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Oman The Magical Wonderland The Columbia Adventure Academy Lands a Big Catch this January

Trapped By Ice, I’ve Never Felt So Free Alban Michon's Arctic Expedition

Wadi Bih

72km of Bonding Brilliant Ideas, and Beet Juice

Ladakh – Desert In The Skies!

Crossing the Crescent From Arada to Khis

Plenty of


Price 11.00 AED 1.00 OMR


Return to Race Abu Dhabi World Triathlon 2018


Vol. 8, No. 2 February 2018


Life Active. Non-stop.

Enter the 2018 Subaru XV and you enter the new paradigm of excitement, fun and peace-of-mind. Built on the next generation Subaru Global Platform (SGP) and equipped with the first-in-class ‘Eyesight Driver Assistance System’, it sets a new benchmark for all-round safety and driving feel. Go ahead, explore the city or take a trip outdoors with confidence.

Driver Assist Technology* X-Mode for difficult terrain

Pre-Collision Braking

8 inch infotainment touch screen

Pre-Collision Throttle Management

Adaptive Cruise Control

Lane Departure Warning

Disclaimer: Eyesight does not operate optimally under all driving conditions, and the driver is solely in charge and responsible for the vehicle, for both safe and attentive driving. Remember, Eyesight is not designed to prevent all collisions or automatically drive, but to be a driving support system to help reduce impact damage, or if possible, prevent collision. Eyesight is not designed, including but not limited, to support driving in poor visibility or in extra weather conditions, or to protect against careless driving when the driver is not paying attention. It cannot prevent collisions in all driving conditions. There are limits to the Eyesight recognition performance and control performance. Never attempt to drive relying on Eyesight alone. Drivers must make every effort to ensure that they are driving safely, and are always responsible for observing traffic regulations. See the Owner’s Manual for complete details on the functions and limitations of Eyesight.

DUBAI: 04 3146214, 3146218 | Time: Sat - Thu 9.30am - 8.00pm Fri 4.00pm - 8.00pm SHARJAH: 06 5391373 | Time: Sat - Thu 9.30 am -1.00pm & 4.00pm - 8.30pm E: | W:

/subaruuae @subaruuae



OutdoorUAE Team

February is the time of year when we can enjoy the cooler days in the desert and the occasional rain shower to dampen the dust down, bring out the young shoots of spring plants like the edible wood sorrel (Hamath in the local dialect) and turn the mountains into a carpet of green. In this issue we are looking in particular at Running and Trekking so it’s important that whilst we are excited to get out there and get on the Trails you also spend some time in preparation! Top of your list, especially if you like to run or trek alone is to TELL SOMEONE WHERE YOU ARE GOING. In 2010 I was bird watching in June in the mountains behind Wadi Warayah National Park when I spotted a lady stumbling along the dried up Wadi bed, dragging a handbag behind her on the ground and looking rather like a Zombie. Instead of fleeing for my life I walked over to intercept her and found that she was not only lost but had no phone, no water, no food, no sun lotion and no idea what she was doing. She told me she had gone out to look for a waterfall (that was in fact 10km from where we were) to swim and left her water in the car. That had been 4 hours ago and she was since sun burned a deep red had cracked lips and was extremely dehydrated and disorientated and of course NOBODY knew where she was as she hadn’t told anyone where she was going. Her day very nearly ended in tragedy so here’s a few tips to make sure that it doesn’t for you; 1. Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back 2. Take a phone with you – you may get a signal simply by climbing to the top of a hill 3. Take water etc with you and leave more in the car for your return 4. Leave spare car keys hidden around the car so you don’t lose them on your trek / run 5. Leave a note in the car window saying where you have gone 6. Don’t park in a Wadi if it looks like it may rain 7. Better still don’t go alone but take a friend with you and even if you don’t run or hike together arrange for meeting places to check you are both ok 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 Editor For editorial content and press releases Tel. 04 446 8473 Mobile: 055 5760322

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

© 2018 Outdoor UAE FZE Vol. 8, No. 2, February 2018

Published by Outdoor UAE FZE P.O. Box 215062 Dubai, U.A.E. Tel. 04 446 8473 Cover photo by: Paul Robida

Get to us on Facebook!

© 2018 Outdoor UAE FZE Reg. at Creative City Fujairah P.O. Box 4422, Fujairah, U.A.E.

Dan Wright Staff Writer and Outdoor Guide

Ireneo ‘Jung’ Francisco Designer and Photographer

Katherine Cañedo Patangui Administration

Ian Sebeldia Circulation


Marina Bruce The Desert Diva and Off-road Expert

David O’Hara Ultra Runner and Extreme Endurance Junkie

Kit Belen Our Fishing Pro

Bandana Jain Outdoor and Lifestyle Contributor

Nico de Corato Dubai Blogger and Athlete

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. All contents are copyrighted and may not be reproduced in any form without prior written permission.

Daniel Birkhofer Founder and Managing Director

Nicky Holland Personal Trainer

Pedro Gomes Professional Triathlete

Denise Ostermann Outdoor Travel Contributor



































Dubai International Boat Show 2018

Custom Show Emirates

Visitors at the upcoming Dubai International Boat Show could experience a varied array of outdoor adventures and enjoy a range of exciting features perfect for everyone who loves to be near or on the water. When: 27th Feb – 3rd March Where: Dubai Canal, Jumeirah Contact:



Climbing Sorbonne Contest

Join us for a range of climbing activities and contests including: Speed Climbing, Bouldering and Lead Climbing. You will have the exclusive opportunity to attend the first screening of Reel Rock 12 (Rock Climbing Documentary) in the UAE.

Now in its 3rd year, custom show emirates is the biggest custom cars & bikes show in the middle east. The show not only provides premium automotive entertainment to its visitors but also serves as a b2b and b2c platform that connects suppliers and retailers of tuning and after-market products, directly with buyers and end consumers. The show is also a strategic partner of Sema Show, USA. When: 5th - 7th April Where: ADNEC, Abu Dhabi Contact: FEBRUARY



M1 Run 2018

Join us for fun & engaging vertical run for individuals and teams. You’ll have a chance to get AED 5,000 (to spend at Media One) for the fastest team + AED 1,200 (1st place), AED 500 (2nd place), AED 250 (3rd place) for individuals. Also, get numerous rewards (more than AED 50,000 in prizes from Eat Clean, Lulelemon, Guavapass, Coca Cola, Tribe Fit, FitBit & others), & AED 10,000 in raffle draw vouchers with room nights & brunches. When: 17th February Where: Dubai Contact:




Challenge yourself on the beautiful ultra-trail UTH50 or UTH100 trail run through the mountain passes, along jeep tracks, through boulder ravines and over spectacular sand dunes of Ras Al Khaimah.

When: 16th February Where: RAK Contact:

When: 16th February Where: Abu Dhabi Contact: FEBRUARY

Urban-Ultra Hajar 50 & 100 2018



Dubai Desert Road Run 10k & 3k February 2018 First held in February 2012, the Dubai Desert Road Run is held several times a year, appealing to all elements of the running community - from first time social runners, to some of the best UAE based athletes. Organised as a community event in which runners of all abilities are encouraged to participate, the Dubai Desert Road Run features two distances; 10km and 3km. Both distances are run on private roads over a safe, traffic free course. When: 17th February Where: Dubai Contact:

NYUAD’s iTRI in partnership with Daman’s Activelife allows participants to swim, bike and run in a safe and simulated environment to experience the ever growing sport of triathlon. Open to people of all abilities and levels of experience, waves of 8 people will swim unimpeded for 10 minutes in our 50m pool, cycle for 30 minutes on our spin bikes, and run for 15 minutes on our indoor track. When: 23rd February Where: Abu Dhabi Contact:





Super Sports Run Race 4

Run, Walk or Sprint, be a part of the Super Sports Run Race on 13 October at Meydan, the Track, 7am start. Great race for families, friends and advanced athletes. 3, 5, 10 & 16km (10 Miler). For more info and to enter: When: 23rd February Where: Meydan, The Track Contact:



The Buggy Run 2018

The only event of its kind in the Middle East, The Buggy Run follows in the footsteps (and buggy tracks) of cities around the world, where buggy-based fitness is a major exercise and lifestyle trend. Nurseries and communities across Dubai have been keen to embrace the idea, with #BuggyBrigade teams already signed up from Babilou and Children’s Oasis Nursery. When: 24th February Where: Dubai Motor City Contact:



Al Wathba Duathlon Race 2

Al Wathba Duathlon Race 2 features a full distance adult (10|30|5), Sprint Distance (5|20|2.5) and special junior race distance (750m|8K|750m) on the purpose built Al Wathba Cycle Track. When: 24th February Where: Dubai Contact:



Wadi Adventure Race 15

Wadi Adventure will be hosting the 15th 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: 24th February Where: Dubai Contact:





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: Jake Ban Cruz, Hilda Jane Nathalie and Ihsan Ali Mohammad. Well done!

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

Jake Ban Cruz

Dolphines at Musandam Dhow Cruise

Hilda Jane Nathalie

Scaling the wall, climbing in Oman 8


Ihsan Ali Mohammad

My good old wrangler at sunset


Custom Show Emirates Races Ahead in its Fourth Lap Preparations are in full swing for the highly anticipated fourth consecutive edition of Custom Show Emirates (CSE) 2018, which is set to return from 05 April – 07 April 2018 at ADNEC, Abu Dhabi, after three thrilling editions, that have cemented its position as one of the most exciting automotive event of the region. The show has registered a major increase in new exhibitors from Italy, Switzerland, Australia, Russia, China, New Zealand, India, Japan and several GCC countries, which will showcase the latest in auto customization products and services and also feature dedicated international pavilions. There will be considerable presence of custom bike builders from Italy, Switzerland,Turkey and Germany with more than 100 unique bikes on display. The show will also feature a dedicated area for custom sand vehicles, which is a hot favourite among the local community.

‘’This edition has grown 15% in terms of floor space compared to last two years where we welcomed over 30,000 visitors. More than 110 local and 70 international exhibitors from 17 countries will be occupying 47,000sqm of indoor & outdoor space,’’ – Saeed Al Marzooqui, Chairman, Custom Events, UAE. The show will feature 17 exciting on site activities, such as; 4x4 and Saloon Drifting, Stunt Driving, Custom Cars & Bikes Competition, Engines Battle, Bikers Build-Off, Dyno Zone, King of Mechanics, Kids Garage and much more to keep the adrenaline pumping for the visitors.

“Unlike traditional automotive events, which are mostly limited to static vehicle displays, our visitors get to experience several exciting activities LIVE and immerse themselves in motoring euphoria! Stay tuned as we will be announcing our brand new activities for this year and other exciting news,’’ – Nasser Taqi, Partner, Custom Events, UAE. ■ Custom Show Emirates 2018 will run from 10am – 10pm, 5-7 April 2018 at ADNEC, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Tickets are priced at 50 AED and will be available for sale at the venue.




Words + Photos by: David O’Hara Chasing Yann up a little hill

On a recent Friday in January, thirty seven ultrarunners showed up in Ras al Khaimah to run 45km at Urban Ultra’s Big Stinker, with another 110 runners participating in the 15km and 30km events. Urban Ultra describes the Big Stinker route as “a beautiful mountain ascent and descent” and suggests that you “camp with us on Thursday night on top of the mountain … for a great family and friends weekend away!” Beautiful? As an ultrarunner, I would say that the Big Stinker is an aptly named Stinker and a great challenge to measure fitness at the start of the upcoming ultra season, because it pushes the runners beyond their comfort zone with a high degree of difficulty.

The Course

Ultrarunners are eccentric by nature and have even developed their own vocabulary: the Big Stinker is a 45km three loop lollipop route along singletrack and doubletrack up and down a mountain trail with a seven hour cutoff. It sounds simple, until you realize that you need to run up and over a steep mountain, turn around to run down the mountain – and then repeat this loop two more times. The first loop is physically demanding, and you see from afar how steep the mountain is. The second loop is mentally demanding, because you have completed one loop of the course and you know what lies ahead and how difficult it is. The third loop is all about guts – you are physically and mentally drained and must trust your fitness.

Start of 30km



With Olya and Yann before the start

False Summits

The Start takes place in the town of Hatta, with the route leading through the village and a couple farms, before hitting the hills. After 4km, things get tough with the Climb – you go up 500 meters over 1.5km. The Climb is disheartening because as you approach the top of the hill, you become aware that you’ve only reached a crest and the mountain continues up to a second false summit, before finally hitting the top of the mountain.

147 Trail Runners

With 71 runners doing the 15km and 39 runners doing the 30km, there are 147 runners scattered along the route on the first

Alex hydrating before the start

loop. Because of the limited field of 45km ultrarunners, we pretty much know each other and spend the time chatting about upcoming running places as a way to distract ourselves from the suffering that we are enduring. There is a dynamic camaraderie among trail runners that is both motivational and inspirational, despite the physical demands of running on the trails for hours.

New Trail Runners

It is encouraging seeing some runners trying their first trail run, despite the difficulties they encounter. As we are finishing the first loop around two hours after starting, the runners are beginning to feel the pain. We start the second loop, things get serious – we focus on nutrition and hydration. As ultrarunners, we carry packs with nutrition and ‘camelbaks’, which we fill up at the checkpoints.

Olya getting mentally prepared for the first mountain climb


Enjoying the views over Hatta


Alex is 300m ahead of me on the final ascent

Mathematics for Ultrarunners

The Big Stinker is tough with three monster 500 meter climbs, but the seven hour cutoff means no faffing about at the checkpoints. At the last checkpoint, there are 7.5km to the finish and every runner begins doing the math. For example, if I run a humbling 8:00/km pace, then I should finish in an hour. I’ve got 57 minutes remaining before the cutoff, and I know there are hills that are not efficient for running and some sections are too steep to run down. My quick math calculation shows that I need to work hard and focus. I can see my buddy Alex only 300 meters ahead of me, so I chase him. Alex finishes that same 300 meters ahead of me, and we are both comfortably under the cutoff, with Alex finishing in 6:54 and I finish in 6:57. Out of the 37 runners who started the 45km, only 25 runners finish with 12 runners dropping out or not making the cutoff. The Big Stinker is an ultra challenge not to be taken lightly.

mountain spend the day hanging out in the wind and cold, while encouraging the runners that they “look good” and are almost done, while making sure everybody is safe.


Running the mountains on trails is a great adventure. We have the opportunity to see landscape and back country in a part of UAE way off the beaten path. Our ultra trail running habit isn’t easy, so why do we do this? There are many glib responses: we run because we can, because we don’t want “easy”, but really this is our idea of fun! ■

Urban Ultra Volunteers Yann finished over an hour ahead of me

Goaty McGoatface greets the finishers

Urban Ultra’s Pascale and Louise put together the best group of volunteers, who keep track of the 147 runners. It’s tough task to ensure everybody is accounted for over the seven hours, but the volunteers take care of us with a sense of humor. Who else could tell me that after running up and down the mountains for six hours that I am “looking good”? The volunteers on the top of the

Olya celebrating her second ascent and only has 7.5km left

Olya finishing 30km






Wadi Bih: 72km of Bonding, Brilliant Ideas, and Beet Juice Words + Photos by: David O’Hara

The Wadi Bih 72km ultramarathon takes place on the Musandam Peninsula in Oman on the first weekend of February, which brings an element of uncertainty to the weather conditions.

Last year, a hurricane washed out the dirt road in the wadi with rain, hail and even snow over the last couple hours, illustrating the need for ultrarunners to be self-sufficient and always be ready for the unpredictable. The 72km solo event is an out and back course, starting at 04:30 on the beach in Dibba and going 11km to the wadi, where things get tough with the unfinished rocky road before another 25km heading up the mountain to the turnaround.

04:30 Start in Darkness

Late Thursday night, I drive to Wadi Bih with my running buddy, Alex (50km solo), and my wife, Olya (30km solo). After sleeping on the beach, we are up for the 04:00 briefing and start promptly at 04:30. We only have two working headlamps among the three of us and for some inexplicable reason, in a moment of solidarity, we all decide to run without headlamps. The key is to ‘buddy up’ with somebody who has a bright headlamp and try to follow them closely, which is how I meet Chris.

Start at 04:30, but I finish at 15:55

How Runners Bond

Sandals: Not A Brilliant Idea

In the darkness just after the start, Chris and Until sunrise at 07:00, we run in darkness I start running side by side, with me pirating in the wadi, where the reconstructed rocky the illumination from his headlamp. As soon road is brutally technical. Storms washed as it becomes clear that we are compatible out the old farm road, and the new road was runners, we begin chatting about the usual recently put in place. However, the rocks on stuff: running, previous the road are all loose which events (Chris and Alex causes the feet to twist and finished one minute turn on every step. Unfortuapart at last week’s Dubai nately I make the wildly bad Marathon), favourite decision to wear sandals running shoes, recent again this year, so my toes training runs, next run and feet are constantly (Chris, Alex and I all run kicking rocks and eventually RAK Half Marathon next bleeding. After three hours, Running in sandals - bad week), type of watch, toI need to ease the pace. idea, but great pedicure day’s goal – topics which My feet are cut up, and my bond runners, regardless of background. right knee is giving me sharp pains on every Gradually, the stories turn into a series of step. We push through to Checkpoint 9 at my mishaps and other random philosophical 25km, where we get moleskin to patch up tidbits with one overriding principle: What my cuts and Chris uses on his blisters. is discussed while running on trails, stays on the trails! Jeremy Curran Runs

Somewhat Faster Than Me

Chris Haines leading me up the mountain

72km winner Jeremy Curran flying by

After we enjoy a solid breakfast of bananas and Clif Bars at CP9, Chris and I head up the big mountain. The route we follow is a rough dirt road with red cliffs on both sides, where we see Jeremy Curran coming down the mountain. Let’s ignore the ultra-math: in the same amount of time Chris and I run 27km, Jeremy has already hit the turnaround and run back down to 45km, when we intersect each other. Jeremy is running 72km on a mountain rocky trail at about the same pace (4:38/km) that I would struggle to run intervals. His finish time of 5:30 (five hours thirty minutes!) for 72km equates to running 5km at a pace under 23 minutes. That is mind-boggling. Well done, Jeremy.

Alex propping me up at finish

Checkpoint 9

Cristobal Lopez blasting down the mountain

The Turnaround

After Chris and I gawk at Jeremy, we are motivated to attack the hill and run. Unfortunately every step running is problematic for my right knee. Chris and I stick together, as he runs the flats and I catch him on the uphill. As we make it up the big mountain, we see Cristobal Lopez and some other runners trickling down, always passing along encouraging words to each other. At the turnaround, Chris and I come across Niall McCague, whom we last saw at 17km. I send Chris on his merry way, so I can tend to my feet and right knee. The cuts on my feet stop bleeding, but some blisters rip open creating other issues. To treat my knee, I remember a trick from last fall’s ultra in Nepal and wrap my knee in duct tape which I carry in my first aid kit. Alex caffeinating me with diet coke

Niall McCague getting ready for the second half

How to Avoid Looking Like a Dork

After enjoying the checkpoint banter, I try running again and am thrilled that my knee doesn’t hurt. All is good, until the tape comes loose. I quickly realize that I can pull my green calf compression sock up high over my right knee – quite a fashion statement – and it will hold the tape in place and even apply more pressure to my knee. To avoid looking like a complete dork, I also pull the green calf compression sock up high over my left knee for symmetry. (For full disclosure, I’ve had seven operations on my left knee and one operation on my right knee. When assessing injury during a run, I ascertain if my injury is serious or just painful, and this was only pain.)

Pickles vs Beet Juice

My duct tape approach alleviates the pain and I am able to run, albeit slowly. As I run down the steep part of the mountain enjoying the scenic views, Jojo runs past. Two weeks earlier, Jojo finished seven minutes behind me at Big Stinker, but he will go on to finish seventeen minutes ahead of me at Wadi Bih. Two hours later, Ajay catches up to me. Wadi Bih is Ajay’s first ultra and he struggles until he gets some electrolytes at the turnaround. We stick together for three hours and even catch up to Jojo as we come out of the Wadi. Jojo and Ajay both experience cramps, which is always a great excuse

Ajay Sargunar cramping before CP12

for me to share the pickles I carry in the red water bottle from my running vest. You may be surprised how well received pickles are after running nine hours, although the beet juice I try sharing with Chris earlier in the day doesn’t go over so well.

Pain and Elation

The last 5km are on a mostly asphalt road in civilization with locals meandering around, and Jojo not too far ahead and Ajay not too far behind. As I begin running faster with the Finish only 5km away, I feel tears down my cheeks. I am struggling to run as I discern if the tears are from pain or from elation. With 2km left, Olya and Alex drive up to give me some Diet Coke and moral support, both of which I desperately need as I am wrecked mentally and way beyond the edge of sound reasoning. It takes me nearly eleven and a half hours to finish, but that it why I love Wadi Bih. Wadi Bih is a test of physical and mental endurance requiring runners to adapt and overcome, which brings me great pleasure. ■



REEBOK POWER 781 RUNNERS OF ALL LEVELS AND AGES UP THE TREACHEROUS SLOPES OF WADI BIH, OMAN Jeremy Curran and Lisa Van Gisbergen win the Solo 72km races, in event which sees Reebok re-enter the running market

Once again the stunning mountains of Oman’s Dibba provided a gruelling but beautiful backdrop for the 2018 Reebok Wadi Bih Run. A highlight in the Middle East’s running calendar, the event saw 781 runners of all fitness levels and ages runup to 72km and climb extensively in beautiful conditions, all in pursuit of the coveted finish line. Jeremy Curran and Lisa Van Gisbergen claimed first place in the men’s and women’s 72km solo with times of 5.30.43 and 8.44.25 respectively, in a race which also welcomed Reebok as the title sponsor this year. The global fitness brand powered runners along a newly configurated race path, with a dedicated Reebok hydration zones on route and a chill out area at the end bringing extra energy to tired legs when it was needed most. Taking part alongside the solo runners were 132 teams of five runners, who took it in turns to take on legs across the 50km or 72km route. One of those was ‘Team Coach Mike’, appropriately named after the well-known French fitness coach living in the UAE. Speaking after the race he said:

One of those taking part in the 30km solo was Lisa Welsh who said:

“That was an epic run! A true and very real challenge for all of us. The road is a long one, filled with brutal hills, twists and turns and the only way we got through was to work together and push other limits. It was the camaraderie between us that made this day so memorable.” For most runners, the gravel tracks of Musandam represented a journey of achievement and an opportunity to test limits to the maximum and make friends along the way.



“From about 20km on I just kept telling myself to keep moving forward, keep moving forward! Ignore the muscles, ignore the fact your brain is telling you to stop and power through to the end! Looking round at the other runners I am sure they were thinking the same! But this run is all about being in the moment together, encouraging your fellow runners and that is what makes it so special”.

When asked about the hardest part of the race she said:

“I nearly died going up the hill from Ziggy Bay. It’s stunning scenery and really helps to distract you from how challenging the route is. Your whole body is screaming so getting to the top of that climb was a huge relief!” Speaking on the first year of sponsorship and for the region’s running community, Reebok’s Senior Manager Brand Activations; Emerging Markets, Nathalie Khouri, said: “Finding your limits and pushing yourself to overcome them is a true runner’s mantra and at the core of what Reebok powers its community to do. Working with the Wadi Bih Run has allowed us to recognize those passionate people within the region’s running community and we were honoured to help them achieve their goals at the 2018 edition. We look forward to continuing into the next event,supporting everyone to be more human in the region’s ultimate test of physical endurance.”


