Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > 4x4 & Off-Roading > 4x4 Excursions


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 6th January 2014, 12:43   #1
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Tejas@perioimpl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bombay
Posts: 3,616
Thanked: 2,505 Times
Default Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report

I always wanted to dune bash but staying in Mumbai, i did not get to encounter such sandy terrain nearby and my exposure was limited. So when our group of friends decided that we would spend Christmas and New Year's in Dubai, i wondered if i could go and get some training done there.

I've been to Dubai in the past many times and have driven super cars on the Dubai Autodrome as well as done the touristy desert safaris where you get to enjoy dune bashing for an hour followed by some evening entertainment. However, they do not allow you to drive their SUVs on the dunes and you can only rent out some ATVs.

Here are some old pics from those days:

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-img_1547.jpeg

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-img_1567.jpeg

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-img_1568.jpeg

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-img_1557.jpeg

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-img_1588.jpeg

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-img_1594.jpeg

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-img_1575.jpeg

Dune bashing was fun and i really wanted to learn it in the correct manner. Not only did i want to know the correct driving techniques, i also wanted to learn how to read the dunes, understand them, how to pick the correct line, etc.

Our trip was planned at least 5 months in advance. Thus, i had a lot of time to find and research driving courses.

Last edited by Tejas@perioimpl : 7th January 2014 at 12:37.
Tejas@perioimpl is offline   (23) Thanks Reply With Quote

Old 6th January 2014, 13:13   #2
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Tejas@perioimpl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bombay
Posts: 3,616
Thanked: 2,505 Times
Default Re: Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report

So the first thing i do is to hit the net and google for driving courses and i get many hits:

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-screen-shot-20140106-12.51.57-pm.png

I painstakingly go through 7-8 pages of courses and shortlist a few of options.

Then i start researching these options and find that the Emirates Driving Institute (EDI) is my best bet. EDI was one of the few institutes that provided a vehicle to drive as well.

I also join a wonderful group on Facebook called Abu Dhabi 4x4 and their admin Sam Richards and i chat about selecting a good course and she gives me good pointers and even invites me to accompany them on their excursions as well. Unfortunately she didn't have any feedback on the EDI course but told me that the company as such had a good reputation.

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-screen-shot-20140106-12.58.23-pm.png

This is the webpage of EDI:

http://www.edi-uae.com/pagecontents.aspx?pageid=26

Screenshot:

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-screen-shot-20140106-1.16.22-pm.png

I sent a mail to them:

Quote:
Hello,

I found your website through a google search.

I'm an offroader with limited desert driving experience and would like to learn more about it.

I am interested in your Advanced Desert driving course for a single person on a manual transmission vehicle.

I shall be in dubai from 25th december - 31st december. Could you please send me registration details including costs, training date options, etc.

I have already downloaded the brochure from your site.

Regards,

Tejas
They responded promptly:

Quote:

Dear Tejas ,

Many thanks for your interest showed to our advance desert courses , the opted dates are all available, please confirm the date , total cost AED 1,100
( full day exclusive ) manual vehicle . we need only the valid international license to complete the registration procedure.
Timing would be from 09:00 am till 04:00 pm , therefore its preferable to arrive early to complete the registration and payment .
Hope I was able to assist you in your enquiry and if needed any further information , please confer with me.


Best Regards,
Rukaya Salim | Administrator

Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude towards us

Tel: +971 4 263 1100 Ext: 413 | Fax: +971 4 263 1268
Email: rukaya.s@edi.ae| Website: www.edi.ae

More emails went back and forth and we decided that 26th december 2013 (Thursday) would be the day for training. Fridays are 100Dhs extra since it's a holiday. They did not need any advance payment.

Maps were attached with the email as well to aid in finding the place:

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-edimapfinal1version.jpg

Last edited by Tejas@perioimpl : 6th January 2014 at 13:35.
Tejas@perioimpl is offline   (14) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 6th January 2014, 14:12   #3
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Tejas@perioimpl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bombay
Posts: 3,616
Thanked: 2,505 Times
Default Re: Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report

Soon we land at Dubai.

Name:  Dubai_Welcome.jpg
Views: 6066
Size:  104.3 KB

Wife is supportive and doesn't mind spending one day out with the other friends shopping.

