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Sport UTVs:
Can-Am Maverick 1000R X-ds Turbo
Polaris RZR XP 4 1000
Polaris RZR XP 1000
Arctic Cat Wildcat
Can-Am Maverick
2016 Polaris RZR XP Turbo

Liwa Festival 2009
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Sand Dunes near Liwa Oasis, United Arab Emirates
The dunes in Abu Dhabi are buttery smooth, and go much farther than the eye can see....

I was fortunate to be asked to tag along with Grant George from Funco Motorsports to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Our host for the week was Khaled Bin Shaiban, the owner of the two seat Funco Hustler seen below.  We stayed at Khaled's house in Liwa and duned out to Moreeb Dune from there.
Liwa Festival 2009

Under the patronage of H.H Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan,  Liwa Festival 2009 takes place from January 25, 2009 to February 1, 2009. The festival included the following events : camel race, horse race, falcon race, Shooting championship, in addition to motorbike, ATV, dune car and 4x4 championships.

The location of the 2009 Liwa Festival is Tel Moreeb (aka Moreeb Dune or "Scary Mountain"). The area has some of the highest and steepest sand hills in the world.

A paved, 25 kilometer desert road leads you to Tel Moreeb from Liwa Oasis.


Sand Cars

  Funco Hustler   

Funco Motorsports - Two Seat Hustler

Funco Motorsports - Big 5 Gen 5  Funco Motorsports - Big 5 Gen 5  Funco Motorsports - Big 5 Gen 5
Funco Motorsports - Gen 5 Big 5


      Polaris RZR

Long Travel Polaris RZR near Liwa Oasis, UAE  Long Travel Polaris RZR - Rigid Insustries
Newspaper ad for Polaris RZR S on the front of the sports page. The Polaris RZR is the most popular UTV in the United Arab Emirates from what I saw.  Especially the RZR S.

Kawasaki Teryx - Dragon Fire Racing  Kawasaki Teryx - Dragon Fire Racing  Kawasaki Teryx - Dragon Fire Racing
Kawasaki Teryx are starting to make a play in the UAE.

  Polaris RZR S in Liwa Oasis, UAE
Gas Station in Liwa Oasis

  Long Travel Yamaha Rhino in Liwa, UAE
Dunes near Liwa Oasis

United Arab Emirates - Flacon Training  United Arab Emirates - Flacon Training  United Arab Emirates - Flacon Training  United Arab Emirates - Flacon Training
Falcon Training near Moreeb Dune

  Moreeb Hill, United Arab Emirated  Moreeb Hill near Liwa Oasis, UAE  Moreeb Hill, Liwa

Moreeb Hill - Abu Dhabi

Fireworks at the Liwa Festival - Moreeb Hill  Fireworks at Moreeb Hill during the 2009 Liwa Festival (UAE)   
Moreeb Hill

Smoking Shisha or Hooka is big in the UAE

Mountain Dew
"Mountain Dew" with a removable pull tab that the United States haven't seen for almost 30 years.

A little tough to get used to sitting on the floor and eating with my hands, but the food was incredible. 

2009 Yamaha YFZ450R  2009 Yamaha YFZ450R at Moreeb Hill, UAE
I got to ride a brand new 2009 Yamaha YFZ450R for a few days.  Couldn't ask for much better than that. Look for a full YFZ450R ride review on

  Todd from Dragon Fire Racing and Grant from Funco Motorsports
Met a few other people from the United States over at Moreeb Hill.  Todd from Dragon Fire Racing was cruising in a Kawasaki Teryx.  Also saw Chris from CBM, Joe from Sand Limo and Ed "Pound Sand".

Sand Dunes near Liwa Oasis, United Arab Emirates  Sand Dunes near Liwa Oasis, United Arab Emirates  Sand Dunes near Liwa Oasis, United Arab Emirates
The dunes in Abu Dhabi are rippled and smooth.  Once you get away from Moreeb Hill, there are virtually no tracks for miles after miles of dunes.

A little brake service being performed by Grant @ Funco in Liwa.  These guys love to use those turning brakes and Grant brought pads and calipers in a suitcase to do the work.

More Information about the area:

The United Arab Emirates  (UAE) is a federation of seven states (emirates) - Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Qaiwain - formed in 1971 after independence from Britain. The terrain varies from the bare rock mountains of the north and east to the spectacular sand desert that runs south into Saudi Arabia and is the northern edge of the Rub al Khali - the "Empty Quarter".

The Rub' al Khali, or the "Empty Quarter" in English, is one of the largest sand deserts in the world, encompassing most of the southern third of the Arabian Peninsula, including southern Saudi Arabia, and areas of Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. The desert covers some 250,000 square miles and is one of the most inhospitable places on earth, and entirely uninhabitable.

The Empty Quarter is 1200 km long and 650 km wide, and is among the largest continuous deserts in the world. About 80 percent of this area is in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and covers about a quarter of the Kingdom’s land surface.  Its eastern edges extend into the United Arab Emirates, and its southern margin is in the Sultanate of Oman.  Parts of its southern and southwestern limits are in the Republic of Yemen.

Satellite Image of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Google Maps

Liwa Oasis is located south-west of Abu Dhabi on the edge of the biggest sand desert in the world, the Rub al Khali (Empty Quarter). The Liwa Oasis is a gateway to the deep sands of the legendary Empty Quarter and is known as the playground for 4x4 dune bashing. Dune bashing is an increasingly popular activity, which involves tourists being driven out into the surrounding desert in a 4X4 and driving up and down the sand dunes.

Satellite Image of Liwa Oasis, UAE - Google Maps

Moreeb Hill (Al Moreb Hill) is the place for organized drag races. With a reported 50 degree slipface, and a 300m long hill climb, it is a perfect place for sand drags. Moreeb Hill is one of the largest hill climbs in the world. It is also known as Tel Moreeb or "Scary Mountain".

Satellite Image of Moreeb Dune, UAE - Google Maps

Moreeb Hill - UAE Abu Dhabi
Moreeb Hill, Abu Dhabi

Product Reviews:

While in the United Arab Emirates, we will be testing a new product called "SPOT".

SPOT GPS Tracker

SPOT is the world's first satellite messenger, using the GPS satellite system to determine you location and communications satellites to transmit that information to the chosen recipient.

We figured that this remote area of the world, far away from the United States was a perfect testing ground to try out this product.

Here is our SPOT check-in message from Moreeb Hill:

Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:01/29/2009 18:16:30 (GMT),53.7872&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

And another from the place we stayed at in Liwa:

Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:01/28/2009 12:35:08 (GMT),53.8538&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

SPOT Product Review


Back to Sand Dune Guide

Long Travel:
Can-Am Commander Long Travel Kits
Kawasaki Teryx Long Travel Kits
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Arctic Cat Prowler Long Travel Kits
Yamaha Rhino Long Travel Kits

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