In this issue, new Defender is put through its paces by two inspirational young adventurers as they prepare for an expedition to the South Pole. We also celebrate 50 years of Range Rover by taking a journey of discovery to Dubai. As well as looking back, we look to future as a group of visionaries explain the technologies that could change the future for all of us.
From the river, we head
From the river, we head out of the city once more, past the iconic clock tower that once stood all alone on fresh roads through the desert, a symbol of Dubai’s promise in the 1960s. It has long since been surrounded and usurped as a symbol of progress and we’re leaving it, too, heading back into the dunes because we have a yoga appointment. Or at least an appointment with a yoga building. The brand new Al Kuthban Yoga Hall points to the new future of the city state. It might be just 30 miles from the ostentatious opulence of Downtown, but it feels as if we’ve been transported to another planet. Nestled in the Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve, the Yoga Hall is a heart-shaped building that looks from above as if a sand-coloured butterfly had alighted between dunes. The centre is part of the Al Marmoom Initiative launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, in 2018. It’s part of a project to protect Dubai’s native wildlife and connect the city to the natural world. The building itself is delicate and beautiful, the light falling through organic-shaped holes across its shading canopy. Inside is serene and silent. You can see how this would be the Off road sequences on dedicated land with full permissions perfect place to stretch and meditate. In stark contrast with this moment of calm, we meet with racing driver and dune-dragster extraordinaire, Ghaith Al Falasi. A cheerful young man in a spotless white kandura, Ghaith is of a generation of Emiratis who view the manic evolution of their city with energetic optimism. He has been competing in drag and circuit racing for 20 years, but these days Ghaith is best known to his thousands of Instagram followers for his dramatic desert driving videos – jaw-dropping demonstrations of control and grace, as he slides up and down dunes at speed. Mention LandRover and he lights up. “When I was a kid, my dad had two LandRovers,” he says. “You know, the Range Rover has always been the most comfortable car for desert driving…” We put his assertion to the test and take off into the endless dunes. Our Range Rover Vogue, which is fitted with an SVO Design Pack, crests the peaks, half driving, half flying, throwing sand up in great arcs from the spinning wheels. It’s exhilarating, and the car seems to enjoy this opportunity to show its capability after all our smooth cruising. DESERT ROSE (left) Yoga Hall is a breathtaking interplay of ambition and environment 61
Land Rover Magazine showcases stories from around the world that celebrate inner strength and the drive to go Above and Beyond.
In this issue, New Defender is put through its paces by two inspirational young adventurers as they prepare for an expedition to the South Pole. We also celebrate 50 years of Range Rover by taking a journey of discovery to Dubai. As well as looking back, we look to future as a group of visionaries explain the technologies that could change the future for all of us.