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Oman and the UAE
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Posted 4/6/2014 9:33 AM
colsG55
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Date registered: Aug 2013
Location: Dubai
Vehicle(s): G55 Classic 2000, TD5 110, 200 Series Land Cruiser
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Oman and the UAE

G'day all,

As you know there are a lot of G's out here in the UAE so I thought I would start a thread where the various owners can share their photo's and regional trip reports.

I have a foot in 2 camps with an older G55 and 2 Land Rovers, my Defender is my main off roader so some of the trip reports maybe biased toward Land Rovers but there will be G contents in each of the trip posted.

I will kick off with a few photo's and run down on my G55.

After being a long time Land Rover Defender owner I stumbled across an immaculate 2000 G55 Classic with on 61000 kms on the clock & could not resist the purchase. Current milage 78500 km.

I am yet to determine its exact role in its previous life, but it started out with the Dubai Government as a part of the Royal Fleet, then was briefly owned by a 3rd party who sold it for a profit after it was released from the Governments fleet. The next owner who was a German lovingly owned if for around 4 years and sold it due to circumstance of a growing family & the need for a GL500.

It is a 99 build with a M113.982 Engine, I think it was probably part of the security detail as it has an armoured vehicle front axle which is heavily braced, ORC +40mm rear springs, 3rd row seats, factory fitted siren and a communication system where you communicate externally without having to lower the windows. It also still has a pistol holster in place next to the drivers leg.

Apart from a few minor scratches & paint chips it is in as new condition, there are not many vehicles of this age in this condition so it was a sale I could not refuse.

For the time being the G55 will remain my daily drive & tourer and my long suffering 110 will remain my vehicle of choice for heavy duty off roading as it is better set up and does not matter if damaged.

To date other than taking care of a few minor issues and I have fitted a set of 285/60/18's to make it a better all rounder.

http://cdr.smugmug.com/Off-Road/G-Wagon/
#221156
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Posted 4/6/2014 9:48 AM
colsG55
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Date registered: Aug 2013
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Vehicle(s): G55 Classic 2000, TD5 110, 200 Series Land Cruiser
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Re: Oman and the UAE

In Feb we took to Inlaws down into Oman on a 6 Day 2000 km trip for my Father Inlaws 70th Birthday as he loves Oman.

There was not a great deal in the way of off roading apart from venturing onto the beach in several locations.

We spend a couple of nights in Barasti huts on the beach near Muscat, then drove south to Maseriah Island where it is a 19 km ferry trip to the Island. Maseriah is a great place to kill a couple of days as there is an abundance of marine life and beaches to see. The trip back was not great as there was a 20-30 kt wind blowing and the vehicle was covered in salt spray and a few breaking waves. After that was a drive in a sand storm about 450 km North along the side of the Wahiba Sands to Nizwa where there is an old walled town, every Friday morning there is an animal market which is good to see.

Over all the vehicle drove like a dream full of people & gear, the only down side was the fuel economy of 25.5lts per 100 km into the wind, otherwise it averaged about 19 lts per 100 km. Luckily fuel in Oman is in the region of 45 cent per ltr so the amount used is of no real consequence.

http://cdr.smugmug.com/Off-Road/Oman-Muscat-Maseriah-Island/
#221157 - in reply to #221156
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Posted 4/6/2014 1:32 PM
thebigblue

Date registered: Jan 2012
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RE: Oman and the UAE

Thanks for sharing. That rare green metallic G looks just great, and a rare find with such a low mileage.
#221165 - in reply to #221156
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Posted 4/6/2014 9:20 PM
shochu
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Date registered: Jul 2006
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Vehicle(s): indonesian-assembled '97 G300
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Re: Oman and the UAE

nice G, don't see that color often.. looks great
#221174 - in reply to #221156
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Posted 4/7/2014 11:52 AM
colsG55
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Date registered: Aug 2013
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Vehicle(s): G55 Classic 2000, TD5 110, 200 Series Land Cruiser
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RE: Oman and the UAE

Thanks all, yep the colour seems quite unique, the paint code is 9999 which I think is a special colour.

