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Desert Driving Areas in the UAE


Frederic

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check the review on google it might help. alternatively you can check the website of Department of culture and tourism 

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On 11/14/2022 at 2:58 PM, Gregory Powell said:

Good point. It’s a long way to go and then find a “no entry” sign!

Any thoughts on how I’d find out in advance?

Lots of development in Dafrah and Sweihat going on so very cautious with the plans … 

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On 1/19/2021 at 10:26 PM, Frederic said:

In the UAE, we have a myriad of terrains to choose from when it comes to desert driving. For many new members who might be asking themselves what the differences actually are, I wanted to compile the most known areas we drive in, and give some information about the area and what you can expect when you join a drive with us in that area. We will be focusing on the sand driving. 

Northern Emirates (UAQ and RAK)

Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah have some very nice areas that we often explore, with plenty of vegetation, wildlife, and the mountains are never far away. On these drives, the emphasis is more on exploration than on the typical dune bashing.

Scenic Score: 95%
Excitement Score: 70%
Versatility Score: 95%

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Fossil Rock - Faya - Sharjah 

From the moment you drive on the Sharjah - Kalba road, you'll see the majestic Fossil Rock mountain on the right hand side. It has got its name due to the ancient fossils that you can find on the rocks, and the surrounding red dunes are a delight to drive. Usually starting from Batayeh-Faya road, the dunes gradually go from small and bushy until you reach the nice open areas with "The Long Lady" as one of the most popular dunes to showcase and practice your sidesloping skills. The cherry on top is the climb on Fossil Rock itself which provides an amazing scenic view on the area and Mleiha town below. A must for every beginner level driver ! To even up the challenge you can take on the nice bowls behind Fossil Rock, or head out to Faya which is also called "The Saddle".

Scenic Score: 90%
Excitement Score: 70%
Versatility Score: 90%

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Pink Rock - Big Red - Sharjah 

Nearby Fossil Rock, you will find Pink Rock, which got its name from the pinkish hue the rocks have. This very popular off-road area is known for the smooth gentle dunes at the start that gradually move to challenging bowls nearby the base of Pink Rock. Climbing Pink Rock is the ideal challenge for beginners and provides a fantastic view as well. From Pink Rock you can head out to Big Red which will up the challenge and entice every level of off-roader. The Big Red area is an off-roader hotspot during the season.

Scenic Score: 80%
Excitement Score: 70%
Versatility Score: 75%

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Bidayer / Area 53 / Schuwaib - Sharjah

This area is not for the faint of heart, and the big dunes will demand you to keep momentum at all times, while the massive hills such as Iftar Bowl and Super Bowl are ultimate play areas one can find in Sharjah. This area tends to be extremely busy during the offroad season.

Scenic Score: 60%
Excitement Score: 80%
Versatility Score: 65%

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Margham / Lahbab - Dubai

A little less known area, but very versatile with nice technical areas, playable bowls, and overall a terrain where any level offroader can practice and hone their skills without encountering too many cross tracks.

Scenic Score: 70%
Excitement Score: 70%
Versatility Score: 75%

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Murquab -  Lisaili - Faqa - Dubai

This area is located on the Dubai-Al Ain road and offers so much. From technical terrain, to the arboretum in Faqa, long range dunes in both Faqa and some areas of Lisaili, and the most amazing creamy dunes below the Maktoum Solar Park which we have now called "Little Sweihan". This area never disappoints and there is a reason we have it on our weekly drives schedules !

Scenic Score: 85%
Excitement Score: 80%
Versatility Score: 95%

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Al Qudra - Dubai

Al Qudra has become one of the most well known Offroad areas in Dubai, mainly due to the close vicinity to the city, but also because of its versatility, nearby facilities (Last Exit, Love Lakes), and the wildlife than can be spotted while off-roading (gazelles, oryx). This area stretches out to Murquab in the East via Al Hathmah area, on to Faqa going South below the Solar Park, and up to the Bab al Shams resort in the West. 

Scenic Score: 85%
Excitement Score: 75%
Versatility Score: 95%

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Sweihan - Abu Dhabi / Al Ain

The Sweihan area in Abu Dhabi has to be experienced, and the proximity to Dubai brings lots of Dubai residents to Sweihan to explore the massive long range dunes and versatile area that has something in store for every off-roader. Sweihan never disappoints and the Nagrah area which alternates between monstrous dunes and deserted sabkhas will leave you hungry for more every single time.

Scenic Score: 80%
Excitement Score: 90%
Versatility Score: 95%

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Al Khatim - Abu Dhabi

A very popular and versatile offroader destination for Abu Dhabi residents with exhilarating dunes and technical areas that will challenge any offroader.

Scenic Score: 80%
Excitement Score: 90%
Versatility Score: 80%

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Wagan / Umm Al Oash / Bu Tais - Abu Dhabi / Al Ain

In search for monstruous dunes where momentum and pace are critical and where your vehicle will be pushed to its limit ? You have come to the right place as this area is spoiled with massive dunes, alternated by long flat sabkhas where you can get your bearings back before heading in again, and again !

Scenic Score: 95%
Excitement Score: 100%
Versatility Score: 80%

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Liwa Madinat Zayed - Abu Dhabi

The Madinat Zayed area is famous for its Yellow Water Truck, which was left behind many years back, but no-one really knows how it got there. This area is consisting of massive dunes, and you can easily scale the level up or down in this area based on the convoy you bring there. From this place onwards and further down south into Liwa Crescent you will feel like you are on a different planet.

Scenic Score: 90%
Excitement Score: 100%
Versatility Score: 90%

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Liwa Crescent - Abu Dhabi

Seeing LIWA for the first time will leave you astonished, baffled, and beyond comprehension. From Himeem in the East, to Khanoor in the West, this whole area is filled with some of the biggest dunes on this planet, massive slipfaces that will make you shiver when descending, and extremely technical dunes that will require your utmost focus. This area is unforgettable and every off-roader should have this on his bucket list ! 

Scenic Score: 100%
Excitement Score: 100%
Versatility Score: 100%

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Is there any update on the information contained here?

We are looking for some barbeque+ camping sites where  newbies can ventures 

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@Harshal, as areas go, the above still stand true. There have been changes in the Fossil Rock area due to fencing for conservation efforts but by and large, still mostly true.

Dubai’s #DubaiDestinations program has released an “Ultimate Camping & Picnic Guide” yesterday. You check it out here: https://www.dubaidestinations.ae/guides/4/2.pdf

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Thanks for sharing this synopsis @Frederic.  Spot on for the places I've seen already. My first times in Abu Dhabi Sweihan were breathtaking and an exhilarating face paced drive. There are still a few spots on here I have yet to explore including a Liwa trip this year.

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