OutdoorUAE - April 2018

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Ultra-endurance Cycling Race


100km Trail Run

On the Oman Trail #2 from the Wahibah to Salalah

How I Grew Up Riding Dirt Bikes

Ten Wheels and Two Crazy Guys:

A Romanian Rally Adventure

Plenty of


Price 11.00 AED 1.00 OMR


Arctic Adventure: School Trips to Sweden


Vol. 8, No. 4 April 2018




OutdoorUAE Team

Welcome to the April edition of Outdoor UAE Magazine. With highs just below 40 degrees

and lows not less than 20 degrees (I know I always talk about the weather but I am British!) this is the month that starts to push our endurance if we are still headed outdoors. It’s a time when newcomers to the UAE and the harsh desert conditions we face here can get caught out by not being prepared.

We have a great survival article this month by Arnaud Laviolette on the importance of planning and preparing for going Outdoors. Even for those of us who have been here for years and experienced the extremes of weather and temperature that the mountains and desert have to offer, we can still make mistakes and push ourselves too hard especially as we quest for those elusive personal best times or new goals. This is not a good time of year to go out alone and to risk being caught out or getting stuck. The heat is relentless and we should all consider how to either find shade in the hottest part of the day or carry something to make shade. It’s all too easy to set out on a fishing boat with short sleeves or even no shirt and if you don’t regularly apply sunscreen or spend time under cover then serious sunburn is a real threat. We even find that diving in shallow waters it can be so warm that we sweat underwater! One of my favourite articles this month is: “Ten Wheels and Two Crazy Guys: A Romanian Rally Adventure”by our regular writer Marina Bruce. I feel like it epitomizes why so many of us spend so long in the UAE. The variety of landscapes and the allure of competing or looking for adventure in environments that push our skills and test our endurance to the limit. People still come from all over the World and go through huge trials to reach the UAE and to experience these events and we are so lucky that they are here on our back doorstep and available every weekend with a new challenge. As always have fun in the beautiful UAE Outdoors and share your adventures with us each month but more importantly stay safe out there!

Dan Wright Staff Writer and Outdoor Guide

Ireneo ‘Jung’ Francisco Photographer and Designer jung@outdooruae.com

Katherine Cañedo Patangui Administration kathy@outdooruae.com

Ian Sebeldia Circulation


Marina Bruce The Desert Diva and Off-road Expert

Dan Wright

Editor For editorial content and press releases Tel. 04 446 8473 Mobile: 055 9398915 editor@outdooruae.com

Distributor Al Nisr Distribution LLC P.O. Box 6519, Dubai, UAE 800 4585 | 04-4067170

Sales & Marketing (advertisement enquiries) Tel: 04 446 8473

Printed at GN Printing P.O. Box 6519, Dubai, UAE

Mobile: 055 9398915 sales@outdooruae.com

© 2018 Outdoor UAE FZE Vol. 8, No. 4, April 2018

Published by Outdoor UAE FZE P.O. Box 215062 Dubai, U.A.E. Tel. 04 446 8473 contact@outdooruae.com www.outdooruae.com Cover photo by: Dana Miskulnig

All contents are copyrighted and may not be reproduced in any form without prior written permission. © 2018 Outdoor UAE FZE Reg. at Creative City Fujairah P.O. Box 4422, Fujairah, U.A.E.

David O’Hara Ultra Runner and Extreme Endurance Junkie

Kit Belen Our Fishing Pro

Bandana Jain Outdoor and Lifestyle Contributor

www.OutdoorUAE.com Facebook.com/OutdoorUAE

Nico de Corato Dubai Blogger and Athlete

Twitter.com/OutdoorUAE Instagram.com/OutdoorUAE Youtube.com/OutdoorUAE

The information contained is for general use only. We have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this magazine has been obtained from reliable sources. The publisher is not responsible for any errors. All information in this magazine is provided without a full guarantee of completeness, accuracy and chronology. In no event will the publisher and/or any of our affiliates be held responsible for decisions made or action taken in reliance on the information in this magazine.

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Daniel Birkhofer Founder and Managing Director daniel@outdooruae.com

Nicky Holland Personal Trainer

Pedro Gomes Professional Triathlete

Denise Ostermann Outdoor Travel Contributor





























2XU Compression 3, 5,10, 21k Run: Race 3/3 X-Country

If Running and Nature is what you are looking for then this series of runs is just for you! For the first time in the UAE a series of X-Country runs will take place in and around Mushrif Park, Dubai, including a half marathon. Run routes will take in several different surfaces and showcase the amazing surroundings and facilities of Mushrif Park. From advanced to fun runners, young or experienced, run or walk 3, 5, 10 or 21k. Music, refreshments, parents & children running together and community based. When: 13th April, 6am Where: Dubai Contact: www.premieronline.com APRIL


Ride Ajman 2018

Back for the third time, Ride Ajman will take place on Friday 13th April with four rides to choose from:



• 115km Open Category • 115km UAE National • 58km Open Category • 58km UAE National The event will now feature an exciting new start and finish location at Al Zorah Marina 1 and take in the iconic landmarks of Ajman. With road closures and support from Ajman authorities, all entrants can enjoy this dynamic cycle race followed by a delicious breakfast. When: 13th April, 5am Where: Dubai Contact: www.premieronline.com

5th Annual Giant Duathlon Series 2017/18 - Race 5

The Giant Bicycles Duathlon Series, now in its 5th year is aimed at triathletes, duathletes, cyclists, runners and fitness enthusiasts of all ages and abilities. Whether you are a beginner or a finely tuned athlete, this series is for you. Kids are welcome too as the courses are ‘traffic friendly’, providing the greatest degree of safety for all competitors. Each race is run/bike/run and will be open to individuals and teams of 2. You can do as many races as you like in the series. When: 14th April, 7am Where: Dubai Contact: www.premieronline.com



Super Sports 10 miler (16k),10k, 5k, 3k Run: Race 5/5

This fun yet competitive run series takes place on the private closed off roads of Meydan with the start and finish at The Track Golf Clubhouse. From social to serious runners, young or experienced, run or walk 3, 5, 10, or 16km. Music, plenty of aid stations, loads of supporters and a real community feel is what makes this race special. When: 20th April, 6:30am Where: Dubai Contact: www.premieronline.com APRIL


Annual Dragon Boat Festival Comes to Ras Al Khaimah

As many as 60 teams will paddle for glory at the April 2018 Dragon Boat Festival taking place for the first time in Ras Al Khaimah. The annual water-racing extravaganza, being held this year from 27th-28th April across the 1km stretch of the Ras Al Khaimah creek, made its debut in the UAE a little over a decade ago now attracts thousands of spectators and the upcoming race is expected to see a turnout of over 1,500 people. When: 27th – 28th April Where: Ras Al Khaimah Contact: www.sevenmedia.ae





Wadi Adventure Race 16

Wadi Adventure will be hosting the 16th edition of its hugely popular Wadi Adventure Race (or commonly known as W.A.R.) with a testing 5km, challenging 10km and a grueling 15km military styled obstacle course. When: 21st April, 6am Where: Dubai Contact: www.premieronline.com



Abu Dhabi Junior Aquathlon - Race 3

A Kids Only and schools focused Aquathlon with: Super Sprint - for the elite athlete who has experienced this event (or similar) at competitive level / Junior Competitive / Junior Splash and Dash - the next step up from the Tiny Tri (confidence with swimming in deeper waters is required) / Tiny Tri - Walk, paddle or swim through knee deep waters on the shore line and 100m run. Tiny Tri & Splash & Dash earn participation points for schools. When: 21st April, 7am Where: Abu Dhabi Contact: www.premieronline.com



Rush-A-Way Corporate Challenge - Season 2

If you’re looking for a team-bonding exercise that ignites team spirit, creates infectious excitement and promotes healthy competition, look no further! The Rush-A-Way Corporate Challenge is a thrilling inter-company challenge around Dubai. With over 50 organizations taking part, contesting teams members will navigate their way through 7 unique challenges to win the coveted title and the Grand Prize worth AED 25,000. When: 21st April, 8:15am Where: Dubai Contact: www.premieronline.com



ADSC Al Wathba Cycle Race Festival

The Abu Dhabi Cycle Race Festival will offer afternoon of cycling events at Al Wathba Cycle Park, catering for levels of riders distances from 8 to 120K. When: 28th April, 03:30pm Where: Ras Al Khaimah Contact: www.sevenmedia.ae





BEST SHOTS Here are the best shots sent in by you for our monthly photography competition! Thank you for all your entries, they were all great and it was hard selecting the best photos this month. Congratulations to the top three winners, who will each receive five free copies of the magazine and the Advance Off-road Guidebook: James Brown, Aey Pothecary and Erine Kate. Well done!

To submit your entries, simply email us at competition@outdooruae.com with the subject “Best Shots.”

James Brown

To infinity and beyond - Liwa desert

Aey Pothecary

Kids windsurfing session



Erine Kate

Liwa sands - the most beautiful dunes in the region




Subaru Driving Experience with EyeSight Demonstration Al Khoory Automobiles held the ‘Subaru Driving Experience with EyeSight Demonstration’ event at the Dubai Autodrome, Hill Circuit on 23rd March 2018. A Test Drive Event, various models from the Subaru lineup were available for participants to experience the world renowned core technology of Subaru - the Boxer Engine and Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive in action. The Autodrome track was specially designed in order to showcase the handling, stability and cornering of the Subaru vehicles. The entire 1.62kms track was set up to highlight three major attributes - Emergency Lane Change, Slalom and Acceleration test. The unique flat layout of the engine and All Wheel Drive system in perfect symmetry enables the Subaru vehicles to perform extraordinarily well in the above mentioned tests. The models available for test drive were the Subaru Outback, Legacy, Impreza, XV, Forester and Subaru BRZ, which was the busiest among all. Although we missed the WRX STI and the WRX, I was really impressed with how well these models performed. The day began with registration of the participants where they were allotted specific test drive vehicle and time slots. Then after short briefings on Subaru technology, track sessions, course setting and safety instructions, we were all set to get foot on the cars waiting at the track entrance. The test drive sessions were led by Autodrome instructors in lead cars and the participants followed them. I started with the 2018 Subaru XV and its ability to stay on track despite taking turns at high speeds which was remarkable. The AWD system could be felt working extra time but never stopped amazing me and the other participants. The XV continues Subaru’s successful

efforts to reach out to what I’ll call the casual outdoor crowd, offering vehicles for people who love outdoor adventures, drive off pavement (but not hard-core off-road) and encounter a wide variety of tricky driving conditions. The other SUVs, Outback and the Forester and the Legacy and Impreza saloon cars were equally exciting. The stability and curve handling of these vehicles seem to be the best in the segment. And then, last but not the least in any way, there was the BRZ, Subaru’s sports coupe. Perfect balance, nimble handling, high-revving engine, no frills and comfortable interiors. The only model of Subaru with Rear Wheel Drive, it still has the Boxer engine. BRZ is for drivers who want to be delighted by its pure driving pleasure. One of the highlights of the event, was also the Subaru Eyesight Demonstration at a specially designated area on the track.

Eyesight is one of the most awarded Driver Assist Technology Systems available and also one of the major safety features in selected Subaru models. Subaru Eyesight, as they commonly refer to as “an extra pair of eyes on the road” basically tracks certain objects in front, alerts the driver of any potential collision risks to take evasive action or in some case sit may also apply automatic braking to reduce the impact. Out of the many functions of EyeSight such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning and Lead Vehicle Start Alert, the Pre-Collision Braking was demonstrated at the venue. I got a chance to experience this particular demonstration and was very pleased with its effectiveness. All in all, a fun day of education and a great opportunity to test out the new Subaru cars and experience how different they are. I was impressed, and can’t wait to get one of these on the road for a longer time. Get to know more about these cars; visit one of the Al Khoory Automobiles showroom in Dubai and Sharjah. ■




A Jeep Adventure Day in the City

What’s a better way to spend the weekend than outdoors? Well that is definitely what the Dubai Jeep Dealer Trading Enterprises thought when they pulled off an amazing off road event in the middle of Dubai. The event took place on the outskirts of the Dubai Creek which offered blue scenery to what normally is pure dunes. Passionate jeepers from all the 7 emirates gathered to feel the adrenaline of rock crawling, mud, sand and seeing through their own eyes what their beloved Jeeps could do outside of the road. It was as well an amazing chance for beginners of the off-roading rush to try their skills, acquire news ones and discuss with fellow off roaders passions, stories, tips and

tricks. An unforgettable experience for all. No other but Ultimate Jeep Club was the only off-road club invited to this spectacular event. Members gathered around a set majilis for the team in which they could enjoy each other’s company, discuss latest Jeep trends, see their modifications and of course with a nice cup of Karak tea, which can never be missed during an offroad trip! The event gathered in addition different companies in the UAE to help the jeepers choose the best modifications and camping gear. A gathering of this caliber was of course to improve for all the attendees, as the JL,

the new upgraded 2018 version of the Jeep Wrangler was on display for all the fanatics to admire. Jeepers had the opportunity to discover all about the new 4 wheeler as they jumped in and out of it searched every corner and opened every door to compare and make their guesses of what was to come. Time to raise your bets and see who will be the first one driving around Dubai the JL, and looking forward to a new year full of surprises with Trading Enterprises and Ultimate Jeep Club. We are sure you now have the off-roading bug biting right at you, so what are you waiting for to join one of our events? ■ Instagram: #ULTIMATE_JEEP_CLUB


2.5 #MeatlessDayUAE #MeatlessDayUAE #MeatlessDayUAE

#MeatlessMonday #MeatlessMonday #MeatlessMonday

Words + Photos by: Daniel Birkhofer

Magazines and newspapers are filled with incredible and inspiring stories of people who achieved things that others have never done before or even overcome hurdles which were deemed before impossible. As much as this stories inspire us, it also puts a lot of distance between us and those heroes. We read it more as a general inspiration for what mankind is able to do but we would not really consider us trying something similar… maybe in our wildest dreams but not in reality!

The outdoors is filled with; entertaining, educational, interesting and inspiring stories which you can read every month in this magazine. OutdoorUAE is all about these stories and the people behind it. No matter how well written a story is, no matter how amazing the photos are, a written article can never capture the real passion and sparkle in the eyes of the people who tell these stories. To ultimately understand them, their motivation, their hurdles and achievements, you need to meet these people, to truly connect and get inspired. What makes these stories so amazing is not unique and incredible achievements, it is those little personal hurdles we overcome, fears we face and most of the time it is about the very little first step just to start and get a ball rolling. It is exactly the simplicity of it, it is people like you and me and you don’t have to dream it, I can live it!

The Columbia Adventure Academy has the goal to get more people into the outdoors by education and motivation, so it was an obvious move to join forces with the support of the Cycle bistro to facilitate a very informal and personal event to bring people together and share their stories, experiences and knowledge. Alongside international women’s day in March, we wanted to focus this time on women and underline that the outdoors is not a male domain here in the UAE and that there are adventures for any taste and any women. To be able to show that, we chose four ladies of different ages and covering different activities trying to show just a small piece of the possibilities you have here. If you missed the event, we would like to introduce these ladies to you here and hope their stories inspire you to reach your goals and dreams.

Dana Miskulnig - Adrenaline Junkie, Life Coach, Blogger and Adventurer

Born and raised in Dubai, Dana grew up in the desert and was introduced to motocross as a teenager and has been hooked on adventure and action sports since. She is, not only a petrol-head, but loves her watersports. As a life coach and blogger, she will share how action sports changed her perspective on life, how to get into these sports and how it could benefit you. (read more on page 14)



Helle Bachofen von Echt - Road cycling and Triathlon

Helle started road cycling only when she moved to Dubai 4 years ago, and quickly took up competitive road racing. Helle was used to workouts in the gym but not road cycling but her fitness level directly transformed in the first weeks into top positions in local amateur races. This gave her the motivation to chase after more challenges on a bike. She was, in a very short time, one of the top female amateur riders in the UAE receiving international attention. This led her to join a professional cycling team in the US. Spoiled with success in the local amateur scene she had to learn how to accept defeat on the international and pro level. So Helle story is all about giving your best no matter if you win or if you lose. You need to get on your bike and try. Helle also shared many stories in this magazine about challenges she set for herself. So it is much more about beating yourself then others. In 2017 she decided to enter the world of Triathlons on a competitive level, and has qualified for the 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championships. Can you believe a few months ago she did not even know how to swim? Helle says”If I can do it you can do it as well. Just connect with a friend or any of the local groups (you find also many women groups) if you want to pick up cycling or triathlon.” Helle also said “Never be afraid to ask. The community is very friendly and supportive.” You can connect with Helle on instagram @thegirlwhocyclesinthedesert


Marina Bruce - Off-Roading Expert

Marina Bruce a.k.a. “The Desert Diva” is one of the best known female off-roaders in the UAE. Originally from Scotland, she is most at home in the Liwa Desert, where she guides expats and tourists on her self-drive adventures, discovering the beauty of the Rub Al Khali’s sands. Marina has written many stories for Outdoor UAE about driving in the desert for but we never got to know more about her, how she started and what were her motivations and fears, until the event. Marina was also completing our roundup of ladies and in her own words “I am the wrong side of 50, borderline overweight and some of the other speakers are even younger than my sons! I am living proof that fitness and age should not be a barrier to getting out there and enjoying what this country has to offer”. It all started when her husband bought her a short wheel base Nissan Patrol in 2010 and Marina began to drive in the dunes, further and further and with every kilometre her experience grew as did her love for the desert. What started with a small step turned into her calling and she is now most probably the woman in the UAE with the most knowledge

and experience of the deserts in the western region and Oman. Apart from general questions about technical things like what car is best, do I need a diff-lock, did you have any accidents, which were all well answered by her, there were also the women specific questions: Are you not afraid if you camp alone in a tent in the desert? Marina answered: “I have never met any hostile people in the desert. One night she was camping alone and one car drove very close to her tent, but she said she was never worried and just annoyed by the noise since she wanted to sleep! She said people are curious and nosey in these deserted areas but they would never interrupt. If you are interested in dune driving or camping in the western region you can follow and get in contact with her on her blog: https://thedesertdiva.com/


her childhood. Her parents are well known in the outdoor community and everyone who has been involved with the oldest and first running event in the region, the infamous “Wadi Bih Run”, will know the Young family. Tasha shared photos from her childhood, here in the UAE, which shows a very different place to what we see of Dubai today. Decades ago this country’s terrain was even more rough and, in many places untouched and unexplored. This was Tasha’s playground growing up, especially the Hajar mountains. So her love and passion to explore and enjoy the outdoors was not something Tasha had to find, it was always there! But even if the spark was lit early she kept it burning all the years and what she was taught by her parents, she is adopting now in her very own personal way combining hiking with yoga. Apart from her favourite hikes like Stairways to Heaven, Dead Goat Gulley and Jebel Rahba she also highlighted the therapeutic and meditative benefits of hiking as well as functional movement which is great for injury recovery. “Even if the outdoors developed a lot since her childhood there are still many things you should be aware of and take care of like the level of experience and fitness needed for a hike. Even if it is not comparable to the 80s and 90s the mountains and hikes are still rough and you need to go prepared.”

Tasha Young - Yoga and Hiking

Tasha is a yogi, hiker, runner, cyclist, surfer, and general aficionado for all things outdoors. She shared the wonders and challenges of hiking in the Hajar mountains and how to get involved. She also shared her motivations for maintaining an active lifestyle and how she prioritises her outdoor passions while juggling a corporate job. Tasha certainly cannot remember how she got into the outdoors since this was part of

A big thank you to the four ladies for taking the time to meet people and share their stories. This is what a community is all about, get together, share things and have a good time! It is not always that easy and without the support of brands like Columbia who actively want to help by growing the community and supporting events like these or the Cycle Bistro it would not be possible. To be able to offer to our readers and the community, free events, someone needs to cover the bills and there are only a few companies left who truly respect and care about the community and not just their sales. Building and growing the community is an investment in the future so we are grateful to have the Columbia Adventure Academy to achieve these goals. Check out www.columbiaacademy.ae for more free events to get you inspired to go out and try new things and enjoy the outdoors here and abroad. The next event will be the end of April about Outdoor Photography - more details will be post online soon. ■ To see the video from this and our other events check out our Facebook and Instagram page as well as www.facebook.com/columbiame and Instagram: @COLUMBIASPORTSWEAR_ME.



How I Grew Up Riding Dirt Bikes An interview with Dana Miskulnig and what she was telling people about in during the inspiring women’s talk (see page 12)

I’m originally Austrian but was born and raised in Dubai and yes… I’ve seen the place change A LOT! To give you a bit of a background I grew up riding dirt bikes in the desert, wake boarding, waterskiing, surfing, skating (basically avoiding ball sports) and recently picked up kitesurfing and am lucky enough to be supported by Naish here in Dubai.

How I Got Started

Well the way I got started is that I was lucky enough to have a dad who got me into it at just the right time. One Christmas when I was 16 years he got my mom and me a dirt bike as a gift and together we learnt how to ride this motorcycle. So if anyone thinks you can only learn these things at a young age my mom was around 40 at the time (sorry mom) and trust me when I say, if she can do it there’s no reason you can’t!

My Struggle and How it Gave me Confidence

At the time I was personally struggling a bit with myself, I was in a very low place mentally, emotionally; I basically wasn’t on the best of terms with life at all. They say money can’t buy happiness but that bike did something that switched my lights 14


back on (and made me want to make sure they stay on). I went from a really dark place, not really putting much value on my life to

not being able to get enough of it. I was enjoying every moment of life I could get and it gave me that self-confidence back. I was looking forward to every weekend, I would leave parties early and didn’t drink because I wanted to make sure I could get up at 5am and go ride early the next day. I pretty much spent my last two years of high school with my parents every weekend riding every dune that is out there. Moms and dads, if you’re worried about your kids doing action sports because it might be dangerous, the kids I went to school with who got wasted every weekend looked a lot worse for wear than I did by the end of the weekend and I’m pretty sure they didn’t learn much out of it.

My Crash

I was asked if I was going to share something about a big crash I had and at first I thought it might be a bit counterproductive because telling you how I broke my arm and had to get a titanium plate to put it back together and go through physio to get my hand working again from nerve damage might be a bit off-putting.. But it taught me some valuable lessons First: I really wasn’t thinking Second: It gave me some much-needed respect for things that could be potentially dangerous. Because as long as you respect the machine you’re on, the terrain you’re in or whatever activity you are doing you make sure you do it right instead of going balls to the wall with no thought behind it. Balls to the wall is no problem, but assess the situation so you get out of it in one piece!



Lessons Learned

Getting into this sport made challenges I faced in life a little smaller because it brought back some confidence in myself. Riding taught me the patience and perseverance to keep going. It pretty much opened me up to a lot of life lessons just by pushing through that sport. Every time I learned something out in the desert I learned something for life and it gave me a chance to switch off from whatever was getting to me. When that helmet came on, nothing else mattered.

