Adventure Off-Road Oman Podcast Sultanate

Sultanate Ep 024: World’s Tallest Dune

January 11, 2018

The world’s tallest dune is a magnificent sight. Standing tall at 455 meters, it pierces the barren landscape like a surgeons scalpel, but without the precision. Its meandering arms radiate, twist and bend in an attempt to dissuade you from clamoring to the peak. However, the luscious red sand seduces you into thinking it’s possible.

World's Tallest Dune, Fahad Alabri, Ramlat Jadilah, Dhofar, Oman, D. Michael, Empty Quarter, Rub al Khali, tallest duneAfter a more than a 900 kilometer journey into Oman’s Rub’ al Khali (Empty Quarter), I stand at the foot of a behemoth, the king of all giants, the grand daddy of them all; the world’s tallest dune.

At this point my trip is complete, I’ve reached the pile of sand, logged its location, and I can go no further. Yemen is to my east, 12 kilometers away, and Saudi Arabia is to my north, 36 kilometers across the dense star dunes. However, standing to my right is Fahad Alabri, and his mission just started.

Handstanding Atop the World’s Tallest Dune

In this episode of the Sultanate I team up with Fahad Alabri to locate, record, climb, and handstand the biggest, baddest dune of them all.

Fahad is a local personal trainer who is on a mission, across the world, to use the act of handstand to break through cultural barriers while promoting health, fitness, and wellbeing. On his Instagram page, Fahad is seen upside-down all over Oman and beyond in places like Milan, London, Spain, and Zanzibar.

Regarding this trip, “I really have not much of an experience to balance my hands in a sandy desert ground, but I’m going to figure it out,” he says. “It’s about the connection with the hands and the ground so I just have to manipulate my hands toward it, and then I am gunna go to the inversion.”

Tune in to find out if Fahad can overcome wind and sand to handstand atop the world’s tallest dune.

World's Tallest Dune, Fahad Alabri, Ramlat Jadilah, Dhofar, Oman, Empty Quarter, Rub al Khali

Reaching the World’s Tallest Dune

Located in Ramlat Jadilah, this dune is both easy and hard to reach. The easy part being that there is very little sand driving to do, thanks to the dirt tracks the government constructed for the army border patrol and local village of Miton. The challenge being it’s bloody far away and takes a bit of planning to reach.

From Muscat you’d be lucky to reach the dune in one full day. I recommend splitting the journey up somehow because it’s more than 10 hours of driving.

From Salalah it can be a really long day trip if don’t mind a bit of night driving in the morning or evening. Still, it’s better to camp overnight at the dune.

The best access is from the wild border town of Mazyunah, then turning north towards the camel town of Miton, before ending in Ramlat Jadilah. Needless to say this area is under heavy army presence, and access is subject to their control.

World's Tallest Dune, Fahad Alabri, Ramlat Jadilah, Dhofar, Oman, Empty Quarter, Rub al Khali, signOur visit yielded no interaction with any checkpoint or patrol, we just followed the advice of all signs to: “stay on the track,” “do not go left of the track” (when driving north), and eventually “do not go beyond this point”. All signs are solely in Arabic, so if you don’t understand the language, I recommend keeping an offline capable translator and Arabic keyboard installed on your phone. I’ve heard of army patrols doing all sorts of things like; stopping people and turning them back, requiring multiple vehicles in the group, and checking if you have GPS. Be prepared for anything.

Sultanate Ep 024: World’s Tallest Dune LinksSand Driving Tips
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World’s Tallest Dune Map


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  • Reply jacob January 18, 2018 at 1727

    Love all dunes, the bigger the better.
    I climbed some very high ones in Ramlat Al Hashman but if this is the tallest then….that’s me on the long drive down there.
    How are the roads ?

    • Reply D. Michael January 18, 2018 at 1852

      Thanks Jacob. Glad you enjoyed it.

  • Reply Asharaf K July 30, 2018 at 1310

    This is is so interesting. I love to explore deserts and offroad paths too.
    Would be thankfull if you could share the route map and GPS coordinates to my below mail id for Highest Dune in Oman.
    And similar routes of any other interesting routes.
    Thank you in advance

    • Reply D. Michael August 27, 2018 at 1112

      Hi Asharaf, I have nothing organized at the moment, but SOON there will be something organized and available to all. Thanks.

  • Reply Wermester October 26, 2018 at 2041

    Hi Michael,
    really a splendid place, thanks for sharing your experiences, i have followed all your posts. We are a french couple on holidays, and we’d like to do a similar trip, following the road 43 from Ubar and only go a little beat far after the last village to have a night in desert. What is your opinion and advice about that? Is the country safe concerning the political situation and proximity of Yemen.
    We’ll stay on month in Oman, this trip in desert is one of the main reason we go in Dhofar country, if we conclude it is too unsure and don’t do it, in your opinion, is the long way to the south worthwhile. Thank you in advance for your answer.
    Regards, Eric

    • Reply D. Michael November 1, 2018 at 1701

      Hi Eric, Thanks for the question. I have two words about it: DO IT! You’ll be fine regarding safety and security. Just stay on the proper side of the border ;) You should be more focused on food, water, and mechanical things with the vehicle. I don’t understand the second part of the question but I think it’s fine since I say, DO IT! Enjoy your trip.

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