Every month a new trip will be uploaded to this blog: enjoy!
Nothing wrong with a quick ride – especially one that leads from one of Al Ain’s most famous dunes, practically on the outskirts of the city, to one of the most amazing sights you will ever come across in this land: a lake, a sparkling blue, fish-jumping, ducks a-quacking, bona fide freshwater lake.
In 15 minutes of hard driving, or a half-hour of leisurely riding, either up on sharp dunes, down on rolling dunes, or even on a well-established track, this brief trip is ideal for quad bikes and fantastic for children or beginner riders.
My own daughter took her first proper rides here, about three years before, so I thought she would be a good candidate to offer an opinion following a test ride of a Suzuki Quadrunner 250cc.
Download the KML file for your GPS by clicking here.
Once downloaded, you can import the file into your GPS device and take it on the road, or double-click that file and it will open automatically in Google Earth if you have that installed (all adventurers should! Google Earth).
And here is an interactive map of the route.
View Devil’s plunge in a larger map
The starting point: an easily-accessible large sand dune on the western outskirts of Al Ain, in the district of Zakher, known to some expats as Devil's Plunge.
"Quad Lake" is a bit of a mystery, but it has now been a permanent and expanding body of water for several years. It is a source of life for reeds and all sorts of aquatic birds, as well as fish, frogs and many other species. Its location close to the wastewater recycling plant seems to indicate its origin but does not detract from its beauty.
Wearing protective gear is important for riders of all ages, as is instruction and common sense. The Suzuki Quadrunner 250cc is an ideal starter bike as it is both smooth and powerful so that it does not need to be run at full gas like the 50cc quads, which wrongly encourages new riders to scream around at full blast all the time.
The Suzuki Quadrunner 250 comfortably negotiates sand dunes and the area offers flat sand, gentle rolling dunes, as well as a very tall and steep dune - so riders of different abilities will enjoy this trip.
Al Ain city as seen from the top of Devil's Plunge. The sun sets behind the lake and Jebel Hafeet (not in this photo) making a wonderful shot for photographers.
Can you believe this is in the UAE? People fish on the weekend from the pump stations hurriedly set up along the western shore. All around the lake are gentle rolling dunes.
Al Ain Lake - click to see a larger image.
Please read the original article: A gentle romp from Devil’s Plunge across the red sand dunes to Quad Lake, just on the outskirts of Al Ain. Published by The National, Dec 17, 2010.
Or view a pdf file of the original article here, as published.
Please make sure you read the Disclaimer and plan your trips with due care.
Update 10 Oct 2012:
Lake has been fenced off, but entrance is open for water trucks to go in and fill up. Also this sign has been posted: