Why explore the UAE by 4x4 ?
Dubai and Abu Dhabi megacities aside, United Arab Emirates offers great spaces to be explored. Notice to lovers of sand-driving and desert landscapes! Indeed, almost the entire territory is a sandy desert, featuring a mountainous region in the north and some oasis such those of Al-Ain and Liwa. Sunsets in the desert of Rub Al-Khali offer magnificent lights. In addition, you can admire the milky way with no light pollution and you may have the chance to come across an Arabian Oryx. Do not forget to attend a camel race!
On the map below, we have mapped our itinerary over 12 days. Of course, this is not the optimal route since it is always better to improvised! Our itinerary was inspired by the “UAE Off Road” book.
Our itinerary inspired by the book UAE Off-Road
We recommend you to buy the UAE Off ROAD book to plan your route. You don’t have to drive all tracks, but it is a good base to plan your own road trip. Warning: it is better to avoid big cities outskirts, which are often polluted and dotted with plants.
Schould you want to get out of the paved or marked traffic lanes, it is mandatory to use a powerful 4x4 (see article what 4x4 to choose). In addition, we recommend you to have some basic knowledge of sand-driving or to split the team in two cars (which will allow you to quickly get out of sand in case of trouble).
The desert climate requires you to have your trip scheduled between October and May, because during the rest of the year, temperatures can reach 122°F.
The GPS trace of our road-trip in the UAE
Practical info for your road-trip to the Emirates
Arabic and English
No visa required if staying less than 90 days
€ 300 – 400 round trip
Season: from October to May During the rest of the year, temperature may reach 122°F.
cost of living
– Food: €7 – 10 for a hearty meal in an Indian restaurant. Expect way higher prices in tourist restaurants in big cities.
– Airbnb: at least 25 euros/person. If you are a numerous group, we recommend you rent an entire apartment in a Dubai or Abu Dhabi tower for a night.
– Wild camping allowed throughout the country
MAY 2018 – EUROPCAR – SHARJAH AIRPORT
– Toyota Prado automatic, 12 days rental, 57 euros/day
– Toyota Land Cruiser V8 automatic, 12 days rental, 68 euros/days
We tried to rent a motocross bike (and even a buggy) by sending emails to different agencies in the country. Impossible to find one for a reasonable price.
Nevertheless, you can rent a buggy (4 people) : hourly rate arround 80€/hour
Our budget for a road-trip to the UAE
Budget for a group of 9 people – 12 days with two 4wd vehicles – 2 days in Dubaï (February 2018)
|Price||Days||Group Total||Indiv Total|
|4×4 Rental (Toyota LandCruiser)||68 € /day||12||816 €||90,6 €|
|4×4 Rental (Toyota Prado)||57 € /day||12||684 €||76 €|
|Accommodation Dubaï (flat on 72th floor)||250 € /night||2||380 €||42,2 €|
|Food (including 6 restaurants)||90 € /day||15||1350 €||150 €|
|Fuel||55 € /day||12||660 €||73,3 €|
|Vehicle repairs||140 €||–||140 €||15,56 €|
|Air tickets||380 €||–||3420 €||380 €|
|Boat tour to the mangrove||100 €||–||100 €||11 €|
|Others (camping equipment, taxi)||250 €||–||250 €||27,7 €|
|UAE Off Road book||33 €||–||33 €||3,7 €|
|TOTAL||7833 €||870 €/pers|