Sharjah Police in cooperation with the Sharjah Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) has launched training and issuing new desert licences for individuals. The new licensing system kicked off on Wednesday, October 24.

If you are keen on hitting the dunes in your personal four-wheel-drive SUV, there is now a licence for that. The Sharjah Driving Institute, the controlling arm for traffic regulation of Sharjah Police now issues desert driving licences for individuals.

Sharjah Police is keen to scale up the level of service provided to the public, ensuring the achievement of the strategic objective of the Ministry of Interior to enhance customer satisfaction. Additionally, it aims to enhance the security and safety and to preserve the lives of families who travel.

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As per a previous regulation, tour operators also need to obtain commercial desert driving licences to conduct tours.

The Sharjah Driving Institute had earlier implemented a regulation that made it mandatory for tour operators to obtain a commercial desert driving licence in order to organize desert outings for families in the UAE as well as tourists who are keen to enjoy the natural environment of the desert. The new licencing law came into effect on September 16, 2018.

Colonel Ali Al Balzoud, head of Sharjah Driving Institute’s Customer Service Centre said, “Organising these trips involves several vehicles that takes visitors through a different journey on the sand. Drivers in the desert require skill and craftsmanship in such unlevelled areas, and it can sometimes be dangerous to those who have not mastered the art of driving through sand dunes.”

The licencing regulation has now been extended to individuals who want to take their personal vehicles dune bashing or extended overland trips. The driving program includes a special training course, including theoretical and practical training at the Sharjah Driving Institute. The training covers the nuances of driving in the desert, over sand dunes, and how to deal with a vehicle that is beached in the sand.