Wadi Bih Run Race Director, Neil Young, commented on the success of the 26th edition:

“The Reebok Wadi Bih Run is truly special as it’s a run of perseverance and pleasure, welcoming all runners to test themselves in one of nature’s most beautiful settings. The partnership with Reebok and the values they represent came to life on-ground, and was reflected in the fun and memorable experience of each participant. We are excited to build on this for the next edition and look forward to welcoming everyone back again for the 27th year!” Taking place on February 2nd and February 3rd, the Reebok Wadi Bih Run saw five race categories set off from the Dibba coastline, through Wadi Khabb Shamsi to the high point of the Hajjar mountains with its spectacular view into Wadi Bih. The original race, first run 26 years ago by a large group of families and friends, was a 72km relay race of five team members. Throughout its long history, and due to popular demand, the event now has five categories: Team 72km & 50km, Solo 72km, 50km & 30km. These variants allow the sole participants to challenge themselves to their


max, and for family and friends to enjoy themselves to the max! All while keeping fit and enjoying the benefits of being in such a glorious natural environment. Powered by title sponsor Reebok, the 2018 Wadi Bih run was also supported by Sport 360, Outdoor UAE, Oman Magazine, Oman PR, Golden Tulip, Absolute Adventure, Dubai Physiotherapy Clinic, Monviso, Vitamin Well, Kcal and Freedom Pizza. ■

Provisional race results can be found online



Lands a Big Catch this January Words + Photos by: Daniel Birkhofer

It was the perfect day with very little wind and calm seas to take out a group of newbie fishing enthusiasts this late January 2018 with the Columbia Adventure Academy. On board ten lucky winners who signed up to this free event and our fishing expert “Fishing Kit�. Fishing is a very popular outdoor activity in the region and deeply rooted in the Emirati culture where the desert did not provide much food sources, the sea offered rich fishing grounds. The fishing from shore is very limited since it is not allowed in most areas within the city and the big catch is awaiting you a few miles offshore, so you need to get on a water vessel to get out there no matter if a kayak, a dingy or a boat. We choose the most comfortable option of a 45 foot fishing boat to accommodate the participants and also allow enough lines in the water, so that everyone was able to use the sunny afternoon to catch different species of fish. During the boat ride from the harbor to the first fishing spot which was approx. 10 miles offshore, Kit was sharing some insights about the fishing philosophy and different techniques. We skipped trolling where artificial lures are dragged behind the boat waiting for a predatory fish to attack the simulated pray. trolling is a very passive type of fishing after the lures are put out, you just sit and wait for a fish to strike while the boat is driving slowly with a few knots and dragging the lures behind. Even though it is one of the fishing techniques which might bring in big catch like barracudas or king fish, Kit recommended to use fishing techniques where the participants are more actively involved and get a better feeling for the gear and fish.

Trolling with rod and with down rigger

Bottom fishing is one of the easiest and most popular techniques to learn and it is also good to give fishing beginners the chance to reel in some catch. This technique is popular with traditional hand lines as well as fishing rods. All you need is a sinker, hooks and some bait. Once the hooks (one or multiple hooks) are baited, the line is dropped on the sea floor. Depending on the current and wind the boat will drift so that you will cover bigger areas. If you are over a good spot, you will have fish feeding on your bait and eventually you will also catch one or even more fish at once. The most popular bait used here is pieces of cuttlefish since they hold well and long on the hooks. While bottom fishing, the engines of the boat are turned off and the boat is only moving by wind and current.

Typical setup for bottom fishing with two hooks


Kit also showed a more advanced fishing technique called light jigging. Here you drop a small lure (jig) which is usually made of lead to the bottom of the sea than you bring it up with a bouncy movement a few meters and let it drop again. This movement will imitate prey but it needs practice to get the movement right. Kit as a pro-angler, was fishing with very light gear and of course he had to prove that he is the fishing pro on the

boat reeling in a big grouper (hamour) weighing approx. 7kg compared to all the other fish which we caught in numbers all weighing less than a kilo. After 5hrs of catch and release fishing off-shore on a beautiful day on the sea, all participants were successful to catch fish. While our participant Gianna brought in the quantity with the most caught fish our pro angler Kit did not leave it to the participants to reel in the catch of the day. Everyone enjoyed the day out on the sea and all participants want to go fishing again and bring friends and family. You can join fishing trips all across the UAE or charter full boats if you are a group. The prices vary a lot depending on the size of the boat, how many people and the time. Most companies offer leisure fishing with basic equipment but if you go down to the east cost you will also find charter companies who offer big game off-shore fishing with high-end gear which will be much costlier than the leisure trips. The website is a good resource to find the right boat or trip for your needs and budget. You can find the right clothing to spend a day on the water at Columbia stores across


the UAE. Recommended are; waterproof shoes, light short trousers, a t-shirt or even better a long sleeve shirt to protect you from the sun as well as a sun hat. During the winter months you should also take a jacket or pullover with you because before sunrise or after sunset it can get cold especially while the boat is driving and you are exposed to the air stream. â– To see the video from this and our other events check out our Facebook and Instagram page as well as and Instagram: @COLUMBIASPORTSWEAR_ME. Please visit our website:




Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi

Crowns Champions at High-octane Sharjah Sports Desert Festival International riders and UAE dune-bashers dominate the day at Al Badayer In an intense day of international off-road racing at Al Badayer Desert, Friday, 12th January, spectators were treated to some of the tightest battles and closest finishes in the closing stages of the second Sharjah Sports Desert Festival (SSDF 2018), where the winners were presented with prizes and awards by Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Council. Themed ‘Become a Desert Hero,’ the emirate’s most popular and exciting off-road competition was held under the patronage of Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and organised by Sharjah Sports TV, a subsidiary of Sharjah Media Corporation, who broadcast the gruelling races and results live.

An impressive crowd of motorsports fans and families cheered on more than 65 of the most experienced and successful dune-bashing riders and racers who travelled from as far as the UK, Germany, India, South Africa and around the GCC to take on one of the most challenging courses on the season’s circuit. Following the enormous success of inaugural event in 2017 and the calibre of competitors and standard of racing this year, SSDF is becoming an internationally significant and highly popular fixture on the sporting calendar in both Sharjah’s and the UAE’s sporting calendar. Beginning the day with the MX1 and MX2 qualifying rounds, ‘Iron’ Mike Docherty from South Africa and Brits Daniel Hutchinson and Ryan Blair came in first second and third respectively in MX1, while the three MX2 qualifiers were Britain’s Ben Menzies, in first place, followed by Kuwaiti Abdullah Al Shatti and Germany’s Tycho Lieske. Taking part in the time trial format, the All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) races were both high-powered and high-speed with no room for any mistakes on the tight track designed by Emirati motocross and MX rally champion Mohammed Al Balooshi, a former Tunisia Arab Champion and the first Emirati to participate in the Dakar Rally. Just three seconds separated the first three places in the ATV qualifiers. Flying the flag for the UAE with a clean sweep, Emiratis Mohammed Al Shamsi and Humaid Al Mashghowai came first and second with Mansour Ahmad in third. It was also a 1, 2, 3 UAE finish in the finals, with Al Shamsi followed in first followed by Mansour Ahmad and Jassim Khalifa. In the massive UTV (Utility Vehicle) category, the knockout rounds saw plenty of thrills and even more spills, with three of the

vehicles beached on their sides before the finish line. But the podium places saw more Emirati dominance, with Hussain Al Falasi and Khaled Al Jaffli in first and second with Saif Almuhairi just behind in third. In the final races of the day, the MX1 and MX2 motocross bikes were back and with some of the closest finishes of the day. In a copycat neck-for-neck dash for the line in MX1, Docherty, Hutchinson and Blair finished in exactly the same order as their qualifiers to take the honours. Uncannily, it was the same story in MX2, with Menzies, Al Shatti and Lieske, mirroring their qualifiers, completing an outstanding day for the international competitors. Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Council, said: “One of our core objectives at SMC is to ensure the continuity and innovation in promoting all aspects of Sharjah whether it were tourism, business or sports. Since it is home is to a series of high-profile events every year, we see events such as the Sharjah Sports Desert Festival as an opportunity for audiences to enjoy the high-adrenaline desert sports competitions, and also enjoy the opportunity to experience Sharjah’s rich cultures and nature.” Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Council, presented the prizes and trophies to the winners, made up of AED 10,000 for first place, while second and third places were awarded AED 5,000 and AED 3,000 respectively. ■ WINNERS: • MX1 – Docherty (South Africa) • MX2 – Menzies (UK) • ATV – Al Shamsi (UAE) • UTV- Al Falasi (UAE)



2018 Al Mouj Muscat Marathon a Big Success with International Athletes

The record-breaking 2018 Al Mouj Muscat Marathon was hailed a huge success as thousands of runners filled the streets of Al Mouj, the event was held recently.

