Al Ain to White Sands (Off the Beaten Track)

This route offers another chance to avoid Abu Dhabi when travelling from Al Ain to the Liwa Area. It is less remote than the Al Ain to Himeem Route and takes less time as you emerge on the E65 Al Dhafra-Himeem Road at a truck stop known locally as “White Sands”.

DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS IN A 2WD; 4X4 OR AWD ESSENTIAL!

You will be travelling through a remote area so please ensure you have at least 6 hours food and water with you, as well as a full tank of petrol.  You can stock up on essentials at Al Wagan.  Etisalat subscribers will have full mobile phone coverage over the route and you will pick up a good 3G signal for most of the way, DU subscribers will have patchy cover between Al Qua’a and the end point.

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AAWSWP01

This is near Ain Al Fayda/Wadi Adventure roundabout and from here take the 6-lane streetlit highway south to Al Wagan.

The first 85kms or so are the same as for the Al Ain to Himeem route.

Very soon you will start seeing “Starfish” dunes – pyramidical sand structures which have been formed by winds from various directions and when viewed on google earth appear star shaped.

Note that compared to the barren desertscape on the Omani side of the fence to your left, there are many farms and lush greenery on the UAE side, due to the agricultural programmes.

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This is the last ADNOC Oasis for 150kms so this is your last chance to fuel up – with petrol and café latte until the end of the route!

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Turn right along a 2-way road, signposted “Mafroodah”.  Travel eastwards along this 2-way road which is forged through sabkhas – it is fairly straight and for such a remote road, in good condition.  There are no speed cameras here, however there are occasionally loose camels so be vigilant.  The road is used regularly and should you break down you should not have to wait too long for someone to come along and assist.

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At the end of the road turn right.

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Turn left here, through the gates; the road is now a gatch track.

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It is often used by trucks heading towards Saafa Alma’a, and can be rutted in places.  Geographically it is exposed to the north so can be affected by wind blown sand, and as with all gatch tracks in the area, you should be vigilant for camels wandering around – or even lying – on the roadway.

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AAWSWP05

Turn left here and drive south along a frequently used and subsequently well maintained gatch.

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This waypoint marks a crossroads – there is a fenced area to the left which has a disused security point, another gatch to the south which leads you to a tricky area of dunes.  You should turn right here and drive along another section of oft used gatch; once you reach blacktop then turn right onto the 2-way tarred road.

AAWSWP07

You emerge onto the E65 here; the White Sands Shop and Restaurant are on your left, and 2kms to the south there is a new ADNOC Oasis.

Track – GPX format (Garmin Basecamp)

Track – KML format (Google Earth)

 

 

 

 

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