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I am in a need of practical advices regarding biking in this area. Anyone with the right experience?
I'm probably not the person to go to for practical advice but I went through UAE, Oman and Yemen in a previous millennium - is there anything specific you wish to know?
please tell us about some traffic problems within UAE and Oman, and the mountain road of Oman. Winter is good for a bike tour in Oman ?
Thank you, Paul, it is nice of you. But - the previous millennium… there is not a single sand corn in Arabian deserts that has the same place today :-)
OK - I don't think I have a single brain cell in the same place either.
I lived in the Musandam area of Oman last year and travelled frequently around the UAE. However, since it's an exclave of Oman proper (cutoff by the UAE) I haven't been in the rest of the country so can't really say I'm qualified to give advice about all of Oman.
Here is what I do know, in case it helps.
- Traffic in the Emirates in Insane. With a capital 'I'. At least, it is on the West Coast, where Abu Dhabi, Sjarjah and Dubai are located (as long as some smaller cities like Ajman). I wouldn't cycle there. I am sure it is possible but quite suicidal. We took the ferry from Sjarjah to Bandar Abbas (Iran) which was scheduled to depart from Dubai first, but we choose NOT to cycle from our location into Dubai.
- There are neighborhoods in Dubai that I'm sure you can get around on by bike if you stick to the sidewalks, but crossing any significant distances is nearly impossible. This city is not built for any other form of transport than a car.
- Once you're a safe distance away from the big cities cycling shoult be fine, just note that a lot of the roads are highways (I'm not sure cycling is allowed?) and that there are not always smaller roads to choose from
- In Oman there are plenty of mountain roads but they are not always in very good shape and they are steep - think 15% to even 20%. Mountainbike material, methinks.
The good news is that people are incredibly friendly and welcoming. Camping should be easy (although we saw that a lot of the desert is fenced off from the highways (to keep the camels from the road I guess) but I'm sure you can find your way in :). Also you can probably camp without problem on the beaches along the Omani coastline (which is beautiful). In villages and surely near mosques there are public taps with filtered and cooled water. As per the rules of desert hospitality, no one will refuse to give you water if you ask them. If you ask the local imam you can probably pitch your tent right next to the local mosque so you can use their water etc. Just expect to be waken up by an early call for prayer.
Yes, i have been told about cycling conditions on UAE´s major roads, but – have a look at google map, for instants this notorious part Dubai – Abu Dabi - you can see manylocal streets going along the highway throughout settlements… naturally, you are not able to read real conditions out of the map, but at least it makes you optimistic. :-)
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