A is for Alan

“… reading the sands…”


“… being out in nature with no restrictions…”

Thank you Alan for your participation and great off-road driving tips!

(please note that you can read more about Alan  and the Desert Challenge here)


Saffron Sands

Saffron silence surrounds me.

My world is silent, heaving with veiled winds, serendipitous serenity and glimmers of the unaccountable mirage.

My hand lets slip hot, glistering grains of sand. My fingers run through sparkling saffron grains, soft,  hot,  white sands, blazing, scorched, rough,  gold earth.  My fingers run through lightyears of time, through stories, through histories; each moment in  time a battle for survival,each grain craddling a calm within the storms yet to come.  This is what surrounds me. This is my world. This is a thread of who I am.

It is not time yet. Not time to unveil identities nor stories nor other worlds. Threads of life require time and careful weavings, lest the woven story becomes threadbare with thoughtless fictions and confounded selves.

However. Veiled shadows do speak. There are voices in the sands, in the silence, in the speed of light and heat.

My next guest is a resident of my world. He too partakes in the joys and silence of sands.

Alan Passmore is a Dubai based consultant, specializing in deployment and support of radio communications systems. Prior to that, he held numerous technical and key management positions with U.S. multinational, Motorola Inc., over a 26 year time period, leading and implementing change. In his spare time, he is a keen off roader – a pursuit which he has followed since moving to the UAE in the year 2000.

 At first, he was drawn into off-roading by friends and colleagues who invited him to join them on their desert trips, where he had the opportunity to “learn the ropes” over relatively easy terrain. As his experience grew, he began to venture into more challenging areas of the UAE, including the big dunes around the Liwa oasis; and he would now also organize his own trips, and lead groups of like minded adventurers, usually under the umbrella of his local off-roading club – ME4X4, of which he is a former Chairman.

Alan is a strong supporter of the annual Gulf News Fun Drive –  both as a member of the team planning the route, and as a marshal tasked with assisting participants in the course of the event itself.

He is also been a regular member of the sweep team on the Desert Challenge, which is one of the toughest off-road races in the world, and being the UAE equivalent to the world famous Dakar.

When asked why does he do all this stuff, Alan’s reply was that it was the sense of adventure, coupled with a love for the great outdoors and a fantastic camaraderie.

Join us here as Alan shares his secrets of  serendipitous sands.