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My Favourite Drive: Paddy Comyn takes a mountain road to a sheikh's palace

‘A stretch that’s regarded as one of the best driving roads in the world.’
Sep 25th 2017, 4:30 PM 897 0

Journeys, even everyday ones, can mean a lot. Paddy Comyn is the Head of Group Communications at Volkswagen. As someone with a passion for motoring, Paddy told about the drive that means the most to him.

shutterstock_366739415 Source: Shutterstock/Leonid Andronov

First up, describe the drive.

My favourite drive took place in the United Arab Emirates winding up a mountain called Jebel Hafeet over a 11.7 kilometres (7.3 miles) on a stretch that’s regarded as one of the best driving roads in the world.

I used to be a journalist and at the time I drove a lot around the world but this road really was extraordinary – it rises over 4,000 feet and has 60 corners and the surface is like a race track.

It’s supposed to have cost around €50 million to build and the road leads up to Jebel Hafeet, which is the UAE’s second highest peak. At the top of the mountain, the road leads to a palace that belonged to a Sheikh Zayed who was the former ruler of Dubai.

The drive is any petrol head’s dream drive. It turns into a racetrack at night time – there’s lots of money in that area so there’s plenty of night driving going on at that time.

shutterstock_42435199 Source: Shutterstock/creativei images

Is there a view or a highlight that sums it all up for you?

It’s just the perfect surface for driving, featuring sweeping roads and sheer drops at some stages – it’s an astonishing feat of engineering.

The view when you get to the top is extraordinary but it’s more if you enjoy driving it’s the views along the way that do it – how much you can see when going up and going down. It’s still not quite that well-known, but I think Jeremy Clarkson may have done something on it.

What makes the drive so special?

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a road that is so perfectly surfaced and has so many interesting corners. It looked like it was designed to be driven with a performance car in mind.

The thing about that particular road is that when you can see what’s ahead of you, you feel a little more safe driving up to it and there’s just astonishing views all along the way as well.

Spend some time behind the wheel on what is regarded as one of the world’s best driving roads in the video below:

Source: Clipko/YouTube

More My Favourite Drive: Paddy McGrath carves up LA’s canyons in a Porsche 911

More My Favourite Drive: My Favourite Drive: Leah Cullen on the rewarding road to Dublin’s Strawberry Beds

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