Liwa International Festival
File photo of a contender at Liwa. A race up the 50-degree-slant on the dune's slipface is one of the highlights of the festival. Image Credit: Liwa Sports Club/Department of Culture and Tourism-Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi: As the off-road Liwa International Festival (Moreeb Dune 2024) gears up for its finale tomorrow, December 31, Abu Dhabi Police have revealed the safety and security protocols in place.

Brigadier General Hamdan Al Mansoori, director of Al Dhafra Police Directorate, has highlighted the force’s role in organising the Festival in cooperation with strategic partners, ensuring visitor and participant safety at the event.

Brig Gen Al Mansouri said: “We mark a presence in this area about two weeks even before the Festival starts. We have an integrated police station equipped with the latest devices, equipment and mechanisms. We also have advanced four-wheel-drive vehicles, including special motorbikes, to move easily in the desert and over sand dunes.”

He added: “We are present in the field through security patrols and police patrols to serve the public, drivers and participants in the Liwa Festival 2024, especially the Tal Mereb [Moreeb dune] race, where police, traffic and patrol teams are present. Abu Dhabi Police has provided special equipment to deal with these sports, especially sand sports or four-wheel quad bike races up the dune.”

Immediate response

Brig Gen Al Mansouri said: “We have been dealing with the Tal Mereb Festival races for many years. There had been incidents causing injuries, and destruction of property, including cars and others. Abu Dhabi Police teams and patrols are highly trained and have the ability to respond immediately to distress calls and requests for assistance in the event of any accident, so that the response is within the shortest possible period of time. Since the beginning of this event, Abu Dhabi Police has equipped ‘sand patrols’, which follow movement and events in desert and sandy areas.”

Moreeb Dune
Moreeb Dune or Tal Moreeb is located near Liwa Oasis at the Empty Quarter desert in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. With a 50 degree slipface, and height of 300 metres, the 1.6km-long dune is popular for organised drag races. Moreeb is the tallest dune in the UAE, and one of the largest hill climbs in the world for off-road motor sports.

The director explained that patrol members and police officers participating in Festival underwent intensive training courses, and Abu Dhabi Police also organised several awareness campaigns for the public, drivers, and for the participating youth who come as visitors or as participants in at the Festival.

"We thank the public for their response to all Abu Dhabi Police campaigns," he concluded.