Whether you’re visiting the UAE for a holiday, or you’re lucky enough to be a resident, you can’t escape the attraction of off-road adventuring. With vast, expansive deserts, rolling dunes, and the challenges offered by mountains and wadi’s, the UAE is a playground for those who want to experience the adrenaline rush that only going off-road can supply.
However, there’s more to it than white-knuckle thrills. For many people, taking the path less travelled is a great way to restore mind, body, and soul. Pack a tent, some camping equipment, and some good food and you can surround yourself with the silence of the sands and sleep under the stars. With the UAE’s incredible variety of desert and mountain wildlife, you’re never far from a memorable encounter. Let’s have a look at the 10 best off-roading locations in the UAE.
1) Fossil Rock. If you’ve never been off-roading before, or are still a beginner, head towards Al Malaiha. The copper-coloured sands and looming rock formations are a great place to start.
2) Awafi. Located close to Ras Al Khaimah, Awafi is ideal for families who like to off-road together. You’ll find some challenging dunes, lush forests, plenty of wildlife, and some excellent spots for a picnic.
3) Moreeb Dune. Definitely one for advanced off-road drivers and only the best off-road vehicles, the Moreeb Dune stands over 300m high. You’ll find it on the fringes of the Liwa Oasis. It’s partly accessible via the Tal Mireb Road.
4) Jabal Yibir. Towering over the surrounding Hajar Mountain, Jabal Yibir is the UAE’s highest point. A drive for experienced off-road enthusiasts, the tracks and paths are fairly challenging, but those who make it to the summit will be rewarded with unparalleled views of the desert and mountain ranges. The sunset from the top is breath-taking, so don’t forget to pack your camera.
5) Hameem Loop. Around two hours from Abu Dhabi, the Hameem Loop is ideal for those who’ve got a bit of experience under their belts but aren’t seasoned dune-bashers. Once you’ve had your car safety check, pack your camping gear and head out across the desert for a night under the canvas.
6) Al Khazna. Slightly closer to Abu Dhabi, Al Khazna is a testing off-road experience. The desert sands are riddled with peaks and troughs, giving you the chance to push your driving skills to the limit.
7) Umm al Oush. Not far from Al Khazna, the Umm al Oush trail is definitely one for seasoned sand fans. With dunes reaching heights of around 250m, there are plenty of thrills on offer. The desert is ideal for camping and be sure to pack a camera.
8) Wadi Asimah. For stunning scenery, green forests, expansive sands, and a less-challenging drive, head to Wadi Asimah. Located close to the Jiri Plain, it’s ideal for novice drivers who want to get some practice in, or take the family for a fun day out.
9) Masafi. Another mountain drive, Masafi is a village situated on the outskirts of the Hajar Mountains. To get there, you’ll need to negotiate some winding mountain roads riddled with hairpin bends and some sharp inclines. The village is the perfect place to stop for a break and soak up the scenery.
10) Liwa. The Liwa Crossing is for hardcore enthusiasts only. With some of the biggest dunes in the UAE, and a travel time of around two days, make sure you’re prepared for all eventualities.
If you’re considering going off-road, either as a beginner or a seasoned adventurer, bring your car into an Al-Futtaim Fastfit for a complete car check before you head out. Ensure you and your vehicle are ready for any challenge, and if you’re not sure what to check or would like some advice on the best bits of equipment to take with you, come and talk to us at Al-Futtaim Fastfit and we’ll make sure you’re adventure-ready!