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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am about to embark of my first off road trial!

I have bought the "explorer off road UAE" but am to unsure to which one to go on. We are going with one car so dunes are to be avoided.

Where is the cheapest place to buy off road gear in Dubai?

I have a Lincoln navigator and a pajero. The sensible option is the pajero however the navigator is much more comfortable for a day in the car. Are the mountain routes in the book really that extreme that the navigator wouldn't handle it? obviously for sand it would be a disaster as its far too heavy but on gravel/rocks????
 

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Is it a new Navigator? I can't remember when the new model was released but I know they changed a lot of things from the Explorer which it is based on and one of those was to downgrade the 4wd system. Personally I wouldn't take it on anything other than gentle trails and given that you have a Pajero I would take that every time.
 

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It's a bit late in the year to start going off-roading. It's very hot and will only get hotter both in the desert and mountain wadis. Avoid the dunes for now as the sand is too dry and if you're inexperienced it'll be easy to flip over or get bogged down.

If you don't have offloading experience, try looking for an offroading club. There's a few on meetup.com. It's a good way to meet people interested in exploring the country and you'll have the benefit of having some knowledgeable people around in case something goes wrong.

The best offroading mountain experiences are in Oman, but a bit far for a day trip. Closer by are a few routes outside Al Ain, just inside the UAE/Oman border and going north towards Hatta. One such place is called Fossil Cliff. I did it years ago and it's an easy ride from Al Ain and then off road through a rock field to the cliffs, which you can then explore on foot. It's a good way to get a sense of how the car operates off road around rocks.

I found this link online about Fossil Cliff:
Weekend UAE Trip to Fossil Cliff with VW Touareg | Weekend ideas for the UAE
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Is it a new Navigator? I can't remember when the new model was released but I know they changed a lot of things from the Explorer which it is based on and one of those was to downgrade the 4wd system. Personally I wouldn't take it on anything other than gentle trails and given that you have a Pajero I would take that every time.
Its a 2007 navigator
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's a bit late in the year to start going off-roading. It's very hot and will only get hotter both in the desert and mountain wadis. Avoid the dunes for now as the sand is too dry and if you're inexperienced it'll be easy to flip over or get bogged down.

If you don't have offloading experience, try looking for an offroading club. There's a few on meetup.com. It's a good way to meet people interested in exploring the country and you'll have the benefit of having some knowledgeable people around in case something goes wrong.

The best offroading mountain experiences are in Oman, but a bit far for a day trip. Closer by are a few routes outside Al Ain, just inside the UAE/Oman border and going north towards Hatta. One such place is called Fossil Cliff. I did it years ago and it's an easy ride from Al Ain and then off road through a rock field to the cliffs, which you can then explore on foot. It's a good way to get a sense of how the car operates off road around rocks.

I found this link online about Fossil Cliff:
Weekend UAE Trip to Fossil Cliff with VW Touareg | Weekend ideas for the UAE
love the meet up site thanks
 

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I'd definitely recommend joining a club. I'm a member of a few myself. I'd also strongly recommend sticking to the Pajero only, but watch the rear bumper if you don't have a tow hitch installed. The faux skid plate hangs down and can catch sand or rocks, and you'll see many with it bent out.

The guy who writes the Weekend UAE website is a friend of mine, and I strongly recommend it as well. He manages to put together all sorts of things, but he writes them clearly, and simply, and they're aimed at total novices. Fossil Rock nearby is also popular spot, but the best driving is definitely in Abu Dhabi.
 

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2007 Lincoln could be the old or the new model, if it is the old it has a 2 speed transfer case so has low range and isn't too bad off road. If it's the newer model then it's really AWD and I wouldn't take it offroad especially as you have the option of the Pajero.

I would definitely recommend doing a few club/group events.

As for the comment on American 4x4s getting stuck I think this is more a reflection of the type of people that buy them than the car (we have 2 US 4WD BTW). A couple of the American models are great offroad but they also make a plethora of rebadged minivans.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
2007 Lincoln could be the old or the new model, if it is the old it has a 2 speed transfer case so has low range and isn't too bad off road. If it's the newer model then it's really AWD and I wouldn't take it offroad especially as you have the option of the Pajero.

I would definitely recommend doing a few club/group events.

