Quad biking in the sandy deserts of the Gulf region is a must-do. Whether you are a “driving Miss Daisy” type, or a Nasser Al Attiyah wannabe, this activity caters for everyone.
I am somewhere in between. Hero on the outside, chicken shit on the inside.
4-hour round trip: If you are a Doha commuter, the first challenge will be getting to Sealine beach, 60km south of the capital. Fortunately, Uber and most private chauffer’s are negotiable, and for around QR70 per hour you can secure your own driver. Considering the average quad bike hire is 1-hour long, I recommend you hire a taxi for 4 hours. This allows plenty time to travel to Sealine, enjoy your adventure, and travel home.
The internet presence of Quad bike rental agencies is non-existent. No worries. Qatar is one of those places that you have to navigate without the security of tripadvisor information and online booking forms.
You’ll find well over a dozen quad bike rental garages at the roundabout just before Sealine beach. Take your pick. They are all much of a muchness. They mostly stock Kymco 250 atv’s, but some have Baja buggies too!
QR200 will get you 1-hours worth of fun. You can negotiate the rate depending on the season. Peak season is from November to March (This is when the weather is cool).
First rule of life is, “Stay Alive”! Quad biking solo is not the sensible option, but when you are a solo traveler you have to take risks. I tread the fine line between calculated risk, maturity and ability. Having never ridden a quad on soft sand before, I knew that I had to take it easy. Then again, the soft sand also helps cushion the fall in the event of a dismount.
The area around Sealine is a free for all. No limits, no rules. On a busy day I am sure you will need to have eyes on the back of your head to avoid a collision. I was fortunate to have the desert to myself. The average sensibility and life span of most local quad bikers is limited to their perceived sense of infallibility. Zero! There is no regard for life or limb, never mind a fellow bikers. You have been warned.
The sandy flats surrounding the dunes is corrugated. I had to travel slowly from the hire shop to the nearby dune. The Kymco was not designed for hard roads, and its suspension was abysmal and hard. On the sand, the ride is smooth and forgiving.
The steepness of the dunes at Sealine range from 10 to 60 degrees, and tower well over 100 meters high. I only attempted ascending smaller, less steep dunes. By small I mean 20 meters high, and with a gradient of less than 45 degrees. The 250cc engine just doesn’t have the grunt to climb anything bigger. The worst thing that can happen is to run out of speed halfway up a dune. Rule one is to roll backwards, but most rookies try turn around and end up flipping their quads. Expensive and deadly. Know your limits, and know your bike.
I have never felt more alive. Okay, maybe when I dive with sharks and parachute from hot-air balloons, but quad biking dunes rates up there with those feelings.
I am glad I didn’t have a more powerful quad. I fear I may have killed myself. There is a reason why the kymco 250 is the choice. Powerful enough to get up an average sized dune, but weak enough that you don’t get into too much trouble.