Weekend Trip to Sila with Jeep Grand Cherokee

Every month a new trip will be uploaded to this site: enjoy!

This trip is on tarmac and hard dirt tracks to a remote beach close to the Saudi Arabian border, where you will find splendid sea and a dramatic coastline decorated with cliffs and fossilized sea sponges.

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Driving through the endless coastal desert of the western region of the UAE makes the destination all the more astounding – luckily the Jeep Grand Cherokee we were driving insulated us from the harsh environment and glided us to the seaside in total comfort. Besides that, the 360-hp 5.7-liter V8 Hemi engine seamlessly deactivates four of the eight cylinders providing both power and fuel-economy. The available features are impressive, from adaptive cruise control to air suspension and tire pressure monitoring.

From the wild-west township of Sila, heading due north, a very well-marked dirt track will take you to a remote coastline of short sandy beaches separated by rocks. The interior is fascinating in its flatness and geological composition, and the erosion of millions of years.

Sila desert

Mushroom-like outcrops dot the lunar landscape, but the sea behind them is crystal clear and rich with coral reefs and sand-spit islands.

With the top-of-the-line luxury SUV model, especially one with a Jeep legacy, the question is always whether it will perform off-road – the short answer for the Grand Cherokee is a resounding YES, as this video shows:

Grand Cherokee in desert

Plus, the Jeep Grand Cherokee just looked great in the desert!

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 WeekendUAE Trip to Sila with Jeep Grand Cherokee in a larger map

As you see on the map, the better beaches for camping are on the eastern flank of the peninsula. You will note two extra waypoints for the western flank, as these lead to a large lagoon where flamingoes and other sea birds abound.


You might enquire as to what those lumps are lying on the ground... not camel droppings as they might appear to be, but fossils! Swimming in the sea and laying on the beach are one thing to do, but the area is brimming with various kinds of fossilized sea creatures and other silica-based minerals which make for an interesting hunt!


Transparent sheets of probably silica, baked and compressed at high temperatures are a natural phenomena.

fossilized sea sponges

And down by the coastal cliffs, fossilized sea sponges dot the landscape.

Fossilized sea sponges

Please do not dig out or remove these fossils from the walls, as they are beautiful in their natural environment. Take photos instead!

Fossilized sea sponges Fossilized sea sponges

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="540" caption=""]dromedary camel


In the morning, visitors to our campsite are the king of this extreme desert landscape, the affable dromedary camel!

Fossilized sea sponges

There are no wild camels, and their farms will not be far away; however, they can kick if startled, so always keep yourself within their line of sight.

My disclaimer is here.