Al’s End of Season BBQ and drive

It was that time of the year again when the sun starts to demand more attention and the heat is sweltering. So, in order to welcome in Summer officially we decided on one last BBQ drive and camp out for this part of the year before we packed up all kit for a few months.

The plan was to have a small afternoon dune drive and reach the scheduled camp site, near Pink Rocks by 5:30 pm. Some of the people wanted to come straight to the camp and did not join us for the drive. The rest of it is of course now part of the fun fact as you can see in the below images.

It was an easy track with small dunes as most vehicles were packed with BBQ items and this makes it difficult to go on a full on bumpy ride. However, pleasant drive, with out eventualities and we settled down to a cooler evening for food, drinks and never ending banter.

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Jeep Jamboree 2014

What do you get when you put a group of people with similar interests, a common interest in the Jeep for example?It is what you call the Jeep Jamboree. It doesn’t just bring together the enthusiasts but it also mixes up the great outdoors, the earth lovers, and their Jeep 4x4s whether it is an easy route, you get dirty or not. The Jeep Jamboree is an international event and mainly includes family oriented guided off road trips. Experienced guides help prep, navigate and guide small groups through well charted trails. In Dubai, UAE, the Jeep Jamboree is hosted by Trading Enterprises, the Jeep people.

Route mapping and planning starts way ahead in the year and these are fine tuned to accommodate newbies too along with the more experienced off-roaders. Maps are charted out taking into account experience levels and number of people and the day starts out early in the winter mist of the morning desert. A combination of track and sand with monitored check posts and some good dunes bashing enroute. Having fun in the sand, getting stuck and getting pulled out one learns the little tricks and trade of driving in the silky sands with help from experienced marshals and finally settling into dinner with some fun activities in the camp. Being in the Middle East fun includes BBQ, henna, Arabic costumes and a belly dance performance. This is from the customer point of view and what goes on behind the screen is a whole lot planning, printing, driving, re-driving, mapping, re-mapping, approvals, re-approvals, melt-downs vs excitements, design, follow-ups, tracking, stickers, skills training, pre-coaching, sweep and clean-up…it is quite endless to make sure the drive is safe, smooth and enjoyable all in all.

Specifics of the 2014 Jeep Jamboree, Dubai UAE

Date: 12th Dec 2014

Start time: 9:00

Finish time : 20:00

Type of Jeeps : Wrangler – Cherokee

Trail Specs : Dunes and Tracks

Hosts : Trading Enterprises, Al Futtaim

Supported by Liquid Productions and Weekends with Albert

Grand Iftar Drive – Dubai 2014

The Holy month of Ramadan is almost at its tail end, 30 days of fast and prayers. This year, in the intense heat it wasn’t easy after all. Opening of fast or Iftar would be somewhere after 7pm daily as the fast normally lasts from dawn to sunset. Muslims and non-muslims tend to gather with friends and family to break fast and so does various community of people. Speaking of communities, every off-road club has their Iftar drives, a quick run through the summer sand to find a spot under the stars to break the fast or do ‘Iftari’. It brings people together in the spirit of Ramadan.

This practise has been prevalent since a few years as an annual event, any reason to get together with like minded people, more or less. All the clubs decide to get together off Rifadaah desert area in the outskirts of Sharjah along Dubai-Hatta Road to break fast together. A splendid idea!!

They have their individual drives but closer to Iftar all the club members meet at a common spot, fondly referred to as ‘Iftar Bowl’.

This has been a common spot for Iftari for the popular off road club Dxb4x4, who has been having organized drives during Ramadan and eventually meet at this point to break fast since mid 2000. Rumour has it that Taimur Hassan, aka Big T, has been behind this splendid idea and this point has been fondly baptized ‘Iftar Bowl’.

And why not, a good drive, pleasant meeting with friends and family with children is always a welcome idea!!

 

Adi’s Camp out in the Desert

Holidaying in Dubai? What’s in addition to do other than Mall hopping? We decided a desert camp out. ‘In this weather?‘ would be a good question but what other weather would you find in the desert …seriously!!

Whatever said, Aditya is here and wanted to do something fun, his mom is up for anything out of the normal so we pulled up who ever could make it and headed out.

So Day 1

Location : Fossil Rock

First stop, waiting for the rest of the crowd and deflate if needed. It was not much of a drive rather more of camp out with BBQ, the camp spot was a little into the sandy dunes and best to keep the air low.

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All set, reached the camp spot. Having fun and enjoying the evening sun. Whoever said it is hot!! Very pleasant in the middle of the sandy dunes.

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As the sun set into the horizon, the air started getting a bit nippy but the fire kept a slow warmth. The sand was getting cooler.

 

Out in the open, no toilets or fresh water for a bath, no comfy bed nor pillows of softness but just open sky with a bunch of stars, we tried to figure out familiar constellations, the Big Dipper, yes, couldn’t miss that one. We conversed and slowly dozed off while another crowd simply chatted away into the night.

 

Waking up with the sun in your face is a feeling very hard to express. We all seem to have enjoyed that one thing we were here for, just being away from the city doing nothing…really!

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Finally cleaning up and packing which is a chore, frankly. But we did it and set off back home.

 

Adi got to ride in the Jeep which has pumped him up completely. And he is ready for another trip next week too…looks like 🙂

Day 2

Location : Sweihan

Clubbed with the Dubai ME4X4 drive, The  Golden Spade 2014

As agreed, there you go, Adi is all set this time to venture out alone with the team this time.

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A bit of entertainment from the awards ceremony….yes a gold shovel….!!

ME4X4’s award for the best ever ‘getting stuck in the dune’.

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And the food

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Fun days do not last too long…alas, next time.