Police cars in Dubai are green, which is why I think it was a part of the security/police side of things.

Last weekend I drove an interesting route with Mike Nott who put together an interesting route in Oman just behind Buraimi, which is about 1 1/2 hrs drive from Dubai.

For a change we had good rain the previous evening and a little more during the day which made it a little more interesting as well as giving the desert some extra colour.

As it was the scenery was very nice but after the rain it really set it off.

The route has some challenging climbs which needed deflation and at least a rear locker, then we had to pick our way through a wadi bed and do a little road building along the way.

Sadly we did not get any photos of driving the rockiest section as we were either driving or spotting but you can see from some of the photos there were a few rocks to hop.

The photos are a mixture of both mine & Mikes.

http://cdr.smugmug.com/Off-Road/In-the-Mountains-with-Mike/
#221189 - in reply to #221156
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Posted 4/9/2014 1:37 PM
colsG55
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RE: Oman and the UAE


Back in 2009 we completed a trip with a 3 Land Rovers & Mikes G500. We covered around 3000 kms in total over 9 days, I guess we  did in the region of 1000km off road or on sand tracks.

After reading Wilfred Thesigers Book "The Arabian Sands" I thought it would be good to drive the length of Oman near the Saudi border to get a real feel for the Rub Al Khali, "The Empty Quarter". We have some of the Empty Quarter in the UAE but after seeing a good bit of the area I thought it would be good to cross as much of it as possible in Oman.

The trip was a fantastic drive through some stunning scenery, we were quite remote and fully self sufficient apart from coming out of the desert once at the mid way point for fuel. We also stopped at Shisar, The Lost City of Ubar which was found by a team including Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

Along the way we had 2 military encounters, the first we were about turned and sent out of the desert, after a discussion we decided the head South about 30 km away from the Omani military and head back in again which we were able to do and continued along our way. The next time we were not so lucky and were arrested for illegally crossing the Yemen Border which was not our plan. We had a few shot fired in our direction and headed their warning to stop.

Mike wrote an article about our arrest for a local outdoor magazine, which I have attached as he details the encounter far better than I am able to.

Here are some of the photos from along the way, the photos after the last sunset are all in Yemen, as we were under military escort I was only able to snap a few out the window as we were driving along. Note the military truck with no windscreen after a roll over, it really was like the Wild West down there.

Due to our last military incursion we did not get to complete the planned route so it was competed a year or so during another trip into the same region.

 

http://cdr.smugmug.com/Off-Road/Rub-Al-Khali-Oman-Empty/

http://outdooruae.com/mike-nott-ii-6/


Sometimes, the best laid plans are subject to monumental hiccoughs.  This is a tale of how a meticulously planned 1,400km, week long, off-road trip through the Omani Empty Quarter and Dhofar Mountains was thwarted by the reasonable reliance on official mapping and GPS map databases; both of which turned out to be rather less accurate than expected.

This trip was made up of 4 vehicles: Colin Campbell and David Townshend in Colin’s Land Rover Defender 110, David Horn in his highly modified Land Rover Discovery, Graham Kimber and his 18 year old son, Josh, in Graham’s Land Rover Discovery and me and my 15 year old son, Robert, in our Mercedes G500. The trip’s route went off-road from just south of Al Ain to the Gulf of Oman coast near the Yemen border. It takes at least 5 days to complete and basically follows the Oman border with, sequentially the UAE, Saudi and then Yemen.  For a large portion of the route it’s actually a reasonably close re-tracing of Thesiger’s route from Salalah to Al Ain and is a fantastic vehicle expedition.

