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Thread: The world's best driving road

  1. #1

    The world's best driving road

    Just have a look What they have created in a desert...
    The Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the greatest driving road in the world. Stretching for 7.3 miles and climbing nearly 4,000 feet, it boasts 60 corners and a surface so smooth that it would flatter a racetrack. It could easily be described as the eighth wonder of the world, but almost nothing is known about its creation.

    The road is cut into the Jebel Hafeet mountain, the highest peak in the United Arab Emirates , the oil-rich Persian Gulf state. The mountain spans the border with Oman and lies about 90 minutes' drive southeast of the thriving city of Dubai . It looks down upon a dusty, desert landscape that belies a nation of astonishing wealth.
    http://b2.is/?sida=tengill&id=239638

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Young
    The Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road in the United Arab Emirates
    Interesting.

    C.

  3. #3
    I wonder if anybody has taken that road out with a handbike. That would be some achievement. Gotta have great brakes going back down, thats for sure.
    "So I have stayed as I am, without regret, seperated from the normal human condition." Guy Sajer

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Tiger Racing
    Interesting.

    C.
    TR, I was thinking about you when I saw this road. It seems ideally suited for a race. Wise.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike C
    I wonder if anybody has taken that road out with a handbike. That would be some achievement. Gotta have great brakes going back down, thats for sure.
    I suspect that somebody built it for higher speed vehicles, not for bicycles or camel races. Wise.

  6. #6
    This road may not have 60 curves, but it is still impressive. This is part of the Burma road which was finished by the Chinese in 1938 and connected Kunming in southern China to a Burmese railhead at Lashio. This picture was taken in early 1945.




    U.S. Convoy which operates between Chen-Yi and Kweiyang,China, is ascending the famous twenty-one curves at Annan,China.
    Last edited by Mike C; 07-18-2007 at 10:31 AM.
    "So I have stayed as I am, without regret, seperated from the normal human condition." Guy Sajer

  7. #7
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    Wise, when I saw your topic I thought what every European must seeing such a title: Germany's Autobahn. But then it's a pretty straight go; you must be promoting this short road for the combination of curves and quality of road surface. Of course if opening your high-powered ride up's the goal, the Autobahn really does suggest itself.

    The Autobahns are the nationally coordinated freeway system in Germany. In German, they are called Bundesautobahn (plural Bundesautobahnen, abbreviated BAB), which translates as federal motorway. German autobahns have no general speed limit (though about 50% of the total length is subject to local and/or conditional limits), but the "recommended speed" is 130 km/h (80 mph) maximum.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autobahns_of_Germany




    The "first" European Autobahn exit on the Cologne-Bonn road near Wesseling (picture taken in 1932)

    http://www.autobahn-online.de/images/gallerie2_e.html
    "The world will not perish for want of wonders but for want of wonder."
    J.B.S.Haldane

  8. #8
    I've been on the Autobahn, whrn I was in high school. I was in a bus, and yes there is no speed limit. We joked about the ensfart (sp?) and the exfart(?), and also laughed at the phrase gutafart (good trip).....What can you expect from a busload of high schoolers???
    Disability is not a medical problem with social issues, but rather a social problem with medical issues.
    Franklin D. Rosevelt

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Juke_spin
    Wise, when I saw your topic I thought what every European must seeing such a title: Germany's Autobahn. But then it's a pretty straight go; you must be promoting this short road for the combination of curves and quality of road surface. Of course if opening your high-powered ride up's the goal, the Autobahn really does suggest itself.
    http://www.autobahn-online.de/images/gallerie2_e.html
    I love the autobahn, especially in a BMW. The 1998 International Neurotrauma Society was held in Munich and BMW was one of our sponsors. They sent a fleet of BMW 740 diesels to pick us up at the airports. So, my students and I got this incredible ride to the meeting site.

    Incidentally, some drivers have heard about the Jebel Hafeet mountain road. Here one driving my favorite car.

    http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do...ticleId=109278
    Taming the Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road in a Mini Cooper S Convertible

    By Alistair Weaver, Contributor Email

    Date posted: 02-13-2006

    The Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the greatest driving road in the world. Stretching for 7.3 miles and climbing nearly 4,000 feet, it boasts 60 corners and a surface so smooth that it would flatter a racetrack. It could easily be described as the eighth wonder of the world, but almost nothing is known about its creation.