A large international contingent of athletes welcomed the near perfect conditions, which saw many runners achieve personal best performances. The centrepiece Al Mouj Muscat Marathon event was won by Kenya’s Moses Too who completed the 42km course in 02:19:30, ahead of Anouar El Ghouz with another Kenyan, Gideon Kipgurui Kipsang, third. “I have raced other marathons and this one is very, very hard, but I am so grateful to have won it,” said Too after he crossed the finish line at the heart of the Al Mouj residence. “I am very happy to have won and it was my first time in Oman – it is a very special place, very beautiful, and the people are incredibly welcoming and friendly.” The women’s marathon title was taken by Muscat resident Brtukan Adeba Berihun. She said: “It was a very nice race and I am very happy to be the winner. Muscat is a beautiful place to run and the people have been lovely, so welcoming.” And for eight-time marathon runner Manal Rostom the Al Mouj Muscat Marathon marked a new personal best performance. 20


The high-profile Egyptian runner and mountaineer has been the figurehead of a global Nike-made athletes’ hijab campaign. “I just love how the (Oman) culture is evolving and the way they are introducing kids, expats or locals, everyone, to exercise more - today it was a perfect course with perfect scenery, and ideal for getting a personal best, so I am super-happy,” said the Dubai-based pharmacist and personal trainer. And she added: “At the moment I think there is an evolution happening in the Middle East with how Arab countries are taking up sports, they are taking it more seriously than ever. To have an internation-

al marathon, such as the Al Mouj Muscat Marathon that represents your country is super-awesome, it smashes stereotypes.” The Half-marathon event attracted a record 684 entries. Jordan’s Mohammad Alkhwaldeh won the men’s race in a time of 01:14:01 ahead of Omani runners Hilal Al Golandni and Mahmood Al Quraini. The women’s race was won by Anne Murvold from Norway. “I have only done two half-marathons before, so maybe I should do some more!,” said a delighted Murvold. “I started too fast and after 11kms I was thinking ‘how will I do this?’ - but when I turned on the course it was OK and I had the wind at my back, and that was much better, so I am very happy.”


And she added: “It was fun racing on the golf course section, and Muscat is superb.” Meanwhile, British athlete Sarah Steer was frustrated in her attempt to reclaim her Guinness World Record for the fastest halfmarathon pushing a double buggy when a wheel on the buggy holding her twin threeyear-old sons Luke and Nathan failed 2kms into the race. “Today wasn’t the day – but I have held the record once so I am OK with that,” she said. “Muscat is great, and people have been so friendly, it is such a nice place to be.” In the 10km event victory in the women’s race went to Muscat resident and physiotherapist Dawn Meredith-Davies. “It was a bit of a mad dash out to the front at the beginning but then I kept it steady – you have to have a target and I just kept going at that, though I had a great race with the woman who came second,” said Meredith-Davies, who runs with the Muscat Road Runners, founders of the Muscat Marathon in 2012. The men’s 10km was won by Omani runner Abdullah Al-Quraini in a time of 00:33:55, ahead of Ahmed Al-Amri and Omar Al-Hmrashdi. Meanwhile, the 5km Charity Fun Run in support of The Oman Diabetes Association saw 1099 runners taking part and was won by Muscat’s Amjad Alshkaili, with Kate McDonald the fastest woman.

Also taking part was Belgian runner Edwige Van Den Assem, who at 73 was the oldest athlete competing in the Al Mouj Muscat Marathon festival of running. “I may be the oldest runner here but I don’t feel it – running makes me feel 10 years younger, gives me a lot of social contacts and I aim to keep on doing it. I like running because it keeps me healthy and I am a very active woman,” said Edwige, who only took up running when she retired 10 years ago. “I will be 74 in December and hopefully will be back to run the Al Mouj Muscat Marathon again next year. I have just bought new running shoes, so I won’t be hanging them up any time soon!” The prize-giving was held following racing with guest of honour His Highness Sayed Mohammed bin Salim bin Ali Al Said, ambassador and chief of Protocol, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Sultanate. David Graham, CEO of event organiser Oman Sail, said: “Great congratulations are due to all the runners who competed in – and completed - this year’s Al Mouj Muscat Marathon festival of running. “We were especially thrilled with the diversity of nationalities taking part and the enormous interest that we’ve seen from people of all ages and ability to participate in what is now a truly international event. “The Al Mouj Muscat Marathon has proven to be an excellent platform to get


people active and to promote the Sultanate of Oman as the ultimate adventure tourism destination. We are on the right path and look forward to working with our partners to grow the event further in 2019.” The seventh edition of the Muscat Marathon saw a record-breaking number of 6094 entries across all race categories with runners from 87 countries including India, Britain, the Philippines, France, South Africa and the US. In the run-up to the festival world running’s international governing body AIMS – the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races – formally recognised the Al Mouj Muscat Marathon for the first time. Driven by Tanfeedh and organised by Oman Sail, the Oman Athletic Association (OAA) and the Muscat Road Runners, and with the active support of title sponsor Al Mouj Muscat, official partners Carrefour, BP, Aquafina and Topfruit, and official suppliers Omantel, The Wellness Centre and DB Schenker, the event has gone from strength to strength to become the highlight of the Oman sporting calendar. The following day, an extraordinary 2374 children – aged from seven to 12 years-old – took part in the Kids’ Run. Dozens of schools took part, with the Al Seeb International School winning the Most Active School in Oman trophy and 1000 OMR in gym equipment. ■


RETURN TO RACE ABU DHABI WORLD TRIATHLON 2018 Olympic gold and silver medallists, Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee set to compete in the UAE capital on March 2

The ITU World Triathlon Series season opener will be a test event for Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. Superstars of elite triathlon will descend on the capital this March for the ITU World Triathlon Series Abu Dhabi 2018, with race organisers confirming that some of the most highly decorated athletes in the sport will compete between 2-3 March on Yas Island. It was announced today that triathlon’s most recognisable duo, the Brownlee Brothers, Alistair and Jonathan, will both participate in the race. The fearsome duo, who have dominated the sport for over 10 years, provided one of the most inspiring moments in sporting history, when Alistair helped younger brother Jonathan across the finish line in ITU World Triathlon Series Grant Final 2016 in Cozumel, Mexico.

2017 Defending Champion Andrea Hewitt also confirmed to vie for Abu Dhabi glory

Commenting on his return to Abu Dhabi, Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist Jonathan Brownlee said:

“Abu Dhabi is an awesome location for the season-opening WTS race - I raced on the Corniche course back in 2015, and am excited to check out the new course on Yas Island. The weather in March in Abu Dhabi will be perfect – a far cry from the conditions we have experienced in the UK this winter. Everyone knows that we both give 110% when we race and Abu Dhabi will be no different. We’ll definitely be putting on a show for the crowds in March!” Jonathan’s brother, two-time Olympic gold medallist Alistair added: “I’m definitely keen to get out there and race in March - the new course on the F1 track looks really good for a sprint distance race. I’m looking forward to toeing the line against a top field in Abu Dhabi to see where I am after coming back from injury - it’s no secret that I’ll be looking to be competitive, especially with the Commonwealth Games coming up in April.” The pair have shared phenomenal success throughout their careers, with over 40 ITU and ETU wins between them. Following Jonathan’s participation at the World Triathlon Series (WTS) Abu Dhabi 2015, where he finished 5th in the Men’s Elite category, the Brownlee Brothers went on to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympics, with Alistair claiming the gold and Jonathan picking up the silver medal. Organisers have also announced that the fourth edition of the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi will be a test event for the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. It will be the first time the region has hosted the Special Olympics World Games which are expected to see over 7,000

