Living in a desert without quad-biking is just not done! While I am not a very adventurous person, T is. And we do complement each other perfectly. I have gotten him to read books and enjoy the quiet intellectual life, while he has got me addicted to our regular doses of adventure. So he planned a surprise for me and my mother (she was visiting us) during the Eid holidays. And we set off, I knew not where (he can be a bit dramatic with his surprises)!
We went there early in the morning, right after the morning prayers. It took us about 30 mins by car to reach there. It was quite empty around that time as when we reached it was still dark. But from the looks of what I saw, we had come for some driving in the dunes! I was simply gaping at the sight with my mouth slightly open. Looking at all the heavy machinery around me, and having never driven before, I got a bit nervous. But this was something I just could not miss. Not even the thought of a broken arm deterred me from driving (talk about thinking the worst thoughts in the best of situations)! So we got ourselves a couple of bikes and started moving around, I rather shakily. T, as usual, was a natural. He kept driving off and bumping and jumping and just when I thought he would flip over, he made the perfect landing. I never dared to do all those things. I simply enjoyed the drive and went over a few minor dunes and got excited like a small child getting their favorite dessert. And yes, we did a bit of racing as well. Do I need to mention who won?
It was unbelievable fun. I was a bit scared at first because whenever you drive fast, it feels as if the bike would flip over and you would be under it! But the bike is much steadier than it seems. Again, because of the low power of the engine, we couldn’t go as high up in the sandy mountains as we would have liked. Also mostly because I got sore arms from all the heavy driving! But we surely didn’t miss out on the fun. In the middle of all the driving, we got to see a spectacular sunrise from behind the Makkah hills.
The price is around SR 50-60 per hour depending on the condition of the bikes. As it was our first experience, we didn’t realize there would be different types of bikes there. So we got handed a couple of old ones with low power and tough handling. I wasn’t complaining as I would finally get to DRIVE in Saudi (Bdw yes, women can legally drive quad-bikes)! I had covered my face because the sand kept blowing in my face. T did the same. Just makes it more comfortable to drive without sand getting all over you.
While going to Makkah from Jeddah, around 25 kms from the Jeddah Metro station, is an exit for Bahrah. Take the nameless exit AFTER Bahrah on the right. And as you get down, you will see hundreds of quad bikes on your left. Take a U-turn and you will arrive. You can access this place in a normal car as well. No need to get a 4×4. This place cannot be seen from the main highway, because they have put mounds of sand in the front (for privacy maybe?).
Also, there is an ambulance and police available there. So, help is always available in case anything goes wrong (God forbid!).
When we went, it was just the three of us. My mother didn’t drive much. She sat in the car, sipping tea and watching us kids. We did have fun but we wished we could have done it with a large group of all our friends. If I may suggest, you should bring everyone together and go and have fun! We were home by 9 AM and too wired to go back to sleep. So, instead of coming home, you can plan a full-day picnic (go to the Eastern Forest. I will put up a post soon!) and have a memorable weekend :).
Hope you have fun quad-biking and stay safe!