As for the comment on American 4x4s getting stuck I think this is more a reflection of the type of people that buy them than the car (we have 2 US 4WD BTW). A couple of the American models are great offroad but they also make a plethora of rebadged minivans.
Its the new model in that case. Plenty of crap Japanese and European 4 x 4`s too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well thats it decision made. I leave tomorrow morning at 5-6 for my first mountain off roading. Going to do Wadi Bih/Wadi Khab Al Shamis and if time allows onto Musanda. Got a tow rope, normal jack, trolley jack, compressor and wheel change tools. I`ll pick up a plank of wood is a skip on route tomorrow morning! Not quite all the check list items recommended but I have to start somewhere. The routes are even possible for 2wd so I should be fine. Just the one car going (yes the Pajero). I know its last minute but if any of you fancy joining me, let me know.
 

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I had thought of Wadi Bih but be careful because the border crossing policies have changed. You should be fine, but if bringing a woman with you she needs to have a letter of no objection from her sponsor.

Unless things have changed you can't drive straight into Musandum. Only locals can. There's a point where you'll have to turn around and return the other way. But have no worries, it's a great drive and a dramatic wadi.
 

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You will probably not get across the border at Dibba. Unless you have a booking for Zighy Bay, it's Emiratis and Omanis only. Even if you do, you'll get about half way and the army checkpoint will make you turn back. If you round the Khasab route you'll get into Wadi Bih, but again you'll get the same checkpoint and told to turn back. The direct route across from RAK is also closed to non-Emiratis/Omanis.

I hope you bought your equipment at either Ace Hardware or an offroad gear store. Anything from the likes of Carrefour is dangerous and likely to break. The snatch strap better be rated for at least 8000lbs and the shackles around the same, but a bit less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You will probably not get across the border at Dibba. Unless you have a booking for Zighy Bay, it's Emiratis and Omanis only. Even if you do, you'll get about half way and the army checkpoint will make you turn back. If you round the Khasab route you'll get into Wadi Bih, but again you'll get the same checkpoint and told to turn back. The direct route across from RAK is also closed to non-Emiratis/Omanis.

I hope you bought your equipment at either Ace Hardware or an offroad gear store. Anything from the likes of Carrefour is dangerous and likely to break. The snatch strap better be rated for at least 8000lbs and the shackles around the same, but a bit less.
I was planning on starting at Dibba and stopping at the boarder crossing after Wadi Al shamis. The guide book says that I will not get through the check pint there without being a local. I wasnt aware the checkpoint in Dibba town was also a no go.

The gear I have is good stuff which I have from Europe. The straps I have are 8000kg. I also have a couple of winch straps I will bring also (not designed for off road, but nevertheless the are good ones). I`d like a high lift jack, but what can you do....maybe next time.

I get the impression its a pretty easy route anyway, so I`m reckon the possibility of getting grounded is low as long as I am careful. Are there any water crossing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I had thought of Wadi Bih but be careful because the border crossing policies have changed. You should be fine, but if bringing a woman with you she needs to have a letter of no objection from her sponsor.

Unless things have changed you can't drive straight into Musandum. Only locals can. There's a point where you'll have to turn around and return the other way. But have no worries, it's a great drive and a dramatic wadi.
No women, no problem! Do I have to drive back the same route when they stop me at the border or can I go a different direction?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Crap... I need a plan B urgently!

Dibba N25 37.539 E56 16.242

"Dibba N25 37.539 E56 16.242
This is not a full border post, merely a Sharjah Police post which requires non-GCC citizens to make advance arrangements to pass through. If you are an expat you can only go through this post if you have a hotel booking for either the Golden Tulip or the Six Senses Zighy Bay, or alternatively a dhow cruise booking. These must be booked at least 7 days in advance, along with a scanned copy of your passport so the hotel/tour operator can arrange permission to cross"
 

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You can go from Dibba to Musandam on a tourist passport. If you're a resident then you need a pass sorted out in advance. I'd allow an hour at this crossing too, sometimes you're throw in 30 seconds, other times they make you park at the side of the road while they go back to Facebook or whatever.
 

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There's a group of us which go out on just day trips- no border crossings, we just go out and have fun on the dunes and take food/drink etc. Would be good to meet up with some other people who fancy a bit more of a chilled day out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
We attempted Wadi Bih but we couldn't get across the border crossing without a hotel reservation or a ticket for a ferry crossing. Booking or ticket had to be 7 days old. Nevertheless we went south and hit a couple of wadi`s instead. It was good fun but not very challenging off roading, despite the offroad uae book describing them as "tricky in places". It would have been more fun if there was a bit of water in the wadis but this time of year they were all bone dry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
There's a group of us which go out on just day trips- no border crossings, we just go out and have fun on the dunes and take food/drink etc. Would be good to meet up with some other people who fancy a bit more of a chilled day out.
Sounds good. Let me know next time you are planning an outing, however I imagine it will be a while with the summer heat.
 
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