To sample the First Class amenities of Ritz Carlton Hotels UAE & Oman, Thorough Events of London would bring together, sponsors, Locations - Properties Journalists, and motoring enthusiasts, to traverse 6 of the states of the United Arab Emirates, and on into Oman, over 4 days
Approximately 20 cars were present of several makes and types with driver & passenger teams made up of car owners, worldwide media, Ritz Carlton officials and event officials.
Wednesday 9 September, 8.30 am. Participants and cars in this first UAE Oman trip, meet at The Ritz Carlton Hotel, Umm Al Nar, Abu Dhabi. Cars are parked for a colourful display at the foyer entrance, with the breakfast reception served on the lawns with a spectacular view of the Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque.
Late morning, after enjoying the cuisine of fruits, meats and pastries, the motoring participants depart for Yas Island Marina F1 Circuit.
Upon arrival we receive instructions of timed sprint activity, with Caterham 7 cars made available for our use in this close fast high concentration test.
Further, instructions for the drag strip drive, with American muscle cars with sport super shift we race the drag strip against the clock.
3.00 pm, we depart the Yas Marina F1 circuit and make our way north to The Ritz Carlton Hotel, Dubai Marina district, Dubai.
Welcomed by the staff, we are ushered for a Dibba Bay oyster tasting welcome reception. The evening sunset view was followed by dinner on the beach lawn overlooking the calming Arabian Gulf Sea.
Thursday 10 September, following a hearty breakfast chosen from a choice of the several national cuisines, we departed to a very colourful departure provided by the Staff of the Ritz Carlton.
Making our way to the Dubai city limits we join the E611 highway to Ras Al Khaimah and the Jebel Jais mountain, part of the Hajar mountain range, situated between the United Arab Emirates and Oman. With an elevation of 1934m, and a spectacular twisting 28km roadway, and with several Zip Line Flights available including the world’s longest zip-line, there is more than just the drive there to enjoy.
More information can be found at www.jebeljais.ae.
After the drive and zip-line excitement, lunch break refreshments were provided by The Ritz Carlton Al Wadi, and were enjoyed overlooking the amazing views from the dedicated picnic spots.
2.00 pm and it was time to leave the Jebel Jais summit and make our way to The Ritz Carlton Al Wadi.
Located 45km inland from the coast in the red sand dunes of Ras Al Khamiah, The Ritz Carlton Al Wadi Hotel is a desert oasis. A private road through the sand dunes with villas and secluded pools, one is assured of a relaxed atmosphere while enjoying all the best of comfort and surroundings. After the welcome of cold towels and fruit juices we prepare for a show of birds of prey, presented to us by local and international trainers and handlers, and even some participation with the birds. Sunset, and we were taken to a desert location prepared in the traditional way, for an evening of music and dinner while enjoying a cloudless sky and stars. A full day, with tiredness drained away by the desert quiet and sleep.
Friday 11 September.
This will be the longest drive day of the Trip. The Ritz Carlton Al Wadi Ras Al Khaimah, to The Ritz Carlton Hotel – The Bustan, in Muscat, Oman.
Via Hatta Village in the UAE – Oman Border Post, 120 Klms., on beautifully prepared highway, out of Ras al Khamiah red sand dunes, keeping to the western base of the Hajar Mountain Range, into Hatta Village.
UAE exit border procedure completed, we proceed to the Oman entry border for vehicle check and entry visa issue. Security and safety is paramount at border crossings.
Departing the border crossing at Al Wajajah, we head west towards the coast and the Gulf of Oman. Passing the Ajib Copper Mine Area on highway 5, passing over the wadis, previously the only route through the mountains, and prone to flood in the rainy season, we turn south onto the new inner highway. 350km of 4 & 5 lane ultra-modern highway, flat, open, and undulating, unfortunately with speed (restriction) recorders every 2km!. Using a comfortable speed that allowed ease of pedal application at every 2km to be seen to adhere to the legal limit, and keeping to triple AMOC UAE Members troupe, we pressed on to Muscat, Oman, and the The Ritz Carlton Hotel.
Arrival at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, we were directed to the plateau reception area, overlooking the lawns and beach to the Gulf of Oman, and greeted by hotel management, officials, journalists, and staff bearing cold towels and refreshments, truly a 5 Star VIP welcome, the Ritz Carlton way.
After the interviews with English & French TV, we were ushered to our room(s), with direct access and views across the expansive gardens and pool, tempted by chocolates and fruits, we make for a brief visit into Muscat.
A short visit into Muscat provides a brief but interesting insight of local driving and shopping fare. Stocked with suitable purchases we return to The Ritz Carlton to prepare for an evening of splendour and treats.
After a short time to relax it was time to return to the Plateau terrace for honeybee cocktails prepared by a globe-trotting professional mixologist, whilst watching the sunset over the Gulf of Oman before proceeding to the enchanted garden for what was to be the last evening celebratory dinner of this the first Ritz Carlton Grand Tour.
And what an evening it was, with a live band providing the backdrop for the feast that was to follow.
Speeches given and awards presented, with an AMOC toast that was very much not understood by the other sports cars members ….. it was time for some end of evening G&T’s in the beach bar prior to turning in for an evening’s rest.
Kilometres today 453, the Outbound Trip Abu Dhabi – Dubai - Ras Al Khamiah – Muscat, total distance so far 728km.
Day 4 - Parting Day.
Breakfast overlooking the Al Bustan grounds, with clear blue sky, before departing in what can only be described as magically clean cars, after a full valet during the previous night, before the long drive home.
A truly fabulous weekend well organised and with some great company.
The photo gallery of the trip can be seen HERE