All went pretty smoothly until we reached the Oman town of Mazyouna, adjacent to the Yemen border. We had traversed some fantastic areas: the flat gravel plains in the north, immense and stunning dunes, stood at the Saudi/Oman border at the base of the Empty Quarter and then reached the start of the rocky escarpments leading to the Dhofar mountains. We refuelled in Mazyouna, drove out of town to set up camp and the next morning, headed south to parallel the Yemen border.

Now unbeknownst to us, the Omani official tourist map and even the Garmin Mapsource™ mapping on our GPSs was not as accurate as they really should have been. We turned west towards the border and had, or so it seemed from our maps and GPSs, about 10km to play with. We picked up some sand tracks and followed them. After a couple of kilometres, off to our right we saw a chap waving at us, in what appeared to be a very vigorous and friendly manner, so we waved back. Then we heard volleys of gunfire aimed at us and I turned to Robert and said we’re being shot at. Colin in the lead and with me just behind, put our feet down to try and get out of range of the (thankfully inaccurate) firing but Graham and David were a little way back and out from behind a rocky outcrop two old pick-up trucks chased them down. Colin and I saw this happen, so reluctantly came round and waited for the inevitable intercept. Another pick-up reached us with a gaggle of armed men on-board and gestured to us to follow them back to the ‘rocky-outcrop’.

We were escorted back under armed guard and were then surrounded by more men, all in Yemeni traditional dress, all bearing arms and, with us fearing the worst. Our thoughts went immediately to those of being captured by Yemeni tribesmen and being ransomed off, (I wondered how much Jeni, my wife, would have to cough up for Robert and I, and whether she even would). But, there was something not quite right. We were very close to the Omani border and surely there wouldn’t be so many of them, and so close. After an initial interrogation, it turned out that they were in fact Yemen border guard. As it was Friday, they were allowed to dress in mufti and, it transpired, we had strayed about 5km into Yemen along a well known smuggling route. Of course, we tried to convince them to let us go and that we’d drive back the way we came but they were having none of it.

What then followed, despite the inconvenience and having our trip cut short, was a tale of the most gracious hospitality. The captain of this particular outpost got into uniform, jumped into David’s Discovery with his AK47 and we then followed a route through the stunning rocky scenery, via all the other Yemeni border posts to the nearest town on the border road leading from Mazyouna in the Oman. Though, not in any way used as a delaying tactic, Graham’s Discovery sprung an oil leak, and I don’t mean a run-of-the-mill Land Rover oil leak. An oil pipe had disconnected and all of his engine oil was pumped, rather dismayingly, into the sand. So, a quick tow was arranged and we carried on until we reached a tarmac road. I was carrying 5 litres of suitable oil and once he’d  re-attached the oil pipe, he refilled his engine and we all drove on.

On arrival at the town and having been handed formally over to the local police, interrogated once again, and finally having been able to convince them the Robert’s radio controlled car wasn’t in fact a spy car with remote cameras, we were treated royally. Declining their suggestion that we stayed in a local hotel in the town, we pressed on them that we really wanted to head back to Oman. Now, considering it was a Friday and all the ministries were closed, they did go to extraordinary lengths to release us as soon as they could and in the proper manner. We were fed and watered by the head of the customs department, as his personal guests, and were accommodated with fresh bedding on the top floor of the new customs house.

Later that afternoon a senior military officer came up from the nearest city to check our stories. And here we saved further time explaining ourselves by showing him our GPSs.  On David’s large screen GPS we showed him the route we had followed and the mapping database indicated that we were well within the borders of the Oman, and it was all a big mistake; silly us!  He took a printout of this data and sent it to some ministry in the capital Sanaa. At 3am on the Saturday morning, we were woken, told we were free to go and were then escorted in a police convoy to the Omani border checkpoint. Here we were formally handed over to the Omani border guard, who laughed like drains when they heard our story; though they were very keen to get their hands on the locations of the Yemeni border posts.

