liwa desert safari

List of Off-Roading Locations in UAE

List of Off-Roading Locations in UAE
By Robeena Brown

Febraury 13, 2023 | 13 min read

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For decades, the sand dunes and rocky terrains have attracted nature enthusiasts for off-roading driving in different parts of the UAE.

Off-roading is a popular weekend activity for tourists and ex-pats living in the United Arab Emirates on a uae visit visa. It doesn't matter if it's in the desert or the rugged mountainous regions; off-roading is popular everywhere.

Experienced drivers and starters can choose from a wide selection of courses, one of the primary factors contributing to off-roading popularity among residents in the UAE.

When the winter season arrives, expert off-roaders head out to explore the farthest parts of the UAE. However, inexperienced drivers will find plenty of places to get out on the beaten track with little effort and enjoy the beautiful sandy playgrounds the UAE offers.

When the winter season arrives, expert off-roaders head out to explore the farthest parts of the UAE. However, inexperienced drivers will find plenty of places to get out on the beaten track with little effort and enjoy the beautiful sandy playgrounds the UAE offers.

Continue reading to learn the list of off-roading locations in UAE which are ideal for confronting the stunning scenery of the UAE. These locations include hidden jewels and routes designed exclusively for beginners.


Liwa


Liwa

The Liwa Desert is a well-known desert known for its difficult terrain. It’s a great place for experienced off-roaders to get together and test their skills.

Liwa is where most liwa desert camp in the Arab Emirates happen because it has the most beautiful dunes.

You won't have trouble finding suitable four-wheel drives and other off-road equipment in the area because private organizers make them easy to find.

You won't have trouble finding suitable four-wheel drives and other off-road equipment in the area because private organizers make them easy to find.

Since millions of people visit this interesting place every year, you can be sure that you will never be here alone.


Fossil Rock


Fossil Rock

You can get to this beautiful place, which is officially called Jebel Maleihah, by leaving Sharjah and heading toward Kalba.

One of the best things about this place is that it is possible to find marine fossils. Millions of years ago, the Tethys Ocean covered a large part of what is now Arabia.

Fossil Rock has some beautiful scenery. Most of the fossils there are thought to be more than 80 million years old. To get to your destination, you will need to take the Dubai-Hatta route to Al Awir.

Once you get to Fossil Rock, take a moment to sit among fossils that are more than a million years old and enjoy the clear blue sky, rocky hills, and pure desert sand in one of the UAE's natural wonders. People think Fossil Rock is one of the World's Seven Wonders.


Al Madam


Al Madam

For decades now, Al Madam, the village has remained abandoned, and no one knows why the village was left behind, and a lot of it was buried in the sand.

The trip is worth seeing how the desert has taken over the houses. The area is right on the border between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, so it is easy to get to.

This neighborhood was built in the 1970s as part of a housing project. It is now known as "Madam Ghost Town," a cute name.

You will find that each house is the same as the others. The settlement is just two rows of identical houses and a mosque in one of the corners.

People in the village say that the Al Kutbi tribe used to live there. One of the three most important tribes that live in and around Al Madam is the Al Kutbi tribe. Sharjah is in charge of Al Madam, which is a small town.

A story told from generation to generation says that the people who lived in the village left because of the jinn. Jinns are supernatural beings that Muslims believe are real, but humans can't see.


Masafi


Masafi

Masafi is located in the Hajar Mountain Range. This region is split between the Emirate of Ras al Khaimah and Fujairah.

This region is surrounded by mountains known for their fresh, sweet water springs. Because of this, many people go there to do off-road driving, making it a very popular place to go.

Their state-of-the-art facilities were built with one goal: to give guests a taste of real luxury on a level they've never felt before.


Khatt Mountains


Khatt Mountains

During the winter, the Khatt Mountains are a great spot for a day off-roading trip. When snow and ice have been cleared from a path, it is much easier to enjoy the natural scenery.

