Bulletin 2 - June 1977: Two Drives Close to Abu Dhabi
Two Drives Close to Abu Dhabi
by John McRae
Route Plan 1 Four wheel drive only
From al Wathba 8 km from Dubai/Tarif/Al Ain roundabout on the Al Ain road
||Continue for 1 km towards Al Ain after passing the main
junction to the left which goes up the hill to the mosque.
||Leave main road
||Turn right up a construction road to the top of the hill and follow it
round to the right and near the bottom of the slope a track turns off to the
left which doubles back on the construction road for 100 meters.
Follow the track which goes over one set of sand dunes in to Sabkah. Cross
the clearly defined track to the next range of dunes.
||Second range of dunes
||Bottom of third range of dunes
||Here the dunes are steep and on quite a slope. The track is likely to be
non-existent after a strong wind.
||Top of third range of dunes
||Once at the top there is a brick dwelling beside a new forestry plantation
and further on along, to the left, are five water tanks and a pump. (8.4 km)
When it operates it gives off a distinct rhythmic sound which can be heard
from some distance.
Follow the track along the top and when the next area of Sabkah, with the
dunes on the other side come into view, turn right down to the Sabkah.
||Bottom of third range of dunes
||Cross the well defined track to the next range and up towards the
construction site at Muqatara.
||About 150 meters up this track, from the Sabkah, a wider track joins from
the right, turn right.
||Take left track which takes one back to Al Wathba.
||Crossing dunes (17.3 km)
||Take the track to the right.
||On to another set of dunes but still a hard track.
||Join main Al Ain/Abu Dhabi road
||Turn left and one is a hundred meters from the starting point of this
Route Plan 2 Two wheel drive car
From Muqtaa Bridge to Zibara (On the coast between Abu Dhabi and Dubai)
||Drive towards Mafraq roundabout
||Old Dubai Road
||Turn left onto the tracks across the Sabkah. Take the one to the left i.e.
nearest Abu Dhabi and keep to it for 8 km. Do not wander off the track.
||30ft. solitary rock
||A high rock, square shaped will appear on the horizon, pass it on your
||Edge of sand ridge
||Continue on towards the sand ridge and when at the edge of it take the
track to the left. Donít be tempted to take the better track straight
ahead. Follow the track across the Sabkah (8 km) to edge of sand.
||Cross another sand ridge
||At the end of the Sabkah a definite gap in an escarpment of sand, cross it
and take the second track to the right. A point to bear in mind is that the
old Dubai road keeps to the edge of the Sabkah and does not go into the sand
until further on.
||Signpost to Palace
||A red sign post, with a golden falcon is at the road intersection which
leads down to a Palace (5 km). Continue past it.
||Another ridge of sand
||At the top of this ridge are set a drum and large table top as a landmark.
Go down the other side and ignore the track to the right.
||The track now enters the sand desert but is still hard surfaced except for
occasional short patches of sand.
||Continue straight on.
||A minor track crosses the road, turn to the left towards the coast.
||Straight on; by now a large house will be in view, and you pass it on
right after 2.2 km.
||The road has now come to the coast. Some lovely beaches for picnics etc
but the sea is shallow for some 200 meters from the high tide mark.
0 km Return along the same track until you come to the old Dubai road.
||Old Dubai road
||Continue straight on instead of turning right.
||New Dubai road
||The track comes out on to the new road by a radio mast at Birkat bu
Murraykan. Turn right to Abu Dhabi.
||Turn right to Abu Dhabi