EDI sends me a reminder mail on 25th as well asking me to report by 8:45am . One night before i just re-check the directions to the training institute:

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-edi-map.png

Early morning after a heavy breakfast i hail a cab and reach the institute. I've been told to reach the main office, building number 5. This is the sight that greets me:

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-edi-out.jpg

It's a huge sprawling institute with hundreds of testing vehicles and many buildings. Here are a couple of images from the web for understanding the size of the place:

Name:  aerial view.jpg
Views: 6019
Size:  114.1 KB

Name:  test cars.jpeg
Views: 5960
Size:  67.3 KB

I meet Rukaya (who coordinated with me via email) and all she needs from me is my International Driving Permit.

Note that the Indian International Driving Permit does not allow you to drive on the roads in Dubai.

Photocopies are made and i make my payment. I'm escorted to another wing where there are rows of lecture halls and i make myself comfortable in one of the rooms and am served hot coffee while we wait for 3 other people who have registered.

After a 15 minute wait, it turns out that the others are a no show and i'm the only one there. No problem, the instructor meets me and we introduce each other. The instructor (Mustafa) is from Peshawar and has been in Dubai since 30 years and has nearly 20 years experience in desert driving.

He gives me my course material and soon we start the session for the day.

Course material includes a manual, a cd and some quick guide type flash cards.

The initial session is about basic workings of 4x4s etc. Soon he realises that i know most of it and on further prodding i tell him about my i4wdta accreditation (which i hadn't earlier trying to be humble). So he says let's go straight to the desert driving module. He explains in detail about reading dunes, driving techniques etc and says that for me he will increase the outdoor time and cut down theory. I was very happy.

By 12 noon i was ready to hit the desert. Lunch was going to be a subway sandwich which they would provide and i was asked about veg-non veg options.

Another thing is that they give any option to teach the theory in hindi/urdu or english whatever language you are comfortable with.

He says that my instructors for the rest of the day will be different and i'm escorted to my vehicle. I've asked for a manual vehicle.

Last edited by Tejas@perioimpl : 6th January 2014 at 14:15.
Tejas@perioimpl is offline   (14) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 6th January 2014, 15:03   #4
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Tejas@perioimpl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bombay
Posts: 3,616
Thanked: 2,505 Times
Default Re: Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report

I'm now introduced to my two new instructors.

I'll be riding with Rasheed who is from Lahore and has more than 25 years of desert experience.

There will be a lead / support car with us as well (i forgot the gentleman's name - but he is supposed to be a legend and is known for rescuing most of the safari guys and is one of the route planners for the UAE/Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, etc).

There are two Land Cruisers waiting for us. We head to the base camp which is approximately 45 minutes away.

I chat with Rasheed and learn that the EDI is one of the institutes that does a 45 day training and certification course for the desert safari guys and they themselves also act as marshals for the desert rallies.

We talk about similarities between India and Pakistan with respect to traffic, corruption, racism faced elsewhere, etc. At no point during the entire morning to evening session was there even an undertone of India-Pakistan hostility.

I also learn that this course was designed by a legendary Brit (Rasheed didn't know his name: "Gora sahib from UK who is a legend") who has spent decades driving across deserts in Africa and the Middle East.

We reach the base camp area. There we can use the toilets and the cars are stocked up with food and drinks.

While they are stocking the cars, i get an opportunity to click some snaps.

The cars:

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-01cars-front.jpeg

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-02cars-back.jpeg

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-03-cars-side.jpeg

They have decals all over:

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-04-cars-decal.jpeg

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-05-cars-decal.jpeg

Internal Roll Cage:

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-06-roll-cage.jpeg

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-07-roll-cage.jpeg

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-08-roll-cage.jpeg

Passenger side has an emergency / trainer brake that the instructor can use while the student is driving:

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-09-brake.jpeg

Last edited by Tejas@perioimpl : 6th January 2014 at 15:07.
Tejas@perioimpl is offline   (15) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th January 2014, 11:31   #5
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Tejas@perioimpl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bombay
Posts: 3,616
Thanked: 2,505 Times
Default Re: Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report

We hit the desert and the first thing is to reduce the air pressure.

