One of the oldest and largest Clubs in the country, UAE Offroaders was established in 2009 by six Emirati guys and one New Zealander to teach people how to drive in the desert.
The six Emirati guys were already offroading. One day they found John Crofts, who was with his family, stuck in the desert. They helped him out and became friends. Then, they thought, “since we share the same hobby, why not establish a club, where anyone who has the same passion or would like to learn offroading could join us”, said Amro Al Tamimi, one of the seven founders.
“People here often drive up and down the same big dune, ending up having accidents. We wanted to show the techniques of proper offroading, using proper safety precautions, in an environment that respects one another and respects the desert.”
Right from the start, the club was a hit with residents from all over the country. All that’s required to become a member is ownership of a 4×4 vehicle. No fees, no experience needed. In fact, many of today’s marshals were once newbies with the club.
“We now have members from all over the world, from Pakistan to the USA to Germany to Romania and we are all one family, all brought together by the beauty of the UAE desert, which is a piece of art that can only be deeply admired from deep within,” added Al Tamimi.
By now, UAE Offroaders has attracted nearly 3000 members.
“Offroading is addictive. The hard core drivers never stop, not during Ramadan, when we have suhour night trips, not even when it is 50 degrees outside, but for many the season for offroading starts now, when the weather is nicer, when they return from summer holidays and we can also enjoy an open fire, barbeques and camping during our trips,” said Lee Al Romaithi, another of the seven founders.
From junior to extreme levels, the offroading trips are always run in convoys, following safety rules and under the supervision of experienced marshals. That said, the trips are always about having fun and re-charging the spirit for the week and all the members share a great comradeship and common goal to learn more about Off-Road driving safely in the UAE. ■