Community and Travel

Riding opened me up to a whole community, (being a girl) I’m sure you have the same in most if not all sports whether it’s cycling, yoga or whatever sport you do, they come with a community, and being part of something like that, especially as a teenager who felt utterly lost is so valuable. It gave me a place to feel safe, a sense of belonging(especially as an expat) and people I could go to, People I looked up to and wanted to learn from. This sport opens up the world, literally. When I look at a country I think about what it’s like to travel through it by motorcycle, and I’ve been lucky enough to have ridden through South Africa and Namibia with my parents.

How to Learn

First of all, if there is someone in your circle of friends who rides, you can always go and ask them! Either they can take you out and show you the ropes or they can point you in the right direction where you can learn. When it comes to learning how to ride dirt bikes I can suggest two places: MX Academy and Big Red DXB. No matter who you learn with always make sure you First- Trust the person Second - Wear proper gear to

protect yourself, and a little secret...being a girl is a bit of an advantage in male dominated sports, they’re always eager to have more girls in the scene so they are happy to help out, don’t be scared! • Size of the bike is no issue, there’s smaller ones • Don’t worry about getting your feet down • Learn about the machine you’re working with, get to know what’s on the inside I did teach a few girl groups last year… big, small, young, old… and the smiles on the girls’ faces and that confidence they get at the end just shows how powerful a change for the good these sports can be on your character! www.lifeofdana.com ■




URBAN ULTRA’s Unbelievable Ultimate Ultramarathon: Mount Sana 60 Words + Photos by: David O’Hara

It’s 38C in Fujairah as I am plodding along behind my buddy Alex going up a boulder field in the mountains. I have dry heaves and can’t see any shade to find a place to vomit. For the past nine hours, Alex and I have been running, walking, climbing, trekking over 46km – and the wheels have come off. Alex guides me to a rock ledge to sit for a few minutes, but we cannot stay long – we are already beyond the next cutoff and know the only way out of the canyon is to climb the rocks up the next wadi. It’s an incredible struggle, which upon reflection afterwards makes Mount Sana 60 such a thrilling experience.

“A Bit Technical”

This situation at the Mount Sana 60 is the result of two bad decisions I made: switching from water to a sugary electrolyte drink and consuming gels instead of real food like potatoes, dates and nuts. Experimenting during ultras is an A bit technical... exciting endeavour which sometimes enhances physical challenges, and Urban Ultra’s latest (and greatest!) challenge for ultramarathons in the Middle East is the Mount Sana 60. Ghetto camping before start

Mount Sana 60 is special with three sections spread out over 60km that are “a bit technical” and somewhat hilly. We often speak in code, so allow me to enlighten you. “A bit technical” means “unbelievably difficult terrain that is barely walkable much less runnable and usually requires the use of hands to climb up and down boulders.” Hopefully you get a sense of technical terrain in some of the photos, but bear in mind two details: each technical section with dodgy rocks and hills covers over 3km, and the really nasty sections are too iffy to photograph.

The Mount Sana 60

The inaugural Mount Sana 60 starts as a mystery, as the 60km event is announced only a month before the start with no details or specifics. This type of event attracts the diehard ultrarunners, so the atmosphere at the Start is like a reunion of sorts – everybody knows almost everybody. Alex and I are running together as we always do, plus I meet up with my new buddies from last month’s Hajar – Stewart, Pornsak and David. In the spirit of eccentric ultrarunners, Stewart decides that we (he, Pornsak, David and me, along with Alex) are called the “Goat Pack”. Since the Wolf Pack moniker is taken, I assume this reflects our uncanny resemblance to wild goats gracefully running and jumping on rocks along the mountain cliffs. The Goat Pack at start

Alex climbing rocks in darkness - thanks, Louise!

Rock Climbing in Darkness

With a 05:00 Start, 41 runners start in darkness along a well-marked but unknown trail across rural Fujairah. After 5km, one of the volunteers warns us that the next section is “a bit technical”. Running on rocks wearing headlamps in darkness is a good challenge, but we are now rock climbing along the side of a cliff with an abyss to the right. Climbing the rocks in darkness isn’t physically difficult, but the adrenaline rush kicks in when we realize these rocks continue up and down for another hour. We reach the first checkpoint at sunrise, and the volunteers promise us the next section is a smooth 10km.

The Goat Pack Returns

Alex and I enjoy the leisurely run to the next checkpoint, where we bump into the Stewart, Pornsak, and David who leave about five minutes ahead of us. At 20km, we catch up to the guys again on some nasty rocky slopes, so the Goat Pack is reunited. Together we continue up and down the mountains on manageable terrain, and hit the third checkpoint at 30km under five hours. We feel the heat, and I make a seriously bad decision and fill my camelbak with that sugary electrolyte drink simply because it is ice cold, and I think it would make me feel better than the warm water, even though I know it always makes me nauseous. (I came to regret this decision later when I am retching at 46km.) The Goat Pack at 32km


Alex leading me safely out of this section at 47km

Too Tough to Run

A strange thing happens when we leave CP3: none of us can really run on a relatively smooth and almost level dirt track. Temperatures are in the high 30’s, so maybe the sun is having an effect. This should’ve been a simple section to run, but after the first technical section and the last uphill, we are reduced to a fast walk as we approach the Boulder Field. It seems that our legs muscles are burned out from the climbing and dancing over smaller rock fields.

The Boulder Field

The Boulder Field is the highlight of Mount Sana 60. This is the toughest 3km that we must endure – can you imagine crawling up, down, over and around boulders the size of cars as you climb up and down a mountain in the heat after running over five hours? We go through the boulders as a group, which makes the suffering hilarious (except for another runner who was almost passed out in the shade near the top and required coaxing to get moving). We push and pull each other, and try to find the humour in the colourful names we attribute to Louise and Pascale, the diabolical ladies of Urban Ultra – none of which are suitable to print. This section goes beyond burning our leg muscles with the jumping and hopping around the boulders, and requires characteristics which I obviously lack: coordination and gracefulness.

The volunteers!


The Goat Pack climbing the boulders

Rocky Cliffs and Mountains

The next 6km section is supposedly runnable, but I start out by spitting up the last gel I consumed. This makes food simply unpalatable for me and I cannot stomach anything. Somewhere in a village, Alex and I stop for some cold water by the side of a farm. That water feels mind-numbingly cold over our heads and it tastes great, as sanitation is a low priority at this stage. During this section, the rest of the Goat Pack gaps Alex and me as we meander to the next checkpoint. At CP5 and 44km in, I try to avoid talking to the volunteers, because I know I am close to the edge, but optimistically I think I should be fine with only 16km to go. Oops.

The Finish

Of the 41 starters, only 24 finish, including Stewart and Pornsak coming in under eleven hours, with David just over twelve hours. Excellent effort by all the runners and volunteers! Mount Sana 60 may be considered “a bit technical,” but that’s what makes it the best trail event in the Middle East. Thanks to everybody at Urban Ultra for putting together such a great event! ■

More Boulders

We enter the last technical section and climb down boulders, which gives me a false sense of security because it is not that difficult in my current state. Then I see David up on top of some high rocky peak ahead and realize what lies ahead and where the path leads. After a second climb, I call up to Alex and tell him I may have a little problem – which he already knows because it’s blatantly obvious that I am stumbling all over the place. Alex takes care of me – as running buddies do! – and makes it abundantly clear that the only way out is for me to get up and move forward through these rocky mountains. After two hours of stumbling over the rocks, we make it to the road and call it a day. The Mount Sana 60 beat me this time, but I will definitely be back next time.

Yann finishing strong

Alex feeling good on the boulders




These spellbinding views on day one give a hint of what’s to come. Image Credit: BikingMAN


Jenn Wicks describes the intensity of completing her first ultra-endurance cycling race at BikingMAN Oman Photos by: BikingMAN, Jenn Wicks and Corey Hilliard

A Tough First Day

I was sobbing like a baby. What on Earth was I doing here? It was dark and I had stopped at the side of the highway between Ibri and Bahla having left Muscat nearly 16 hours before. I was bonking hard and needed to eat real food. The headwind had been relentless since we had made the turn west near Rustaq at around the 75km mark. I was at a low point having just realized that the service station I was looking for was 5km behind me and across a divided highway. The day also had included nearly 2000m of steady climbing with no relief due to the winds. While crying at the roadside, I also seemed to have lost my Rapha sunglasses in the dark and was now searching for them through the tears. I texted my husband, John, who was supporting me virtually from Qatar, “I think we overestimated my abilities.” I vowed to never do something like this again.

of the 45 starters, 39 of us would make it back to Muscat on our bikes. Across from me sat Perrine Fages, my friend and superwoman triathlete who is currently spending more time training than most of us spend at work in a week in preparation for the gutsy Arch to Arc Enduroman ultra triathlon. To my right, Jason Black introduced himself and proceeded to share his impressive resume of summits (including Everest and K2) while I sat with my mouth agape and my eyes wide. Just down the table to my left sat Josh Ibbett, winner of the 2015 Transcontinental Bike Race; and Juliana Buhring, one of the strongest ultra-endurance cyclists in the world. It was inspiring to be surrounded by these athletes, and at the same time I wondered what the heck I was doing there. “What have I gotten myself into?” I thought to myself. It wasn’t the first time it had crossed my mind since registering in October 2017.

The 45 starters line up under the Red Bull banner

The First BikingMAN

We were making history at this inaugural BikingMAN ultra-endurance event. The first of the series and the first race of its kind in Oman. I had taken exception to the illiberal name of the event well before registering, but knowing nothing changes if you choose not to participate, I decided to sign up if for

no other reason than to add another woman to the start list. As one of only seven women participating, my only hope was that I simply survived to finish before the five-day cut-off at 3am on the coming Friday. But I couldn’t get ahead of myself. The first real challenge would be getting to the checkpoint at the top of the steepest, hardest climb I had ever attempted on a bike by 4pm on the second day. Jebel Shams is a 22km climb with 1500m altitude and includes some inclines over 20 per cent gradient, or as fifth place finisher Niel Cope land described it, “eye-wateringly steep!”

Beyond Challenging

To put this all in context, while I have always loved riding a bike, I had only really started cycling in 2013 after meeting my husband, John, and joining some local races and group rides in Qatar. Previously, I had commuted to work and never even seen a bike race before. Within four years, I had become a familiar face on local podiums in both road and mountain bike races in Qatar, and my biggest event was racing joBerg2c, the challenging 9-day mountain bike stage race in South Africa in April 2017 with John. Endurance cycling does not come easily to me, and BikingMAN was more like a curiosity, an odd musing that teased at the corners of my thoughts asking, “I wonder if I could do something like that?” With no real hills to speak of in Qatar, it was also a feat for me to train properly, so my coach, Szymon Wasiak, helped me to prepare with the resources we have. Even with all of my training, though, I knew this would be a crazy challenge for me. And that excited me like nothing before. Perhaps this was going to be “my thing.”

Pre-race jitters just a few hours from the start

The Night Before

We all sat around the hotel dining room sharing the excited nervousness just hours from our start at 3am the next morning. Out 18


Looking back at the view as she descended Jebel Shams, Jenn was a little sad to say goodbye


Day One

My first day started out with gusto. I felt good and kept up a surprisingly fast pace for the first few hours as we left Muscat behind in the dark. But when the hurricanelike winds hit, it was like cycling against a wall, and it took a toll on me. I was mentally prepared for the elevation and distance, but I was not prepared for the third element of insane wind at every turn. It was soul-destroying and I honestly thought my dreams of becoming an ultra-endurance cyclist were over. But by the time I settled into my hotel for the night in Bahla, I was still pretty much on schedule as my coach and I had planned. On the other hand, I had no idea how my body would feel when I awoke, and this is part of the mystery of ultra-endurance cycling. I was shattered, and the monster climb of Jebel Shams was facing me on Day 2.

mountain goats made me smile as I noticed more and more hopping up onto the stiff branches of the wind-gnarled trees lining the winding roads. My legs started to resist, and I walked for a bit pushing my bike with my head down and sweat dripping off my nose and onto the tarmac. I remounted and zigzagged my way up, inching slowly. By the time I reached the gravel section, I now knew I would make the summit and likely even ahead of my plan! I cruised around the last bend, standing up and giving a whoop as I entered the gates of the Jebel Shams Resort to get my map stamped by the officials. I couldn’t wait for that descent. I had seen other competitors descending all day and now it was my turn. I let my Mason Bokeh fly over the gravel descent, using my arms and legs for suspension and grinning from ear to ear. After Jebel Shams, I was fueled by the success of what I had considered the hardest challenge of the whole event. The remaining part of day two for me was just a perfunctory exercise in getting from point A to point B - just past the town of Nizwa. The thought started to creep in, “Maybe I could be good at this ultra-endurance thing!”

Jenn celebrating her mini-victory at the top of Jebel Shams


on to the town of Sur. I stopped for a huge lunch, checked into the hotel for a shower and a quick snooze before rising to do it all again one more time. I set off from Sur around 10pm and headed up and up and up the hills towards Muscat through the long night of darkness and donkeys. As dawn approached, I found a coffee shop, replenished my supplies and headed off towards the final kilometres not yet realizing how tough this final push would be. Chased by vicious dogs, inhaling ship loads of dust, and facing the final steep climbs presented one challenge after another. It’s no wonder I was in tears at the end, but they were tears of joy as well as exhaustion, pain, and relief.

Greeted at the finish line by friends and a flood of emotions

Why Do You Do It?

Jenn with some young Omanis at one of the water stops at Ash Sharqiyah

Day Three/Four Jenn’s Mason Bokeh perched at the lookout near the top of Jebel Shams

Day Two

I awoke a few hours before my alarm, but with only three or four hours sleep, I felt surprisingly wired when I jumped out of bed. I had no idea how Jebel Shams would go, and I wanted to give myself the best possible chance of reaching the checkpoint before the cut off at 4pm that day. I started off in the dark, my mood vastly improved from the previous night. I could not wait to see this mountain that everyone had been talking about for months. I was ready for an adventure. When the incline started, it was gradual but persistent. My mood did not waver - I was like a kid. I felt so lucky to be out there on those hills. Suddenly, the gradient got serious, but I kept my sense of humour. I made sure to stop and take photos, and the

While it started out with breathtaking scenery through some mountains, day three posed many unexpected challenges for me, including a never-ending seemingly straight road, endless roadworks, and a truck driver who deliberately tried to run me over after harassing me on the side of the road. But reaching the next checkpoint was like erasing a dirty chalkboard, and in the middle of the night when I woke around 2am, I was itching to get back on my bike. I donned some fresh kit and headed out into the mist, towards the beautiful Omani coastline and Jenn climbing gravel road on JS

I kept asking everyone afterwards, “Why do you put yourselves through this?” A lot of people talked about finding joy on the road in the silence or the beauty or the people, and I would have to agree with those things. But for me there were also times when I told myself, “never again.” For example, fighting those winds for 16+ hours on day one or my horrific experiences on day three. But as the days passed, the memories of pain faded and the joy seemed to amplify. I have stayed in touch with many of the other riders, and our brief encounter seems oddly stronger than that of some people I have known for years. We are bonded by our passion for venturing off the beaten path, our thirst for adventure, and perhaps feeling like our unconventionality is welcomed by others who truly get it. And yes, I am now considering where, not whether, my next ultra will be! ■


in the UAE Words + Photos by: David O’Hara

On weekends, Alex, Olya and I love exploring the UAE. Usually we either sign up for an organized running event or drive to the mountains or sand dunes and run on our own. Some events are a bit technical, while others are intended for more casual runners. One advantage of running in all these events is that we get to experience parts of the UAE which may otherwise be inaccessible. Now we are comfortable enough with the locale that we are able to bring colleagues from the office out on some adventures, like the Hatta Hills 3km, 10km and Half Marathon held every March.

Hatta Hills

The Hatta Hills Half Marathon is a great family event in in the mountainous area of the Emirate of Dubai, attracting both serious

Team building at Fossil Rock

runners and people who run for fun. In addition to the half marathon, there is a 10km road race and a 3km event. The organizers put together a wonderful picnic area at a hotel which provides breakfast and the sponsors have concession stands for a minirunning festival. The beauty of an event like this is that there is something for everybody. We organize a bus and bring a group from the office to enjoy both running and simply getting out in the countryside of Dubai.

tion boost in return. Plus, you get to see your friends running – at Hatta Hills, Yann is way ahead as expected, Pornsak from Hajar and I cross paths, and Jeremy catches me at 19km. Alex and Olya decide to invite to Hatta Hills some people from the office to run, walk, and enjoy being outdoors.

Great Course for Enjoying a Run

Ready to conquer Hatta Hills



This event attracts about 500 runners and families, which is pretty big, considering that it is about an hour and a half drive from Dubai City. The course is like a shamrock, where you run to the center point, and then do out and back runs. Each out and back takes you up a little hill to Hatta Dam and reservoir, which means spectacular views. As a runner, the fun part is passing by everybody on each loop – when you give encouragement and you get a little motiva-

Running at Hatta Hills



Our Running Group

Alex and Olya work together and have been part of a running group for five years, with some people leaving the group and some newcomers joining. Our running group is informal, and we encourage others from the office and spouses to join us, regardless of ability, especially when they have the desire and bring positive energy. The goals are to enjoy running, run together, run in local events, and have fun.

It’s Not Always About Running

Our running group also organizes excursions for colleagues and families to other places, where you can take cycles in sand or singletrack, kayak, or hike. Through running, we get to visit lots of interesting areas in UAE, like Mleiha and Fossil Rock. Recently we took a group of twenty colleagues and families to experience sand dunes for the first time. Since it’s not recommended to go to the sand dunes without an experienced person, most people from the office never really get to visit the desert first hand. When we get to the desert, we split into two groups: I take the runners for a nice 10km loop up and down the sand dunes, while Olya leads the trekkers on a pleasant hike up Fossil Rock. Afterwards, we visit the Mleiha Archeological Museum, because of the awesome brekkie at the adjoining café.

Initiator, Implementer, and Positive Attitude

Taking a group from the office out to a running event or just an excursion in the desert requires a few basic things. You need the initiator of the plan to pique the interest of colleagues who want to spend a weekend

With the hardware

outdoors. The initiator is usually the person responsible for the concept to ensure that the event matches the desires and abilities of the group. Somebody must implement the plan and organize the schedule, budget, announcements, bus, food, water, and coordinate with venue or event. A positive attitude helps put all these elements together, so that your colleagues and their families can have a safe and enjoyable experience outdoors in the UAE. Besides

enjoying a fun weekend adventure, these events can be wonderful ideas for future team-building events, like trekking in the mountains in RAK! ■

Enjoying Hatta Hills after party

Blasting down the dunes

Playing in the sand




Infant Swimming: Swimming with your kids can be a fun way to spend hours with them Words by: Nico de Corato and Daniel Brecht Photos by: DubaiBlog & Web

Infant swimming has become more and more popular through time as a fun way to spend hours with young children while teaching them important mobility and survival skills. Infant swimming is based on the notion that babies exhibit an innate tendency to move through water imitating swimming motions. It is, however, also a controversial practice that, according to some, might carry risks. In reality, babies are unable to swim because of their body structure and actual strength; swimming requires coordination between arms, legs, head and breathing that younger children cannot possibly control; however, infants do have reflexes that allow them to dive in like pros. That’s why we decided to bring our daughter Adelaide Jasmine Laura into the pool as we had a chance to do that. A peculiar “diving reflex”, in fact, has 22


been studied: when children up to 6 months old dive in water, a series of reactions take place in their body: respiration and heart rate slow down, the glottis seals, and any water is rerouted to the stomach through the esophagus, although some infants would even automatically hold their breath. All these mechanisms allow younger children to survive short immersions in water, thanks to the conservation of oxygen for lungs and heart. A lot of the controversy comes from the age in which children should be exposed to swimming. Many parents believe lessons are key as precautionary measure to put a stop to drowning. Unintentional drowning is in fact a tragic, leading cause of death throughout the world. Many infants and toddlers’ drowning don’t actually occur in larger swimming pools, spas, hot tubs, or body of water, but in bathing buckets or bathtubs with less than 2 inches (5 centimeters) of water; children aged 1 to 4 years are most at risk for drowning in inflatable and portable pools. There are actually cases that show like even toilets cannot be overlooked as a drowning hazard, with toddlers falling head-

first into the water if the lid remains open. Children are often trained in water safety. These courses are designed to train them on how to survive in the event that they accidentally fall into the water while unattended. Although some studies have tried to prove that swimming lessons for children younger than 4 can sensibly reduce the amount of deaths by drowning, in reality most are inconclusive. However, if before professional societies like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advised against lessons prior to the age of 4 for a series of risks including unintentional drowning, hypothermia, exposure to pool chemicals and infections, their position has often changed through time. Although they still don’t have sufficient proof of the effectiveness of training programs at such a young age and the effects on drowning statistics, they no longer advise against. The AAP warns parents, however, that “swimming lessons for infants and toddlers do not protect children from drowning. Children are not ready for formal swimming lessons until after their fourth birthday. You can teach your baby or toddler to love the water.”


First times in the swimming pool were just to take confidence with a new environment and the water, since we didn’t book any lesson in advance and there were no professionals available. I didn’t try anything particular but staying in the water with her. Then finally we had chance to have some private lessons where I got fundamentals about how to manage moments with her in water. For example, to sit on the edge with her, to start wetting her arms and legs first, then the body and the head, before entering the pool. Even if it’s warm water: just let your baby get acclimatized. Another very useful exercise: to let your baby lay on the back and swimming backwards, gently roll him/her right and left. It will help the propaedeutic rolling motion that will then allow the baby to turn around and crawl. And after that I try to bring her in the pool at least once per week, so that she can’t forget her confidence with the water. And it’s working! After diving she never cries. Whatever your decision as parents is on swimming lessons for your infant, here are some useful tips to make the experience safer. Closely supervise your child; this is always the best defense against drowning. A child can be in serious trouble in as little as 20 seconds, even in water that is only inches’ deep At home, buy and use pool security

devices (several are found on the market) to prevent tragedies. For example, there are 4-sided pool fences to enclose the water area and prevent unintended access, as well as “childproof” gates that are completely closed or latched; pool alarms to detect even the smallest body in the area thus preventing children from wandering in the area without an adult or sound a warning if a child falls into the water; pool covers specifically designed for under- or above-ground pools that can be bought and used to block off the outdoor pool, although parents should still be careful as toddlers can get in under the sides or fall through the top, if unsupervised. Shop for swimming floatation devices that are


suitable for all ages, including baby floats. Always be mindful, however, that they are not substitutes for supervision as they can flip over or deflate. Adults should get trained in water safety and in swimming, water rescue skills, First Aid and CPR. This could save your child’s life! Being a heli rescue swimmer and trained for all those skills, I feel comfortable in bringing my daughter regularly into a pool, but please don’t try this without a professional supervising you, especially if you are not comfortable in the water. ■

Drowning is not the only risk. Keep on Swimming!



