KT Desert Drive: 8 absolute no-nos to reduce the risk of an off-roading incident in UAE

Never drive a vehicle that is not designed or capable of venturing into the sands

By George Kuruvilla

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram


Published: Thu 17 Nov 2022, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Thu 17 Nov 2022, 2:09 PM

In the desolate desert, where we seek adventure in our SUVs, we have to rely on our experience, the equipment we have come prepared with, and most importantly, our wits. And as we get closer to the 4th edition of the KT Desert Drive, the ultimate outdoor event for families this time of year, it doesn't hurt to learn or remind oneself of the absolute no-nos of desert driving. Here is a short list that will help you keep you out of harm's way:

1. Never drive a vehicle that is not designed or capable of venturing into the sands. Does a family sedan qualify? No. Does a crossover SUV comply? Maybe, but let a dune-bashing veteran take that call.

2. Don't park on the blind side of the hilltop or crest. Fellow travellers may be unable to spot you on the terrain, leaving you vulnerable to accidents.

3. Don't park around corners! If you are driving near large rock formations or tall vegetation and the road swings around it, make sure you do not stop in the blind spots.

4. Don't power through patches that aren't visible. If the terrain looks a little technical with loose rocks, boulders or dried-out tree trunks, then use a spotter or a support staff, who from the outside can help you navigate better.

5. Don't stand too close to a vehicle being recovered. The whiplash from a failed tow strap, broken hook, or bumper can prove detrimental and even fatal. Also, once you step out of your vehicle to help another driver, ensure the motorist is aware of your position around the car.

6. Don't just drive into a puddle of water or through a stream on a whim. While they may seem shallow or slow-flowing, some of them can be deceptively deep. It is best to step out of your vehicle, put your vehicle in 'P' and use a stick or a tree branch to judge its depth. If it's too deep, find an alternative route.

7. Don't tailgate a fellow driver. Vehicles may take longer to accelerate and brake. Allow a few car lengths, giving the driver ahead space to reverse if necessary.

8. Leave no man behind! A team or a convoy usually consists of a wide variety of people with a wide variety of vehicles. Some may be just learning the ropes and may not be able to cope with the sand's pace, topography, or looseness. These are also the fellows that may be prone to get stuck. Either way, we must always look out for them and provide every form of assistance possible. Just ensure you don't risk your position; that defeats the purpose.


Come experience the premier desert drive event by signing up for this year's KT Desert Drive event scheduled for the 26th of November 2022. Just remember to keep these pointers in mind, and enjoy yourselves!

Online tickets go on sale from the 15th of November 2022 and are available at https://www.ktdesertdrive.com/online-booking/tickets.php. For more details check out https://www.ktdesertdrive.com/index.html

The KT Desert Drive is also supported by:

Jeep and Trading Enterprises (Lead sponsor); Goodyear (Strategic sponsor); Castrol Magnatec: SUV (Exclusive lubricant sponsor); Nature Valley (Nutrition sponsor); Baskin Robbins (Gold Sponsor); Al Hamra Golf Club (Hospitality partner); Jeepers Edition (Support); Cafu (Mobile fuelling partner); Al Ain (Water partner); Abela & Co. (Lunch sponsor)

More news from Events