I returned a year later, on my own, to complete the part of the trip that had been denied us. With updated and now accurate GPS software I was able to drive from Rakhyut on the Omani coast and parallel the Oman/Yemen border all the way to Mazyouna without mishap. If you fancy doing, probably, the longest and most sublime off-road route in the Oman, it’s Route 16 in the guidebook!

Published May 2012

By Mike Not

#221235 - in reply to #221156
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Posted 11/16/2014 12:10 PM
colsG55
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Date registered: Aug 2013
Location: Dubai
Vehicle(s): G55 Classic 2000, TD5 110, 200 Series Land Cruiser
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Re: Oman and the UAE

Sorry there is not much in the way of off road content in these photo's, but over the weekend we ran our annual surf ski race up in Musandam "Oman" and the G55 has now become our official tow vehicle. It is a fantastic tow vehicle, you barely notice the trailer is behind apart from when it comes to braking.

Not that I have any photos but we also did a run up the mountains in the dirt to around 5000 ft to the look out over the Stairway to heaven.

http://cdr.smugmug.com/SurfSki-1/Musandam-2014/
#225116 - in reply to #221156
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Posted 11/16/2014 12:43 PM
bram_r
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Re: Oman and the UAE

Very nice pictures, thanks for sharing.

I've never seen a Mercedes G axle being braced like that, very interesting.
In the Dutch Army they we're bending the front axles of the 290GD's when heavily loaded and driving hard off road, now are introduced the 'bottle' axles as an improvement to cope with the higher loads (fitted on the later models).
#225117 - in reply to #221156
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Posted 12/2/2014 10:27 PM
Desert Fox
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Date registered: May 2013
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Vehicle(s): G500 2002
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RE: Oman and the UAE

Looks nice. Nice to see that your tie rod boots are not torn, like mine! So that's what they are supposed to look like!
#225535 - in reply to #221156
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Posted 12/3/2014 12:01 PM
colsG55
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Date registered: Aug 2013
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Vehicle(s): G55 Classic 2000, TD5 110, 200 Series Land Cruiser
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Re: Oman and the UAE

Yep it is a seriously strong front axle which is normally fitted to armoured G's, not much chance I am ever going to bend it.
#225547 - in reply to #221156
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Posted 12/4/2014 8:31 PM
otiswesty
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Re: Oman and the UAE

Great photos.
#225565 - in reply to #221156
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Posted 12/8/2014 5:38 PM
H1LM002G55
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Date registered: Mar 2010
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Re: Oman and the UAE

That is a rare colour! Is that emerald green metallic?

Of note also is the early AMG exhaust. This was the old style with square tips. Very interesting!
#225645 - in reply to #221156
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Posted 6/3/2016 5:20 AM
colsG55
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Date registered: Aug 2013
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Re: Oman and the UAE

Great late afternoon light. Parked on the dunes in the United Arab Emirates "UAE" overlooking Oman with the border fence in the foreground.
 

 

<  

#232598 - in reply to #225645
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Posted 6/3/2016 5:49 PM
MudMonkey
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Re: Oman and the UAE

A border fence across barren terrain in the middle of nowhere...?

Hmm.

Beautiful photo. I do love Oman.
#232611 - in reply to #221156
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Posted 10/12/2016 12:16 PM
colsG55
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RE: Oman and the UAE

Here is a short clip of some flash flooding in a Wadi near Masafi in the UAE, it is about an hours drive from Dubai in the mountains over towards the East Coast. This occurred around 5-10 minutes from the first drops of rain, in another 5 minutes the road would have been impassable. I was a great sight with waterfalls all around us but sadly I didn't have time to stop and get many photos. You regularly hear about the flash flooding in the mountains over here but rarely get to see it, it was a great sight and the first time seeing the rising flood waters first hand in almost 11 years of regular off roading over this way.

