With its wide, beautiful roads, cheap fuel and an economy that affords many of its residents the means to acquire large and expensive vehicles; it's no wonder that car ownership in Dubai is near-ubiquitous. The good news is, if you are a resident of the UAE hoping to see more of this exciting country, you don't need to splash out on a top of the line motor to feel the desert wind in your hair. Read on for some top tips on how to roar out over the sands on the road trip of a lifetime.
Find your car
In a city of disposable incomes and rapid vehicle turnover, there are a lot of great used cars Dubai has to offer. Dubai roads can attract a certain style of aggressive driving, so if you want to have a robust, safe ride, investing in a 4× 4 is both a safe and popular option for getting around the city.
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What's more, when you take it onto the desert roads, it will give you the ground clearance, the reliability and the raw heft that you won't find with that slick little sports car. Four wheel drives are generally workhorses, but make sure you do your research, buy from a recommended dealership, or you bring someone with mechanical expertise to scope out a private seller's offer. Be wary of imports, and always check that the spec adheres to Dubai legislation.
Know the rules.
If you've recently moved to Dubai, or you are a first time driver, you have to familiarize yourself with the Dubai style of driving, and with the laws. Drivers will speed, undertake you, behave erratically and steal your right of way. However, in recent years, with the increase of speed cameras and lowering of the limit in the city, driving has become a less stressful experience. Just keep your wits about you, stay calm and learn your routes so you can anticipate disruption.
Plan your adventure.
Scenic drives dotted with date trees, farms, and pretty, shambling villages: in an air conditioned car, with your favourite tunes and a cool can of soda, there are few better things than a road trip. Roar out to a dusty resort like Al Maha. Make for the coast for a weekend of outdoor adventure in the likes of tranquil Dibba, or Fujairah for rock climbing and fishing. Just remember to stock your car with plenty water, a spare tyre and extra supplies of oil and fuel to be prepared for any unexpected stops, and look out for stray camels and goats in the road a genuine Emirati hazard!
Image by Jaguar MENA, used under the Creative Commons license.