The Unique Tranquillity, Nature and Art of Sharjah’s Al Noor Island Environmental insights, artistic harmony and natural wonders

Sharjah’s Al Noor Island is one of the most relaxing and soothing locations in the UAE and houses one of the most spectacular attractions of its kind in the Arab World. The island’s unique Butterfly House is home to around 500 exotic species, providing families with the perfect opportunity to witness the magic of nature first hand.

As an introduction to the importance of cherishing their environment and understanding the importance of sustainability, the Butterfly House is the perfect platform for youngsters to appreciate the beauty of the world around them. Brought in from around the world, families can enjoy the breathtaking colours and intricate wing details of several classes of the insects, including the ‘African Monarch’, the ‘Autumn Leaf’ and the ‘Rose Butterfly’ as they tour the venue.


Just a short walk to the other side of the island, visitors can enjoy an array of modern art pieces and contemporary architecture combined perfectly with traditional ornaments decorated with rich Arabic calligraphy, reflecting the Emirate of Sharjah’s commitment to cultural allegiance within a dynamic and progressive environment. Eight unique sculptures by some of the world’s most famous artists including the egg-shaped OVO art installation, dot this peerless island, casting equal shadows of light and dark making the sunsets a truly inspirational time of day. And

when nightfall finally arrives, the 45,000sqm Island also features a range light installations and LED displays that bring the island to life. For lovers of the written word, there is also Literature Pavilion in an open seating area where avid readers can both find a source of peace and lose themselves in a book while easing back in the plush seating and plumped cushions. In keeping with the island’s essence of the natural world, a giant forest-themed children’s play area and maze that is home to 72,000 plants and trees once again emphasises the


importance of our surroundings. Marwa Obaid Al Shamsi, Al Noor Island Manager said: “Nestled in the Khalid Lagoon, Al Noor is one of the region’s most valuable and dedicated advocates of the natural world. The setting is awe-inspiring, the facilities are world-class and the objectives of providing a tranquil haven from the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoying the world around us are our number one priority. “We are more than an attraction, we are a window into the world we live in, and a source of global insights.” ■





Words by: Aida Othman Photos by: Borneo Ultra Trails Sdn Bhd by photographers - Dev Sidhu, Pamela Sidhu and Tony Chiffings

Sabah or most popularly known as Land below the Wind

I heard so much about this popular event. Not that my first trip to Sabah is well-justified with running 100km in challenging jungle setting, this beautiful land situated on world’s third largest island and its unique culture really deserve to be explored. The Borneo Ultra-Trail® Marathon 2018 (BUTM) attracted runners to enjoy the views over surrounding ridges and valleys, including the view of magnificent Mount Kinabalu from afar. While the 100km course was tough with 4,890m elevation, I’ve enjoyed for the most part running on wide gravel, dirt tracks, and back-roads through villages and river crossing via numerous hanging bridges.

The Race Experience 10th & 11th March 2018

Bib pick-up was done at Avangio Hotel, Metro Town about 20 minutes taxi ride from city centre. We were given 2 bus tickets; one for going to start line and another for a return to hotel. The next morning after not having much sleep, I boarded bus to Kiuluat 4am. The journey took an hour. We entered a big hall where registration took place. I left my drop-bag for 50km checkpoint and then walked to the start line by the riverside. The race started 10 minutes after 50km runners took off (at 6:10am). I aimed for the first 50km to be completed before daylight given it’s the most technical section of the course; such as narrow trail with ropes was between W2 and W3. Spotted few pigs at a nearby village, I ran down the hill as quickly possible to Lokub (W3). After a few handfuls

Sabah or most popularly known as Land below the Wind

of sweet and juicy pineapple, I braved the sunny hot day ascending the highest hill on the course while putting my iPod on. I ran down to Kelubaan Baru (W4) to enjoy a village coffee as afternoon tea break. Reached 50km mark in Kiulu (W5) well before dark as plan. I left Kiuli, after fueling, legs spray and change of cloth. It was slow going to reach both W6 and W7 in rainy dark night - a signed of fatigue kicked in. Things got worst from very slippery and muddy slope to being stung by a bee (I saw this creature on my left knee lit up under bright headtorch!)

At Pukak (W7), a short break was needed for a quick shut-eye, a few sips of coffee, and a quick first aid treatment from a volunteer who applied a cream on the bee sting area. It was hard to get going, not till I heard the magic words of a nice chap there “remember why you come here for!” Off I went to Kitapol (W8) - had to stop along the way due to vomiting and dizziness. I slept at Kitapol for 1.5 hours in order to gain energy. Lost the first female position in my age category and top 50 overall position due to this stop, but it was a necessity in order to remain in this race.

View of Mount Kinabalu

Another view of Mount Kinabalu

Trail run in the land of sacred mountain



Rolling hill of Borneo

Jungle setting

Writer’s picture crossing one of the hanging bridge

Climbing the next hill was another challenge. As the sun rise marking a brand new day, I appreciated the pristine jungle even more. Passed by lush green of low canopy forest among rubber tapper plantations and rambling rattan or palm trees. The descent to Namadan (W9) was steep and slippery. Reached Rangalau (W10), a lovely picnic area by a river – I was disappointed with no cold drink to be purchased. After asking few people on the road (if any shop around), finally there’s one shop in the village. Ordered a cold can of Coke which was the saviour of the day, and then powered on along the final stretch of jungle trail, pineapple plantation, and dried paddy field. A lovely music played in the air sending message that the finishing line is getting closer. Finished at Kiulu just before the last hanging bridge where I crossed to get medals and finishing Tshirt. Didn’t use the food coupon, instead swap it with an injection for anti-vomit in the medical tent.

Obviously not a strong finish and took longer than expected due to the condition I was in – but delighted to cross the finishing line (85th over 270 finishers, 13th female, and 3rd in age group) because it displayed determination, resilience, and endurance against all odd. My 20th finishing ultra event and no better race to celebrate than in a well-organised race like BUTM. Thank you to friendly volunteers along the route and at the finishing line. This has been a good introduction to Sabah’ adventure – I will be back!

Male 100km winners

Female 100km winners

Sign Up and Accommodation:

2019 entry can be done at BUTM website www.borneoultra.com/butm once it’s open for registration, but if you keen for its sister race of The Most Beautiful Thing (TMBT) in this coming September,visit www.borneoultra.com/tmbt1. There are options for 12km, 30km, 50km, and 100km. As for accommodation, there are plenty of choices though recommended to stay close to the 3 locations of bus pick up/drop off points to race start/finish location in Kiulu. I stayed in Kinabalu Daya Hotel which gave the opportunity to explore the town and it was situated nearby the bus departure point in Downtown Kota Kinabalu. Alternatively, should you want a closer accommodation to the race start/finish and at the same time support the local communities in Kiulu, consider staying at newly constructed, basic, A-frame huts (sleep 5 with kitchen and toilet facilities). An option to camp also available.


• Usual compulsory mandatory kit except for red/white blinking light (to be fixed to pack after dark). While no checking prior to the race, this is randomly checked at selected location during the race and at finishing line for top 15 runners.

Dusun ethnic in traditional costume

Finisher medal by Aida Othman

• The facilities such as rest area, basic toilet, showers (at the finish), drinking water, and food (pineapples, bananas, instant noodles) were adequate. At the 50km checkpoint, the hot meals provided may be spicy for some, therefore recommended to bring your own. • Bring some cash so you can purchase some cold drink along the way. Much needed on a hot day. • For safety, do not run across the hanging bridges. A maximum of 10 people is allowed on bridge at all time (depending on bridge condition as they are varied).

Equipment & Fueling

• Shoes - My old Saucony Peregrine 5 for first 50km. Changed to The North Face Ultra Endurance in the second half • Clothing - Compression CEP tight, Headgear, Bridgedale Speed Diva Women’s Technical socks. For night; a lightweight jacket. • Backpack - Salomon S-Lab Adv Skin with shoulder pad which Istitched to minimise shoulder pain. • Watch -Garmin Phoenix 3 • Poles - Black Diamond carbon fibre • Headlamp - Black Diamond Spot • Fueling - PURE Sports Nutrition Hydration Electrolyte, Primal Pantry Paleo Energy Bar

Getting There:

By plane, Kota Kinabalu is the entry point to Sabah. While there’s no direct flight from UAE you can fly with Etihad, Emirates or Malaysia Airline (stopping at Kuala Lumpur). Or via Royal Brunei and stop at Bandar Sri Begawan. ■ Aida Othman (@_aidaothman_) is a lifestyle writer and content creator behind the website, Slice Of Torch Ginger. An avid ultra-runne, her longest run was the 7 Emirates Run in the UAE, covering 575km in 12 days to raise funds for the medical bills of a toddler born with deformed legs and the only woman to achieve this distance two years in a row.



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Words + Photos by: Paul Robida

Second part of my off-road tour of Oman. Where, after having left Muscat and explored the Eastern part of the Al Hajar Mountains, I now prolong my journey following the coast all the way down to Salalah. Wadi Batha is a natural frontier. This ancient and now dry large river bed, where have settled the Bani Khalid tribes, separates the high mountains of Al Hajar ash Sharqui, which I just left, from the vast desert plains of Ash Sharqiyah, which I’m about to enter. The landscape on the southern bank of this former river is a world apart from all I have seen so far. The sand has replaced the rocks, revealing to my eyes other types of mountains. Formed by the

winds - the winter Shamal from the north and the summer Monsoon from the south – those beautiful dunes have been covering this bare land for some 20 thousands years. This desert, which at first glance appears empty, is on the contrary full of life. Well known for its abundant flora and fauna, it is also the home of the Bani Wahibah, the Al Amr or the Al bu Isa, whom have managed to survive in this austere landscape for centuries. With numerous wells and oases found throughout for water, and the ocean nearby as an extra source of food, this sea of sand is far more hospitable than it looks. Today, it is a very popular touristic attraction, with bedu camps and dune bashing sessions run by local tour operators. Luckily for me, those concentrate mainly on the northern edge of the desert, and leave the rest of this enchanted land quiet for me to roam. I am always nervous when I enter the desert alone. All too aware of the risks and consequences if something was to go

wrong, and how potentially dreadful the day could turn if I was to run into trouble. But because of all its population, the Wahibah sands hardly ever feel like a virgin, unexplored space. Instead, you’re never far from a well established track that can take you all across at ease. Of course, you could avoid those “desert highways”, and enjoy the dunes as you create your own trail, but in my situation, I am happy to stick to the obvious and keep risks at a minimum before reaching the shores for a new night by the ocean. And what a night that is. Having arrived on a beach a few kilometres north of Ghalat, I stand alone by the shore, free from all human noises, observing flamingoes gracefully walking in the shallow waters. Behind me, a small cliff of old cemented sand called Eolianite, made from the remnants of older sand dunes. On my right, further south is Baar al Hikman and the former estuary of wadi Andam. The two forming a flat and dry featureless area, the wind wiped out and eroded over the years to create with the collected sediments the Wahibah dunes I just crossed.



The next morning I re-enter the desert, driving through the lower Wahibah and its small and narrow beige/white dunes, making the drive more challenging. Camel farms here and there, before a large oasis, and finally a new track taking me safely back to the town of Masirah for a welcome re-fueling, before entering Al Huqf range. To appreciate the story of the Huqf rocks, you need to stop and get out of the car. Walk around and look closely to find the old fossils marked in the stones. They tell a story of various climatic episodes of the past, between glaciations and wet marine periods, when this area was at times arid and other times submersed by water. The water shaped the rocks you see today. The ice and glaciers marked the stones as they were moving across the area, and marine fossils were left behind as the water left. All of which makes this area a fantastic place to explore if you know what to look for. On the edge of the range, by wadi Jurf, and below wadi Baw, is the Oryx natural reserve, which expends in Al Wusta plain. There, the Omani government has wisely decided to protect its rich desert wildlife, where free from the human threat, animals roam peacefully in their natural habitat. Due to the large territory allocated to the reserve, it is not necessarily easy to spot animals. It takes patience and luck, or having with you someone who knows where they go for water for example. But if you are

lucky like I was, then the spectacle of those magnificent animals is definitively worth the detour. Just like for the rest of the coast, between Duqm and Sawqirah, where the endless beach front is home to thousands and thousands of birds flocking the shore for miles on end. What a spectacle for whom loves nature! Along the way, small fishing hamlets, where you can still see old Barasti camps. As the sun rises on the shore, fishermen push their boats through the surf before a morning at sea. Upon their return, their nets full of fish are spread on the wet sand, seagulls

flying over their heads in a frenzy. This ancestral way of life, this relation between men and the sea, the aforementioned depending so much on the second for their survival, is still here on full display as if nothing had changed. After Sawqirah, the landscape is drastically changing again. Finished the vast open land, I am now climbing back up the Dohfar mountains. Spreading across Southern Oman and Yemen this limestone range carved by large wadii is home of the famed Frankincense tree, which brought riches to the region. But passing through the high plateaus gives a sense of what it could feel like driving on the moon; bare, light beige rock formations under a cloudless sky. Now and then, few signs of life; isolated houses, can we call them farm? Not even sure. How people survive here, beats me. I like isolation in remote locations, but it is all so desolated, so raw and dry, I can’t imagine anything else but a life of distress and privation for whom decided to settled down here.


In contrast, the shore is far more welcoming. The pearl blue waters breaking on the cliffs offer a more paradisiac outlook. In small creeks, fishing boats rest on the sand. Fresh waters at the end of wadii, surrounded by palm groves, make you want to get out of the car and go for a well deserve swim before another fantastic night under the stars. You can offer me Versailles, the Taj Mahal or the anything else man has created, nothing tops the splendour of untouched nature. Myself, alone on this beach, witness to the raw beauty of life. Just perfect. The remaining of the drive taking me the next day to Salalah, is the rare portion of road allowed on this trip. But what a road! Recently opened, Road 42 is a marvel in itself, offering breath taking views on the ocean below. As I try to avoid the black snake as much as I can, it doesn’t feel like too much of a betrayal driving on this scenic portion of tarmac. Once in Salalah, it is time to freshen up, and trade the spartan comfort of the back of my car for a more civilized hotel room. Unable to complete the return portion through Ar Rub Al Khali alone, I have to spend a few days in town as I wait for friends to come down and join me. What is interesting in Salalah are its surroundings. Like Khor Rawri, which attracts a wide number of birds. You can also admire the fish through the clear waters. Another popular natural attraction is Jabal Samhan, but it’s not yet the right time of year to see it green with lush plants and boasting its waterfall. Instead I settle for the cave near the village of Tawi Atayr. Last I go up Wadi Dawkah north of Salalah, to admire the famous Fankincense trees.


I wish I could go further down, enter Yemen and its former beauty. But beauty never resists human hate and the war raging on the other side of the border stops me from going any further. Instead I now prepare to follow the footsteps of explorers such as Bertram Thomas and Wilfred Thesiger, and admire the beauty of a true desert, the Empty quarter. (To be continued) ■ Find out all about the trail I just described and its way-points on www.lostandcurious.com



Wreck Diving in Dubai Words by: Nicola Liddell

We are fortunate to have a variety of different diving habitats in the UAE. The Gulf of Oman on the country’s East Coast offers an abundance of marine life on coral reefs with most of the sites accessible to entry level divers. The Arabian Gulf, on our country’s West coast, provides fantastic wreck diving more suited for the advanced diver. There are a variety of circumstances of loss for the wrecks off the coast of Dubai, some have been used for target practice or sunk to make artificial reefs. Some, however, have quite an interesting past and one of the major attractions of diving shipwrecks is diving into its history (excuse the pun). MV Dara Fire, Gary Ruaux, 1961

Dubai dive trips

MV Zainab

MV Dara

The MV Dara was a Dubai based passenger ship built in 1948 by Barclay, Curle& Co in Glasgow, Scotland for the British India Steam Navigation Company. The ship carried passengers between the Gulf and Indian subcontinent. On 7th April, Captain Elson decided to take the ship out to sea to ride out a powerful storm. At that time Dubai did not have a dock for vessels. All ships anchored off Dubai Creek and were loaded and unloaded by smaller dhow’s. His decision was made so quickly, passengers and officials not intended to travel could not disembark. On its return to Dubai after the storm, on 8th April 1961, a powerful explosion engulfed the ship in fire that claimed 238 lives, including 19 officers and 113 crew. The other 565 passengers were rescued by British, German, Japanese and Norwegian vessels. Three British frigates and a U.S. destroyer sent their crew on board the Dara and were able to get the fire under control. While being towed on 10th April, by the Glasgow salvage vessel Ocean Salvor, the MV Dara sank just four miles off Umm al Quwain. At the time of sinking the MV Dara was the worst peacetime disaster on the high seas, second only to the Titanic. 32


Zainab is one of the most popular shipwrecks to dive in Dubai, she is roughly 40 – 50-minute boat journey from shore and offers an interesting history. Built in 1969 by Smith’s Dock Co. Ltd, her sinking in April 2001 caused panic in the Gulf as she spilled oil during rough sea conditions. The main worry was the possibility of oil reaching the country’s desalination plants; the UAE’s main source of fresh water. It was a spill that provided several valuable lessons on how spill response could be improved. After the spill ADNOC revised and strengthened their oil spill response strategy to help bridge that gap. Interestingly before the ship sank, the Zainab had been intercepted by the multinational force that enforced sanctions against Iraq after the First Gulf War. The ship was en-route to a holding area in international waters when it sank. The tanker started to sink around 2pm on the 14th April 2001 and was completely sunk by that evening, she spilled 500 metric tons of its cargo. In the aftermath coastguard divers managed to plug holes in the ship through which oil had been pouring out. Today Zainab lies at 30m of water on the port side on a flat sandy bottom. The top of the wreck is around 20m making it a dive best suited for Advanced level divers. During the winter months the descent offers a fantastic opportunity to see huge schools of yellowtail barracuda. Due to

Mariam Express Cardinal Buoy

the wrecks’ size, it is best explored over two dives. Towards the stern, you can still see a small upside-down lifeboat and industrial fire hose on the sea bed. Continuing round you will see the propellers; putting it in perspective just how small you are compared to the ship. Explore the bridge and stern in closer detail and be sure to leave a little extra air for the ascent to watch the Barracuda one final time.

Mariam Express

Mariam Express was a ro-ro ferry used to transport cargo between the U.A.E and Iraq. This commercial ship sank off the coast of Dubai on May 3rd, 2006 due to being overloaded in rough seas. It sank with all its cargo and now offers two dive sites. The deepest is the main vessel that now sits on the port side at 25m. The second site is some of the cargo of construction vehicles, which sit slightly shallower at 21m. A cardinal buoy marks her position and makes for an easy reference during the descent. This site over a relatively short time has become an abundant artificial habitat for Arabian Sea aquatic species from yellowtail barracuda and spotted eagle and torpedo rays, to a wide variety of nudibranch and flatworms. One last reminder, make sure you have the proper training and equipment before venturing into any overhead environments. Dive Safe! ■


Words + Photos by: Giles Richardson

I have largely ignored exploring the vast UAE Empty Quarter on adventure trips over the last thirteen years of living in the UAE and I question why? Weekends have been that all familiar early morning wake up call and drive to the Northern Emirates, whether to hike, MTB or kayak during the cooler season. However there has always been a desire to re-discover the Empty Quarter - and reminisce the grandeur (and pain)from when our Teams participated in both the ‘08 & ‘09 Abu Dhabi Adventure multi-day Race Series. Part of this race consisted crossing 120km of this vast emptiness self-supplied (except for rationed water) on foot and navigating some of the most inhospitable desert terrain on the planet. However, for those reading this article, and have experienced the sheer scale and beauty of this desert in a more sensible manner, would understand its uniqueness and its majesty. This is where my short story begins, as I had this mini project dialled into

my head for some time as part of my “to do list”. This idea being a prelude for some bigger plans for the next winter season. Importantly, I needed to complete this trip by March with the UAE temperatures starting to ramp up as we head towards our Middle East Summer. So, fitting this in was a juggle in between my typical Triathlon race season. In the last 18 months, one of my other focus areas has been to further develop my photography and aerial videography skills - and I have a special interest to capture adventure sports images and video in difficult to access places. Living in the UAE, we have some quite amazing diverse locations on our doorstep. Quick driving access to some remote locations, great scenery which is normally sparsely populated. Try achieving that in the UK! Mid-March 2018 was a new lunar moon, and I had planned to drive south to a point where there was minimum light pollution, capture the amazing milky way on my SLR camera and combine this with some aerial videography of the dunes on a fatbike. What is a fatbike some of you may ask - well this is basically a MTB with extra wide rims and

tyres that supposedly floats over dunes (well that’s what the adverts suggest, but trust me this is not the case in practice!). Anyway, my trip date was locked in and I emailed a good friend of mine, the manager (Sam) from Cycle hub, Dubai to borrow a bike. Without hesitation he obliged, and off I went the following day to pick up a bright orange Specialized ‘Fatboy’. Now, although technically I have ridden a fat bike down on the beaches of Oman - I was not adapt to the bigger dunes and the skills of riding these fluently and as to discover the (very) occasional head over heels into the sand – and all to be captured on camera. Three days prior to my trip, my equipment list was complete, everything ticked off except some extra SD memory cards to buy en-route. Toyota 4WD packed with SLR camera, several lenses, tripods, camping equipment and the orange Fatboy. My original plan was to go with a photographer friend who was also keen on astrophotography, until he bailed last moment. I was briefly concerned about venturing into UAE Empty Quarter solo - but this was a passing thought, as I was not going to postpone being the last chance before the summer heat.

The intent for this mission was not to drive all the way south to Liwa area, due to time constraints and because I had researched a location slap bang in the middle of nowhere, this being north-east of Liwa where there would hopefully be even less light pollution. I had Google pinned the four hours plus drive target location and left mid-morning. As I headed south by passing inland of Abu Dhabi and Al Wathba eventually joining a road heading directly south towards Saudi. After about 100km the road ended and switched to sand track. Meanwhile I was finally re-acquainted with the sheer emptiness of the landscape, dunes either side of the narrow track I followed as I drove further south into emptiness. I had passed several camel farms, some of these now derelict, as deserted outposts swallowed up and half submerged by the sands. This scene being a gentle reminder that nature is harsh and unforgiving and will always takeover what man has created in time. I continued further south along the track, venturing deeper into the Empty Quarter passing many wild camels that lay on the track in front of me - only 34


moving as they heard the engine noise and saw the wheel dust as I approached them. My final camp location was important. Firstly, I had to be nestled in a flat sapta plain in between some suitable dunes for riding, but also be enough distance from the main track to avoid any possible headlights from the off chance the occasional farm truck passing by at night. With the ideal location found,I pitched my tent, set up some tripods and cameras and waited for the all-important photographer’s golden hour. Fast forward to later on in the evening, it was a pitch-black sky with a dense plain of very clear Milky-way stars winding like a ribbon across the northern sky. I spent the next three hours soaking up this most amazing vista, capturing some of the clearest and most detailed galaxy I had seen through the eye of my lens - then time for bed. Five hours later, the all common sound of my iPhone alarm tone awoke me - it was 5:40am, and after quite a cold night sleeping in my tiny North Face tent I jumped up to begin part two of my plan. I had my

Fatboy ready, tyres deflated to about 8 psi, and as soon as the pre-dawn light was about to hit the sand dunes in front of me I started to peddle across the sapta plain towards the forbidding dunes in front of me. As the sun rose over the horizon, the light threw the most amazing depth of shadow and texture on the sand as I peddled towards the dunes. It was important to keep the cadence of the cranks consistently quick, and weight distribution on the fatboy as I climbed the ridges of the first steep dune. Then keeping up my momentum I would ride the slip face of the dune as though doing a cut back on a wave, trying to balance my weight and avoid the soft areas as I rode back onto the hard packed sapta to gain speed and attempt the next dune. I continued to explore further into the emptiness of this landscape. Trust me – this is heart pumping stuff and my Garmin stats would reveal all, but a lot of fun and hopefully some great imagery. Finally, once the sun was fully overhead and my quads burning, it was time to head back to the car and brew up some coffee.