Commentary by my 6 year old son who was having a ball.

https://cdr.smugmug.com/Off-Road/Wadi-Shawka1-Flash-Flooding/i-JRLkG...
#234133 - in reply to #221156
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Posted 3/6/2017 1:35 PM
colsG55
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Date registered: Aug 2013
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Re: Oman and the UAE

Here are a few photos from a quick 3 day trip to Wadi Arbaeen in Oman and the surrounding area between Christmas and New Years. There is some stunning scenery in this area.

https://cdr.smugmug.com/Off-Road/Wadi-Arbaeen-and-surround-area
#235502 - in reply to #221156
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Posted 3/15/2017 8:28 AM
DUTCH
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Re: Oman and the UAE

colsG55 - 3/6/2017 1:35 PM

Here are a few photos from a quick 3 day trip to Wadi Arbaeen in Oman and the surrounding area between Christmas and New Years. There is some stunning scenery in this area.

https://cdr.smugmug.com/Off-Road/Wadi-Arbaeen-and-surround-area


Very nice. Thanks for sharing!
#235570 - in reply to #235502
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Posted 1/29/2018 4:31 AM
colsG55
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Date registered: Aug 2013
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RE: Oman and the UAE

Last October/November I ran a 9 day trip circumnavigating most of Oman in a 4000km trip.

We followed the Oman Saudi border down to within 10km of the Yemen border through the Rub Al Khali where we completed the desert section by climbing Ramlet Jadilah which has now recently been recognised as the worlds highest sand dune. I cannot confirm if it actually is.

We then loosely followed the Yemen border to the coast and followed the coast road most of the way home but sadly missed completing the full loop of Oman as we lost a day during the trip and had to cut the last section short and missed crossing the Wahiba Sand and following the coast road back to Dubai.

Either way it was a great trip covering a lot of ground I had previously driven but was able to see again and fit in some new places which I hadn’t yet explored.

The trip is a killer on tyres and suspension, my G Wagon also suffered a fuel leak from the strainer at the bottom of the tank where the line to the fuel pump connects which is worrying when heading into a 600 km section of isolated desert but as it turned out I was ok even with the leak I started with 200ltrs and came out with 23 ltrs remaining but the leak was playing on my mind as we were a long way from anywhere had it gotten any worse.

The GW is a dream to drive on such trips apart from the fuel it needs. We had a 4.5 ltr Nissan Patrol which was slightly worse than my car on fuel and a 6.2ltr F150 which used around the same. The 4.0ltr 120series Toyota Prado was far more frugal which was to be expected being lighter and smaller.

https://cdr.smugmug.com/Off-Road/Rub-Al-Khali-Ramlet-Jadilah

Edited by colsG55 1/29/2018 4:35 AM
#238292 - in reply to #221156
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Posted 7/9/2019 1:04 PM
colsG55
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Date registered: Aug 2013
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RE: Oman and the UAE

I finally got around to sorting out some photos from a trip I organised last October into Oman through the Al Hurq region, then followed the coast North from Ras Madrakah up to Bar Al Hickman around the back of the Khuluf sugar dunes instead of the usual beach run which is normally covered in rubbish.

A great trip but tough on the vehicles, I lost the drivers side headlight glass and drivers side mirror glass not to mention being bogged to the chassis in a couple of salt flats completely caking the underside of the vehicle in several inches of thick salt.

Several Military encounters early on which forced us slightly off our intended route. A stop at the petrified Forrest with ancient trees turned to rock and stuck to the chassis in a couple times in salt flats after busting through the crusts requiring winching out. Finished off with a full length Wahiba Sands crossing from Bar Al Hickman to the very top tip of the Wahiba.

Some very bleak and stunning scenery.

https://cdr.smugmug.com/Off-Road/Al-Hufq--Ras-Madrakh-to-Bar-Al-H
#240824 - in reply to #221156
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Posted 7/15/2019 12:56 AM
otiswesty
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Re: Oman and the UAE

Great pics. Thanks for sharing!
#240840 - in reply to #240824
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