Now’s the time for a desert adventure…

While going on a guided desert safari tour is something of a UAE rite of passage, nothing quite compares to getting behind the wheel and taking on the wadis and dunes for yourself. Read on for a selection of the best off-road locations, perfect for tackling the UAE’s spectacular landscape

While it feels like everyone knows a secret spot for dune-bashing, exploring and campaign, GMC Arabia has pulled together the definitive list of the UAE’s hotspots, including hidden gems and routes specifically for beginners.

Here’s a look at 11 brilliant off-roading locations in the UAE (click the links for co-ordinates)…

Off-roading locations in the UAE(supplied by GMC Arabia)


1. Fossil Rock Al Madam

A rugged and impressive landmark, rising tall out of the sand dunes.

2. Tawi ‘Uwayd Al Madam

Unusual and striking black sand peaks set this destination apart while the notorious abandoned Ghost Village is just 5km away and well worth a visit.


3. Al Qudra Desert

The perfect spot for beginners or those looking for an easy desert cruise followed by a night camping under a blanket of stars.

4. Al Aweer

Another prime location for the up-and-coming off-road enthusiast, with small dunes softer sand patches.


5. Liwa

An iconic desert, known for its difficult terrain. A great location for an experienced convoy of off-roaders to test their skills.

6. Remah Desert

Another spot for the experienced driver, however not as hardcore as Liwa. After a few desert drives, you should be able to tackle Al Remah.

7. Hameem Loop

A great spot for a mixed crew, with areas perfect for the newer off-roader while still offering more challenging routes that require experience.


8. Wadi Showka

Aa day of adventure awaits, with popular mountain hiking and biking spots as well as fun off-roading terrains.

9. Wadi Naqab/Jebel Yanas

Another of Ras Al Khaimah’s abundant with mountainous locations, Wadi Naqba is perfect for all drivers.

10. Wadi Sal

Driving to and through Wadi Sal is as difficult as it is rewarding and the long mountainous terrain requires experience to overcome.


Wadi Madha

A fun mountainous route but beware of visiting during the rainy season. For the best and safest trip, visit between the months of October and April, on non-rainy days.

Top tips for off-road driving

Lower tire pressure – Lowering your tire pressure increases the surface area of your tire letting you essentially float across the sand and grip better to rocky terrain.

Keep momentum – Off-roading is all about keeping your momentum to get you across and over the soft and peak bits. By lowering your pace, thinking ahead, and keeping your engine in its power range will help you to keep your momentum.

Don’t spin your tires – If you are not moving, spinning tires will only dig you a deeper hole to get out of, or risk puncturing your tire over sharp rocks.

Keep safe distances – Keeping a safe distance between yourself and the car in front is important, even more so when driving in the desert or up/down a mountain slopes.

For more information on GMC, and the models available, visit, or follow @GMCArabia