As the morning progressed, tent packed, bike loaded back into car – and after a successful morning of filming, I was ready to head back to civilisation. All was good, and I jumped into my driver’s seat, turned the key and the sound of “click-click-click”…. A few four-letter words then got screamed out and I sank back into my seat. What the hell now? - I said, as my brain went into overdrive assessing the situation. I had obviously drained the car battery from all the equipment being charged, although I had also run the engine in between to supposedly stop this occurring. Then the sheer silence of the desert was very apparent, and I started to calculate how much water I had, re-visualizing the conversation I had the day prior to a friend, giving him the approximate location details. This was not good situation, as I was all alone, no phone coverage and hidden from the connecting sand track that I had driven along to get there. One aspect to my personality is that I tend to rationalise situations like this quite well and not panic (too much). So, I packed a small rucksack, filled up a large water

bladder and hiked back across the sapta taking a shortcut detour to the main track and waited for the next passing vehicle! I waited patiently with the sun beating down on me, and eventually saw on the horizon what seemed like a small dust storm approaching me. As the white beaten up Toyota Hilux approached, it came to a screaming halt as I waved my arms profusely. Two Pakistani men (presumably camel shepherds) looked at me in disbelief wandering what the hell I was


doing by the side of the road. The sign language communication between us was just enough, and they reluctantly drove me out to my abandoned Toyota 4WD to help jump start it. Thank-you gentlemen and another tale of learning and adventure. ■

www.flickr.com/photos/153051011@N05/ www.vimeo.com/user11603457 www.Instagram.com/gilesrichardson www.facebook.com/giles.richardson.750




OUTLAW DIARIES III WILD WILD EAST Words by: Johannres Müller Photos by: Constantin Fiene

The third part of the freeride film series OUTLAW DIARIES is finally ready. Prepare for a wild bike adventure with Patrick “Bengel” Rasche far away from the usual bike destinations. The first part of the series took place in Germany near Patrick’s hometown. The second one brought him to British Columbia, the Mecca of Mountain biking, following the tracks of all those freeride legends that inspired his way of riding. For the new chapter it was time to seek for something new. “The unknown is what makes people curious. And nowadays it gets harder and harder to be a pioneer in this world,” he explains his mission. “Bengel“left his comfort zone in search for a place where he could be a pioneer again. A wild place, where no bike tire has touched the ground before. The east is calling. The Wild Wild East. Welcome to the wilderness of Kamchatka, Russia. Kamchatka is a peninsula in the Russian far east. It’s located in the Pacific Ocean north of Japan and has a wild coastline with 160 volcanoes rising from sea level up to 4.700m. Until 1990 Kamchatka was a restricted military area that was closed to the public. For mountain bikers this part of east Siberia is still no man’s land. The team, consisting of Patrick “Bengel“ Rasche, his longtime friend and photographer Constantin Fiene and the El Flamingo crew visited the Russian wilderness for two weeks in late September 2017. The weather on the peninsula is as rough as the landscape and they had to learn that nature is the boss in Siberia. Ever dreamed of heli biking on volcanos with an old Russian army helicopter? Here we go. Join Patrick on his adventure in the land of fire and ice.

Video Link: www.vimeo.com/elflamingo/outlawdiaries3 Contact: philipp@el-flamingo.de (IG) @elflamingofilms (FB) fb.com/elflamingofilms






On Top of Matterhorn Words + Photos by: Nasir Khamlichi

It is a nondescript weekday morning, it could be any other office in the world, and like many other office workers that morning, we are camped around a central desk all looking at a presentation. The humdrum of normality was interrupted by my colleague, Chirins’ mobile phone ringing. Chirin normally has an outgoing cheery disposition; she always greets everyone with a full smile, and is someone who always manages to match her brightly coloured headscarf with the rest of her outfit. Today however a look of sadness broke across her face like light entering a dark room. “it’s the school nurse again” she says in a way which is both apologetic and brave. As she begins talking on the phone she immediately stands and begins collecting her belongings then hurryingly rushes to the door. Chirin said the school was calling again because this isn’t the first time the school nurse has called Chirin in an emer-

gency, sadly this will not be the last. This is Chirin’s new reality now, constant trips to the hospital, having to make sure the phone is never on silent, sleepless nights, countless injections and the constant fear and worry that goes along with having an ten year daughter with diabetes. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Matterhorn, it is mountain on the border between Italy and Switzerland in the Alps. The Matterhorn is not the highest mountain in the Alps, it is not the technically the hardest mountain, but in many ways it is what many people perceive as the perfect mountain. What I mean by that, is if you ask any child to draw you a mountain, they will inadvertently draw the Matterhorn. A near-symmetrical pyramid standing sentinel over the village of Zermatt in Switzerland. It has three steep dark grey imposing faces which all lead to a razor edge summit covered in snow. Imagine the tip of a Neolithic spear made out of grey stone pointed towards heaven.

Even on perfect sunny days with clear blue skies, the mountain has what’s known as a Banner Cloud, that flies from the top reminiscent of a white flag flapping proudly in the wind. The Matterhorn has attracted a near obsessive following since the 1800s,it was the last of the great peaks to be climbed, Mont Blanc the highest mountain in the Alps, had been climbed some 80 years earlier. The race to claim the Matterhorn, was the subject of a brutal race Edward Whymper and Jean-Antoine Carrell, both hungry to claim the prize for personal glory and country. Edward Whymper was a young English Artist who was commissioned by a London publisher to make sketches of the great peaks of the Alps.


Jean-Antoine Carrell had grown up at the base of the Matterhorn, and spent his youth exploring the regions forests and valleys that hugged the mountain. He was a professional Hunter and considered the Matterhorn “His Mountain” The two climbers were friends and had carried out a number of expeditions both independently and together. In the summer of 1865 the Swiss, Italians and British all mounted major expeditions to finally attempt to conquer the Matterhorn. Whymper had agreed to again climb the mountain with Carrell, and made his way to the Italian town of Cervinia at the base of the mountain. However, on arrival he found that Carrell had without telling him, led the Italian expedition hoping to claim the prize of a recently unified Italy and had already left the day before with his team to climb the mountain. Realising the race for the Matterhorn had begun without him, Whymper immediately made his way to the Swiss town of Zermatt, where by chance he ran into Lord Francis Douglas, a fellow member of the London Alpine Club, whom he convinced to join the expedition. The two then hired a local guide Peter Taugwalder, who agreed to guide the team, but insisted on bringing his son. By a further astonishing coincidence, Whymper picked up another member, an Anglican Priest and mountain climber by the name of Charles Hudson whilst having dinner in the hotel that evening. On the 13th of July 1865 this newly banded group of men set out to beat the Italian team. After a days climbing on the

Swiss side of the mountain, they reached just above what is known today as the Hornli Hut, a small inhospitable patch of flat rock located 3300 Metres up. Meanwhile, the Italians were much farther along due to the two days head start and had reached an altitude of 3889 Meters on the Italian side of the mountain. At 3:40am on the 14th of July, Whymper and his men set off early in an attempt to catch the Italian team, unbeknown to Carrell and his men who do not begin climbing again until after 6am. By 1:40pm that afternoon, Whymper and his team were just below the summit when he and another member of his team in a summit fever frenzy untied themselves from the other climbers and begin a mad all out dash racing one another the summit together. The mountain that had alluded so many others, and Whymper himself for so many years had finally been captured. Whymper spotted Carrell and his team just 300 Meters below still trying to reach the summit. He triumphantly shouted and even threw stones at the Italian team. Devastated by losing, Carrell could not bring himself to climb the final 300 Meters that day, after so many failed attempt and within touching distance; Carrell turned his team around and headed back. Whymper graciously wrote later of Carrell: “He was the man, of all those who attempted the ascent of the Matterhorn, who most deserved to be the first upon the summit.” However as any mountaineer will tell you, getting to the top is only half of the job. The


team now faced the difficult task of getting down. During the decent, the team who were roped together, suffered a horrific tragedy, that was to be the worst loss of life in a mountaineering accident in the 19th Century, and many say ended the golden age of mountaineering. The least experienced climber amongst the team slipped, knocking the main guide off of his feet, as the two hurtled downward Reverend Hudson and then Lord Douglas were instantly jolted off of their feet and pulled from the downward. With the four men sliding off the mountain face, Whymper, Taugwalder and his son desperately clung to the mountain with all their strength and braced themselves, with the slim hope of catching their team mates and not being pulled off the mountain themselves. Their hope of saving their companions broke along with the rope, as it snapped, it sent the four men to their deaths. “We saw our unfortunate companions sliding downwards on their backs, and spreading out their hands, endeavouring to save themselves. They passed from our sight uninjured, disappeared one by one, and fell from precipice to precipice.” The four climbers plummeted over 1,200 metres down the mountain. Traumatised, it took the remaining three men more than a day involving a bitter night in the open to climb down the mountain. Three of the climbers bodies were recovered a few days later at the base of the mountain, the forth Lord Douglas was and to this day has never been found.




This year the Matterhorn will face an altogether more amateur assault. I will be attempting to follow in the footsteps of both men, as I plan to climb up from the Italian side and down the Swiss side of the mountain. I say amateur because I am in no way an athlete or a professional climber. I am to mountaineering what a schoolchild kicking a ball against a wall is to Lionel Messi playing football. When it comes to sports I would consider myself perfectly average. Average fitness, average strength, all in all fairly average, except as my 6ft 2 colleague Duncan Wood happily likes to point, perhaps out a little shorter than average at 5ft 10(ish)! I do like try as many sports as I can, however I am not particularly good at any one specific sport. For school sports I would never be picked first or last, always somewhere around the middle once the battle for the really good players was over. I sunk my metaphorical ice axe into the world of mountaineering in 2013 when I was fortunate enough to be invited to climb Kilimanjaro with Gulf for Good. For those of you who have any interest in climbing mountains, Kilimanjaro is a fantastic place to start. It is one of the legendary seven summits, which is a collection of the highest mountain on each continent. Climbing all seven summits would put you in an elite club of less than an estimated 600 people. At 5895 Meters Kilimanjaro is a high mountain, it is however also a very accessible mountain, requiring no technical skills apart from the ability to put one foot in front of another for days at a time and not focus on how hard it is to breathe. Any competent hill walker could easily spend a week to ten days climbing the mountain without the need to don a safety hat or know how to tie a European Reef Knot. Since Kilimanjaro, I have spent at least one week a year in the mountains managing to build up a fantastic tally of failures and the odd summit. Matterhorn ascent Gustave Dore

The next few months are going to be a race to get mountain fit, something I will talk about in more detail in the next article, but being Mountain fit is fitness unlike most other sports. The aim of all the training that we will do over the next few months is to attempt to increase my strength and most importantly Aerobic Base by increasing the volume (amount) of training at low intensity. For those of you who have not recently swallowed a training encyclopaedia very simplistic not entirely accurate way of understanding this is to imagine on one side of the spectrum you had Usain Bolt the world record holder for the 100-meter Sprint, and on the other you had Sir Mo Farah the 10,000 Meter double Olympic gold medallist. Usain needs to have a very high Anaerobic Base; as a sprinter he possesses immense explosive power that drives him from 0 to 44.72kph covering 100 meters in an astonishing 9.58 seconds. He needs his body to deliver maximum power over a very short amount of time. Mo Farah on the other hand needs to deliver power over a much longer period. During his Marathon, race Mo averages an incredible 19.71kph for over 2 hours and 8 minutes. As such he needs his body to deliver less power over a longer period of time. To be mountain fit, I will need a lot of Mo and little bit of Usain, so that I have the longevity to survive back-to-back sometimes 18-hour days at altitude as well as possess the explosive power to climb up sometime vertical cliff faces carrying backpacks of up to 15kgs. My training will focus on putting hours and hours of low intensity training to build up our Aerobic Base, as well as a minimum of two sessions a week to build up functional strength (strength we can actually use carrying things, rather than looking really good in tight tee-shirts) as well as the vomit inducing sprint sessions designed to push us to the very limit and then slightly over. The basic structure of training will be taken from the book Training for the New Alpinist, which for those wanting to get fit and get into the mountains it is in my opin-


ion a must read. As I move through the next few months I will delve deeper into training smart rather than simply training hard using the basic principles picked up from this book and advice from the great sporting communities here in the UAE. In addition to putting in hours and hours walking up and down fire escapes, each month I am planning on trying a new activity. There are so many fantastic organisations and individuals here in the UAE that help provide access to a wide range of sports. My aim is to work with a different group, organisation or individual every month to show how accessible it really is, and to showcase Dubai as being one of the greatest places on earth to be active, to eat healthy to meet new people and explore this beautiful country. When Whymper and his men got down to the bottom of the mountain, the team faced inquires and allegations that they had cut the rope to save themselves (The same rope is today an attraction in the climbing museum in Zermatt)

Matterhorn Disaster Dore

Even Queen Victoria considered banning Mountaineering due to the loss of life. The Times viewed the ascent as “utterly incomprehensible”, and asked what right mountaineers had to throw away the gift of life: “Is it duty? Is it common sense? Is it allowable? Is it not wrong?” Charles Dickens the famous Novelist said that Mountaineering was “contempt for and waste of human life, a gift too holy to be played with like a toy, under false pretences, by bragging vanity” It is this quote from Charles Dickens that I hope neatly allows me to bring these different stories together. Mountaineering is, as Dickens said, at its worst sport that can be seen as a selfish “bragging vanity” and as a husband to a beautiful wife, and father of two amazing children, the risks are something that I assess and I constantly question my own motives for climbing mountains. Where I can, I mitigate as many risks as possible by using the very best guides, making sure I am personally skilled and fit enough to even be on the mountain and turning around without hesitation if the weather or numbers do not add up. There is so much beauty in the mountains, and I do not go to “test myself” or “conquer” anything, but to simply enjoy being in the sort of scenery only a poet could describe. I do not have the superlatives to explain the majesty of the environment, I only hope that some of you reading this go there to experience it for yourself if you haven’t already. A huge motivator for me is to grasp every opportunity that arises when I can do something I love and potentially help other people at the same time. Diabetes affects an estimated 1 in 5 people in the UAE, and those are only the people who are diagnosed, estimates I have read suggest that there another 400,000 people undiagnosed or a pre-diabetic. Although there are no lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk of type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes is often linked to being overweight and living a sedentary lifestyle. That means there are steps you can take to reduce your, and the people around you risk of developing it. With the statistics being this high, at first I was shocked that more wasn’t being done to highlight the issue and I could not believe that there were no organizations set up to help the public understand the risks, of course, I was very wrong….

The Al Jalila Foundation encourages ground-breaking research through specialist knowledge, expertise and resources across a range of scientific disciplines to support regionally-relevant medical advancements. They offer a number of funding schemes, including seed grants, international fellowships and collaborative research opportunities to discover solutions not only to diabetes but to other illnesses like cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity and mental health. The Foundation aims to spread awareness on diabetes in the UAE and when we found out about the work the charity was doing, we felt we had to try to see if we could work with them on this project. I reached out expecting to hear something back within a few weeks. The very next day they replied and have been a fantastic support in helping with the idea of getting people talking about this. If you are reading this article chances are you are an outdoor type, but if we all told our five closest friends about the risks of diabetes and they all told five of their friends, we could spread the message across the city like a wildfire, that doing just a little bit of exercise three times a week drastically reduce your chances of getting or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes. Chirn has been and continues to be an amazing mother in the face of such a horrible disease, she has dealt with every set back and challenge with a smile and a limitless source of energy, she has been an inspiration to us all fortunate enough to work with her. Her daughter has even started producing YouTube Videos to help

Arabic speakers understand how to use the diabetic pumps as the instructions are often in English only. I hope by attempting to climb this mountain we can do a few things, raise awareness into the causes and prevention of the disease, raise some money for the Al Jalila Foundation, connect with the great sporting communities and people in the UAE, discuss how great it is to be in the mountains and finally convince Chirin to stop doing her daughters home work for her  Final note, we are raising money for the Al Jalila Foundation, every Dirham donated goes straight to the charity, we have paid for the entire trip ourselves. ■ To donate please go to: www.hopasports.com/matterhorn






A Call to Arms: Words + Photos by: Allen Kenneth Schaidle

I’ve been climbing around the UAE for about two years now. There’s more to the country certainly than tax-free residency, heaven-bound skyscrapers, and rivers of chai karak. It’s something few expats may experience or witness from their car windows as they zoom from beach resort to beach resort. That something is the country’s pristine outdoors, presenting itself as the backdrop of an untapped bouldering laboratory. Initially, Ilunged into the country’s bouldering scene uncertain where to begin. Overtime and with the aid of my loving wife, the boulders became familiar and I discovered a home-turf sensation. Out amongst the wadis and cliffs, the sunsets are a little more vibrant than in the city, enveloping you in a sense of wanderlust. Littered throughout the Emirates are bouldering gems. From the beachside boulders of Fujairah to the dust-camouflaged boulders hidden in Al Ain to Ras al-Khaimah’s ceaseless bouldering playground, the UAE could establish itself as a formidable bouldering destination. During the cool winter’s months, a devoted crew, along with myself, set out on a journey to write the first bouldering guidebook for the Emirates, mapping out roughly 50 boulder fields in three major areas.



It’s important to pay homage to Red Armada Publishing’s, UAE Rock Climbing. This text was foundational for the growth of the sport in the UAE by not only highlighting the country’s established climbing locations, but also the development waiting to occur. UAE Rock Climbing gave the UAE climbing community a torch to find themselves in the dark. Over the years, the torch smouldered. Now, let’s add fuel to the torch once again. The heavy lifting of detailing the majority of the country’s bouldering spots has been done. Each documented zone contains hundreds of boulders with countless problems (many still waiting first ascents) and now with newfound momentum, it is the time to collectively harness our climbing community to build a meaningful guidebook. Despite initial stages completed, there is still much to finish. First ascents need

claiming and recording, the biggest projects still demand cleaning, and more photos taken. Currently, detailed maps of all areas are in production, a photo database is slowly being compiled, and the body of the guidebook’s text is underway. As summer’s heat rolls across the land, seek refuge in your favourite climbing gym, cross-train, or even take a trip aboard to climb. Once winter returns, I promise the project will once again be in full swing and nearing final edits. As with all great projects, this endeavour certainly requires the help of all those willing to see it through to the end. I’m sounding a call to arms. WANTED: Looking for fellow boulderers to help claim first ascents, for climbers to photograph in action, and for the chance to contribute to the legacy of UAE’s growing bouldering scene. If interested, please email: uaeboulderingguide@gmail.com. ■

$100 Cash REWARD Share your routes with OutdoorUAE and receive a reward of USD100 if we will publish your route.

es Rout ED T WAN

Your routes will be available online for everyone to download for free on outdooruae.com/route. You will be credited as the author of the routes. All we need from you is the GPS (gpx) route file, a few photos and a short description. We are looking for hiking, off-road, MTB, trail running, MX and any other outdoor related routes. Routes should be from the UAE and border regions. Help us to get more people outdoor, active, healthy and happy be able to enjoy the beauty of this region. You can upload your route at outdooruae.com/add-route and we will get back to you within a few days if your route will be published and how to collect your reward. For more details email us at routes@outdooruae.com



Name: Danny Holmes Nationality: British Occupation: Ad Revenue Manager

at TripAdvisor Vehicle: Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Tell us the background story of the car…

The car was bought brand new from stock in October 17 as the base level wrangler, with the aim to modify it exactly how I wanted. Over 2-3 months I worked with various local garages (mainly offroad zone) to create what I considered my ‘perfect off-roader’.

What modifications have been made, performance and cosmetic wise? Pretty much everything has been modified on this Jeep, nothing has been left out. I’d say the main things to mention: The Ripp supercharger, the Nitro Gear upgrade, the 3” lift kit with 35” wheels and the overall mean looking front section comprising of a winch/ AEV hood/Terafelx bumper. Also inside I’ve upgraded the entire sound system to create a hell of a punch!

Do you have something that you consider to be a ‘special feature’ of the car?

With so many mods it’s hard to say, everything combines to make it ‘special’. But I’m a big fan of the Ripp supercharger, it makes a huge difference and the sound puts a real smile on your face. Also weirdly, I find the Rhino Rack a special feature, as a man who loves camping and travelling around, this is priceless and it looks so streamline on the car.

What were your other options before you bought this car?

Absolutely none, before this I had an Xterra, so I’ve had my taste of other similar cars, and although the Xterra is great, nothing compares to building your own personalised car that can attack literally any terrain.

How often do you use your car, and what activities do you take part in?

Everyday, this is my commuter but also my weekender. Most Friday mornings I’m in Showka/Hatta with the MTB Fridays (mountain bike club), sometimes we camp beforehand in the mountains. Then most Saturdays I’ll hit the dunes with some friends and/or an off-roading club. Outside of that, we try to make the most of our weekend by going camping, hiking or just generally exploring new areas. As we all know too well,the good weather days are limited in the UAE to certain times of the year, it’s all about filling every weekend up until that last moment where the humidity hits you smack in the face!

Are you planning any future modifications?

I’ll be upgrading the suspension kit at some point, just for higher spec, potentially the steering arms as well. But the car really doesn’t need much attention.

What 4x4 do you dream of owning?

Before I came to the UAE I dreamt of this car, I had an Xterra to start with but always wanted to build my own wrangler. So to answer this question….I dream no more!  ■


Name: Daiana Shukparova Nationality: Kazakh Occupation: Financial planning and analysis manager Vehicle: Mitsubishi Montero Sport

Tell us the background story of the car…

This car is not meant for dune bashing as per most of the desert off-roaders in the UAE… Initially I have purchased it to drive in wadis because I used to do a lot of hiking and camping in rocky terrain, thus needing good clearance. When the hiking season finished I drove a couple of times in the desert with my friends and started doing scuba diving. Here’s where the story started… My scuba diving buddy invited me for a ride with UAE Offroaders and I broke all the stereotypes. I made it to a senior level in the UAE Offroaders and drove in the areas where people were shocked to see Montero Sport that far and moreover driven by a girl. And I guess I am the only crazy driver to modify a Montero Sport and take it to the desert. Kind of a pioneer! People with the same car models contact me on social networks to get details about my modifications. By the way, my car has a name – Furiosa!

