The last public holiday before the summer is to celebrate Israa Wal Miraj (The Prophet’s Acension) and although it is likely to fall on Monday 24th April (subject to moon sighting) the UAE has already declared Sunday 23rd to be a day off for all government sector workers. Why not make the most of your time off by crossing the border and joining us for a 2-night 2-centre camping trip? Starting near to the Mezyad border (Oman side), the trip will conclude when we return you to road 21 (Al Ain to Ibri highway) on Sunday.
The package includes –
- Friday afternoon 3.5 hour (approx.) self-drive offroad trip in the stunning Starfish dunes
- Friday evening BBQ and campfire
- Saturday morning – Breakfast
- Offroad drive back out of the desert and towards the mountains
- Saturday afternoon exploration trip over Wadi Hibi and Yanquil – using quiet roads but including some track driving. It may be possible to swim.
- Saturday evening camp supper
- Sunday morning stroll
Please note – apart from initial set off time, times are approximate
Friday 21st April 2017
- 1300hrs meet, briefing, preparation
- 1330hrs sand dune drive
- 1630hrs set up camp
- 2000hrs bbq dinner and campfire
Saturday 22nd April 2017
- 0730hrs Coffee/juice and breakfast bars
- 0830hrs strike camp and drive offroad back to the road
- 1000hrs reinflate and relocate to Wadi Hibi
- 1300hrs explore Wadi and oasis of Yanquil
- 1600hrs set up camp
Sunday 23rd April 2017
- 0800hrs breakfast
- Relaxing morning
- 1100hrs return to road 21 (Ibri-Al Ain)
The trip includes offroad driving – you must take your own 4×4 – but it will be a low-level drive suitable for those new to offroad driving. After our initial safety briefing, followed by basic offroad instruction, further coaching will be given as and when required. Note – due to the remote location the offroad drive will be easy as we wish to minimise any risk of vehicle overheating/damage. The style of drive will be “expedition” – you can read more about it in this blog – Expedition driving. Adrenaline junkies may not like this trip! Our trip will be limited to 8 guest cars.
The second part of our trip will be spent exploring Wadi Hibi and Yanquil and surrounding areas. Much of the driving will be on roads but there will also be track driving and possibly even some wadi crossings through water.
Not all four wheel drives are created equal! I have listed some of the more popular cars, suitable for dune bashing, below, but the list is not exhaustive so please enquire if you would like to come and your 4×4 is not on the list.
- Dodge Ram (lifted),
- Ford F150 (lifted), Raptor, Ranger 3.2TD
- GMC Silverado (Lifted),
- Jeep Wrangler,
- Landrover Defender, Discovery, LR3 or LR4,
- Mitsubishi Pajero,
- Nissan Patrol Safari, New Patrol (models with “City” bumpers not recommended), Pathfinder pre-2005, Xterra,
- Toyota FJ Cruiser, LandCruiser, Landcruiser Prado, Tundra (lifted)
- Must have recovery points front and rear
- Must be in tip-top condition (this includes the spare tyre too)
- Those with locking wheel nuts should carry a key to release them
- 2 x shackles which fit in the recovery points of your car, unless you have recovery hooks instead of loops
- Tyre Pressure gauge
Please arrive at the start point with a full tank. There is no requirement to carry extra petrol.
We will camp one night in the shelter of a huge starfish dune and the second night will be near a wadi. We will set up a temporary camp with a shade, tables, campfire/bbq and a portable camping loo. We also have a battery powered shower if you wish to use it. There is unlikely to be a 3G signal in the Starfish sand dune area.
We recommend you pack the following
- Sand pegs – the ones that come with the tent may not hold it securely in sand. Rock pegs as second night will be camping in the mountains
- Camping chairs
- Mattress – air or foam – to sleep on
- Sheet, pillow, blanket or sleeping bag. It may be too warm to sleep with a sleeping bag in the evening yet really cold in the morning and we find a couple of blankets give most flexibility.
Tent/Camping Equipment Rental
Ibex Adventures can lend you a quality tent and camping equipment – Colemans Instant tent, mattresses, sleeping bags, torches and camping chairs – for only 150aed for a couple. Please contact us if you would like to come on the trip but do not have your own camping gear.
Travel Essentials to Pack
- Coolbox with soft drinks
- Food – something for lunch as snacks for during the day.
- Baby wipes and hand sanitizer
- Pharmacy supplies – paracetamol/aspirin or similar mild painkiller. Cream for mosquito bites, insect repellent, sunscreen if you need it.
- Please note that the nearest pharmacy is in Ibri, so carry any prescription meds you need too.
What to wear
We are heading deep into the desert so wear comfortable clothes. We suggest lightweight knee length shorts or trousers and loose fitting t-shirts or a shirt. A wide brimmed hat can be useful when outdoors.
Please wear trainers or boots in the dark and around the campfire – it may be the “empty” quarter but there are some creatures there which will bite or sting you if you stand on them by accident! If anyone should be unlucky enough to be stung by a scorpion, then we will drive them out to the nearest hospital – it will take around 2 hours to reach there.
Cost of Trip
- Car + Driver + 1 Passenger – 1425 AED
- Extra Passengers – 600 AED each
- Children 4 and under free
- Children 5-12 – 300AED each
How to Sign Up
Please download and complete the registration form which can be downloaded here, then scan and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
- This trip is suitable for families, couples and individuals.
- Children above 2 years old are welcome but there is a lot of driving so we suggest you take suitable activities to alleviate boredom in the car. Young children MUST be seated in car seats
- Maximum persons per car – 4
- All persons should wear seatbelts whenever the car is moving.
- For those of those with Omani Liquor licences, alcohol can be consumed when we have stopped for the night – ie none before or during driving.
- In case of emergency
- Our guides will be carrying a satphone as there is no GSM signal, neither Omantel nor Etisalat roaming over most of this area.
Here are some photos from my last visit to the Starfish Dunes – we hope you can join us to experience them for yourselves!