Offroading in Abu Dhabi

Last weekend we decided to go camping, again! Our good colleague and camping buddy is leaving the country soon, so we are trying to fit the most we can until his departure. For the 3rd time since new year, we went to the Sweihan desert, located in Abu Dhabi, on the border of three cities: Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Al Ain. For some, Sweihan is known as the “Little Liwa”, as it is the off-roading practising ground of Liwa enthusiasts. Definitely don’t bring your 4×4 to Sweihan yet if you do not know how to drive on the dunes; it is different than the other deserts closer to Dubai and is advised for experienced drivers, and that due to its big dunes and soft sands. Every time we went, we always have had one car stuck. Never go alone and always have rescue material with you!

Apparently Sweihan is quite a technical playground for off-roaders and not part of the most easy tracks. First timers may find it difficult at some point, but our friend that drove for the first time found it okay! She did get stuck and the rescue was hard (see video) with a few attempts, but we made it out anyway.

Once we arrive on campsite, usually we set up our tents and set up before going to do some dune bashing. This time we were way too over excited and went right away. Ended up having one car that needed a tire change. The boys pulled the hard task of doing it on the soft sands, while the girls we were snacking on smoked cheese and saucisson, haha typical. We then jumped back in the cars to head to Naqrah, the sand dune located deep in the Sweihan desert, the perfect Liwa practice dune!

We were luck to see a lot of gazelles. With luck, you can see oryxes, gazelles and Emiratis with their falcons here.

Drive time: (from Dubai) I hr 15 mins

Location: Abu Dhabi/Sweihan/Al Hayer road, Abu Dhabi

Where to camp: We saw some campers on the bottom of Naqrah, but we found our camping spot by trying to follow a track a friend showed us. Since then, we just followed our trails back to the same usual camping spot in Sweihan.

Meeting Point:

We always meet at the ADNOC Petrol station in Sweihan. Note that they don’t have the camping essentials like wood, ice, etc, so get prepared!

Where to deflate: After you have passed the gate, roll 500 meters further where you can find trees to go under the shadow to deflate without a sunburn. You can see a lot of camels around you as there are few farms.

Inflate: If you don’t have a compressor, you will have to return to the same petrol station. Don’t forget to go on the side of the road, putting your flashing lights and go slow to not damage your tires. It can be around 6km rolling with low pressure in your tires …

Have you ever been off-roading by yourself? If yes, whereabouts? Do tell us how you find Sweihan if you decide to go soon. Happy camping & dune bashing!

Camping in Sweihan
Deflating time

Camping in Sweihan

Camping in Sweihan

Camping in Sweihan

Camping in Sweihan
Rescue time!
Camping in Sweihan
It got out!
Camping in Sweihan
Slightly stuck

Camping in Sweihan

Camping in Sweihan

Camping in Sweihan
Our camping spot

Camping in Sweihan

Camping in Sweihan

Camping in Sweihan

Camping in Sweihan

Camping in Sweihan

Camping in Sweihan

Camping in Sweihan

Camping in Sweihan

Camping in Sweihan

Camping in Sweihan

Camping in Sweihan

Camping in Sweihan

Camping in Sweihan
Morning!
Camping in Sweihan
Breakfast time. Home made brioche with Nutella.
Camping in Sweihan
Frisbee session.

Camping in Sweihan

Camping in Sweihan

Camping in Sweihan

Camping in Sweihan

 

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