What modifications have been made, performance and cosmetic wise? I made all of the basic modifications to my car as lift kit, racing rims and tyres, heavy


What were your other options before you bought this car? I have also considered the Toyota Fortuner, but when I test drove it I felt that the chair was too wide for me (I am tiny girl with 158cm height) and on sharp turns I didn’t feel fixed in the sit and kept sliding from side to side. With the Montero Sport and its sport seats my back is supported.

How often do you use your car, and what activities do you take part in?

duty bumper and skid plate to protect engine and gear box. Performance and power wise the car is completely stock as manufactured. Oh yes, the only thing is the “kill switch” button that shuts down some of the automatic features in the car, that are there for safety on-road but useless and moreover dangerous off-road.

Do you have something that you consider to be a ‘special feature’ of the car?

My car is a complete special feature. It doesn’t have most of the crazy features that common dune bashers have and it’s making it where others won’t dare to go with the same car.

It’s my only car, thus I use it as my daily ride as well as stress relief during weekends when I go crazy in the desert! Sometimes I feel I am different person behind the steering wheel. All daily routine problems go away and I enjoy high adrenaline level in my blood while going to the top of the dunes and smashing its crests.

Are you planning any future modifications?

Of course I do! There are many plans to make them come true, but unfortunately cause the car is not a common dune basher garages don’t give me the right solutions on upgrades that could work on my car. Inshallah with trials and errors I will be a guru in Montero Sport modifications and will be sharing with fellow owners what to do and how to do it. Be tuned and follow my updates 

What 4x4 do you dream of owning?

I would love to have a short wheel base Jeep having my Montero Sport as an alternative long wheel base car. Obviously I don’t want to sell my Furiosa. It has become my trademark. Offroaders know my car and definitely know that Daiana is nearby… ■ Want your 4X4 to be the next feature? Just send us an email at editor@outdooruae.com with the subject “Off-Roaders Corner” and you and your car might just be the next one on this page!







Two rubber tires, a chain, a handlebar…sounds like a bicycle right? Actually although we do specialize is man powered two wheelers at our shop, the UAE is also an amazing playground for motocross fans.

There are seemingly endless tracks and jumps that twist and turn through the deserts of the UAE. It can be a relaxing and easygoing adventure for people off all ages,

and with all levels of experiences thanks to many guided tours. BUT it can also be as extreme as you want it to be. What about food though? Obviously you want to make something that is easy to take along, and will survive your motocross adventure. I can’t think of anything better to eat during a long day of extreme motocross then extremely spicy food. And what is more extreme that a nice meaty spicy chili (with healthy quinoa just to make it better for you)

RECIPE Xtreme Chili

• Serves 4 • 500gm grass feed ground beef • 40gm olive oil • 1 large white onion chopped • 2 cloves garlic minced • 4 large local tomatoes chopped rough • 200gm quinoa cooked • 2 carrots peeled and diced • ½ bunch coriander chopped • 1 sweet potato cut into small cubes • 1 tsp. cumin powder • 1 tsp. paprika powder • Salt to taste • Pepper to taste • 4 habanero chilies In a large pot heat the olive oil until it ripples, then add the onion, garlic, carrots, sweet potato, and ground beef, Sautee all items until the beef has some color. Add in the tomatoes, with 300ml of water, and



then all the spices including the chopped chilies. Let it cook for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. If the water level gets to low then add more water. Once it’s cooked add the quinoa into a bowl, top with the chili, and then top it all with chopped coriander. Tips: Remove the seeds from the Habaneros to get them a little milder, you can also substitute jalapenos to dial it down even more.

Located at The Cycle Bistro, Dubai Motor City Call: 04 425 3000 Website: www.thecyclebistro.com info@thecyclebistro.com facebook.com/thecyclebistro instagram.com/thecyclebistro

The Cycle Bistro GPS location: Latitude: N 25° 02.792 Longitude: E 055° 14.384




Women’s Brussels™ Shoe

Women’s Early Tides™ Tunic Update

Available at Columbia stores across the region

Available at Columbia stores across the region

A classic and retro inspired sneaker with a suede and nylon upper made for any outdoor city excursions.

Features • Roll-up sleeves with tab holders Hand pockets

Upper • Suede mesh upper with blind eyelets

Fabrics • 100% Cotton

Midsole • Die cut and buff EVA Outsole • Solid non-marking rubber outsole

Men’s Thompson Hill™ Yarn Dye Short Sleeve Shirt

The Men’s Bridgeport™ Slip on Shoe

Available at Columbia stores across the region

Available at Columbia stores across the region

Features • Multi-functional pocket

The Bridgeport collection is a true casual shoe made for the person who leads an active lifestyle but desires an easy on and easy off comfortable casual silhouette.

Fabrics • 100% Cotton

Upper • Canvas suede upper with round eyelets Midsole • EVA comfort midsole with Microban® antimicrobial, odor destroying technologies working nonstop to control odors, stains, and keeping this product fresh longer Outsole • Traction rubber outsole





PRODUCTS Igloo Seat Top Jug in Orange 5gal

Mongoose 20 Inch Men Pug Black Bike

Available at Al-Futtaim Ace stores and online at www.aceuae.com

Available at Al-Futtaim Ace stores and online at www.aceuae.com

Having the best cold retention in the water cooler industry, this Igloo cooler keeps water cold longer and also maintains ice for up to 3 days at 90°F. It has reinforced handles that allow convenient carrying, plus a pressure-fit lid that won’t trap dirt and mold. The jug also comes with a spigot that is recessed and angled for easy dispensing. The spigot is also activated through a push-button for easy access even when wearing gloves. The jug’s orange colour is easy to spot from afar. It is made with UV inhibitors to protect against sun damage, ensuring durability and longlasting use. The jug also comes with a bracket that serves as an optional cup dispenser. The jug is stackable, and comes with a flat lid that doubles as a seat when not in use.

• Mongoose 20 Inch Men Pug Black Bike is a beach cruiser designed to ride on a variety of terrain with oversized tires for stability and traction • It features an athletic riding position due to the cruiser frame geometry • Supersized beach frame with plenty of clearance allows to ride on any terrain, with a 4.25 inch knobby tires • 4 inch alloy rims for lightweight and durability • With the twist shifters, the gear can be easily changed within the 7 speeds • Dual disc brakes provides condition braking

Headband Style WH-1000XM2

Behind the neck In-ear WI-1000X

Available at The Sony Centre, The Dubai Mall and at select authorised outlets in the UAE.

Available at Sony Centre in The Dubai Mall and other retailers across the UAE

The WH-1000XM2 headphones come packed with the best Wireless Noise Cancelling technology combined with unique Ambient Sound mode, Personal NC Optimiser and Quick Attention mode in this around-ear style. Enjoy the new Atmospheric Pressure Optimising3 feature that analyses your surrounding atmospheric pressure and improves the NC performance will make a difference to the comfort of your flight. Enhanced to last 40 hours with an audio cable, or 30 hours wirelessly, the Quick Charge function gains 70mins of battery life with just 10 minutes of charging.

The stylish behind-the-neck Wireless Noise Cancelling headphones, WI-1000X, are the perfect companion for the commuter who wants to add some sophistication and efficiency to their daily commute and business trips with up to 10 hours of battery life (with Wireless Noise Cancelling turned on). With the world’s first ‘Atmospheric Pressure Optimising’ feature, this pair is perfect for enjoying in-flight entertainment systems via a wired audio connection with industry-leading noise cancellation for up to 14 hours. The WI-1000X brings functionality and class to your daily life through their intuitive design, including zip-style cable management and vibration alerts for incoming calls. The hybrid driver unit with balanced armature and 9mm dynamic driver brings the best sound quality to your ears with a multitude of other sound features such as High Resolution Audio, LDAC, DSEE HX and S-Master HX.

229 AED

1,499 AED



2,099 AED

1,199 AED




Waboba ZAG – Get a Grip!

Available at leading sports, bicycle and motorcycle shops in the UAE

Available at Adventure HQ, Decathlon and Sport In Life’s showroom

The Quad Lock® iPhone Bike Mount is the lightest, strongest and most secure Bike Mount in the world. It is now available for the iPhone X.

When others zig, you Zag. Perfect for the pool or beach, the Waboba Zag Ball bounces on water no matter where you are for endless hours of fun in the water. Constructed with a zig zag design, you will be able to easily grip the ball for a competitive match of throw with friends and family.

299 AED

• Patented dual-stage locking mechanism ensures your phone is held securely to your bike • The case can be attached to the stem and handlebars
 • Bike Kit includes the Bike Mount PRO, Slim & Protective Case for iPhone X and Mounting Hardware • iPhone X case is compatible with all Quad Lock® Mounts & Accessories

40 AED

Features • Bounces on water • 3D textured grip • 90 mm / 3.5” diameter Waboba provides outdoor fun for everyone with the balls that bounce on water + more. Get in the game!

Anker Power Station

Hobie Mirage Outback 2018 CAMO

Available at Adventure HQ Times Square Center, Dubai Pre order in rest of the stores

Available at Adventure HQ Times Square Center, Dubai Pre order in rest of the stores

With PowerHouse, we've taken mobile power to a whole new level, creating a power supply that’s extremely potent yet remarkably portable.

The legendary design that propelled the Mirage Drive to kayak fishing supremacy is better than ever.

2,499 AED

Whether within the confines of your home or in the great outdoors, we’ve created a way for you to never run out of power but stay connected. Your life is mobile, so we’ve put unlimited power in your hands.

12,705 AED

It’s still every inch an Outback fishing kayak, with a time-tested hull that’s an ideal blend of confident stability and smooth maneuverability. Yet more nimble than ever, thanks to the efficient reversing Mirage Drive 180. The deck is designed around the marvelous Vantage CT seat to maximize stand-up space and storage. Cruise, camp, or catch. The Outback is packed full of kayak fishing features, including the Lowrance Ready System that makes sonar installation a cinch.




Educat ion

Arctic Adventures Words + Photos by: Haydon Kerr

Experiential learning outside of the classroom doesn’t get much better than a trip to Swedish Lapland! With the right mix of educational attractions and plenty of wilderness activities, we launched a trip of a lifetime for Year 8, 9 & 10 students of Deira International School into the Arctic Circle.

The itinerary that was initially drafted by our selected operator ‘Arctic Direct’, appealed to a larger group of students than first anticipated. The capacity for some of the activities& accommodation sites was for 30 people, & with interest from far more than this, the decision was made to run two separate trips through February & March 2018. With the number of students requiring visas prior to departure, the Swedish Embassy caught wind of our groups’ travel plans & offered us the opportunity to meet with Mr. Henrik Landerholm, the Ambassador of Sweden to the UAE. The meeting took place at Deira International School where Mr. Landerholm explained some interesting facts about his home country & gave some great advice on the area we were about to visit. He also entertained us with humorous anecdotes of his own Swedish upbringing. One of the main points that students were to ensure they understood, was the importance to prepare for cold weather! This became clear the second we walked off the plane in Kiruna, about 200 kilometres above the Arctic Circle! Students were greeted

with a biting cold breeze and sub-zero temperatures as they came down the steps of the aircraft to make the short walk to the Terminal.


Once bags were collected, students were met by our local Kiruna guide & we set off to collect the pre-arranged rental gear which included a thermal Arctic jumpsuit, snow boots, mittens, woolen socks and an ushanka, otherwise known as a ‘trapper hat’. The best thing for many though, was the Arctic Direct branded hoodie & beanie that students got to keep. Armed with all of the additional cold weather gear we were set to begin our 8-day tour of Kiruna. This included a visit to one of the biggest and most modern iron ore mines in the world,travelling in a special electrical bus to 540m underground. It is due to the lucrative mining taking place in Kiruna, that we also got to witness the world’s largest relocation effort. This is because Kiruna, the northernmost city in Sweden, is sinking. By 2050, it is predicted that most of the existing structures will have collapsed into the iron mines below it. Engineers have taken on the ambitious project to move much of Kiruna, along with its 20,000 residents approximately 3 kilometres to the east. Also on the itinerary was a tour to the world famous Ice Hotel. This structure is carved out of ice taken every year from the

adjacent frozen river. Local & international artists come and sculpt ice & stamp their mark on the brilliantly themed rooms, where visitors can come to appreciate during the day or sleep in overnight. One of the many highlights of this trip to Kiruna was to take a husky dog sled tour through the snow-covered forest. The excitable dogs were matched in their enthusiasm by the students who absolutely loved bonding with the dogs pre, during & post sled riding! Midway during the tour, our group was also treated to some tasty traditional Sami cuisine around a campfire. The accommodation was split between staying in Kiruna City and in a wilderness campsite. However, it was at the Aurora Wilderness Camp where students got a true sense of what an amazing place Swedish Lapland is. With its cozy cabins and rustic igloos, we had the opportunity to be away from all light pollution & view the Northern Lights on multiple occasions! One of our groups stayed at the Wilderness Camp for 2 nights, while our other group stayed for 4 nights. Both managed to see the Aurora Borealis on display as the sky lit up most evenings. The biggest piece of advice I could ever give to a traveller going


to see this amazing natural phenomenon, is to ensure you have a camera that can capture the event, a tripod and extra camera batteries. With temperatures plummeting down as far as 30 below zero, the batteries tended to last only a short time outside! The Aurora Camp also hosted fun activities such as ice-fishing, snow-shoeing, snowmobile tours, igloo making, cross country skiing and sledging. There was never a dull moment where students felt there was nothing to do & the food was great too! Along the way, there were also spontaneous visits to cultural villages with an insight into how life is like for the Sami people, coined as the ‘Bedouins of the snow’ by our groups. As far as school trips go, this was one that rates at the top of my list for educational value and experiential learning. The contrast of what life is like in a frozen wonderland like Kiruna, is so far removed from the heat of our UAE desert climate. The adventures are very different and diverse which is what our Outdoor Education programme strives to provide for our intrepid international students. We will definitely be looking to develop more trips to places like Swedish Lapland! ■




The LORE of the


Words + Photos by: Kit Belen

There are a lot of lures used by people and it’s largely a very personal thing to most. There are those that swear by only one lure and are very successful in catching fish and there are those that are constantly looking for a better mousetrap. In my early years, I didn’t even know what a lure was until I got hold of my first back issue of an American fishing magazine. There is a bit of a romantic love affair between fishermen and lures, at the same time, quite a strange love hate relationship at that.

What the Plug!?

Plugs are hard bodied lures. These are either made of wood, plastic or closed cell foam and are designed to have some sort of action when you retrieve them. These are probably the most popular type of fishing lure made and used today. The concept of the modern plug is attributed to the late and great, James Heddon. He was whittling a piece of wood, for one reason or another he tossed it to the pond beside where he was sitting; a big bass ate the piece of wood as it wobbled from the momentum of the toss. After a few experiments and refinements, it took him 13 tries to perfect the action he felt was the best to attract bass and thus, the Heddon Lucky 13 was born, this lure is still sold to this very day. Heddon went and made a lot of other legendary lures and a slew of other companies followed his lead. The term plug comes from the piece of wood that was the main material for making these types of lures in the past. In some places, they are called wobblers because of the wobble they make when retrieved. These days plugs are made to do very specific things – like dive deep, roll, zigzag on top, or “pop on the surface. On top of that, they are made to sink, float suspend or a combination of the three.

Colour your World

There are colours you use for only for certain hours of the morning; you then switch to a daytime colour and have to choose which one to use for certain water conditions and so on and so fourth.

Gold Red/Orange is great for early morning and late afternoon hours, because of how this colour reflects light. Natural colours are good daytime all around colours and when the water is very clear. Use bright and vibrant colours for bright days and dark colours or UV reactive colours when the water is stained. Although it’s really not a hard and fast rule, what is written above is a great guide to choosing colours. Tell you what, if you are one of those that can’t be bothered by all of this, just use the colour “Red Head”, or as people in the UAE fondly call it, “Dubai Flag”. It will work for you most of the time and it will catch you a lot of fish. The thing with colours is that although there is a certain formula people use and one which they swear by, it is largely personal preference and it also depends in the place where they fish, it could work very well in one area and when you switch location, another one would work better because of local water conditions.

Wading Through the Mystery

As more and more technologies are introduced and applied to fishing lures, they got more technical in use and in form. Whatever

For old time anglers, this lure doesn't need an introduction - The Deep Thunder has proven itself as one of the best deep diving trolling lures in the Gulf

One of my Shallow Water favorites, the Skitter V is very easy to use and has a very sexy action on top of the water

brand they may be, plugs are some of the most effective lures there are and most likely, the ones that catch the most fish anywhere in the planet and it would not be a surprise that a lot of anglers nowadays would have a tough time choosing between what’s available in the market. There are more choices now than there ever have been and even made specifically to target specific fish.

The MaxRap 17 is one of weapons for large kingfish - with the new live colors, things just got even better

Plugs may look the same to the uninitiated, but they can pretty much be summed up in two main categories: casting plugs and trolling plugs. The best way to know if the plug is for trolling or casting is in the size and length of their lip. However, there are some trolling plugs designed to have smaller lips and are smaller than the casting plugs. To add to the confusion, there are also plugs that are made to be both cast or trolled and trolling plugs that have big long lips made for casting. A little experience goes a long way when it comes to these things.



The Rapala CD Magnum is a trolling lure that has accounted for a lot of big fish in both fresh and saltwater

The So Run Heavy Minnow is one of the most versatile casting lures in the market, it is heavy which enables you to cast far and is one of my top kayak fishing plugs

The tiny Rapala Ultralight Minnow is a small lure that can be cast in the shallows and has accounted for some big queenfish, grouper and bream

The Xplode is a versatile popper that can be used for shallow water work for GT and in the deep blue for big tuna

The X-Rap Twitchin' Minnow is a subsurface twitchbait that has caught me quite a surprising number of species in both shallow and deep water

This Deep Diving Crankbait is very useful for anglers casting near rocks on kayaks and boats - I won't say anything more

Here are Some Hard and Fast Facts: • You can troll casting lures • You can cast most trolling lures • Casting a trolling lure will work but will be limited and vise versa for trolled casting lure • If you want to cast a trolling lure or troll a casting lure, it’s perfectly fine.

The action of both lures is determined by the speed in which they are designed to do their most enticing action. Trolling lures are made to give off the most attractive swimming action in faster speeds, while casting lures are made so they do their most enticing actions in slower speeds – believe it or not, it’s that simple. Part of the action of the lure is it’s diving depth. Some plugs are shallow runners, meaning, they only go to about a meter or less under the surface, then there are deep divers that are designed to dive down deep. Most saltwater trolling plugs are deep divers, a very good example are Rapala Count Down Magnums with the metal lips and Storm’s Deep Thunder. These lures are designed to dive deep and work their magic way beneath the surface of the water and its catch rate is the stuff of legends, it has probably account for countless world records in both fresh and saltwater. Although these lures are used primarily for trolling, in the past, people have used it for casting. In contrast, we have the Storm So-Run Heavy Minnow – a heavy sinking plug designed for long casts, however, with the advent of kayak fishing, it is one of the most versatile lures you can cast and troll with. The advantage of this lure is the fact

that you don’t even have to have a specific trolling rod to use with it. You tie it on a casting rod, cast it behind you to give some distance off the back of the kayak, put it on a rod holder and off trolling you go. The kayak travels slower than a boat and even on fast paddle (or pedal if you are using one of those), the lure swims like a champ.

in the deep blue, they are a mainstay in the saltwater fisherman’s arsenal not just for their effectiveness, but also because they also deliver the most spectacular takes in the fishing world. A top water strike is something like a drug for most anglers as it is the most vicious, explosive and exciting way a fish takes a lure.

Some Like it on Top

Plugs Away!

Poppers and lipless stick baits are plugs that work mainly on or near the surface. There are sinking versions as well, however, majority of these specialized lures are made to work on or near the surface. A popper is a floating plug with a cupped face, when cast out and jerked with the rod, it makes a loud blooping splash akin to large fish attacking bait fish, this sound and vibration sparks the competitive nature of some fish and makes them attack the lure. In highly pressured water, stick baits are used because of its less obtrusive action, they dive shallow and create a tight wiggle and makes a long stream of bubbles that attract fish. These two lures are mostly used in tandem, with fishermen starting with poppers first, and switching to stickbaits when the fish don’t respond to the popper. Made out of wood or plastic and coming in tiny sizes and sizes of gargantuan proportions, they have made their way into specialist tackle boxes the world over. While poppers and stick baits are old designs, they are probably the most evolved plugs in the market and some Japanese brands could fetch hefty prices. Used for Big Giant Trevally in the shallows and equally big tuna

Plugs are some of the most popular lures out there for a reason: they catch fish. It’s probably one of the easiest lures to use because they all have an in built action, except for a small segment (walk the dog minnows etc.) The choices might be hard at first and it might get frustrating for some people, but when you do learn how to use them, they will be constant providers of fish and for some people, it’s really the only type of lure they use. If you are just starting out, give them a try. You might not get lucky in the first few trips, but when you do, trust me, you will be running to your favourite tackleshop to get more. ■

Till next tide change,

Kit Our fishing pro who shares his experiences and expertise with OutdoorUAE through his regular column. thefishingkit@gmail.com




Safety briefing - photo by Mike from KR1

Dark Skies Challenge and Extreme 2018 Words by: Marina Bruce

The fifth edition of the Dark Skies Challenge (DSC) and Dark Skies Extreme (DSE) took place in the Western Desert of Abu Dhabi from 22nd-24th February 2018. For the Dark Skies Challenge, thirteen teams of four cars, piloted by one marshal/ trip leader, one advanced driver, one intermediate plus one extra of any of the three, took to the sand near Arada in a 140km long test of leadership, driving ability, navigation and teamwork. An additional three teams of four cars all piloted by marshals/advanced drivers undertook the 30km longer Dark Skies Extreme Course which was routed through more technical dunes, but still testing the same skills.

