Most of my favourite places in Oman and the UAE feature sand desert, yet the desolation and (perceived) danger of the Umm As Sameem keeps drawing me back – I have visited every year since I first “discovered” it back in 2012. I am sure there is nowhere quite like it on earth – a massive sabkah gradually being encroached on by the huge red sand dunes of the Rub Al Khali, the Empty Quarter.
If a group is properly prepared then crossing it should present no risk to travelers, however the bedu of yesteryear had no satphones, gps or backup supplies – they had to take their chances when negotiating The Mother of All Poisons and their tales of sinking sands and disappearing goats still linger today.
Even in modern times it can catch people out and it’s worth reading traveler, writer and photographer extraordinaire, Pinaki’s, account of when he nearly lost his life in this area.
But don’t let that put you off as there is safety in numbers and we plan to have at least six cars on our expedition. We are experts in our field when it comes to driving and navigation; are first aid trained, carry satphones, and have local contacts so we can assure our guests of a safe trip.
You will need a 4WD, AWD or 4×4 to accompany us, as although it is mainly track based there are some sections of easy sand driving.
The expedition has been timed to take advantage of the Islamic New Year Holiday – in the unlikely event that there is no public holiday on the Sunday then we will adjust the trip timings so we do not need to cancel it.
If you can’t make out the slides below clearly, just click on each individual one for a larger view. Have I missed anything out? Is there too much information? Your feedback will be appreciated, thank you.
Download the presentation in PDF form by clicking on the link below