    The road is cut into the Jebel Hafeet mountain, the highest peak in the United Arab Emirates, the oil-rich Persian Gulf state. The mountain spans the border with Oman and lies about 90 minutes' drive southeast of the thriving city of Dubai. It looks down upon a dusty, desert landscape that belies a nation of astonishing wealth.

    We've got two days in which to explore this mountain in a Mini Cooper S Convertible, which is something of a novelty in this part of the world. In the UAE, the BMW 7 Series outsells the 5 Series, which outsells the 3 Series. Everything here is big and ostentatious, so the sight of two Englishmen in a "hot orange" Mini Cooper S Convertible is a source of some amusement.

    <snip>

    Short, rapid straights are interspersed with sweeping curves that merge seamlessly from one to another. Some are to be taken at high speed with a single steering input and plenty of commitment; others are tight and technical, requiring patience and precision. The size of your brain is just as important as the size of your manhood.

    <snip>

    The Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road must have cost $100 million to build, but its origins remain shrouded in mystery. You can buy an enormous guidebook detailing the hydrogeology of the local spring, or the DNA of the resident butterflies, but info on the Official sources suggest it was built as a honey pot for tourists who travel from nearby cities to sample the mountain air. But with the exception of the surprisingly mediocre hotel, there's almost nothing here. The road culminates in a huge car park, but the tatty café is unworthy of custom.

    Perhaps the real, unspoken reason for the road's existence is to be found a mile from the hotel. There, sitting on top of the mountain, is a huge palace belonging to Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the current ruler of the Emirates. His face also adorns a huge banner announcing the entrance to the road and it's under his watch that it was constructed. This incredible feat of engineering is actually no more than a giant driveway. It's enough to make Bill Gates green with envy.

    <snip>

    Late in the evening, we return to the sheikh's driveway. From a vantage point about halfway up the mountain, we're able to look down on a dramatic twist of tarmac that's now bathed in neon. The streetlamps, of which there must be 500, are tuned to light not only the road, but also the adjacent rock. At Le Mans, 230-mph racecars must light the Mulsanne for themselves, while here in the Emirates, an empty road is slow-roasted by a million watts.

    <snip>

    Today is a Saturday, but the traffic is still laughably light. And because there are two lanes all the way up the mountain, stray vehicles can be picked off with ease. Swapping between 2nd, 3rd and occasionally 4th gear, we make good use of the 1.6-liter engine's 168 hp and 162 pound-feet. The new Mini's engine will be turbocharged but we'll miss the trademark whine and linear shove afforded by this car's supercharger.

    Late in the morning we indulge with a final blast up the hill. It takes us around 8.5 minutes to complete all 60 corners and scale the UAE's highest mountain. It's nonsense to suggest we wouldn't have had more fun in a Ferrari F430, but on this kind of road the Mini's smile-per-mile quotient is high.

    BMW spared no expense when it developed the current Cooper and rumors persist that the Mini is more expensive to produce than the 3 Series. The new car needs to be cheaper to build and it will be interesting to see how the Munich boffins solve this particular conundrum without diminishing its quality. This first-generation BMW Mini could yet go down as a classic.

    Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan spared no expense when he commissioned the Hafeet Mountain Road. It would be easy to dismiss such extravagance as vulgar, but that would be to demean the majesty of the achievement. In every sense of the word, this is the world's greatest drive.

  10. #10
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    That was a graphically breathtaking and wonderfully inspiring article, Wise, but in all honesty and allowing full value to the lore and mystique of the car, I could happily live to see the day when all but a few of these dangerous and unhealthy toys were retired to the recycling yards.

    We both pollute the web of life we are dependant on and escalate a dependence on a rapidly diminishing petroleum resource - with all the false "wars" and the debt, trauma and death it generates - with each year we continue in their thrall.

    Efficent mass/public transpostation systems beckon from a viable, sustainable and promising future but we continue to spin our wheels to little healthy or worthwhile purpose.
    "The world will not perish for want of wonders but for want of wonder."
    J.B.S.Haldane

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