The Mission must be completed!
For those who came in late: I am on a ride from Dubai to Misano, Italy on a Ducati Multistrada for the World Ducati Week 2012. I have to reach there on 22nd June, not later. As I started from Dubai and tried to load the MTS on the ferry to Iran, the official said “NO!”. This blog resumes from there, but you can read more about that episode on this blog.
Funny that I was thinking this even before I hit the first thousand kilometres into the ride! But that was how it was, but that was not how I would let it be.
The ferry office told me that I could go into Iran as I had the visa, but my other half, the Multiastrada COULD NOT GO. And the reason was all to do with the Carnet De Passage ( the passport for the bike) was improper. They advised me to go to he Dubai Automotive and Motorsports club and be back in a couple of hours max to allow them to process the bike for customs. The next ferry to Iran was schedule five days later and I was in no mood to waste that much time sitting in one place.
So I called up the Ducati Dubai manager, Marcel, and we met at the DAA in half an hour. There the head official informed us that I cannot ride the bike in Iran, even we did manage to get it freed from the customs from the Iran side, because the bike needed to be in my name. We thought that it would be easy to do that. But as the ‘rules’ slowly unraveled in front of us, I pretty much understood it was a hopeless situation.
You see, for you be able to legally take a Dubai registered bike from Dubai to Iran and ride it there, the bike needs to be in your name, and for that to be achieved you need to be a citizen of UAE, or have a resident visa, none of which was likely to happen in 24 hours, or even 24 days for that matter!
However, while putting this point across the official at the Dubai Automotive Club mentioned that the bike still can legally go from the Dubai side to the Bander Abbas port in Iran, however there is no guarantee they will allow it outside the customs there!
After some deliberation over there we decided to head back to the Ducati Dubai office to pit our heads on the options available to us. The complex logic that was running through our heads was along with various options:
- Iran was impossible, so should we stop the trip.
- The above was not an option since this was not Mission ‘Impossible’, but ‘Mission: Red planet’
- should we try and take the bike on the ferry with an official from Ducati Dubai? That was also not possible because they would also require an Iran visa and it would take days if not weeks. Talking about an Iran visa- it is one of the most difficult piece of paperwork that you will ever do, but it can be the easiest as well if you know what to do ( will mention about this later in the blog)
- even if we were able to take out the bike on the Iran side at Bandar Abbas, there is no guarantee that there will be no problems at the Turkey and Iran border.
- another option was to fly the bike from Dubai to Istanbul, but it turned out that it will take approx 5 days ( 2 days is cooling off period for stuff like motorcycles which are classified as dangerous goods, even without the fluids and the battery). Plus it was too expensive.
The only viable option left was to find another Multistrada somewhere else which would not have these problems.
EDIT: I wish to clarify, especially due to the perspective correctly so pointed out by my friend and aide in Iran, Behzad, that it was an official in Dibai which has alerted me of the possibility that I might face problems while taking the bike . It might have been possible that they could have allowed the bike, or otherwise as well. I decided to err on the safer side lest the mission came to an end. I also wish to mention that in my research and readings, Iran has come across as an extremely safe nation, especially for women travelers and tourists. Of course anything can go wrong if you are at the wrong place and the wrong time.
And guess what! Within 24 hours Ducati located the next bike for me! It was proved again, Ducati was one big family built on passion and commitment. After getting the confirmation email from Ducati Italy that a bike was waiting for me somewhere, I fired up the browser to book the next flight to… (stay tuned for the next blog).
Meanwhile to in late evening me and Vivek went fo a short spin in Dubai towards the world’s highest building and a café called, well, a Biker’s café.
Here are some photos:
Dubai is beautiful at night, its streets and main roads are extravagantly lit, though still nothing compared to what I saw in Shanghai.
You ride on the right side/
There’s the famous ‘Biker’s Cafe.
This is the world’s tallest building ~820 metres heigh, that is some serious piece of engineering, and that’s some serious low angle with the Canon 14mm to be able to capture it from almost the foot of the building (just across the road)
^It was quite late and tomorrow would be a long day,
It was time to head back!
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