AJMAN // Four adventurers drove 1,400 kilometres to a far-flung area of Oman and planted the UAE flag on one of the world’s highest sand dunes.
The members of the UAE Adventure Club, a non-profit organisation that teaches people about the desert and off-roading, made the trip to Mazyouna province, in the south of Oman near the Yemen border, aiming to become the first to raise the UAE flag on Ramlet Jadilah dune.
The dune is 455 metres above sea level, one of the highest in the world, along with Dune 7 in Namibia, according to Eid Al Yahya, a Saudi anthropological researcher and Al Arabiya television presenter.
He posted a video of the dune on YouTube and, after the adventurers saw it, they knew what they wanted to do.
“The aim of our mission is to show people around the world the unknown terrain and areas in the GCC and to motivate all young citizens and residents in the UAE to explore the UAE and GCC and know that they are able to do anything,” said Amjed Al Mouaqet, a 28-year-old Jordanian strategic consultant.
After seeing the video, the adventurers spent two days locating the precise site using Google Earth, contour maps and software programmes to ensure they knew where they were going.
They also approached a Bedouin tour guide in Oman, Mohammed Al Mehri, who helped them to get to the dune.
“We drove for 15 hours with no stops except to refuel until we arrived. The next day, we spent three hours driving in the desert towards the dune and climbed 420 metres in our 4×4 and the other 35 metres on foot,” Mr Al Mouaqet said.
“The driving was very rough. “Our cars were threatening to flip if we stopped at the wrong angle on the dune, and the walking on the sand was tough.”
The group – which included Emiratis Abdulhalim Qayed, 43, Abdullah Al Huraiz, 42, and Khalfan Al Bulooshi, 37 – also faced military checkpoints en route, because the dune is only 10km from war-torn Yemen.