Even though the mountain route isn't too steep, it has some bumpy spots that can make it hard for people not used to drive off-road to find their way.

If you have never driven off-road, you should sign up for one of our Desert Driving courses in Dubai. This will make it easy for you to get around this terrain and travel through areas full of history with the lush plants and animals typical of this part of the Arabian Peninsula.

There are ruins of old buildings and historic sites all along the trail, making it worth it for people to come from far away to see all the excitement.


Wadi Shawka


Wadi Shawka

Due to its closeness to Dubai (only 45 minutes away), Wadi Shawka has become a favorite place for many UAE residents who want to get away from the busy city for off-roading.

You can also opt for mountain climbing or mountain biking on certain trails, visit the Shawka dam, and have a playground for kids.

You can also opt for mountain climbing or mountain biking on certain trails, visit the Shawka dam, and have a playground for kids.


Wadi Naqab


Wadi Naqab

If you pay attention to the weather forecast or not, a mountain range in Ras Al Khaimah that goes into Oman can be a great place to spend the weekend off-roading.

Even though many wadis are waiting to be explored, Wadi Naqab has a special place in our hearts. This is because Wadi Naqab has a little bit of everything, including things to do that are good for families with young children.

There are also several hiking trails for people who want more adventure. But you should know that this area is prone to flash flooding, so check the weather forecast before heading out on a trail.


Wadi Sal


Wadi Sal

Driving to and through Wadi Sal is difficult and dangerous, and the long, mountainous terrain requires a lot of experience.

The Wadi Sal trail is one of the most exciting roads; only experienced drivers should take it. This is a hard, winding path that goes all the way to the top of the mountain.

Even though it looks like a normal route, it is very dangerous and requires a very high level of driving skills. Also, if you want to drive through the whole valley, you'll need some essential off-roading gear.


Wadi Madha


Wadi Madha

There are some nice hiking trails in the mountains, but people should avoid coming during the rainy months.

If you want a fun and safe vacation, the best time to go is between October and April, when it doesn't rain.

The enclave of Wadi Madha is in Oman, but a part of it is on the east coast of the United Arab Emirates.

Because the dry and uneven land is a great place to go dune bashing, you can find several natural water pools in this area.

If you like photography and have certain skills, Madha is a great place to visit soon. From the eastern coast of the UAE, you would want to go inland on route E99 to get to Madha.

You can get to the Omani checkpoint by taking a road in the direction of the mountain range but perpendicular to it.
You don't need a visa to get into the area, so that you can go through this checkpoint without trouble.
Off-roading is always a dangerous type of motorsport, but the conditions in the UAE make it much more dangerous.
Before going on such an adventure, you should make a lot of preparations.
Make sure you always have food and items for first aid with you. The second good idea is to travel with someone experienced off-road driver.


Big Red Desert


Big Red Desert

Hatta Road takes you straight to Big Red, right on the border between Sharjah and Dubai (E44). It is a beautiful open dessert that anyone can get to anytime.

As you get farther away from the city, you'll notice that the rich red color of the desert gets even stronger.

After that, you'll get to Big Red, a beautiful desert far away from Dubai's noise and a popular place to sandboard down dunes. This is one of the best places in the United Arab Emirates to go dune bashing.

At this place, you can always find people looking for a rush of adrenaline. This desert has the easiest dunes that people of all skill levels can ride, making it a great place for sandboarding competitions.

Especially on weekends and holidays, the area is full of drivers who want to show how good they are at the latest tricks for motorbikes, buggies, quad bikes, and jeeps.


Al Faya Desert


Al Faya Desert

You can reach the beautiful Al Faya Desert by taking the Sharjah-Kalba Road toward the east-coast caves. The sand in this desert is known for its red color.

Because it has bigger dunes than Al Bidayer, drivers of all skill levels, from beginners to pros, like to go there.

Most people agree that this is where you can find the biggest dunes to ride down. That's why it's also called "Big Fall." Tourists often come here to set up their tents and sleep outside under the stars.


