Full Throttle: Dune Bashing in the Desert

Activity Essentials

Where: Throughout Arabic Deserts – great fun in the Liwa Desert, Abu Dhabi, Emirates or anywhere with acres of sand!
When: Avoid sandstorms, any other time will do
Watch Out For: Soft sands, camel prints and bring a guide

Often called the ‘white water rafting of desert’, an increasingly popular activity in the UAE and Oman is dune bashing. It isn’t some bizarre violent activity, but an excuse for the rich and elite to take their flashy machines into the desert for some serious fun.

What Exactly is Dune Bashing?

Travellers are driven into the desert and taken on an exhilarating ride up and down sand dunes in 4×4 vehicles. The desert proliferates in all the Gulf States, so adventure sports related to sand are widely popular. Almost all Arabic states have provisions for a dune-bashing ride as their main tourist attraction. The ride is a real adrenaline trigger as the vehicle careers between the cuts and curls of the sand dunes. You pulverise rippling sand dunes with a Pajero-type sand-sailing vehicle.

Bashing Tips

The soft sands can make driving very tricky and just having a four wheel drive vehicle may not prove to be enough for a successful dune bashing outing. Learning how to get unstuck in the treacherous sand is just as important as learning how to drive in the desert. It may be a good idea for inexperienced drivers to book a trip with tour operators who specialise in dune bashing. Also, taking a few lessons on driving in the sand can be of some help. Getting stuck will not only be hard on your expensive vehicle but will leave you stranded in the sand for hours trying to rescue your car. Because of this, most drivers plan their route way in advance and often look for camel excretion or footprints, as these are sure signs of hard and compacted sand.

Where to Go for a Quick Bash

The Liwa Oasis in Abu Dhabi is known as the playground for 4×4 dune bashing but any decent sand dune will do. Dune bashing is definitely a great way to enjoy the beauty and peace of the desert, in the comfort of an air-conditioned four-wheeler.

More Information

Visit Dubai
The Department of Tourism for Dubai.