How does the star system work on Dubai Offroaders? A common question, so here is the breakdown:
Please remember that the rating system is developed and implemented for members’ safety, as it allows us to assign drivers to their suitable level of driving. It is not a hierarchy. All members are valued the same in our club and we are just here to have fun!
When you join, you will have no stars. Even if you have been driving for years and have a modified vehicle, our marshals need to assess you first before we can allow you on higher levels. Again, this is for your own safety.
This is our newbie level, and the drives are designed to cater to people who have never driven on the sand. Our marshals will teach you the basics and these drives will enable you to get comfortable with your vehicle and understand how it behaves on the sand. Since sand is one of the most unstable surfaces on the planet to drive on.
Essential equipment: Flag, radio and air compressor. And not the radio fitted in your car.
Once you get comfortable with your vehicle and basic driving techniques, you will get your one star. You generally need minimum five drives before getting your first star, however in exceptional cases, you can get your star even before you complete those drives. You require one marshal recommendation, and two other marshals need to support this.
Essential equipment: Kinetic tow rope and two soft shackles (along with the equipment mentioned in the previous level).
Now, this is where things get interesting. At this level, we do fast paced drives where we tackle technical or tall dunes. Sometimes, both at once. Again, you need one marshal recommendation for this, and two other marshals need to support that recommendation.
Recommended equipment: Important fluids for your vehicle, such as 1L engine oil, 1L transmission fluid and 2L coolant (along with the equipment mentioned in the previous levels). Now, we understand that carrying all these fluids will consume a lot of space and they might spill in the sand, so that is why we recommend them and do not mandate them. However, when you are pushing your car to the limits, it is a good idea to have them.
Now you are an advance driver! Advance drives include going to Liwa, night drives and drives that can bring any adrenaline junkie to the edge of her or his seat. Basically, at this point you can tackle any driving situation on the sand and know your car well. At this level, you even have a choice to join the DO team as a deputy and help other people. You need two marshal recommendations and support of three other marshals to attain this level or a deputy badge.
From here on out, driving skills and understanding your vehicle will not be the primary factor. Here onwards, we are looking for people passionate about this sport and helping others learn. Also, at this point you will be learning recoveries and how to safely navigate them. This is a critical skill that our deputies are trained on. So, if you become a part of the DO official team, we will have a further chat in detail about you can move forward!