mobile Charger
- Physical Copy of Map
- Extra Fuel
- Jumper Cables
- Car Jack
- A wooden board to hold the jack in sand
- deflating device
- Tow Rope
- Air compressor
- Foot Pump
Some Popular Off Roading Clubs in Dubai (and UAE)
There are many groups and clubs you can join in to find your tribe and tune in with them as you bash the dunes.
Here are some of the popular off roading clubs in Dubai
Here’s the link to their website: https://dubaioffroaders.com/web/
Here’s the link to their website: https://almost4x4.com/forum/
Here’s the link to their website: https://www.uaeoffroaders.com/
Here’s the link to their website: https://www.emiratesoffroaders.com/
Here’s the link to their website: https://desertfellas.com/
Here’s the link to their website: https://www.uaedeserthawks.com/
Here’s the link to their website: https://4x4gulf.com/
Here’s the link to their website: https://carnity.com/
And, there are more.
Off roading is definitely a thrilling experience. Whether you are a tourist or a resident, you should go off roading for a good break. As the off roaders say, off-roading is not just an adventure, it is a way of life.
Please make sure that you follow the rules and guidelines and keep the desert and the mountains clean. Make sure that your car is well maintained.