athletes descend on the UAE from 14 to 21 March 2019. The Games will feature a total of 22 sports, including triathlon which made its debut at the 2015 World Games in Los Angeles. Commenting on the announcement, Peter Wheeler, CEO, Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 said, “The ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi is one of the most highly anticipated sporting events on the UAE’s calendar and we are delighted to be using this as a test event for the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. The event, its ethos and desire to make sport inclusive mirrors our belief that anyone can enjoy and compete in sports. We’re extremely excited for race week and look forward to seeing all the participants and spectators cheering on their family, friends and sporting heroes.” The star of last year’s women’s elite race, Andrea Hewitt will also return to Yas Island this spring to once again compete for the WTS Abu Dhabi title. Hewitt contested another of the most memorable finishes of the ITU World Triathlon Series calendar in the 2017 event against Jodie Stimpson, with Hewitt pipping defending champion, Stimpson to first place by a matter of steps on the iconic blue carpet. Hewitt will once again toe the line in a bid to pick up the first honours of the 2018 season, between 2-3 March. Hoping to retain her WTS Abu Dhabi title, Andrea Hewitt commented; “I’m delighted to be returning to Abu Dhabi this year, a place that holds some amazing memories for me following my first-place finish last year. The 2017 race was a turning point for me both personally and professionally. I had trained so hard, went into the race in good

form and knew that I had a chance of doing well. To pick up the gold-medal, the way I did, it was an overwhelming sense of emotion - I think that showed at the finish line. That victory would not have been possible, had it not been for the fantastic support I received from family, friends and the triathlon community. I’m looking forward to seeing what this year’s race holds and with a bit of luck, I’ll be on the podium again!” Introduced to triathlon in the early 2000’s, Hewitt went on to compete in her first triathlon in February 2005 and was crowned the U23 World Champion in September that same year. Since then she has gone on to compete at the highest level of the sport, representing New Zealand at three consecutive Olympic games – Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016. “It’s a really important year for me, especially with the Commonwealth Games in Australia this April. Although every race is different, it can be a huge boost to get the season off to a winning start and it helps create momentum going into your next race. The profile of triathlon is growing around the world, especially here in the Middle East where interest and attitudes to sport are changing rapidly and in such a positive way. It’s inspirational to see so many people getting behind the sport we love,” she added. A mixture of elite, amateur (age-grouper) and junior triathletes will race across the picturesque island, taking in some of the most spectacular landmarks in the UAE. The elite and age-grouper courses, which were also announced today, will see triathletes swim in the waters of Yas Marina, before taking to the tracks of Yas Marina Circuit, the host of the Formula 1TM Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The iconic bike course then takes competitors onto the streets of Yas Island, cycling past the likes of the stunning Yas Links Golf Course; Ferrari World, the home of the world’s fastest rollercoaster; and Yas Mall, Abu Dhabi’s largest retail experience. For the final showpiece, competitors will cross the finish line on the famous ITU blue carpet on Yas Marina Circuit’s helipad. Abu Dhabi has become the leading regional hub for triathlon, with over 3,500 triathletes, including 120 of the world’s best elites and 500 juniors expected to take to take part in the 2018 event. Speaking at the press conference today, His Excellency Aref Al Awani, General

Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council said; “Triathlon is a sport which encompasses everything we work hard to achieve here at Abu Dhabi Sports Council – it welcomes people from all walks of life – irrespective of age, gender, nationality or ability - to search for that unique sense of achievement.” “This particular event is special because it welcomes 120 of the world’s best triathletes, to race alongside seasoned amateurs, firsttimers and children.I’m thrilled to announce that four of the most exciting triathletes in the world are confirmed to race in Abu Dhabi, where I’ll also be under-taking my first ever triathlon and I hope to see you all beside me on the start line in March!” Age group participants will be able to choose from three course types, all ranging in distance. The variety of courses provides a distance to suite all levels of competitors, whilst giving all the chance to race alongside the likes of the Brownlee Brothers andAndrea Hewitt. The three distances available to age groupers are: • Sprint: 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run • Olympic: 1,500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run • Middle: 1,900m swim, 90km bike, 21km run The ITU World triathlon Abu Dhabi 2018 will also see the return of the Junior Triathlon – a fun event aimed at encouraging youngsters to get active – which hosts race categories for children aged 5 – 15 years


old. For juniors looking to take on a triathlon, there are four entry categories for the 2018 edition: • Mini 1km: 1km run (5 – 8 year olds) • Kids Duathlon: 3km cycle and 500m run (7 – 11 year olds) • Junior Duathlon: 6km cycle and 1 km run (12 – 13 year olds) / 6km cycle and 1.5 km run (14 – 15 year olds) • Junior Triathlon Super Sprint: 400mswim, 10km cycle and a 2.5km run (12 – 15 years) In addition to Age Groupers and Junior races, organisers have also confirmed that the 2018 global triathlon season-opener will feature dedicated waves for paratriathletes for the very first time. First timers and seasoned para-triathletes will also have the chance to rub shoulders and compete alongside inspirational heroes of Paralympic triathlon including; World and European Champion and Rio 2016 Paralympic Gold medallist, Andy Lewis and Mohamed Lahna, the Bronze medallist at the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

For international triathletes, organisers have created travel packages which include a choice of outstanding hotels located on Yas Island, which include access to state of the art training facilities, restaurants, entertainment and shopping. To find out more visit ■




THE BUGGY BRIGADE IS BACK! Training starts now for The Buggy Run 2018! Following the success of last year’s inaugural event, The Buggy Run 2018 will take place at Dubai Motor City’s Dubai Autodrome, on Saturday, 24th February 2018, sponsored by Kings College Hospital Dubai and Mamas & Papas. Buggy running classes are being hosted by our official fitness partner, Urban Energy Fitness, at Dubai Marina every Tuesday morning at 9am. There is also an additional class every Friday at 7am in Umm Suqueim Park for anyone who wants to train without a buggy and improve their stamina. With three sessions offered for free as part of The Buggy Run registration, participants are encouraged to sign up soon to make the most of this fantastic support. “We are delighted to be associated with The Buggy Run this year again. Urban Energy has, for the past 8 years, encouraged new mums to get back into their fitness, and The Buggy Run is a perfect event for the whole family. Mixing fun and fitness is the magic formula to ensure that the new generation of young children continue to enjoy being active”said Laurence Arca Bathe, founder of Urban Energy Fitness. Suitable for all ages and abilities, the family friendly event includes an untimed 2.5km and 5km run with buggies, for begin-

“Building on the success of 2017, we’re committed in continuing to play a part in the family fitness movement and are focused on engaging communities across the UAE, from nurseries and residential clusters, to sports groups and health clubs,” commented co-founder, Lara Sweida-Metwally

ners right through to seasoned runners, with the aim of bringing families and friends together,and encouraging fitness and exercise as a positive and fun experience. Participants can run, walk or skip the distances solo, as a team, or even as a relay, and older children are welcome to bring bikes or scooters if they prefer. The only event of its kind in the Middle East, The Buggy Run follows in the footsteps (and buggy tracks) of cities around the world, where buggy-based fitness is a major exercise and lifestyle trend. Nurseries and communities across Dubai have been keen to embrace the idea, with #Buggy Brigade teams already signed up from Babilou and Children’s Oasis Nursery. “Building on the success of 2017, we’re committed in continuing to play a part in the family fitness movement and are focused on engaging communities across the UAE, from nurseries and residential clusters, to sports groups and health clubs,” commented cofounder, Lara Sweida-Metwally. “We’re delighted to have our fitness partner, Urban Energy, back on board to offer free training sessions for registrants” added co-founder Nicola Holmes. “We can guarantee a fun morning for all the family with lots of entertainment and prizes to be won.” ■ Registration is now open at Prices start at AED 120 for an individual, AED 170 for a relay team, AED 195 for a family and all registrants receive three free training sessions and a race pack full of goodies on the day. For more information and to keep updated, don’t forget to follow Facebook and Instagram @thebuggyrun



Land Rover Announces Inspirational Jordanian Adventurer,

Mostafa Salameh, as Brand Ambassador for MENA

• One of the few people in the world to complete the Grand Slam of Mountaineering and Polar Adventure has teamed up with Land Rover to promote the spirit of Above & Beyond • Film series adds to Land Rover’s #MYLAND campaign

Land Rover has unveiled the region’s most inspiring explorer, author, and motivational speaker, Mostafa Salameh, as a Land Rover Brand Ambassador for Land Rover MENA. Salameh is one of the few people in the world to have conquered the Grand Slam of Mountaineering and Polar Adventure by reaching the Seven Summits* of the world’s highest mountains and skiing the North and South Pole and Greenland from north to south. He is just one of 16 people in history to have completed this feat. As an admirer of his work and achievements, Land Rover identified Salamehas an ideal ambassador,as he embodies the spirit of going Above & Beyond.