Winner Action: FB and Sponsor Sweep Judges - Desert Raiders 1

As ever, they were watched over by our sweep team, made up of volunteers ready to assist with winches, a word or two of encouragement or a tow strap to haul a broken-down vehicle to the nearest road or track (we had three such vehicles). Thank

Winner Low Sun: Sponsor Sweep Judges - Emirates Offroaders

Winner Humour: FB and Sponsor Sweep Judges - Knightriders 1

Winner Low Sun: FB likes - Knightriders 1

you Ian, Steve, Danny, Lee (Al Romaithi) and Phil, Ameen, Robert and Semera, Lee (Raisbeck), Matt, Shaun, Graham, Alasdair, Heather and Emily for all your support, help and assistance. Safety is always our number one priority and to encourage the teams to drive sensibly and not take unnecessary risks, a distance penalty applies to any who sustain damage requiring a Police report – and for the fifth year, none were required! We welcomed a new private team, RSE, as well as two new clubs – Emirates Offroaders and AD4x4, who entered an all-ladies team, the Dark Ladies. Sadly, on the day, one of the ladies was sick but her husband stepped in make up the team, but did not seem to mind being referred to as a “Dark Lady!” Other clubs represented were Desert Raiders, Jeepers, Knightriders and Oasis Offroad, and private team the Sand Drifters returned for a second edition. We had some teams who wanted to join us, even though they could not comply with the team requirements and we were happy to have them with us. Thank you to Oasis Spartans, The OO Team and the Quad Hi-Jacks. Teams were issued with t-shirts and hats, sponsored by 511 Tactical Clothing, car stickers and a waypoint for some treasure sponsored by Titan Performance, which was buried deep in the desert and worth a bonus of 5kms if found. Winner Nature: FB likes - Knightriders 1



Winner Photoshopped: FB and Sponsor Sweep Judges Knightriders 1

Winner Stuck: FB and Sponsor Sweep Judges - Emirates Offroadres

Unusually, compared to previous editions, we had perfect weather, no rain, no lightening storms, not even a sandstorm. Two of our teams had anticipated a weather event calling themselves “Riders on The Storm” and the “Desert Stormers,” sorry to disappoint you gentlemen! The challenge was particularly hard-fought this year, the weather may have been great but with no significant rainfall since the Saturday morning of the last DSC, the sand conditions were unbelievably soft and some teams found it hard going. The object of the challenge is to drive the shortest route between waypoints, with penalties for teams who miss waypoints by more than 200 metres. Teams have to be totally self-sufficient in petrol, water, food, camping gear and all-important recovery equipment. The team with the shortest distance across the route in the DSC were DR Falcons, snatching victory from second-placed Knightriders 1 by only 150 metres, followed by Desert Raiders 2 in 3rd place. All teams made it to the camp site on the Friday night which was fortunate as the route out, going

directly against small dune steps was particularly challenging. The Dark Skies Extreme was led by Tossey and his team from Desert Raiders 1, who incidentally won the Dark Skies Challenge 2017. The event prize giving was held on 17th March at Titan Performance’s premises in Ras Al Khor and we thank them for their support. Well done to all the drivers who participated – everyone who finished was a winner in my eyes! Our ever-popular photo competitions brought forth a wonderful array of great pictures from our teams; in previous years the winners have been chosen by facebook likes, but we found that this favoured the larger teams with huge followings. For 2018 we gave one prize out based on facebook likes with the other chosen on merit by a panel of sponsors and the sweep team. We thank Marshall Offroad, Ramy 4x4 and UAE Offroaders for donating some great prizes. One of our sponsors, Dobinsons Springs and Suspension instigated a video competition and all submissions can be viewed on

Winner Teamwork: FB likes - Desert Raiders 1

the Dark Skies Challenge FB page. The winners were RSE, who’s video looked like it had come right out of Hollywood! One unusual feature of the DSC is that we have a quiz at the Friday night campsite, 100kms inside the desert (we should maybe contact the Guinness Book of Records to see if this is the most remote quiz in the world!). Having had to cancel it due to a sand and lightening storm in 2017, this year it was back with sponsors Dobinsons providing the prize. The questions as always were a mix of celestial and geography questions with an extra round on our sponsors, topped off with the ever tricky “all or nothing” rounds, which was won by RSE with Emirates Offroaders and Knightriders 1. A huge thank you to all participants, sponsors, supporters and teams who made the 2018 a huge success! Having decided that 2018 would be the final edition, I now find myself looking forward to Dark Skies Challenge 2019, provisionally set for February 21st-23rd! ■

Social Media Facebook: /DesertDivaUAE Twitter: @15shadesofsand Insta: thedesertdivame Blog: thedesertdiva.com Winner Teamwork: FB likes - Desert Raiders 1




Ten Wheels and Two Crazy Guys: A Romanian Rally Adventure Words by: Marina Bruce Photos by: Marina Bruce, RallyZone - Edoardo Bauer and Cristiano Barni

Regular readers of OutdoorUAE will be aware that I’ve been involved with the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge for a number of years. It’s an event that I enjoy greatly, not just for the exciting leaps and dramatic turns but for the sheer determination of the teams, both drivers and service crew. This is one of the most challenging events of the race calendar and the physical strength and sheer force of will to get through it tests everyone. This year I had the pleasure to getting to know one of the teams a little better and discovered a fascinating story. It’s not a

story of great triumph and earning glory but demonstrates those special people who, no matter what adversity they face, just keep on going. It’s a tale worthy of our admiration and an inspiration to all of us. My part in it comes in at the middle when I assisted a Romanian team when they encountered mechanical troubles on the 4th day. But I’m getting a little bit ahead of their story, so if you’re sitting comfortably, I’ll start where all good stories start – at the beginning. Claudiu Barbu, 39, has been involved in motorsport since 2009, starting out on a motorbike and winning a few Romanian national titles on Enduro and Rally Raid. Unfortunately, back in 2014, he had an accident with his motorcycle while practicing on Tunisia's dunes, breaking his spine; due to this injury and some others sustained over the years he decided to change to four wheels.

Driving a Polaris RZR Turbo, he participated in rallies in Greece, Poland, Morocco, Bulgaria and Hungaria, winning the East European Title on SSV2 class (Single Seater Vehicle) in 2017. The team also participated in Eco Africa - The Race to Dakar 2018, where they finished 8th place, becoming the first Romanian auto rally team who passed the Dakar finish line in history. Claudiu said “In 2018, after participating in Eco Africa with Polaris, we bought a T2.2 car and we started with Baja Russia, where we got the 4th place in our class in the Russian Championship (at the time we did not meet requirements for FIA classification due to new 2018 regulations - the fire extinguisher and roll cage padding”. However, it was back in 2017 that Claudiu and his co-driver Paul, 32, set the most ambitious of rallying goals; to make Claudiu’s 10-year old dream of participating in the FIA 2018 World Cup Cross Country Rally Series come true.


There are 11 events in the calendar and in 2018/2019 they intend to enter them all, on a budget that does not quite match their ambition due to lack of sponsorship! To enter the UAE events, father of four Claudiu missed paying his mortgage! There are three such rallies in the Middle East, clustered together to make it worthwhile for distant teams to make the trek to our sandpit; the Dubai International Baja (DIB), the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (ADDC) and the Qatar Cross Country Rally (QCCR).Many of their teams ship their cars and support trucks over in huge containers direct from the first event in the calendar, the mighty Dakar Rally, held these days in South America. Claudiu and Paul did not enter the Dakar 2018, indeed they did not even have the budget to ship their rally car, a 2009 Nissan Navara 2.5 litre Turbo Diesel, over to the Middle East from Romania. Instead they set out on a 5250km journey by road, pulling their rally car on a trailer behind their VW Touareg. Despite being meticulously planned they had to deal with a number of problems, the first one being that Paul’s father suffered a stroke shortly before departure, so Christian G stepped in as co-driver to let the journey begin. The week before departure the FIA (Federation International D’Automobiles) informed them that Iran would no longer allow certain vehicles into the country but the ACR (Automobil Clubul Roman) stepped in to assist with paperwork and guarantees to allow Claudiu and Cristian and their allimportant Nissan, to transit the country. However, their challenges were still not over; when travelling through Turkey they encountered snowy weather and their trailer jack-knifed on a slippery road. Thankfully there were no injuries, no significant damage to the trailer or its precious cargo and after a stop for half a day to complete minor repairs, they were on their way again. Their biggest problem hit them at the Turkey-Iran border, where they discovered that their transit visas had been rejected and they would require tourism visas, although they had no time and understandably little inclination to visit any of the treasures of

Persia. They appealed to the Romanian embassy in Tehran, who directed them to a consulate of Iran in Turkey “nearer” the border but still requiring a 700km detour, where they expected to have to linger for 3-5 days to await the necessary paperwork. However, luck was on their side and they received visas in only 20 minutes, and once more they hit the road southwards. They were now 36 hours behind schedule and had to cover 2,200kms through Iran to catch a cargo ferry to take the cars to Dubai, in time for the Dubai International Baja (DIB). To make the journey faster, they decided to take their rally car off the trailer and drive it, meaning the Touareg could go faster with the empty trailer, however the drivers now had no rest time in the passenger seat; heat and fatigue took over and they missed the ferry by only four hours! Back home in Romania, Claudius’s team at Reinvent Consulting got in touch with a local man in Iran, who found them two passenger places on a ferry, with the hope, but no promise, that the two cars could embark; thankfully there was room for all and the final leg of their journey began. On arrival in Dubai they were delighted to be assigned a police car who took them to the various departments to arrange temporary import for two Romanian vehicles – apparently not many vehicles come over from Romania via the Iran ferry! They also received assistance from the ACTUAE, who run both the DIB and ADDC. After the cars were safely into the UAE, Claudiu and Cristian returned to Romania to spend time with their families and thankfully by this time Paul’s father had recovered enough from his illness to allow Paul to be the co-driver for the ADDC. Returning to the UAE a week before the rally, they took their car out for a trial run in the Dubai dunes, broke the windscreen, blew the gearbox, and spent the night sleeping next to their car! They were fortunate in that Nissan is one of the main sponsors of the ADDC and Mr Ali Mousa, service manager at Nissan Al Awir managed to locate a new gearbox in time for preevent scrutineering, which the car thankfully passed without further problems.


When asked how the rally went Claudiu told me

“Since the first day, we had problems with getting stuck because of the tyres. During the last two days, we've been helped by a team (Mr. Ali) to bring some good tyres from Dubai. In the fourth day, though we did well on the dunes, we decided not to finish the day, because we had problems with the clutch. The last day, almost everything was perfect: no stucks, speed, fascinating views. But after 40km, our clutch couldn't handle the dunes, and we decided to take the asphalt and try to get the finish line, but unfortunately we did not make it in time.” They hope their car will be repaired in time for the QCCR, and if they do well there they will move on to the next event in the calendar, Rally Kazakhstan. Claudiu and Paul even want to return to the 29th edition of the ADDC in 2019 “Definitely, we want to return. We know what went wrong, we know what our mistakes were, and we know what we can improve.” They were full of praise for the ADDC “Organisation was perfect. Local teams were very helpful to us. We met extraordinary people. The views were incredible. The effort to live and to rally in such landscape is fantastic - everything needs to be respected. Even if we did not cross the finish line, the experience was magnificent.

Asked if he has any advice for newcomers

“I would recommend listening to the advice of experienced drivers and organisers.” I know that everyone who spent time with them on the rally route will wish them all the luck in the world in the pursuit of their dream. It is fantastic to watch some of the world’s top drivers navigate the beautiful and harsh Liwa desert, but it is also wonderful to witness determination and optimism in the face of adversity as was demonstrated by Team Transcarpatic Rally. I look forward to watching them at ADDC 2019! ■


Words + Photos by: Arnaud Laviolette

Passion is sometimes not enough to keep us alive in difficult situation which require skills and trainings. We often underestimate the environment we are in and can lead us to very difficult situation. Arnaud Laviolette has 11 years of experience in mountaineering, qualified Advanced wilderness survival, qualified for coastal navigation, member of Human Kinetics, worked on several adventure projects in Abu Dhabi including on Sir Bani Yas island, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Mauritius, Bali, Indonesia and is currently working closely with the Government of Ras Al Khaimah for international media hiking trips and exploring Ras Al Khaimah.



The outdoor community is growing in the UAE and many lovers are ignoring the danger that surround them. The meaning of Survival for me is to continue to exist in difficult situation by using technical and tactical skills to approach the challenge. Your life belongs to you and it is important to not let adventure turn your hobby into misadventure. Things that cause people to get lost are: lack of homework for the area they intend to visit, their competence versus the level of difficulty, lack of preparation, and insufficient supplies.


Tactical skills allow you to plan carefully from navigation, food, hydration to clothing’s that suits the weather forecasted and technical helps you to overcome the challenges and obstacles with strategic approach and thoughtful problem solving, training is divided into two: physical and mental training (psychology of survival)

Whistle and Survival Bracelets



Is one of the most important skills of an adventurer which gives you the opportunity to understand the planned journey and the terrain you intend to take without being lost.

Simple tips

Whenever you are going out remember to send a Whatsapp live location to a few people they can follow you for 8 hours, write down the number of an emergency contact behind your phone, remember to use cairns whenever you are on trails because if you are lost you can find your way back if your GPS doesn’t work, if you have a casualty you can use your phone even with no service (don’t try on plane mode) to call in an emergency, your location coordinates are found in your phone compass even without network it works (picture below). Things that you should never ignore; food and water. Always have extra than needed even if its heavy, your bags get lighter the more you move. If you want to be an explorer the first thing I recommend is to have basic first aid training, navigation, be creative. It helps for self and others. And do some navigation trainings or buy some GPS devices.


Whistles have codes and these codes are very important for us to know in the wild how to communicate with other participants. A survival bracelet allows you to build a shelter, make a splint for broken arms and legs or build a spinal board to carry someone who is injured. Sunset if we ignore it we can be stuck in the wild for overnight and that’s where troubles comes if we don't have enough food or water. A man can live for 3 days without water and can survive for 8 weeks with water without food, but in the region that we are the environment does not allow us to hunt or look for water easily. The easiest way to look for the Sunset time is in the picture below.

Your Bag is your Life

Your bag is where you should have everything that keeps you alive; food, water, hydration, lighting, extra shirts, walking poles, first aid kit, multi-tools, GPS, suncream, whistle. You must always think, what would you do if you cannot complete the trail or challenge on time? How would you survive and what do you need based on your homework? ■

Instagram: www.instagram.com/arnaud_laviolette/ or email to arnaud@ecotrekae.com


Whenever you call emergency and give your coordinates remember you are in the mountain and sometime in a cliff which is impossible to locate you. One of the simplest way to communicate with a helicopter is creating a signal fire or use a mirror signal effect (in desert)




Explore the New Cycling Destination in Fujairah Words + Photos by: Pedro Gomes

While Dubai and Abu Dhabi are already famous for their cycling tracks and cycling events, the UAE has a few more Emirates, which are not always so popular when it comes to sporting events. The Gran Fondo Fujairah held this past March 30th changed that by putting Fujairah on the map of road cycling in the Middle East. A professionally organized cycling event which brought up the attention of some of the best riders living in the Emirates and, at the same time, offered a family friendly bike event to the newbie cyclists.

Just a short drive away from Dubai heading West, and with a side choice of a scenic route through Hatta – Hatta Dam is worth the visit, Fujairah has the necessary infrastructures to host such events, with several options of hotels for the athletes to stay, a beautiful corniche and easy

access to something that Dubai and Abu Dhabi don’t have… hills! The mountains surrounding Fujairah offer the athletes the opportunity for unique low inertia racing, a challenging course to break the monotony of riding in the flats and absolutely stunning views.

The event had two routes available: The Gran Fondo of 92km and the Family Fondo of 44km. Starting at the Fujairah International Marine Club, riders were then taken into the mountains, culminating in a 25km climb up to Masafi, heading back to town through the backside of the airport for a finish along the corniche at the Marine Club. The main event, Gran Fondo 92km, was won in a time of 2h 16min 28s by Egyptian Omar Khairy of Al Wathba Cycling Team, on a sprint finish win over Bart Van Den Dries (Belgium) of YAS Cycles Team, who was also first Master, and Simon Henley (Great Britain) of Cycle Hub Arla Protein Team rounding up the podium. But if the race came down to a final sprint between a reduced size peloton, the competition was on fire from the gun. Liam Aucamp (ZA) from Frontier Sports quickly made a move and was soon joined by his teammate David Williams (CAN), Jan De Haune (BEL) from Team CBI and eventually third place finisher Simon Henley. These riders made it a fourman breakaway that rode in front of the

peloton for the entire day. With 15km to go, the breakaway still had about a minute lead over the peloton which made us all believe that the win would be decided between these four riders. However, and with just 5km to go, the peloton made a quick move to absorb the already exhausted men in front, leaving it to a finish decided by the fastesttwitch rider of the day. On the women’s side, Yvonne Van Hattum from The Netherlands and representing The Wolfie’s Condessas won in stellar fashion with a solo breakway on the final 20km and topping the podium ahead of Lobna El Halawani and Maria Lianne Suan in third. I joined the race only as a photographer and

part of the organization team this time around, but seeing first-hand how the first edition went,it got me excited to be part of the peloton in 2019. ■



Common Mistakes Words by: Nicky Holland (Personal Trainer)

There are many rules and regulations that we should follow and many decisions we have to make on a daily basis. So many that we often get bombarded with so much information, we don’t know what to do with it. The important points are sometimes overlooked. These days, more and more people are getting into Fitness and there are lots of views and opinions on certain topics, such as Nutrition, training methods, weight loss, fad diets, Hypertrophy etc. As a result we have to choose what information we absorb carefully. I believe in keeping things simple. We are more likely to follow simple instructions than complicated ones. Let’s take Nutrition. People know what to eat, people know what is healthy but choose to ignore it. People know what foods will make them put on weight, yet choose to continue eating them. People know the importance of hydration but don't drink enough. In this article I have highlighted 5 key points, which can be categorised as ‘Common Mistakes’

1. Food shopping. Don’t go food shopping when you are hungry. This can be a big test of will-power as we are more likely to overindulge when we are hungry. Therefore we put more of the ‘bad’ foods in our trolley, more of the foods we want but don’t need.

2. Intermittent fasting. We starve the body all day, then eat one big meal at night. This causes us to increase portion size and doesn’t give out body enough time to break down the food before we sleep. The digestive system can only break down food quickly if we eat often, which affects our metabolism. If we don’t exercise, this food will then be stored as fat. 3. Hydration. We don’t drink enough water or fluids. We wait until our body tells us we are thirsty before drinking, which is the way our body tells us we are dehydrated and need to drink. 4. All or nothing approach. From experience in years of Personal Training, people will either be really good, training hard and eating clean or…really bad, not exercising and eating anything and everything. Small adjustments are needed for sustainable results. 5. Results. We expect results too soon. Usually, on average it takes 4-6 weeks for your body to adapt to exercise. Therefore our fitness will improve. It takes 6-8 weeks for our strength to improve and 8-12 weeks for our physical shape to change. Trust the process, be consistent, results take time. If we take these on board, we are more likely to see better results. Health is important and we need to look after our bodies



order to live longer. Avoid these common mistakes and by combine a well balance nutrition plan with an exercise programme can help you get the results you want. For more information check out my website.

Next month's edition with speak about common mistakes people do when it comes to exercise. Stay tuned! ■ Nicky Holland Personal Trainer Website: www.nicky-fitness.com Instagram: @nicky__fitness



UAE DIRECTORY General Sports Equipment Megastores

Adventure HQ, Dubai Times Square Center, Sheikh Zayed Rd, toll free: 800-ADVENTURE, +971 43466824; The Beach on JBR, Dubai: +971 44304419; Dalma Mall, Abu Dhabi: +971 24456995, www.adventurehq.ae Decathlon, Dubai, Mirdif City Centre, +971 42839392, www.decathlon.com Go Sport, The Dubai Mall: +971 43253595; Abu Dhabi Mall: +971 26454595; Bawabat Al Sharq Mall, Abu Dhabi: +971 25868240; Yas Mall: +971 25650812; MOE: +971 4395 8951, www.go-sport.com Peiniger BMT Est., CBD, Khalifa Street, Yateem Optician Bldg., Abu Dhabi, UAE, +971 26262332, www.peiniger.org Sun and Sand Sports, most shopping centres, +971 43599905; Online store: +971 43149001; Retail store: +971 43504400, http://en-ae.sssports.com


Subaru Showroom – Al Khoory Automobiles Sheikh Zayed Road, Between 3rd and 4th Interchange, Dubai, +971 43146214 or 43146218; Email: alkhoory@alkhoory.com, www.subaru-uae.com; Timings: Saturday to Thursday 9:30am to 8:00pm

Adventure tours and desert safaris

Alpha Tours, P.O. Box 25718, 27th Floor, Burlington Tower, Business Bay, Dubai, +971 47019111, www.alphatoursdubai.com Dadabhai Travel, SR 1&2, GF, Gulf Towers, Oud Metha Rd. Dubai, +971 43885566, www.dadabhaitravel.ae Desert Rangers, P.O. Box 33501, Dubai UAE, +971 44569944 or 507035111 www.desertrangers.com Desert Road Tourism, Office 503, 5th Flr., Al Khor Plaza, Dubai, +971 42959429, www.desertroadtours.com Dreamdays, First Floor Rm. 107 Ibn Battuta Gate (Offices) Sheikh Zayed Rd., Dubai +971 44329392 or 44329393, www.dreamdays.ae Dream Explorer LLC, JLT, Dubai, P.O. Box 214576, +971 44563390 www.dreamexplorerdubai.com Dubai Relax Travel, P.O. Box 37459, National Towers: Churchill Tower Suite #614, Business Bay, Dubai, +971 528996307, www.dubairelaxtours.com Explorer Tours, Umm Ramool, Dubai, +971 42861991, www.explorertours.ae Gulf for Good, P.O. Box 506006, 1/F, Building 4, Dubai International Humanitarian City, Dubai, +971 43680222, www.gulf4good.org Gulf Ventures, Dnata Travel Centre, +971 44045880, www.gulfventures.com MMI Travel LLC, Mezzanine Floor, Dnata Travel Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 4 4045999, www.theemiratesgroup.com Net Group, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, +971 26794656, www.netgroupauh.com Oasis Palm Dubai, P.O. Box 181258 Dubai, Office 404, Royal Plaza Building Al Rigga Street, +971 42628889 or 42686826, www.opdubai.com Rahhalah, Shata Tower – 27th Floor, Office No. 2711, Media City, Dubai, +971 44472166, www.rahhalah.com Clubs Abu Dhabi Fishing, Camping, Kayaking, & Adventure Club, +971 5 04920860, mohammed.almahrouky@gmail.com


Balloon Adventures Emirates, Office 123 Oasis Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 43884044, www.ballooning.ae Dubai Paragliders, +971 552120155 or 552250193, www.microaviation.org Jazirah Aviation Club, Ras Al Khaimah, +971 72446416 or 555531318, www.jac-uae.net Seawings, Dubai,+971 48070708, www.seawings.ae Skydive Dubai, The Palm: Al Seyahi St, Dubai Marina, +971 43778888, www.skydivedubai.ae

