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13 Dec 2021

Jeep Middle East Partners with XDubai to Discover an Uncharted Desert Route in the Mighty Gladiator Sand Runner

The campaign will see XDubai’s athlete adventurers pilot Jeep Gladiator Sand Runners 587km across hostile terrain in the UAE’s remote desert and mountain landscapes.

Jeep Middle East Partners with XDubai to Discover an Uncharted Desert Route in the Mighty Gladiator Sand Runner


  • The campaign will see XDubai’s athlete adventurers pilot Jeep Gladiator Sand Runners 587km across hostile terrain in the UAE’s remote desert and mountain landscapes.
  • The first vehicle to wear the ‘Desert Rated’ badge, the Jeep Gladiator Sand Runner, is the perfect tool for the challenging off-road journey to create the ‘Gladiator Route’.


Dubai, UAE, 09th December 2021: Jeep Middle East has 'partnered with sports and destination brand XDubai, famous for numerous world firsts and the XLine in Dubai Marina, to launch a breath-taking journey across some of the UAE’s most spectacular desert landscapes and rugged terrain, in the #GladiatorRoute adventure. On the way, they will encounter the extreme conditions of the legendary Rub’ Al Khali (the Empty Quarter), where temperatures can reach up to 50 degrees, in the world’s most off-road capable mid-sized pickup, the all-new Jeep Gladiator Sand Runner.


Marco Melani, Managing Director for American Brands at Stellantis Middle East, said: “The #GladiatorRoute is an extreme expedition in the ultimate off-road pickup by a team of extreme sports athletes, to cross the UAE on a route that has never been achieved before. The official expedition vehicle, the Jeep Gladiator Sand Runner is the first vehicle in history to earn Jeep’s new ‘Desert Rated’ badge, making it the perfect tool for venturing off-road and exploring the UAE’s breath-taking wilderness. However, the #GladiatorRoute is more than just an expedition – it is a call to action for all Jeep owners and off-roaders across the region to leave the asphalt and their comfort zones behind and find their own adventure, in the spirit of Jeep’s guiding principle: Go Anywhere. Do Anything.”


With three cars and nine people, equipped with various camera rigs and a lot of grit, the XDubai team is taking on the challenge to prove that the Jeep Gladiator Sand Runner has what it takes to complete the gruelling journey. The 587km #GladiatorRoute starts at the most Southern point of the UAE next to the Saudi Arabia border, and ends at the Northernmost point in Ras Al Khaimah, in a wadi on the Northern side of Jabal Jais, in a trip spanning five days and four nights. Along the way, the Jeep Gladiator’s desert prowess will be put to the test in some of the Arabian Peninsula’s most hostile terrain, along a trail that few vehicles can even attempt, full of unmapped roads, punishing dunes and harsh conditions.


The XDubai athletes taking part in the adventure are: Nicholi Rogatkin, crowned world champion and a legendary rider on the FMB World Tour; JB O’Neil, Wakeboarder of the Year 2021; and Lynn Jung, Best Female Athlete at the biggest Freerunning competition in the world, “Red Bull Art of Motion”.


Official Vehicle – Jeep Gladiator Sand Runner

The Gladiator Sand Runner represents the ultimate in extreme off-road capability and performance in desert environments, courtesy of the brand’s renowned 4x4 systems, significant suspension upgrades and extensive development in the Middle East’s harsh sand and desert terrain.


To earn the first-ever Desert Rated badge, the Sand Runner has been engineered with unique performance components to create a formidable desert off-roader. The components have been expertly calibrated to be in harmony with one another, giving the customer refined performance and peace of mind. Jeep engineers equipped the Gladiator Sand Runner with specially-tuned high-performance FOX 64-mm (2.5-inch) internal bypass shocks with remote reservoirs to maximize handling, comfort and bottom-out resistance. The remote reservoirs keep the suspension fluid cool, preventing shock fade during long runs through the hot desert at high speed. Industry-first FOX front hydraulic jounce bumpers act as a secondary pair of shocks to provide additional damping force as the suspension reaches maximum compression in order to prevent abrupt bottoming out in harsh off-road situations at speed.


A 13-mm (1/2-inch) increase in the Sand Runner’s track provides additional stability and allows for packaging of the larger shocks. Jeep engineers also reinforced both the frame and axle to handle rough desert terrains at high speeds.


Also new to the ‘Desert Rated’ Gladiator Sand Runner, the Off-Road Plus button has been specially configured for the desert, adjusting throttle, transmission shift points and traction control for peak performance on higher speed passes on sand terrain, as well as during low-speed rock crawling. For the first time on a Jeep product, the Off-Road Plus drive mode on the Sand enables drivers to lock their rear axle at high speeds while in “4H”.


Proven powertrain

The Jeep Gladiator Sand Runner’s 3.6-litre Pentastar V-6 engine delivers 285 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque and features engine stop-start (ESS) technology as standard equipment. It is engineered to provide a broad torque band with a focus on low-end torque, an essential trait needed for extreme off-roading.


Sand Runner inside and out

Inside the cabin, the Gladiator Sand Runner features unique front seats with integrated upper bolsters to hold occupants comfortably in place during high-speed off-road driving. The upgraded seats are available in leather or cloth with orange accent stitching and embroidered Sand Runner logos.


The Gladiator Sand Runner benefits from a 25-mm (1-inch) front suspension lift that offers a greater approach angle and a more prominent appearance. Distinguishing Sand Runner elements include the performance hood, exterior badges, orange tow hooks and unique 17 x 7.5-inch wheels and the optional Jeep Performance Parts heavy duty side steps.



Jeep Brand
Built on 80 years of legendary heritage, Jeep is the authentic SUV brand that brings capability, craftsmanship and versatility to people who seek extraordinary journeys. The Jeep brand delivers an open invitation to live life to the fullest by offering a broad portfolio of vehicles that continues to provide owners with a sense of security to handle any journey with confidence.  The Jeep vehicle range consists of the Compass, Gladiator, Grand Cherokee and Wrangler. The legendary Jeep brand's off-road capability is now being enhanced by a global electrification initiative, that is transforming 4xe into new 4x4 in pursuit of the brand’s vision of accomplishing Zero Emission Freedom. A fully-electric Jeep 4xe will be offered in every SUV segment by 2025.

About Stellantis
Stellantis is one of the world’s leading automakers and a mobility provider, guided by a clear vision: to offer freedom of movement with distinctive, affordable and reliable mobility solutions. In addition to the Group’s rich heritage and broad geographic presence, its greatest strengths lie in its sustainable performance, depth of experience and the wide-ranging talents of employees working around the globe. Stellantis will leverage its broad and iconic brand portfolio, which was founded by visionaries who infused the marques with passion and a competitive spirit that speaks to employees and customers alike. Stellantis aspires to become the greatest, not the biggest while creating added value for all stakeholders as well as the communities in which it operates.
Stellantis global portfolio comprise of Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Citroën, Dodge, DS, Fiat, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, Opel, Peugeot, Ram and Vauxhall.


Press Contacts

For more information, please contact:

Yolande Pineda
Stellantis Middle East
+971 50 600 9340

Ziad Ashkar
Account Manager
Gambit Communications
+971 55 7862682


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