The Jordanian adventurer has become a renowned international speaker following his incredible achievements that demonstrate his ability to overcome the harshest of challenges. As well as climbing the seven peaks, which included Mount Kilimanjaro, Argentina’s Aconcagua, and the world’s tallest peak, Mount Everest, he has also reached both the North and South Pole, the latter of which took 56 gruelling days. “Few people have the ability, vision, dedication, and dreams that enable them to live and breathe the Above & Beyond spirit. Mostafa Salameh is one of those people,” said Mohammad Jaradat, Marketing Communications Manager, Jaguar Land Rover, Middle East and North Africa. “He regularly challenges himself and what he is able to do, always thinking of the next adventure, which is why he is such a good fit for Land Rover. We look forward to working with Mostafa,” he added. Salameh has filmed an exclusive adventure series with Land Rover’s most capable and versatile vehicle; the All-New Land Rover Discovery. The series which is part of the Land Rover MYLAND campaign,highlights his life experiences and skills as he supports 5 individuals during a set of high-adrenaline challenges. The first episode will be released today across Land Rover’s social media channels. Land Rover launched of MYLAND (Ardhi in Arabic) in 2014 to praise the impact of the Arab culture on today’s modern society. The

initiative hosts Land Rover stories, competitions, activities and initiatives along with regional user generated content, which celebrate the people, places, sounds and journeys that shaped this stark and beautiful region. As part of the campaign Land Rover is also developing a series of films titled ‘My Journey, My Inspiration’ featuring individuals from around the MENA region whose achievements and ambitions are inspired by the culture and heritage of their land and whose endeavours have seen them go above and beyond in their accomplishments. “Land Rover is all about the spirit of adventure, and showing your grit and determination to go above and beyond. This attitude is a way of life for me,” said Salameh. “During the most daring and epic expeditions, you require capable, trustworthy, and versatile teammates and equipment. The Land Rover Discovery would always be my vehicle of choice in such a situation, and that’s one of the reasons I am so excited and proud to be named as a Land Rover Brand Ambassador for this region. I am hoping that together we can share plenty of adventures with the world,” he added. “At Land Rover, we thrive on encouraging our customers and fans to go out and discover their lands and the country they call home. Since the launch of the Series I in 1948, Land Rover has helped people in the Middle East to go above and beyond their limitations. As the only vehicle that could handle the harsh environment, for many people a Land Rover was the first car they ever saw. We have been a constant companion for this region for almost 70 years. MYLAND is about celebrating the Middle East and its people,” Jaradat said. “Through our partnership with Mostafa we will be able to better explore the culture, heritage and history of the region with someone who shares the mind-set, DNA, and beliefs that we do at Land Rover. Mostafa can take us on a journey to see the place he calls #MYLAND through his eyes.” ■




in Swaziland and Lesotho Words + Photos by: Allen Kenneth Schaidle

There is an unspoken phenomenon, occurring within the climbing community. As climbers, we tend to visit only heavily marketed areas, climb the “popular” routes, stay at the “cool” camps, and even take the same photos. Thus, the excitement can quickly drain and “snobbery” spread if we lose focus of climbing’s true calling. When I joined a group of friends on a road trip to climb in unknown destinations in South Africa in addition to Swaziland and Lesotho, many climbing friends questioned “why?” “If you’re headed to South Africa, why not visit the Rocklands or Cape Town, like all the pros,” they asked? The mention of Swaziland and Lesotho also seemed wasted time to many of them. “Are there even boulders there,” they interrogated? South Africa’s western crags have certainly received some well-deserved press in recent years, but why go where everyone else is headed? Why climb boulders hundreds have already done before? I wanted an adventure, not a guided tour. Thus, I turned my eyes east. The potential in South Africa’s Free State region, easily rivals other renowned bouldering destinations. Mirroring America’s rugged western landscapes, the Free Stateis characterized by towering buttes, valleys lush in greenery, horses stampeding through uncultivated prairie and abandoned farm machinery rusting with time’s grace. With every road, new boulders surfaced. The local climbing community is small and the



surrounding boulders only contain a few chalk marks. Needless to say, crowds are not a concern. However, the real gems from the trip surfaced from Swaziland and Lesotho—both relatively unknown in the grander climbing world. Swaziland is a boulderer’s fantasy comprising of endless boulder fields, a variety of climbs, friendly locals, and untouched holds. Rarely do I find a location I wish to revisit immediately, but Swaziland stole my heart. Lesotho was the most enigmatic of the three countries. With virtually no bouldering documented, we crossed the border with no expectations. However, much to our joy, we discovered the areas near Sani Pass and the city of Butha Buthe rich a variety of hard climbs. Lesotho is a trying country. Faced with poverty, a crippling HIV/AIDS epidemic,

human trafficking disputes, and high rates of sexual violence, it is a country worth researching before visiting. However, climbing can be found and the potential exists. So, here is my message to those seeking first ascents and an excursion. Pack your bags for a grand African road trip. I promise South Africa, Swaziland, and Lesotho will not disappoint. ■




RAS AL KHAIMAH’S NEW ZIPLINE DECLARED WORLD RECORD BREAKER Emirate’s Ruler accepts certification from GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS • Thrill-seekers will travel at speeds of up to 120kph to 150kph at a height of 1,680 metres above sea level on top of Jebel Jais mountain • World’s longest zip-line – with a cable weighing in at over 6 tons now open to the public to take the heart-pumping flight • Multi-million dollar tourism project in Ras al Khaimah flies into record books as zipline launches

Ras Al Khaimah has achieved a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title with its latest adventure tourism product – ‘Jebel Jais Flight: The World’s Longest Zipline’. The official certification was handed over today to HH Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Member of Supreme Council and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, by Hoda Khachab, the official adjudicator from Guinness World Records. The Ruler’s son HH Sheikh Ahmad bin Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Chairman of RAK Hospitality, was the first to trial the new zipline, following the official certification by Guinness World Records. “This is a great achievement for Ras Al Khaimah’s international tourism ambitions,” said Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority. “We are now receiving our largest-ever number of visitor arrivals and are confident that Jebel Jais Flight: the world’s longest zipline, will earn the UAE’s emirate of Ras Al Khaimah considerable recognition on the local, regional and global stage and propel the destination into the major leagues of global adventure tourism. The Jebel Jais Flight will become Ras Al Khaimah’s flagship tourism product and will cement Jebel Jais as the adventure tourism hub of the Middle East. We are expecting to see an increasing number of adventure tourists coming from across the globe to try this bucket list experience.” The world’s longest zipline, measuring 2.83 kilometres - the equivalent to over 28 soccer fields, and spanning the chasm of Jebel Jais, the UAE’s largest mountain peak at over 1,680 metres above sea level, opened to the public on February 1st, and is expected to achieve a strong following among thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies from across the world, who are interested in extreme adventure activities. The Ras Al Khaimah zipline is being operated by Toroverde Ras Al Khaimah, the world’s most experienced zipline managers. “Toro Verde brings to Ras Al Khaimah immense zipline management experience earned through previous projects in Central and South