Lahbab Desert


Lahbab Desert

Lahbab is well-known for the breathtaking red sands that can be seen there, and it is a common destination for new campers during the evening hours.

Hiking starts in the vicinity of the recognizable Fossil Rock, which is also an excellent location for stargazing.

The best activity for the current weather is to have a BBQ, and dune bashers will enjoy the challenge of climbing the "Big Red," which is a dune that is 300 feet high.

You might also go to the quiet village of Madam, which is located just before the Hatta border crossing, to find other camping spaces. You might find some wandering camels from local farms to keep you company.


Sweihan


Sweihan

Even though Sweihan is technically part of Abu Dhabi, it is on the border between Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Al Ain.

Sweihan is sometimes called "Little Liwa" because it is where people who want to learn Liwa go to train.

Sweihan is different from all the other deserts. Because it has big dunes and soft sand, only experienced drivers should go there.

If you have the right maps and GPS equipment, you can see a lot of camels and lone Emiratis with their falcons in this area.

If you love dune bashing, you should go to the Naqrah dune deep in the Sweihan desert. At least once, you should try to climb this dune.


Masfout


Masfout

The surprising coolness of the United Arab Emirates' smallest emirate, Ajman, is a nice change from the noise and heat of the capital. Masfout is a city about two hours from Ajman.

This area is higher up and farther from the city center, so it has cooler weather and less pollution in the air. It's also a pleasant two-hour drive from the city center.

The countryside of Ajman is surprisingly rough, which makes it a great place to go off-roading. Before the city was built, leopards, gazelles, and foxes used to live in this area. This is why the background is so lush and beautiful with plants and animals.


Al Khaznah


Al Khaznah

Between Al Ain and Abu Dhabi, a stretch of desert is great for off-roaders because it has a clear view of the desert and doesn't have many cars.

But if you have never been off-roading, you should go with at least two other vehicles and no more than three.

Also, ensure you bring warm clothes because the temperatures drop a lot at night, which can cause severe chills.


Tips for Off-Road Driving


Off-road driving may be a lot of fun, but to ensure everyone's safety, the driver has to be aware of the capabilities and limitations of both the vehicle and themselves.

If you can avoid making mistakes while off-roading, you'll have more time to enjoy the adventure and less time to address problems. The following are tips for off-road driving.

Reduce Tire Pressure

By reducing the pressure in your tires, you can increase the surface area of your tires, allowing you to more easily navigate sandy terrain while maintaining a stronger grip on rocky ground.

Keep Momentum

It is essential to maintain your momentum when off-roading to make it across and over the rough and steep sections.

You may maintain your momentum by driving slower, planning ahead, and operating your engine within the power range it was designed for.

Avoid Spinning Your Tires

When you're not moving forward, spinning your tires will dig you into a deeper hole that will be more difficult to get out of, and you run the chance of puncturing your tire on jagged rocks.

Always Maintain Safe Distances

Maintaining a comfortable distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you is essential, but this becomes even more critical when driving in a desert or on the slopes of a mountain.

Don't Be Too Aggressive

You should not speed to get past an obstacle when off-road driving. When you drive too fast, you put too much stress on the car, making it more likely to get damaged.

If a steep drop on the other side of the incline is covered in mud, the vehicle may lose control because it is going too fast.

The right plan would be to move at a fast enough speed to reach the peak but not so fast that it made the next challenge impossible to overcome.

Prepare The Vehicle

Off-roading is a fun adventure that needs a lot of planning to be successful. Before you leave a paved road, it's a good idea to make a list and check everything carefully. The most important parts are the tires and all of the fluids.

The coolant level needs to be kept at the right level. If the car needs new oil, you should change it before you leave.

Be Flexible

When you go off-roading, you should be ready for things like broken vehicle parts, changing weather, unexpected road closures, and other problems you didn't expect.

When something unexpected comes up, it's best to be flexible, change plans as needed, and deal with things as they arise.