Think your last off-road run across the sand was tough? This crew in the United Arab Emirates fling their custom-built machines up a 50-degree dune that’s nearly a thousand feet high at its peak. It’s called the ‘Hill of Horrors’. They ain’t kiddin’.
The title ‘Hill of Horrors’ would normally call to mind a haunted house or a Simpsons Halloween episode. This time, it’s the name given to one of the wildest off-road spectacles in the Middle East.
Seeking to conquer one of the world’s largest sand dunes, drivers have been known to craft special off-road rigs just for tackling the Tal Moreeb dune, just over 150 miles outside of Abu Dhabi. The dune might peak at about 985 feet but the entire dune is almost a mile long. Counted among the competitors are a Nissan Patrol with a GT-R engine stuffed between its front fenders.
It’s all part of the Liwa Sports Festival, an annual desert pilgrimage that’s said to draw over 100,000 gearheads who are just as much into the off-road scene as anyone in America.
“I tried to give it up, but I love this hobby,” said one competitor named Saeed, proving that the love of off-roading transcends all borders. This isn’t his first crack at the Tal Moreeb, taking second and third places in his previous attempts to climb the hill. This year, he’s charging for top honors.
Vice sent a correspondent to cover the action, following a driver who says he competes for pride and bragging rights, not money. Given the amount of cash in that part of the world, that’s not difficult to understand. Check out their video below.