XPLORE UAE is an annual off-road event organized by ENOC and Arabian Automobiles (NISSAN) wherein SUV / 4×4 owners can participate in a guided off-road adventure along pre-planned routes in the UAE.
The Crew who have been supporting this event over the past years are from a UAE based off-road club called DUBAI4X4. With years of desert driving experience under their belts, these Crew not only help decide the routes for the event, but also ensure that safety considerations are given the utmost importance.
Every year a new route is selected depending on the estimated number of participants. The Crew get together and plan the routes weeks in advance and set up flags along the way.
In addition to this, the participants are given material to read before they get started on the trip. This material in addition to highlighting the safety aspects that every participant needs to follow, also describes the basics of desert driving and the dos and don’ts that need to be adhered to when off-tarmac.
This year’s XPLORE UAE V Trip had an additional agenda, which was to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest off-road convoy ever. A goal that is not easy given the number of cars involved with drivers of different skill sets. The crew from DUBAI4X4 had a challenge on their hands and they had to ensure seamless co-ordination in order to achieve this goal.
Motorade.Net was present at the event this year.
2013 XPLORE UAE V Planned agenda:
Event Date: Friday, March 22, 2013:
7.30 am – 9.00 am Arrival at the Qalaat Al Remal for breakfast (Dubai – Al Ain Road)
9.00 am – 11.00 am Convoys will leave in groups to begin the drive
12.00 pm – 1.00 pm Lunch break in outdoors
2.00 pm – 4.30 pm Continue dune section
4.30 pm – 5.30 pm Arrive at the dinner camp (Al Sahra Desert Resort)
5.30 pm – 9.00 pm Dinner including BBQ + live entertainment
End and depart
GPS Co-ordinates of the start point:
The meetup point for the event was at the Qalaat Al Remal on the Dubai – Al Ain highway opposite the Outlet Mall. The participants gathered there with their 4x4s. Some ‘stock’, some reasonably modified and some with extreme modifications.
Participants gather at the meeting point for breakfast
After breakfast and a brief introduction by Veeru from Channel 4, the participants were made to get in queues with their 4x4s.
We add Media stickers to our 4×4
4x4s gathered up for the event
The line up before the drive into the desert
GPS Co-ordinates of the first stop point:
The first section of the drive was quite easy since it was mostly along tracks and flatter areas of the desert wherein, new off-road drivers could get a feel of what it is to get their vehicles off the usual tarmac. For experienced drivers, this section was like a walk in the park and a chance to relax and drive their 4x4s to the lunch point.
Marwan from the DUBAI4X4 Crew greets Eisa at the Lunch point
The lunch point was where the convoy first stopped and gathered for a two-hour break. The friendly Crew helped the participants get organized to collect their lunch packs.
Pronto lunch pack
ENOC’s Pronto lunch boxes were handed out to the participants and they gathered in smaller groups around the area to have lunch.
GPS Co-ordinates of the inflation point:
The post lunch section was slightly more challenging as the participants were led into the desert dunes. The basic reading and safety instructions were put into use at this stage where the participants had to combine the use their skills and the abilities of their vehicles in order to safely negotiate the dunes along the way.
DUBAI4X4 Crew Santhosh Simon
It was an interesting sight to see participants with various levels of expertise tackle the off-road terrain.
DUBAI4X4 Crew Robbie
The Crew were busy carrying out their duties, helping those who were stuck in sand or having difficulties climbing large dunes find a way across.
For those who were new to the desert, the event not only gave them a good feel of the natural beauty of the UAE deserts, but also an insight into the world of desert driving and the fun associated with it.
One of the participants speeding up towards the dunes
GPS Co-ordinates of the finish point:
Wildlife watching us as we passed by
After a few hours of desert driving which were a mix of dune bashing and the occasional recovery from the ‘stuck in sand’ situations, the convoy made its way to the inflation point wherein the tires were brought back to road driving pressure. The participants then made their way to the final meeting point, which was the ‘Al Sahra Desert Resort’ for a BBQ dinner, and some entertainment, which was well deserved.
A Participant’s car rests after the drive
Entrance to the Desert Resort
The highlight of the event was the certificate from the Guinness Book of World Records – an acknowledgment of the feat of achieving the largest off-road convoy by ENOC and Arabian Automobiles.
Guinness Book Record
The Crew from DUBAI4X4 played a crucial role in safely coordinating the vehicles from the beginning till the final meeting point in order to achieve this goal which has actually gone down in history!
“THE LARGEST CONVOY OF OFF ROAD VEHICLES WAS ORGANISED BY ARABIAN AUTOMOBILES AND ENOC (BOTH UAE) IN DUBAI, UAE ON 22 MARCH 2013″. OFFICIALLY AMAZING – as it says on the certificate.
The organizers present the cheque
Being a charity event from its inception the XPLORE UAE V organizers handed a Cheque of AED 50,000 to the Rashid Pediatric Therapy center.
Overall it was a great experience to be a part of this charity-focused event organized by ENOC and Arabian Automobiles. Not only was it a charitable event, it was also marked by the achievement of a world record and moreover, it helped a lot of participants enter the world of desert driving for the first time.
Article and Pictures by: Philip Shane