After the success of our inaugural expedition to the Rub Al Khali and Umm As Sameem, we are pleased to announce our next one which will be on 18th/19th November 2016. Everyone had a great time on our first expedition but we as organisers learned a few things and have tweaked the itinerary and our package to give our guests the best possible experience.
Most of our guests came from the UAE (one drove all the way from Qatar!) and their availability was very much dependent on the public holiday that would be given for the Islamic New year; so with this in mind we have modified the itinerary so it can be done in a “normal” weekend yet covering a large area in two whole days rather than one and two half days! Oman will be celebrating their 46th National Day on 18th November so we hope that some Oman based guests will be able to join us.
The self-drive package will include a night’s bed and breakfast in the Ibri Oasis Hotel for the 17th November; guests can arrive at any time in the evening; if they arrive before 2130 hrs then they will find Neil and I serving ghawa and dates at the hotel majlis!
Last time we set off on the Friday at 1130 hrs but this time we will have an early breakfast (0630 hrs) and hit the road at 0730 hrs. We will drive through progressively barren terrain until we reach the Umm As Sameem; and we will make a few stops for photos and to pick up some salt crust.
Here’s a few photos of our last convoy crossing the Umm As Sameem – the wonderful panoramic pictures of our convoy were taken by the multi-talented Sarah Brooks and the others either by myself or Ahmed Al Mansouri.
On arrival at the temporary camp which will be assembled by our partners at Ibex Adventures we will reduce the weight in our cars by dropping off our camping gear and also our extra petrol; we will then have a light lunch before heading off into the dunes around 1400hrs for an offroad drive through the most spectacular of dunescapes.
Returning to our camp at approx 1730 hrs we will prepare our tents for night and then sit round the campfire and eat, talk and skywatch. Next morning we will have our breakfast as the sun is rising, pack up our cars and head northwards at 0830 hrs.
The plan is to explore some of the south eastern edges of the Umm As Sameem; there is a huge rocky outcrop worth a look as well as a few “christmas trees” dotted around. We will eat our packed lunches on the top of the plateau overlooking the Umm As Sameem, before airing up our tyres and returning to the road at Al Ghaba by 1500 hrs.
On our first trip we gave our guests the choice of guide only/guide plus food or guide plus food plus camping equipment rental. We discovered that it is not feasible, either logistically or financially for us to offer all options on one trip therefore on trip RAKUAS #002 we will offer the full food package only. (At a later date, probably early next year and if there is sufficient demand, then we will offer a “guide only” option.) The cost for a car plus driver is 1600aed (which includes the Ibri Hotel stay); the charge for passengers is 600aed; children aged 8 and over are welcome and their charge will be 500aed.
If you would like to join our next expedition to the Umm As Sameem please email marina at desertdivaevents.com or call/whatsapp Marina on +971 509 478563. This trip will go ahead once we have 8 guest cars signed up and there will be a maximum of 16 cars plus 2 support on the trip. There are tour operators across the Gulf which take a great many cars on their trips at a lower cost yet we believe that our Empty Quarter experience would be somewhat diluted by taking 50-100 people there, hence our focus on small groups!
Here are some quotes from our guests
“Couldn’t wait to hit the dunes but as we arrived at the campsite the view was just marvelous. The beautiful sunset was just too mesmerizing. Perfect campsite.”
“Absolutely spectacular location. The whole experience was stunning and very, very positively memorable. Never to be forgotten”
You can read all about our upcoming trip by downloading this powerpoint.