Boating & Sailing

Manufacturer Al Fajer Marine, Dubai, Al Quoz,

DUBAI The Dubai Mall


Mall of the Emirates 04-3478277 Mirdif City Centre


Dubai Outlet Mall


Ibn Battuta


ABU DHABI Al Wahda Mall


Dalma Mall


/ColumbiaME /ColumbiaSportswear_ME +971 43235181, www.alfajermarine.com Al Jeer Marina, RAK border Musandam, +971 72682333 or 504873185, www.aljeerport.ae Al Shaali Marine, Ajman, +971 67436443, www.alshaalimarine.com Al Yousuf Industrial, LLC, +971 4 3474111, www.aym.ae, yamboats@alyousuf.com Elite Pearl Charter, P.O. Box 214173, Saeed Tower 1, office #3102, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 43889666, www.elitepearlcharter.com Gulf Craft, P.O. Box 666, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Street, Ajman, +971 67406060, www.gulfcraftinc.com Distributors and Dealers Art Marine LLC, Al Quoz Industrial Area, Sheikh Zayed Road, 3rd Interchange +971 43388955, www.artmarine.ae or www.artmarinechandlery.com Azure Marine Dubai, +971 4 3706886, www.azuremarine.net Luxury Sea Boats, Showroom #8, The Curve Building, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 4 3284629, www.luxuryseaboats.com Macky Marine LLC, Box 37594, Ground Floor, Marina Yatch Club, Office # 5, Dubai Marina, Jebel Ali, Dubai, +971 505518317, www.mackymarine.com Nautilus Yachts, Sharjah, +971 553419494 or 503419494, www.nautilusyachts.com The Boat House, P.O. Box 71628, Al Quoz, Dubai, +971 43405152, www.theboathouse.ae UAEBoats4Sale, Dubai Marina, +971 42932465, 567001801, www.uaeboats4sale.com Western Marine, P.O. Box 52938, Sheikh Zayed Road, Knotika Marine Mall, Dubai, +971 44327870 Equipment Ali Khalifah Moh Al Fuqaei, Ground Floor, Tara Hotel Building, Abdul Nasser Square Street, Dubai, +971 42263220 Al Masaood Marine, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 43468000, www.masaoodmarine.com Blue Waters Marine, Shop 11, The Curve Bldg., Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 43808616 or 553899995, www.bluewatersmarine.com Extreme Marine, Dubai Marina Branch, +971 43992995, www.extrememarine-me.com Japan Marine / D1 Marine, WS # 110, Dubai Maritime City, +971 4 4426395 or 55 1666035, www.japanmarine.co Rineh Emirates Trading LLC, Al Quoz, Dubai, www.rinehemiratesme.com, +971 43391512 Repairs and Maintenance Extreme Marine, Jebel Ali Branch, Jebel Ali, Industrial Area, P.O. Box 97705, Dubai, +971 48830777, www.extrememarine-me.com Rineh Emirates, Sheikha Sana Warehouse 1, Al Quoz, +971 43391512, SNS Marine, Dubai Creek & Yacht Club,

Dubai, +971 501405058, www.snsmarine.ae The Boat House, P.O. Box 71628, Al Quoz, Dubai, +971 43405152, www.theboathouse.ae Cruise Operators Al Bateen Marina, Abu Dhabi, +971 26665491 Al Marsa Travel & Tourism, P.O. Box 32261, Sharjah, UAE, +971 65441232; Dibba, Musandam, Oman, +968 26836550 Bateaux Dubai, Dubai Creek opposite the British Embassy, +971 48145553 Bristol Middle East, Marina Heights Tower, Dubai Marina – Marina Walk,Dubai, +971 4368 2480, www.bristol-middleeast.com Captain Tony’s, Yas Marina, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, +971 26507175, www.captaintonys.ae Delma Industrial Supply and Marine Services, Al Bateen Jetty, Abu Dhabi, +971 26668153, www.delmamarine.net Eden Yachting, Dubai Marina, +971 43282930, 50 3716377, www.edenyachting.com Emirates Yatching, P.O. Box 8380, Dubai, +971 42826683 El Mundo, Dubai, +971 505517406, www.elmundodubai.com Four Star Travels and Tourism, Dubai, +971 561012599, www.4startravels.com 4 Yatch Chartering LLC, Toll Free: 800 YACHT (92248), Office #4, Dubai Marina Yatch Club, Dubai, www.4yachtchartering.ae Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa, Al Aqah Beach, Fujairah, +971 92449888, www.rotana.com Ghantoot Marina & Resort, Abu Dhabi, +971 529933153, www.ghantootmarina.com Happy Days Sea Cruising LLC, Dubai, +971 48706668, www.happydaysdubai.com LY Catamaran, Bur Dubai, +971 566506683, www.lycatamaran.com Marine Concept, P.O. Box 282586, Office 611, Al Barsha Business Centre, Dubai, +971 43958022, 559603030 www.marine-charter-concept.com Nautica1992, Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection, Dubai Marina, +971 504262415, www.nautica1992.ae Noukhada Adventure Company - P.O. Box 73373, C/O Ali & Sons Real Estate LLC, Plot No. 29, Abu Dhabi – Al Ain Rd, Um Al Nar, Abu Dhabi, UAE - +971 25581889 www.noukhada.ae RAK Marine LLC, Ras Al Khaimah City Hilton Marina, +971 72066410, 504912696, 507682345 Sea Hunters Passenger Yachts & Boats Rental, Dubai Marina, +971 42951011 Smoke Dragon of London Yacht, Abu Dhabi International Marine & Sports Club, +971 507011958 or 504546617 Summertime Marine Sports, Dubai, +971 42573084 The Club, Abu Dhabi, +971 26731111, www.the-club.com The Yellow Boats LLC, Dubai Marina Walk – opposite Spinneys, Intercontinental Hotel Marina, 800892, www.theyellowboats.com Marinas Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club, Abu Dhabi, Breakwater, +971 26815566, www.adimsc.com Abu Dhabi Marina, Abu Dhabi, Tourist Club Area, +971 26440300 Al Jeer Marina, RAK Border, Musandam +971 72682333 or 504873185, www.aljeerport.ae Al Wasl Charter & Fishing, Airport Road, Al Qwais Bldg., Off. 207, Dubai, UAE, +971 42394760 or 42959477, www.cruiseindubai.com Dubai Creek Marina, Deira, Dubai, +971 43801234, www.dubaigolf.com Dubai International Marine Sports Club, Dubai Marina, +971 43995777, www.dimc.ae Dubai Marina Yacht Club, Dubai, +971 43627900, www.dubaimarinayachtclub.com Dubai Maritime City Harbour Marina, Dubai, +971 43455545 Dubai Offshore Sailing Club, Dubai, +971 43941669, www.dosc.ae Emirates Palace Marina, Abu Dhabi, +971 26907725 Fujairah International Marine Club, Fujairah, +971 92221166, www.fimc.ae Intercontinental Abu Dhabi Marina, Al Bateen, Intercontinental Hotel, Abu Dhabi, +971 26666888, www.intercontinental.com Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa Marina, Jebel Ali, Dubai, +971 48145555 www.jebelali-international.com

Pavilion Marina, Dubai, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, +971 44068800 Umm Al Quwaim Marine Sports Club, Umm Al Quwaim, +971 67666644, www.uaqmarineclub.com Dragon Boat Groups Dubai Dawn Patrol Dragon Boating, Dubai, +971 508795645, www.facebook.com/DubaiDawnPatrol Dubai Diggers, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, pier next to 360, Dubai, +971 501547175, www.dubai-diggers.com UAE Dragon Boat Association, +971 507634008, www.dubaidragonboat.com

Camping & Hiking

Equipment Blingmytruck.com, +971 505548255, www.blingmytruck.com Gulf Camping, Dubai, UAE, +971 551222252 or 502550666, www.gulfcamping.com Jack Wolfskin, Al Wahda Mall, Abu Dhabi,
+971 24437802 Tresspass, 2nd floor above ice rink, The Dubai Mall, +971 43398801 Urban Peak, PO Box 9587, Office 502E, Ibn Battuta Gate Offices, Dubai, +971 44548805, www.urbanpeak.com Tour Operators Arabia Outdoors, Dubai, +971 559556209, www.arabiaoutdoors.com Absolute Adventure, Dubai, +971 43926463, www.adventure.ae Desert Road Tourism, Al Khor Plaza – 503, Dubai, +971 42959428, www.arabiatours.com Libra Travel & Tourism LLC, +971 43397700, www.facebook.com/ LibraTravelDubai Mountain High Middle East, Dubai, +971 506595536, www.mountainhighme.com Sheesa Beach, Musandam, Dibba, +971 50336046, www.sheesabeach.com


Mountain High Middle East, Dubai, +971 43480214, www.mountainhighme.com


Equipment Adventure HQ, Sheikh Zayed Rd., Dubai Times Square Center, toll free: 800-ADVENTURE, www.adventurehq.ae Barracuda Fishing and Outdoor, Street 13A 1, Al Safa 1, Dubai, +971 43466558, www.barracudadubai.com Global Climbing Trading LLC, Dubai Investment Park 1, Dubai, +971 48829361, www.globalclimbing.com Jack Wolfskin, Al Wahda Mall, Abu Dhabi +971 24437802, www.jack-wolfskin.com Services Absolute Adventure, Dubai, +971 43926463, www.adventure.ae Adventure HQ, Dubai Times Square Center, Sheikh Zayed Rd, toll free: 800-ADVENTURE, www.adventurehq.ae

MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE Al Shaheen Adventure, Abu Dhabi, +971 28137444, www.alshaheenme.com Arabia Outdoors, Dubai, +971 559556209, www.arabiaoutdoors.com Dorell Sports Management, Dubai World Trade Centre, +971 43065061, www.climbingdubai.com E-Sports UAE, Dubai, +971 43697817, www.esportsuae.com The Club, Abu Dhabi, +971 26731111, www.the-club.com Information UAE Climbing, +971 506456491, www.uaeclimbing.com

Mountain Biking & Cycling

Equipment/Dealers Bikers JLT, Unit H6, Cluster H, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai, UAE, +971 526221888 Cycle Sports, Shop No. 1, Al Waleed Bldg., Al Barsha 1, Dubai, +971 43415415, Fun Ride Sports, 301, 3rd floor, Mushrif Mall, Abu Dhabi, Rm. 4, Mezzanine floor, C-13 Bldg., Khalifa City A, Abu Dhabi, +971 24455838, www.funridesports.com Micah’s Bike Shop, Warehouse No.4 6th St. Al Quoz 3, Dubai, +971 43805228 Probike, Dubai, Al Barsha 1, +971 43255705, www.probike.ae Rage Shop, Al Ghurair Centre: +971 4294 8634; MOE: +971 43413388; Al Wahda Mall, Abu Dhabi: +971 24437617, Dubai Mall: +971 44341549, www.rage-shop.com Revolution Cycles, Shop G05, Apex Atrium, Motor City, Dubai, +971 43697441, www.rcdxb.com Ride Bike Shop, Sheikh Zayed Road: +971 43395602; Mirdif City Centre: +971 42840038; Al Seef Village Mall, Abu Dhabi: +971 26337172, www.ridebikeshop.com Sportz Unlimited, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, + 971 43388644 or 43391333 Tamreen Sports LLC, Khalifa Street, Abu Dhabi, +971 26222525, www.tamreensports.com The Cycle Hub, Motor City, Dubai, +971 505528872 or 44256555, www.thecyclehub.com Trek Bicycle Store, Seih Al Salam, Al Qudra Road, Dubai, +971 48327377; Shop #5, Reemas Building Al Quoz 1, Exit 46/47, Sheikh Zayed Road Dubai, +971 43211132, www.trekbikes.ae Trikke UPT, P.O. Box 53527, Dubai, + 971 43434499; P.O. Box 33869, Abu Dhabi, +971 26333377, www.trikkeme.net Wolfi’s Bike Shop, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 43394453, www.wbs.ae Operator Absolute Adventure, Dubai, +971 43926463, www.adventure.ae, info@adventure.ae Clubs Abu Dhabi Tri Club, www.abudhabitriclub.com Cycle Safe Dubai, Dubai Autodrome www.cyclechallenge.ae Dubai Roadsters, +971 43394453, www.dubairoadsters.com


Equipment Al Boom Marine, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, +971 42894858, www.alboommarine.com Al Hamur Marine and Sports Equipment, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, +971 43444468 Al Masaood Marine, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 43468000, www.masaoodmarine.com Al Yousuf Motors, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 43390621, www.aym.ae/yamaha Blue Waters Marine, +971 43808616, Dubai, www.bluewatersmarine.com Gulf Marine Sports, Abu Dhabi, +971 26710017, www.gulfmarinesports.com Premiers for Equipment, Sheikh Zayed 1st. Road, Abu Dhabi, +971 26665226, www.premiers-uae.com Dive Shop.ae, Building #123, Street 26, Area 369, Al Quoz Industrial Area 4, Dubai, +971 43414940, www.diveshop.ae Scuba 2000, Al Bidiya Beach, Fujairah, +971 92388477, www.scuba-2000.com Diving Centres Al Boom Diving (equipment), Dubai, Al Wasl Rd, +971 43422993, www.alboomdiving.com Al Jeer Marina, RAK Border, Musandam, +971 72682333, www.aljeerport.ae Al Mahara Dive Center, near Muroor St. across from main bus terminal, +971 26437377, info@divemahara.com,



www.divemahara.com Arabian Diver, Hilton Marine, Ras Al Khaimah, +971 72226628 or 502428128 www.arabiandiver.com Arabian Divers and Sportfishing Charters, Al Bateen Marina Resort, Abu Dhabi, +971 506146931, www.fishabudhabi.com Coastal Technical Divers, glenn@coastaltechnicaldivers.com, www.coastaltechnicaldivers.com Deep Blue Sea Diving, International City, Dubai, +971 44308246, www.diveindubai.com Desert Islands, Sir Bani Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE, +971 28015454, www.divemahara.com Divers Down, +971 559888687, Dubai; Fujairah, Rotana Al Aqah Hotel Resort & Spa, +971 92370299, www.diversdownuae.com Emirates Divers Centre, Abu Dhabi, near Meena Fish Market, +97126432444, www.edc-ad.ae Freediving UAE, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, +971 506130486 contactus@freedivinguae.com, www.freedivinguae.com Freestyle Divers, Al Corniche Street, Dibba, Fujairah, +971 504514259, www.freestyledivers.me Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa - Al Aqah Beach, Al Aqah Beach, Fujairah, +971 92449888, www.rotana.com Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, Dibba Road, Fujairah, +971 92449000, www.lemeridien-alaqah.com Neptune Diving, +971 504347902, www.neptunedivingcentre.com Pavilion Dive Centre (equipment), Dubai, +971 44068828 Scuba 2000, Al Bidiya Beach, Fujairah, +971 92388477, www.scuba-2000.com Scuba UAE.com, +971 502053922, www.scubauae.com 7 Seas Diving Center, Khorfakkan, +971 92387400, www.7seasdivers.com Sharjah Wanderers Dive Club, Sharjah, +971 506683430, www.bsac406.com Sheesa Beach, Dibba, Musandam, +971 503336046, www.sheesabeach.com Sky & Sea Adventures, Dubai, Hilton, Jumeirah Beach Road, +971 43999005, www.watersportsdubai.com Clubs Atlantis Underwater Photography Club, Dubai, +971 44263000 Desert Sports Diving Club, Dubai, www.desertsportsdivingclub.net Emirates Diving Association, Diving Village, Al Shindagha, Dubai, +971 43939390, www.emiratesdiving.com Filipino SCUBA Divers Club (FSDC), Dubai, UAE, +971 566952421, www.facebook.com/FSDCuae Freediving UAE, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, contactus@freedivinguae.com, www.freedivinguae.com Sharjah Wanderers Dive Club, Sharjah, +971 507840830, www.bsac406.com

Fishing & Kayaking

Equipment Al Boom Marine, Abu Dhabi & Dubai, +971 42894858, www.alboommarine.com Al Hamur Marine and Sports Equipment, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, +971 43444468 Al Masaood Marine, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 43468000, www.masaoodmarine.com Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd, +971 43390000, www.aym.ae/yamaha Arabian Divers and Sportfishing Charters, Al Bateen Marina Resort, Abu Dhabi, +971 506146931, www.fishabudhabi.com Barracuda Fishing and Outdoor, Dubai, Street 13A 1, Al Safa 1, +971 43466558, www.barracudadubai.com Blue Waters Marine, Shop 11, The Curve Bldg., Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 43808616 or 553899995, www.bluewatersmarine.com Challenging Adventure, Wadi Al Bih Ras Al Khaimah, +971 561060798 or 44538386, contactus@challengingadventure.com Global Climbing Trading LLC, Dubai Investment Park 1, Dubai, +971 48829361, www.globalclimbing.com Ocean Active, Dubai, Garden Centre, +971 502898713, www.oceanactive.com


Operators Absolute Adventure, Dubai, +971 43926463, www.adventure.ae Al Boom Diving, Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, Fujairah, +971 43422993 Al Hamra Marina and Yacht Club, Al Hamra, Ras Al Khaimah, +971 72432274, www.alhamramarina.com Al Mahara Dive Center, Downtown Abu Dhabi, +971 501118125, www.divemahara.com Al Wasl Charter & Fishing, Airport Road, Al Qwais Bldg., Off. 207, Dubai, UAE, +971 42394760 or 42959477, www.cruiseindubai.com Al Shaheen Adventure, Abu Dhabi, +971 26429995, www.alshaheenme.com Al Wasl Charter & Fishing (Al Wasl Passenger Yachts and Boats Rental LLC), Airport Road, Al Owais Building, Dubai, +971 42394761, www.cruiseindubai.com Arabian Divers and Sportfishing Charters, Al Bateen Marina Resort, +971 506146931, www.fishabudhabi.com Arabia Outdoors, Dubai, +971 559556209, www.arabiaoutdoors.com Barracuda Diving Centre, Fujairah International Marine Club, +971 503366224 Belevari Marine, Abu Dhabi, +971 26594144 Captain Tony’s, Yas Marina, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, +971 26507175, www.captaintonys.ae Fun Beach Water Sports, Dubai, +971 507050433 or 506947764, www.seaworlddsf.com Happy Days Sea Cruising LLC, Dubai, +971 48706668, 503960202, www.happydaysdubai.com Hiltonia Beach Club, Hilton Abu Dhabi Hotel, Abu Dhabi, +971 26811900 Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, Dibba Road, Fujairah, +971 92449000, www.lemeridien-alaqah.com Nautica 1992, Dubai, +971 504262415, www.nautica1992.ae Noukhada Adventure Company, Villa 332/7, Al Meena Street, Abu Dhabi, +971 25581889, www.noukhada.ae Ocean Active, +971 504592259, www.oceanactive.com Sheesa Beach, Dibba, Musandam, +971 503336046, www.sheesabeach.com Soolyman Sport Fishing, Umm Suquiem, Fishing Port No. 2, Jumeirah Beach, +971 508866227, 508866228 or 503402379, www.soolymansportfishing.com Summertime Marine Sports, Dubai, +971 42573084, www.summertimemarine.com Xclusive Yachts, Dubai, Dubai Marina, +971 44327233, www.xclusiveyachts.com Clubs Abu Dhabi Camping, Fishing & Kayaking Club, mohamed.almahrouky@gmail.com Dubai Surfski & Kayak Club, Kitesurfers’ Beach, Umm Suqeim 1, Dubai, +971 554986280, www.dskc.hu

General Sports Equipment Distributors

Adventure HQ, Dubai Times Square Center, Sheikh Zayed Rd, Toll free: 800-ADVENTURE, www.adventurehq.ae Al Yousuf Motors, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 43390621, www.aym.ae/yamaha 800 Sport, Al Quoz, Dubai +971 43467751, www.800sport.ae Flip Flop Arabia, +971 556881793, 501084010, www.flipfloparabia.com Global Climbing Trading LLC, Dubai Investment Park 1, Dubai +971 48829361, www.globalclimbing.com Highbury Trading FZE LLC, P.O. Box 16111, RAK Free Trade Zone Authority, Ras Al Khaima, +971 526799506, www.highburytrade.com Jack Wolfskin, Al Wahda Mall, Abu Dhabi, +971 24437802 Ocean Sports FZE, +971 559352735, www.kitesurfsup.com Picnico General Trading, near Sharaf DG Metro Station, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 43951113 Portable Shade UAE, Jebel Ali, Dubai, UAE, +971 508897125, www.portable-shade.net Sport in Life Distribution, Nad Al Hammar Rd., Ras Al Khor, Dubai, UAE, +971 42896001 or 42896002, info@sportinlife.ae, www.sportinlife.ae Tresspass, The Dubai Mall 2nd floor above ice rink, +971 43398801

Horse Riding

Equipment Al Asifa Horse Equestrian Equipment & Requisites Trading P.O. Box 77282, AL Khawanij 1st , Dubai, +971 554733110, www.asifa.ae Black Horse LLC, Baniyas West, Near Empost Abu Dhabhi, +971 25866205, www.blackhorseuae.com Bonjour Equestrian Supplies, Nad Al Hammar Rd., Ras Al Kho, Dubai, UAE, +971 42896001, +971 42896002, info@bonjourequestrian.com, www.bonjourequestrian.com Cavalos Equine Care and Supplies, 16th Street, Al Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, +917 22222433, www.cavalosuae.com Emirta Horse Requirement Centre, Sheik Zayed Rd., Dubai, +971 43437475, www.emirtahorse.com Equestrian Clubs/Centres Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, +971 24455500, www.adec-web.com Al Ahli Riding School, Al Amman Street, Dubai-Sharjah Rd., +971 42988408, www.alahliclub.info Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Abu Dhabi, +971 25568555, www.alforsan.com Al Jiyad Stables, Behind Dubai International Endurance City, Dubai, +971 505995866, info@aljiyad.com, www.aljiyad.com Al Sahra Desert Resort Equestrian Centre, Dubai, +971 44274055, equestrian.centre@alsahra.com Desert Equestrian Club, Mirdif, Dubai, +971 503099770 or 501978888 Desert Palm Riding School, Near Al Awir Road (going to Hatta-Oman), Dubai, +971 43238010, www.dubaipoloclub.com Dubai Polo Academy, Dubai, +971 508879847, www.dubaipoloacademy.com Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Dubai, Arabian Ranches, +971 43618111, www.poloclubdubai.com Emirates Equestrian Centre, Dubai, +971 505587656, www.emiratesequestriancentre.com Ghantoot Polo & Racing Club, Exit 399, Abu Dhabi/ Dubai Highway, Abu Dhabi, +971 25629050, www.grpc.ae Golden Stables Equestrian Club, Al Khawaneej, Dubai, (Nouri) +971 555528182 Hoofbeatz, located just inside the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Dubai, +971 569424551, www.hoofbeatz.com Mushrif Equestrian and Polo Club, Mushrif Park, Al Khawaneej Road, Dubai, +971 42571256, www.mushrifec.com Rahal Ranch, Al Wathba Racing Area, Abu Dhabi, +971 565066741, www.rahalranch.com Riding for the Disabled, Dubai, lessons@rdad.ae, www.rdad.ae, Sharjah Equestrian & Racing Club, Sharjah, Al Dhaid Road, +971 65311188, www.serc.ae Racecourses Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, +971 24455500, www.adec-web.com Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club, Exit 399, Abu Dhabi/ Dubai Highway, Abu Dhabi, +971 25629050, www.grpc.ae Jebel Ali Racecourse, off the main Abu Dhabi - Dubai Highway (Sheikh Zayed road) beside the Emirates Golf Club, Dubai, +971 43474914 Meydan Grandstand and Racecourse, Al Meydan Road, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai, +971 43270000, www.meydan.ae Sharjah Racecourse, Al Dhaid Road, Sharjah, +971 65311155, www.serc.ae