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-stop.jpg

Here they talk about reading the type of sand covering which will determine the air pressure. In regular dunes, 17psi is enough.

They show a wonderful method to reduce the air pressure. Regular reduction from 32psi would take approx 5-7 minutes. What we did was first measure the current pressure. Then remove the valve using the valve key.

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-valve-key.jpg

As soon as you remove the valve, the air comes out with tremendous force. Make sure while removing the valve, you use your fingers to grip the valve else it will go flying and you will be in a soup. It's always advisable to carry spare valves. Now keep intermittently checking and once you reach 20 psi in approximately 10 seconds, refit the valve. By the time you have done that, you are down to 18 psi. Now slowly let the air out till 17 psi.

I'll soon make a video of that and post it here.

They showed me on one tyre and i did the same on the other three.

The Toyota Land Cruiser had an all time 4wd and we could select form H and L and could lock the centre differential.

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-h-l.jpeg

For the desert we need to select H because we need speed/momentum and there is a button on the dash to lock the centre differential.

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-lock-button.jpeg

As soon as you lock it, a light on the dash will glow indicating that the centre differential is locked.

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-lock-indicator.jpeg

Then i sat as a passenger and we hit the desert and Rasheed showed me the driving techniques and how to read the dunes and what lines to take.

Wanted to take videos and pics here but was too engrossed and didn't get the opportunity.

Then it's my turn. The first thing they did was to get the vehicle stuck till it sat on it's chassis.

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-stuck-1.jpeg


Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-stuck-2.jpeg


Then i had to follow the technique to self extricate myself. Wonderful technique it was though my left leg and arms were sore after that but the vehicle came you easily. The technique requires a lot of patience. I'm hoping i can try this technique in muck as well. They also explained the technique to use if one is driving an automatic vehicle.
Tejas@perioimpl is offline   (16) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th January 2014, 12:03   #6
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Tejas@perioimpl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bombay
Posts: 3,616
Thanked: 2,505 Times
Default Re: Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report

Now i'm in the driver's seat. Get reacquainted with the gears for the left hand drive vehicle. Do a few mock gear changes and start off.

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-lc-gears.jpg

We hit milder dunes and slowly and steadily as the instructor's confidence in me increases, we start hitting steeper and tough dunes and do a lot of abort hill climb procedures (which is very different from what we do in regular offroading). The key is never to fight gravity.

After a couple of hours, we stop at a decline of a dune and let the engine cool. It's extremely hot:

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-hot-sun.jpeg

Parked nose down:

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-nose-down-cooling.jpeg

Instructors chilling in the sand:

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-cool-down-waiting.jpeg

I click some random snaps:

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-random-1.jpeg

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-random-2.jpeg

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-img_3081.jpeg

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-img_3144.jpeg

Last edited by Tejas@perioimpl : 7th January 2014 at 12:32.
Tejas@perioimpl is offline   (17) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th January 2014, 12:15   #7
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Tejas@perioimpl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bombay
Posts: 3,616
Thanked: 2,505 Times
Default Re: Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report

Once the vehicles cool we drive more.

Some random pics:

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-drive1.jpeg

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-drive2.jpeg

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-drive-3.jpeg

Instructor waiting at the top of a dune where i'm supposed to climb after stopping at the base (i.e. not carrying momentum of the previous descent). Here i have to replicate the "maut ka kua" (well of death) act where the rider keeps going in circles and increases speed. So i have to stop, and then start driving in widening circles around the sides of the dunes till i have enough momentum to make it to the top.

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-waiting-click.jpeg


We stop for lunch:

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-parked-lunch.jpeg


This is one of the highest spots in that area and they show me all the litter that other offroaders leave behind:

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-litter.jpeg


I try to click a pano shot here (not a big pano though):

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-lunch-parked-1.jpeg

Some more random shots:

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-randoms.jpeg

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-randoms1.jpeg

Last edited by Tejas@perioimpl : 7th January 2014 at 12:16.
Tejas@perioimpl is offline   (12) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th January 2014, 12:25   #8
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Tejas@perioimpl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bombay
Posts: 3,616
Thanked: 2,505 Times
Default Re: Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report

By late evening we finish and head back to the base camp and refill the air:

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-refilling-air.jpeg


Usually they have a Q&A assessment after the drive including feedback from the instructor about the student's driving and if the student passes, we get a certificate. In my case they did away with the Q&A and gave me the certificate once we reached back.

