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Driving in the Desert.

Desert around Dubai has been possibly the most desired and visited desert region in the world. It has been described as Stunning, tranquil, mysterious and ever-changing. However, while the urge to explore this unique, mysterious landscape is all too tempting for some, the desert can often be a challenge even for experienced off-roaders. This page has been made to guide those who wish to venture in this desert.

Travel & Culture services offers special tours in the desert please click here for detail For Visitor Guidelines visit this page

The Dubai desert is very hot during summer and temperature reaches to 50+ degrees some times so summer need extra extra caution. In May 2007, two Ukrainian men were found dead after being lost for 20 hours near Ras Al Khaimah. This is enough warning for the ventures to take special caution for heat in the desert.

During the winter (November to April) desert season in full swing and more people do venture out in winter. Experts and authorities alike are warning people to be aware of the risks, while appreciating and preserving the wonders of the deserts.

For the last 16 years, Zahed Dalanti has spent around 95 per cent of his time in the desert and calls it his "favorite environment." As one of the few people who can legitimately call the desert 'home,' Dalanti says that all adventurers must plan thoroughly and for any eventuality, before embarking on any desert trip.

"The atmosphere is quiet; the views are stunning with the different color sand and shapes and the clean, fresh air. You can watch the stars all night, away from traffic and noise and experience what it was like for people who used to live here 50 or 60 years ago," he explained.

"It gives you a very different perspective and lets you forget your troubles. It is very inviting and peaceful environment." Dalanti feels so in tune with the environment that he has little use for modern technological innovations such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS).

"I know the stars and directions because of experience. But I certainly wouldn't advise this for many other people," he said.

Likening the dunes to "works of art", Dalanti, from Syria, says that he never tires of the desert and has spent up to three weeks at a time in the "constantly changing" environment.

"There is nothing like the moment at dusk when the sun kisses the sand. It really is my home and I can never imagine settling all the time in the city," he said. "The more time you spend there, the more you want to be there. When you see the sand, you feel you want to walk on it and touch it."

Map of the desert

Heatstroke

Two men, identified as Ukrainian geologists, were found dead near Ras Al Khaimah in May, after apparently succumbing to severe heatstroke and exhaustion. They were found by an Emirati who reported the case to the police. The men were in the area to conduct a survey as part of a team of nearly 30 geologists, the rest of which were found and rescued.

Make sure you have

Extra food and water, First aid kit, mobile phone and charger, global positioning system (GPS), extra fuel for longer trips. Carry it on the outside of the car, matches, shovel, jack, tool kit, blanket, work gloves, hand axe, tow chain or rope, flashlight, flares, compass, signal mirror, sand mats (metal mesh or stiff canvas), extra motor oil, knife, plastic spray bottle

Car checklist

Check engine oil, brake fluid, water and radiator. Always be aware of the car's temperature. If you are an experienced desert driver, your tyres should be deflated to 15psi. Make sure that your tank is full and keep filling up when you reach a station.

On guard

Adventurers need to follow some important but basic guidelines to make sure any trip into the desert has a positive outcome for the environment as well as everybody taking part.

Dos
Make sure you travel with at least one other person. Always tell people about your plans and where you intend to travel. Take enough water ? 12 bottles per person per day in summer. Three to four bottles per person in winter. Always check for a phone signal. When you leave the campsite make sure you take everything with you. Look after other travellers. If you see anyone stuck or in trouble, stop to help them. Put two to three torches on the top of your tent so that people driving at night can see where your tent is. Always concentrate and listen for the noise of engines. Cover the campfire with sand in the morning, and put up a sign to remind yourself where it is.

Don'ts
Make sure you travel with at least one other person. Always tell people about your plans and where you intend to travel. Take enough water ? 12 bottles per person per day in summer. Three to four bottles per person in winter. Always check for a phone signal. When you leave the campsite make sure you take everything with you. Look after other travellers. If you see anyone stuck or in trouble, stop to help them. Put two to three torches on the top of your tent so that people driving at night can see where your tent is. Always concentrate and listen for the noise of engines. Cover the campfire with sand in the morning, and put up a sign to remind yourself where it is.

We offer Dinner only in desert option Dinner in Desert Camp and Special Private Desert Safari in the morning

If you are stranded, what do you do?

Call 999
"If you break down, immediately call the police rescue. Try not to drink too much and do not attempt to walk around. Stay where you are ? where you told the rescue team you would be. Don't walk a lot, because it is tiring and don't be nervous. Stay calm, especially when speaking to the rescue team as communication is very important. Always stay positive."
- Zahed Dalanti, Desert safari leader


Dubai Civil Defence safety and security guidelines

By Alia Al Theeb, Staff Reporter

According to Brigadier Rashid Thani Al Matroushi, Director of Dubai Civil Defence, the UAE sees a marked increase in camping trips and outdoor activities during the winter period and as such it is vital to abide by safety rules when venturing outdoors.

Tents
Tents should be located away from deep valleys where flooding can occur. Do not place heat near the tent. Camping sites should be near roads and within mobile range. Keep the stove and electric generators away from tents. Keep a fire extinguisher with five kilograms of powder inside the tent. Keep electric generators away from the tent and opposite the wind direction. Do not fill the generator with fuel while it is
switched on. Do not store fuel near
the generator.

Floods
Avoid parking cars, camping or spending the night in valleys where flooding can occur. Avoid camping in places where floods can cut off escape routes. Keep a fire extinguisher in the car. Conduct checkups before starting the trip. Fill up the car with oil, fuel and water. Wear seatbelts. Provide the car with towing equipment.

Communication
Ensure that everyone has a mode of communication to reach other members of the group as well as relevant authorities should there be a need. Notify family or friends of the camping location and expected time of return.

Preserve the environment
Tents should be set up in a place that does not affect the environment, especially trees and water sources. Make sure that you clean up the area and do not leave anything behind after your trip.

Campfire
Choose a location for the fire that is away from the tent and opposite the wind direction. Dig a pit for the fire to avoid flames and hot coals flying around. Avoid sitting downwind around the fire.

First aid and food
Provide a first aid box with bandages, medicine for cuts, burns and insect bites, and antiseptics. Prepare enough food and water based on the number of people in the group, as well as the period of the trip.

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