Jet Ski Dealers

Al Masaood Marine, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, +971 43468000, www.masaoodmarine.com Al Yousuf Motors, Sheikh Zayed Rd., Dubai, +971 43390621, www.aym.ae/yamaha Japan Marine General Trading, Al Garhoud Road, Liberty Building, Dubai, +971 44426395, uday@japanmarine.jp, www.japanmarine.co Liberty Kawasaki, Interchange 4, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Direct: +971 45019442, 45019412 or 43419341, www.libertykawasaki.com


Motocross & ATV’s

Dealers Al Badayer Rental (Rental), Dubai-Hatta Road, +971 68861161 or 507842020, www.albadayerrental.com Al Shaali Moto, Ras Al Khor, +971 43200009, www.alshaalimoto.com Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd, +971 43390621, www.aym.ae/yamaha Golden Desert Motorcycles, P.O. Box 47912, E-44 Hatta road, Al Badayer Madam, Sharjah, +971 529484616 or 505 033 800 KTM, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, exit 42, +971 43468999, www.ktm.com Liberty Kawasaki, Interchange 4, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Direct: +971 45019442, 45019412 or 43419341, www.libertykawasaki.com Motoventure, Hobbies Club, Al Awir, Hatta Road, Dubai, +971 555437392, www.motoventure.net Elite Dune Off Road Motorcycles Rental L.L.C. (MXDUBAI / Just Gas It), Falcon Oasis Desert Safari Camp, Al Awir, Dubai info@mxdubai.com / enquiries@justgasit.net +971 552622707 / 552621377 Polaris UAE (atv’s), Ras Al Khor, Nad al Hamar Road, Al Ghandi Complex, Dubai, +971 42896100, M4, Sector 13, 10th Street, Mussafah Industrial, Abu Dhabi, +971 26441478, www.polarisuae.com Sebsports, Al Quoz Industrial Area 1 Dubai, +971 43393399, www.sebsports.com Equipment Sandstorm Motorcycles (Rental), Al Quoz, Dubai, +971 43395608, Sebsports, Dubai, Al Quoz Industrial Area 3, +971 43393399, www.sebsports.com 2XWheeler, Motorcity Dubai, +971 44548388, www.2xwheeler.com


Distributors and Dealers Al Yousuf Motors, Sheikh Zayed Rd., Dubai, +971 43390621, www.aym.ae/yamaha Ducati, Al Salam Street, Abu Dhabi, +971 24918593, www.ducati.ae Duseja General Trading Co. LLC, Warehouse No: B3, Alquoz Ind Area #3, Umm Suqeim Road next to Max Garage Diagonally opposite Lulu Hypermarket Al Barsha, +971 43476712, www.dusejamoto.com Harley-Davidson, Mussafah 4, Street 10, Abu Dhabi, +971 25540667, hd.auh@harley-davidson.ae, www.harley-davidson-abu-dhabi.com Liberty Kawasaki, Interchange4, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Direct: +971 45019442, 45019412 or 43419341, www.libertykawasaki.com Polaris UAE, Al Ghandi Complex, Nad al Hamar Road, Ras Al Khor, +971 42896100, www.polarisuae.com Tristar Motorcycles, Al Awir Road, Nr Oman Transport, +971 43330659, www.tristaruae.com Workshops and Services Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Abu Dhabi, +971 25568555, www.alforsan.com Dubai Autodrome, Dubai, +971 43678700,www.dubaiautodrome.com Emirates Motorplex, Umm Al Quwain, +971 67681166 2xWheeler Adventures, Dubai, +971 44548388, www.alainraceway.com


Wild X Adventure Shop, Dubai-Hatta Road, Dubai, +971 48321050, Yellow Hat, Nad Al Hamar, and Times Square Center, Dubai, +971 42898060, www.yellowhat.ae Tour Operators Arabian Adventures, Dubai & Abu Dhabi, +971 43034888, www.arabian-adventures.com Desert Road Tourism, Al Khor Plaza – 503, Dubai, +971 42959429, www.desertroadtours.com Oasis Palm Dubai, Dubai, +971 4 2628832 or 4 2686826, www.opdubai.com Clubs Abu Dhabi Off- Road Club, www.ad4x4.com ALMOST 4x4 Off-Road Club, +971 507665522, www.almost4x4.com Dubai Offroaders, www.dubaioffroaders. com JEEP Wrangler JK Fun Club, suffian.omar@yahoo.com, www.jk-funclub.com ME 4X4, www.me4x4.com


Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, 800 YAS (927) or +971 26599800, www.yasmarinacircuit.com


Dealers Bling My Truck, +971 503634839 or 505548255, info@blingmytruck.com, www.blingmytruck.com 4x4 Motors LLC, Shk. Zayed Rd, Dubai, +971 43384866, www.4x4motors.com Liberty Automobiles, Dubai, 800 5423789, www.libertyautos.com Repairs and Services AAA Service Centre, Al Quoz, Dubai, UAE, +971 4 2858989, www.aaadubai.com Icon Auto Garage, Dubai, +971 43382744, www.icon-auto.com Mebar Auto, Al Quoz, Industrial Area 2, Dubai, UAE, +971 43469600, www.mebarauto.com Off Road Zone, Dubai, Al Quoz, +971 43392449, www.offroad-zone.com Saluki Motorsport, Dubai, +971 43476939 www.salukimotorsport.com Equipment Advanced Expedition Vehicles, Dubai & Abu Dhabi, +971 43307152, www.aev.ae Al Yousuf Motors, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 43390621, www.aym.ae/yamaha ARB Emirates 4x4 Accessories, Dubai International City, +971 4 4327190 & Musaffah, Abu Dhabi, +971 2 5553600 www.arbemirates.com Bling My Truck, +971 503634839 or 505548255, www.blingmytruck.com Heartland UAE, Al Mafraq Industrial, Abu Dhabi, +971 569796524 or 506472447, www.heartlanduae.com Icon Auto Garage, Dubai, +971 43382744, www.icon-auto.com Mebar Auto, Al Quoz, Industrial Area 2, Dubai, UAE, +971 4 3469600, www.mebarauto.com

Clubs ABRasAC, Dubai, www.abrasac.org Abu Dhabi Tri Club, Abu Dhabi, www.abudhabitriclub.org Abu Dhabi Striders, admin@abudhabistriders.com, www.abudhabistriders.com Al Ain Road Runners, Abu Dhabi, +971 504188978, alainroadrunners@yahoo.co.uk Mirdif Milers, Dubai, www.mirdifmilers.info Dubai Creek Striders www.dubaicreekstriders.org Desert Road Runners www.desertroadrunners.club

Stand up Paddling, Kite & Surfing, Wakeboarding

Equipment Al Boom Marine, Abu Dhabi & Dubai, +971 42894858, www.alboommarine.com Al Masaood Marine, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 43468000,www.masaoodmarine.com Kitesurf Dubai, Kitesurf Beach, Umm Suqueim and Jumeirah 3 +971 505586190, www.kitesurfdubai.ae Picnico, Al Fairdooni Building, Sheikh Zayed Road, Near Sharaf DG Metro Station and Mall of Emirates, +971 43951113 Surf Dubai, Umm Suqeim, Dubai, +971 505043020, www.surfingdubai.com Surf Shop Arabia, Building 1, Al Manara Road (East), Interchange 3, Dubai, +971 564716180, www.surfshoparabia.com Surf School Arabia, +971 556010997, www.surfschoolarabia.com UAE Kite Surfing, +971 505626383, www.ad-kitesurfing.net Distributors Kitepeople Kite & Surf Store, International City, Dubai, +971 504559098, www.kitepeople.ae Ocean Sports FZE, +971 559352735, www.kitesurfsup.com Operators Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Abu Dhabi, +971 25568555, www.alforsan.com Dubai Kite Surf School, Umm Suqeim Beach, Dubai, +971 504965107, www.dubaikitesurfschool.com Duco Maritime, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah

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and Abu Dhabi, +971 508703427, www.ducomaritime.com Dukite, Kitesurf Beach, Umm Suqeim, Dubai,+971 507586992, www.dukite.com Kite Fly, Dubai, +971 502547440, www.kitesurf.ae Kitepro Abu Dhabi, Yas Island and Al Dabbayyah, Abu Dhabi, +971 505441494, www.kitepro.ae Nautica1992, Dubai, +971 504262415, www.nautica1992.ae Shamal Kite Surfing, Umm Suqueim Dubai, +971 507689226, www.shamalkitesurfing.com Sky & Sea Adventures, Dubai, Hilton, Jumeirah Beach Road, +971 43999005, www.watersportsdubai.com Surf School UAE, Umm Suqeim Beach and Building 1, Al Manara Road (East), Interchange 3, Dubai, +971 43791998, www.surfschooluae.com Watercooled, Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa, Dubai, +971 48876771, www.watercooleddubai.com Water Cooled, Watercooled Sports Services LLC, Hilton Beach Club, Abu Dhabi, +971 26395997, www.watercooleduae.com Clubs Abu Dhabi Stand Up Paddle, www.abudhabisup.com UAE SUP and Surf Association, +971 26665588, www.ridersuae.com

Water Parks

Aquaventure Atlantis, Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, +971 44260000, www. atlantisthepalm.com Dreamland Aqua Park, Umm Al Quwain, Emirates Road, +971 67681888, www.dreamlanduae.com Wadi Adventure, Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain, +971 37818422, www.wadiadventure.ae Wild Wadi Water Park, Dubai, +971 43484444, www.wildwadi.com

Other leisure activities

Abu Dhabi Golf Club, P.O. Box 51234, Sas Al Nakhl, Abu Dhabi, +971 28853555, www.adgolfclub.com Al Tamimi Stables, Sharjah, +971 67431122 or 44370505, www.tamimistables.com Blokart Sailing, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai, +971 556101841, www.blokartme.com Children’s City, Creek Park Gate No.1, Dubai, +971 43340808, www.childrencity.ae Dolphin Bay Atlantis, Dubai, +971 44262000, www.atlantisthepalm.com Dubai Dolphinarium Dubai, Creek Park Gate No. 1, +971 43369773, www.dubaidolphinarium.ae iFly Dubai, Dubai, Mirdif City Centre, +971 42316292, www.iflyme.com Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, +971 25578000, www.sbgolfclub.ae Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club, Sharjah, +971 65487777, www.golfandshootingshj.com SkiDubai, Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, +971 44094000, www.skidxb.com Spacewalk Indoor Skydiving, Abu Dhabi, +971 26577601, adcountryclub.com/ spacewalk/about-spacewalk/

Health, Safety & Training

Safety Lessons Marine Concept Yacht Charter & Sea School, Rania Business Centre, Dubai, +971 559603030, www.marine-charter-concept.com Sport and Health Centres Bespoke Wellness, Dubai, +971 553724670, www.bespoke-wellness.com Original Fitness Co., C6 Tower Al Bateen Bainunah St, Abu Dhabi, +971 2406 9404; P.O. Box 126469, Office 508 The Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 43116571 www.originalfitnessco.com Orthosports Medical Centre, 5B Street, Jumeira Beach road, Dubai, 800 ORTHO (67846), www.orthosp.com The Physio Center, Suite 405, Building 49, Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai, +971 44370570, www.physiocentre.ae




OMAN DIRECTORY Adventure tours and desert safaris

Bike and Hike Oman, P.O. Box 833, Ruwi, Postal Code 112, Oman, +968 24400873, www.bikeandhikeoman.com Dolphin Qasab Tours, P.O. Box 123, P.C. 811, Khasab City, Musandam, Oman, +968 26730813, www.dolphinkhasabtours.com Go Dive Oman, Marina Bander Al Rowdha Dive Center, +968 9548 3813 or 98194444, www.godiveoman.com Khour Shem Tourism, Oman, +968 91713449, www.khourshemtours.com Nomad Tours, PO Box 583, Postal Code 100, Muscat, Oman, +968 95495240, www.nomadtours.com Oman Trekking Guides, PO Box 917, NIZWA, Oman, +968 95741441, http://omantrekkingguides.tumblr.com Cruise Operators Sheesa Beach, Dibba, Musandam, +968 26836551, www.sheesabeach.com


Equipment Al Marsa Musandam, PO Box 44, Dibba, Sultanate of Oman, +968 26836550; UAE: +971 502124100, www.almarsamusandam.com

QATAR DIRECTORY Adventure tours and desert safaris

Al Mulla Travels, P.O. Box 4147, Doha, Qatar, +974 44413488, almullatrvls@qatar.net.qa Alpha Tours, P.O. Box 13530, Doha, Qatar, +974 4344499, info@alphatoursqatar.com Al QAYED Travel & Tours, PO Box: 158, Doha, Qatar, +974 44072244, www.alqayedtravel.com Arabian Adventures, PO Box 4476, Doha, Qatar, +974 44361461, www.arabianadventureqatar.net Black Pearls Tourism Services, P.O. Box: 45677, Doha, Qatar, +974 44357333 E2E Qatar Travel and Tours, PO Box 23563, Doha, Qatar, +974 44516688 or 444515995, www.e2eqatar.com Falcon Travels, PO Box 22031, Doha, Qatar, +974 44354777, www.falcontravelqatar.com Gulf Adventures Tourism LLC, P.O. Box 18180, 29 Aspire Zone Street, Aspire Zone Al Ryyan City, State of Qatar Switchboard: +974 44221888, www.gulf-adventures.com Net Tours Qatar, P.O. Box 23080, Doha, Qatar, +974 4310902, www.nettours.com.qa Regency Travel & Tours, +974 44344444, www.regencyholidays.com Qatar Adventure, P.O. Box 13915, Doha, Qatar, +974 55694561, www.qataradventure.com Qatar Inbound Tours, P.O. Box 21153, +974 77451196, www.inboundtoursqatar.com Qatar International Tours, P.O. Box 55733 Doha, Qatar, +974 44551141, www.qittour.com Qatar Ventures, Barwa Village Bulding #12 Shop #33, Doha, Qatar, +974 55776679, www.qatar-ventures.com



Al Sawadi Beach Resort, P.O. Box 747, Barka - Al Sawadi, Oman, +968 26795545, www.alsawadibeach.info Diving UAE & Oman, www.dive-uae-oman.com Euro Divers CAYC Oman, Marina Bandar Al Rhowda, P.O. Box 940, Muscat, Oman, +968 97899094, www.euro-divers.com Extra Divers Musandam, PO Box 498, PC 811 Khasab, Musandam, Oman, +968 99877957, www.musandam-diving.com Global Scuba LLC, +968 24692346, www.global-scuba.com Khasab Musandam Travel & Tours, P.O. Box 786, PC No. 811, Khasab, Musandam, Sultanate of Oman, +968 91713449, info@tourkhasab.com Al Mouj Marina, Muscat, Oman, +968 24534554, www.almoujmarina.com Moon Light Dive Center, P.O. Box 65, Madinat Qaboos, Muscat Oman, +968 99317700, www.moonlightdive.com Nomad Ocean Adventures, +968 26836069, Dibba, Oman; Fujairah, +971 508918207, www.discovernomad.com Diving Centres Euro-divers Marina Bandar Al Rowdha, P.O. Box 940, Postal Code 100 Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, +968 98194444, www.euro-divers.com Extra Divers Zighy Bay, Oman, Musandam, +968 26735555, www.extradivers.info

Moonlight Dive Center, Near Grand Hyatt Muscat, Shati Al Qurum, Oman, +968 99317700, www.moonlightdive.com Oman Dive Center, Muscat, Oman, +968 24284240, www.omandivecenter.com Oman Dive Center Resort, P.O. Box 199, Medinat Sultan Qaboos, Oman, +968 24824240, www.omandivecenter.info Omanta Scuba Diving Academy, Al Kharjiya Street, Al Shati Area, Muscat, Oman, +968 99777045, www.omantascuba.com Oxygen Diving and Adventures, P.O. Box 1363 PC130 Alazaiba, Muscat, Oman, +968 92537494 or 9723 2661, www.o2diveoman.com Scuba Oman, Oman, +968 99558488, www.scubaoman.com Seaoman, P.O. Box 2394, RUWI PC 112, Oman, +968 24181400, www.seaoman.com

Camping & Hiking

Stand Up Paddeling, Kite & Surfing, Wakeboarding

Boating & Sailing

Equipment, Operators Kiteboarding Oman, Sawadi Beach, P.O. Box: 133, PC 118, Muscat, Oman, +968 96323524, www.kiteboarding-oman.com Oman’s Kite Center, +968 94006007, www.kitesurfing-lessons.com

Manufacturer Saphire Marine, PO Box: 11, Post Code 118, Muscat, Oman, +968 24568887, 24566566, 24561619 or 24568881, www.sapphire-marine.com Marinas Marina Bandar Al Rowdha, Muscat, Oman, +968 24737286 (ext 215), www.marinaoman.net


Horse Riding

Fishing & Kayaking

Cycling, Running & Triathlon Qatar Chain Reaction, www.qatarchainreaction.weebly.com Qatar Sandstromers, +974 77775207 or 77776634, www.facebook.com/ QatarSandstormers Velostar Doha, https://www.facebook.com/ groups/587539064642288/ Doha Bay Running Club, www.dohabayrunningclub.com TriClub Doha, www.triclubdoha.com

General Sports Equipment Megastores

Galaxy Sport, City Centre Mall, 3rd Floor, Qatar: +974 44822194; Villagio Mall, Qatar: +974 44569143; Ezdan Mall, Qatar: +974 44922827, The Pearl(Parcel 9) +974 40027513, Souq Jabor +974 44430322. Office: +974 44417935, www.galaxysportqatar.com GO Sport Qatar, City Centre Mall, 3rd Floor, +974 44631644; Villaggio Mall, +974 44157463, www.facebook.com/gosport.qatar Sun & Sand Sports Qatar, City Centre Mall, +974 44837007; Dar Al Salam Mall, +974 44510179; Mustafawi Exhibition, +974 44935183, en-ae.sssports.com

Boating & Sailing

Equipment Regatta Sailing Academy, Katara Beach +974 55503484 www.regattasailingacademy.com Distributors and Dealers Speed Marine, Speed Marine, Museum Road, P.O. Box 9145 Doha, Qatar, +974 44410109, www.speedmarinegroup.com Marinas Four Seasons Marina, Doha, Qatar, +974 44948899, www.mourjanmarinas.com Lusail Marina, Lusail City, Qatar, +974 55843282, www.mourjan-lusailmarina.com The Pearl–Qatar Marinas, Doha, Qatar, +974 44953894, www.ronauticame.com

Add your free listing to the


Equestrian Clubs/Centres Al Shaqab, P.O. Box 90055, Doha, Qatar, +974 44546320, www.alshaqab.com Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club, Racing and Equestrian Club, P.O. Box 7559, Doha, Qatar, +974 44197704, www.qrec.gov.qa


Equipment/Centres Al Fardan Marine Services, Najma Street (near Al Fardan Exchange), Doha, Qatar, +974 44435626 Doha Sub Aqua Club, Doha Sub-Aqua Club, PO Box: 5048, Doha, Qatar, +974 50483794, www.dohasubaquaclub.com Extreme Adventure, P.O. Box 33002, Shop 3, 4 Ahmed Bin Ali Street (Bin Omran), Doha, Qatar, +974 44877884, www.extreme.qa GoSport, City Centre Mall, 3rd Floor, Qatar: +974 44631644; Villagio Mall, Qatar: +974 44517574, www.facebook.com/gosport.qatar Pearl Divers, P.O. Box 2489, Doha, Qatar, +974 44449553, www.pearl-divers.org Poseidon Dive Center, P.O. Box: 11538, Ras Abu Abboud Street, Al Emadi Suites, Showroom #2, Doha, Qatar +974 66084040, www.pdcqatar.com Qatar Scuba Center, 187 Al Mansoura Street, Al Mansoura Area, Doha, Qatar, +974 66662277, www.qatarscubacenter.com Q-Dive Marine Centre, Souq Al Najada cnr of Grand Hamad and Ali bin Abdulla Street; +974 55319507 or 4375065, www.qdive.net World Marine Centre, PO Box 6944, Doha, Qatar, +974 44360989, www.worldmarinecenter.webs.com Qatar Divers, Marriott Hotel Marina Near Old Airport, Ras Abu Aboud Area, Doha, Qatar, +974 55246651, 40405156, www.qatardivers.com Qatar Marine, Go Sport City Center West Bay, P.O. Box 16657, Doha, +974 55319507, www.qatarmarine.net Qatar Scuba Centre, 187 Al Mansoura Street, Al Mansoura Area, Doha, Qatar, +974 66662277 or 44422234, www.qatarscubacenter.com

Tour Operators Safari Desert Camp, P.O. Box 117, Postal Code 421, Bediyah, Ghabbi, Oman, +968 99310108, www.safaridesert.com


Muscat Diving & Adventure Centre, Oman, +968 24543002, www.holiday-in-oman.com Oman World Tourism, Oman, +968 24565288, www.omanworldtourism.com

Fishing & Kayaking

Equipment Az’Zaha Tours, +968 99425461, www.azzahatours.com Water World Marine Oman, P.O. Box 76, Muscat, 113, Sultanate of Oman, +968 24737438, www.waterworldoman.com

Equipment Al Kashat, Fishing and Hunting Equipment, Souq Waqif, next to the Falcon Souq, +974 70057489 Al Mamzoore Marine Equipment, P.O. Box 6449, Old Salata, Doha, Qatar, +974 44444238, almamzoore@qatar.net.qa Extreme Adventure, Shop 3,4 Ahmed Bin Ali Steet, Doha, +974 44877884, www.extreme.qa Fish World, P.O. Box 1975, Doha, Qatar, +974 44340754 State of Qatar (QatarSub), Souq Waqif, next to the Falcon Souq, +974 4431234, www.stateofqatar.com Operators Paddle Qatar, +974 55490895, www.paddleqatar.com

Stand Up Paddeling, Kite & Surfing, Wakeboarding

Equipment, Operators Fly-N-Ride, Ras abu Aboud, Doha, +974 33117089, Flo Kite School, Westbay, Doha, +974 33155628, www.flokiteschool.com Kitesurfing Qatar, +97430179108, www.kitesurfingqatar.com QSUP, Qanat Quartier, Costa Malaz, The Pearl-Qc, Doha, Qatar, +974 66602830, www.qsup.me

Cycling (Road & Off Road)

Bike Servicing, Equipment Carbon Wheels Bike Shop, Al Maha Center 10, Salwa Road, Doha, +974 44419048, www.facebook.com/CarbonWheelsQTR Flash Bike Shop, Mesaeed New Souq, Shop C.06, +974 6600 9116, www.flashbikeshop.com Skate Shack, Salwa Road, South Doha, +974 44692532, www.skate-shack.com Galaxy Sport, City Centre Mall, 3rd Floor, +974 44822194; Villaggio Mall, +974 4456 9143; Ezdan Mall, +974 4492 2827, www.galaxysportqatar.com Sportswell, Salwa Road, South Doha, +974 44151687