Off-roading in UAE: How to avoid Dh2,000 fine, 60 days in jail

UAE residents, who have been cocooned indoors all summer, are all geared up to explore the lesser-travelled wadis, enjoy off-roading and go desert camping. But authorities in the UAE are urging community members to remember and pay attention to the rules.

To enhance safety and preserve the wildlife, Ras Al Khaimah Police have reminded people of stringent penalties for individuals engaging in dangerous driving activities in the dunes.

Offenders face a hefty fine of Dh2,000, along with 23 traffic black points, and a potential 60 days of imprisonment. These consequences apply to anyone found driving a vehicle in a manner that jeopardises their own safety, as well as the safety and security of others, or poses a threat to public or private facilities.

Basic rules of off-roading:
  • Tame the devil-may-care attitude and never go off-roading alone for safety and practical reasons. Go in a group or with at least one seasoned off-roader in a separate car to avoid tricky situations like pulling a vehicle out when stuck in the sand.
  • Plan the route - don't just drive off without an agenda and a planned track. Before hitting the trails, it is crucial to ensure your vehicle is trail-worthy.
  • Regular off-roaders will intimately know their vehicle and its equipment, but part-timers and the inexperienced might need a refresher on what their car can do.
  • Ensure you have enough rest before you hit the accelerator and you are in the suitable medical condition to attempt off-roading. Often people neglect that it is an extreme sport that may have a massive impact on you if appropriate precautions are not taken.
  • Take pictures and leave tracks - nothing else. If you plan on camping in the desert, you must know how to take back the trash you bring in.
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