I was told that usually they do only 2 to 2.5 hours of driving but in my case they gave me 4 hours plus the let me hit the big dunes which they don't let the others hit. I was extremely happy that they saw me capable and had confidence in my skills.

Posing with the car:

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-car.jpeg

With Rasheed:

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-rasheed.jpeg

I had to fill a feedback form as well and gave a great feedback!

Here's a pic of the certificate and the desert driving manual and quick reference cards:

Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report-screen-shot-20140107-12.28.16-pm.png

I would recommend this to anyone who wishes to learn the right way of desert driving. If someone wants to accompany you without driving, they charge 50AED more.

Last edited by Tejas@perioimpl : 7th January 2014 at 12:29.
Tejas@perioimpl is offline   (29) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th January 2014, 12:56   #9
Team-BHP Support
 
theMAG's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bengalooru
Posts: 6,639
Thanked: 734 Times
Default Re: Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report

Thread moved from Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
theMAG is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th January 2014, 12:57   #10
Team-BHP Support
 
tsk1979's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 20,059
Thanked: 9,085 Times
Default Re: Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report

This is an amazing experience you have shared!!
Thanks. Would love to do this some day. wish the Rupee was a bit more powerful!
tsk1979 is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th January 2014, 14:16   #11
BHPian
 
viper_711's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 312
Thanked: 19 Times
Default Re: Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report

Super! Thanks for sharing and request if you can share some of the techniques here. This is now on my bucket list!
viper_711 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th January 2014, 18:21   #12
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Jaipur
Posts: 12
Thanked: 4 Times
Default Re: Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report

Congratulations for the whole experience! It's a very rare opportunity. Must be something.
I am surprised as how decently priced the whole package is. 1100 AED is approx Rs18000. Not bad, i say.

I hope to do a similar thing, but only with a Merc G-wagon!
Do they offer that vehicle?
DeepakS is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th January 2014, 18:31   #13
BHPian
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Chennai/ KSA
Posts: 218
Thanked: 81 Times
Default Re: Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report

What a brilliant move! I have been visiting Dubai so many times and it did not strike me to do something like this. I will do so at the very next opportunity I get to visit Dubai.
Regards,
Ashok
ashphil is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th January 2014, 19:56   #14
BHPian
 
voyageur's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: MUM/ALP/DXB
Posts: 233
Thanked: 257 Times
Default Re: Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report

Brilliant, Need to applaud you on this.

I myself was planning this but after an year from now. Anyways you saved me the R&D part with clear cut write up.

Loved the pics as well. And as an additional info, I think all the driving schools in Dubai under Road Transport Authority has this course, at least most of them.


Cheers
voyageur is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th January 2014, 22:53   #15
BHPian
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: HR 51/HR 29
Posts: 103
Thanked: 99 Times
Default Re: Advanced Desert Driving Course in Dubai, UAE - A Report

Hats off for your narration. Rating it 5 stars

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tejas@perioimpl View Post

I meet Rukaya (who coordinated with me via email) and all she needs from me is my International Driving Permit.

Note that the Indian International Driving Permit does not allow you to drive on the roads in Dubai.
Can you shed some light on this International Driving Permit? How is it different from an Indian International Driving Permit?
Shreyans_Jain is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
School for 'Advanced Driving' netchef Shifting gears 37 21st August 2013 21:59
PICS : Dubai Desert Safari in a Landcruiser vigneshkumar31 4x4 Excursions 1 12th May 2013 21:19
4x4 Desert Safari in Rajasthan on Power Machines (like Dubai / S. Africa) DesertKing 4x4 Excursions 4 16th June 2009 10:18
brake upgrades & advanced driving gyaan cyneverdie Technical Stuff 1 15th October 2007 22:32
MMSC Circuit Advanced Driving and Race Instruction ajmat The Team-BHP Meet Section 20 17th April 2006 22:49


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 18:32.

Copyright 2000 - 2014, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks