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Has anyone any experience of 4x4 hire in the United Arab Emirates, with independent trail driving (wadi bashing) allowed? I'm looking for a Land Cruiser or similar for 5 days or so to explore off tarmac with 3 mates, but haven't come up with anything so far which doesn't involve a local driver or some sort of tagalong deal.
All we want is some warm trail driving to beat the UK winter blues, no more than 10 days away, straightforward flights, oh and reasonably cheap. Any other suggestions...?
We've also considered Namibia/ SAf and Kenya... what does the HUBB know? Enlighten me!
PS We've done plenty of Morocco, don't much fancy Tunisia, and would probably have managed to get our own cars to Libya were it not for family umm "reservations" about the idea!
I've no experience of UAE but I would really recommend Namibia. I was there on a long trans Africa trip with my own truck, but there were plenty of people getting about independently in rented double cab Hiluxes with roof tents. There's loads of open space and 4x4 possibilities, traditional culture in the north, a bit of wildlife and very warm weather. Not sure about the flights but can't be too difficult.
Not sure about car rentals there but Botswana would also be worth a look if you're keen on wildlife. Spend a few days at Chobe national park then a few days at the Okavango Delta.
I'm sure you'll have a great time wherever you decide.
All the leading car hire co's will rent you a 4x4 but as previously stated they will not insure for offroading. HOWEVER in UAE this is not a problem for a quick trip as you describe as they will generally cover for the main graded roads and besides the UAE is now covered by an extensive road and track network that is brilliant for touring(not so good if you live there because the whole country has been f....d up by roads and fences). If you are an experienced offroader you will be able to go offroad following tracks in the wadis and Jebels without damaging the car but be prepared to pay for a tyre or two if they are damaged! Do not attempt any dune bashing in a rented car as they will throw the book at you re damages! If you want to experience this type of driving go with a day tour but its all a bit touristy. You can go to ACE hardware and get most camping and offroad stuff you are likely to need at a reasonable price if split a few ways.
Brilliant place for a quick tour trip and Oman is many times better!!! If you think about Oman do it from Muscat with similar companies.It is totally possible to go in and out of Oman from UAE in a hirecar but they will charge you something like Dh100 per day fro the privilige. If you decide to do this take the inland route from Al Ain to Nizwa and then down to Muscat. Beautiful drive even on the road!
This part of the ME is totally safe and brilliant for touring.
Many thanks for the replies.
We are coming from a background of quite hard core 4 wheel driving (for want of a better phrase) with 20+ years experience in off road travel and competition each but there's no way to translate that to "we're not a bunch of numties out to trash your hire car" to a hire company unfortunately. There's no great interest in wildlife amongst us, except in passing - it's more about the driving out in the cuds on something a bit more challenging than graded gravel. I reckon Namibia would probably do it but we've got a whole load of trail info for UAE and Oman and it looks perfect, short of suitable wheels
@ Tony: It's very tempting to go and hire something as we're all responsible drivers, but at what point does a track become unacceptable to the hirer, and I'd hazard a guess that the cars'll be fitted with trackers to keep an eye on us.
Hmm, more thought required - mid March is the window!
Old thread I know, but it may help people in future.
I've rented a 4x4 with the sole purpose of 'exploring' I think 8 times now.
Never had any problems as I haven't damaged one yet and always got it cleaned properly before I returned it.
Most places charge per day and you don't get cheaper rates until you start booking weeks at a time.
Rough prices in dirhams.
Pajero - 500
Prado - 700
Sandcruiser - 850 (I got a old one with lots of km for 600 one time)
Patrol 1000+ (again, I managed to find an older one for only 500)
I don't have the phone numbers but I'm sure if you google they can be found.
Try Princess Car Rental in Al Nahda (Nr NMC Hospital) and EZRENTAL in International City. Failing that just drive around Deira there are streets just filled with car rental agencies.
Some will ask for a deposit usually cash or sometimes for residents they hold your ID until you return the car.
Plenty of wadis, tracks and dunes to explore. You can also drive to the highest peak in the UAE. It is called Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah, amazing views.
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