America, including Toroverde Puerto Rico – the ‘Monster’ which, at 2.2km previously held the zipline record now claimed by this ambitious emirate,” said Ricardo Lizano, COO of Toro Verde. Delivery of the zipline, which features a steel cable weighing more than six tonnes and is suspended 1,680 metres above sea level, has been in the planning phase for over a year. The process involved extensive feasibility studies, master-planning, comprehensive surveys, soil tests and construction simulations. Maintaining sustainable environmental practices within all construction acts, strong anchor holes were drilled into the rugged Hajar Mountains that alone took over six months. Thrill-seekers will be suspended above the mountain as they prepare to take the flight headfirst in a ‘superman’ style position. The experience will see participants fitted with a special suit and equipment for the adventure, with the longest flight itself taking approximately two to three minutes. Once completed, guests will finish the bucket list flight on a suspended landing platform – unique in the world - where they will be transferred to a second line, measuring in at 1km, to complete their journey back to the ground. “It actually comprises two main zipline cables, allowing friends and family members to experience and race together, adding to the fun and competitiveness of the facility. Zipline pilots will experience a flight like never

before while being secure and safe. While the time and speed they complete the flight in is dependent on weight and weather conditions, the whole experience is expected to last around two to three minutes, with top speeds reaching between 120 and 150km per hour. We anticipate the attraction accommodating a rider every five minutes on the two zip lines, equating to approximately 200 people per day, and around 100,000 per year,” explained Jorge Jorge, CEO of Toro Verde RAK. “We also believe given its location in Jebel Jais, which is traditionally 10 degrees cooler than average UAE temperatures, we can operate during the summer months,” added Jorge. Talal Omar, The Country Manager for Guinness World Records MENA, said “We have witnessed countless achievements in the Middle East, and as the global authority on record-breaking we are always proud to be a part of such great feats every day. Today’s event highlights an extraordinary attraction that now puts Ras Al Khaimah with UAE as a global primary destination.” There are no age restrictions on ‘pilots’ but the requirements are a maximum weight of (150 kg) and minimum weight of (45 kg) for ‘fliers’ who must be at least 120cm tall. The price is AED 650 per rider. The launch of the world’s longest zipline is another milestone in Ras Al Khaimah’s campaign to transform the emirate into the region’s adventure and activity tourism hub. With the emirate benefitting from diverse landscape – including the Hajar Mountains and Jebel Jais – it has already built a following amongst walkers, hikers and cyclists with the campaign taking a leap forward in 2016 with the opening of the highly successful Jebel Jais Via Ferrata (Iron Path), hiking, climbing and ziplining product. For more information on, and booking for, Jebel Jais Flight, please log on to: More information about Jebel Jais and its active adventure tourism offering is available on ■




A new decade opened for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship on Saturday, and the 11th consecutive season opener at Abu Dhabi’s Corniche was loaded with surprises – perhaps none greater than the winner, the USA’s Michael Goulian, who logged his first victory since 2009 to claim the top of the overall leaderboard for the first time in his career. Defending World Champion Yoshihide “Yoshi” Muroya was a close second, with the Czech Republic’s Martin Šonka in third. Yoshihide Muroya of Japan performs during the finals at the first round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Abu Dhabi, UAE on February 3, 2018

Michael Goulian with his team after he won at the first round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship

Abu Dhabi served up ideal racing weather and 50,000 spectators across the weekend for the high-speed, low-altitude sport, and Goulian took full advantage of the perfect conditions. Known for having great promise but often failing to convert early-race speed into a podium, this time the Massachusetts native was icy cool. Going first in the Final 4, he delivered one of the best times of the day – 53.695 – to Šonka’s 54.650 and a 54.768 from fellow American Kirby Chambliss. It was all down to Muroya, and while the Japanese ace flew cleanly, his 53.985 gave Goulian his first win since Budapest 2009, and the second of his career.

Martin Sonka of the Czech Republic prepares for his flight during the finals at the first round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship

Ben Murphy of Great Britain performs during training day at the first round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship

Some of the favourites for 2018 will have to scramble back fast if they want to build momentum for the title, like Germany’s 2016 World Champion Matthias Dolderer and 2017’s third-place finisher Pete McLeod of Canada, who finished at the bottom after getting “Did Not Finish” penalties for exceeding maximum G. Then again, Muroya went from 13th at last year’s season opener to taking the World Champion title. Given their strong starts, Muroya and Šonka appear to be the pilots to beat, but with seven races to go, take nothing for granted, especially with two-time titleholder Chambliss looking good and Goulian in career-best form. “It was awesome. It’s been a long time coming to get to the second win and my whole team is over the moon,” said Goulian, who most recently was on the podium as part of a North American sweep at the Red Bull Air Race in Kazan, Russia last season. “Now we need consistency. There are 13 other great pilots in the Red Bull Air Race, and I feel nothing but excitement for the rest of the year.” Another unexpected high point came from Great Britain’s Ben Murphy, the only newcomer to the World Championship this season, who advanced to the Round of 8 in his very first race, an exceptional result. From the Corniche to the Croisette! Next up for the world’s best pilots: the long-awaited debut of the Red Bull Air Race in France, when the raceplanes fly above the Côte d’Azur at Cannes on 21-22 April 2018.

Results Master Class Abu Dhabi 2018: 1. Michael Goulian (USA), 2. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN), 3. Martin Šonka (CZE), 4. Kirby Chambliss (USA), 5. Matt Hall (AUS), 6. Ben Murphy (GBR), 7. François Le Vot (FRA), 8. Mika Brageot (FRA), 9. Petr Kopfstein(CZE), 10. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA), 11. Juan Velarde (ESP), 12. Cristian Bolton (CHI), 13. Matthias Dolderer (GER), 14. Pete McLeod (CAN) World Championship standings after one

race: 1. Michael Goulian (USA) 15 points, 2. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN) 12 pts, 3. Martin Šonka (CZE) 9 pts, 4. Kirby Chambliss(USA) 7 pts, 5. Matt Hall (AUS) 6 pts, 6. Ben Murphy (GBR) 5 pts, 7. François Le Vot (FRA) 4 pts, 8. Mika Brageot (FRA) 3 pts, 9. Petr Kopfstein (CZE) 2 pts, 10. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) 1 pt, 11. Juan Velarde (ESP) 0, 12. Cristian Bolton (CHI) 0, 13. Matthias Dolderer (GER) 0, 14. Pete McLeod (CAN) 0 ■

Michael Goulian of the United States (C) celebrates with Yoshihide Muroya of Japan (L) and Martin Sonka of the Czech Republic (R) during the Award Ceremony at the first round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Abu Dhabi, UAE on February 3, 2018




Ice climbing in Armenia

Words by: Charlie Dunn Photos by:

A 48 hour adventure Like many people in Dubai, I find the precious 48 hours of my weekend disappear in the blink of an eye. Before I can catch my breath, it’s Saturday night, I’m packing my travel bag and wandering how the time has passed so quickly. Frequent travel, long working hours and an active social life mean that opportunities for getting into the outdoors and away from the hustle and bustle of daily life are few and far between. So, one day in late November I stopped making excuses, dusted off my unloved kit and cleared my diary for the upcoming weekend. The plan was to have the biggest adventure possible whilst making it back for work on Sunday morning. The choice of destination was based on little more than an internet search of cheap flights to countries with mountains, snow, ice and visas on arrival. Being a Brit, the impulsive decision to find some snow and ice can be attributed to the genuine psychological



confusion caused by still being able to wear a T-shirt in November! The Mount Aragats Massif, a collection of the tallest peaks in Armenia and only an hour from the international airport, ticked all the boxes. A few emails later and a plan had emerged to attempt a first ascent of the (hopefully frozen) Gera hot Ice falls at around 3,200m on Mount Aragats. Temperatures of around -15 degrees for the whole week meant that, on paper, our chances looked good. Squeezing every available hour from my weekend, and every kilo from my baggage allowance, I changed into my heavy winter boots and climbing clothes in the work toilets on Thursday afternoon, and, after getting some very strange looks from the receptionist I headed to the airport for the four-and-a-half-hour flight to Yerevan. Whilst not far as the crow flies from Yerevan, getting to our base within striking distance of the Gera hot falls required some significant logistical effort. And as always seems to be the case with winter trips, the weather did its best to turn what should have been an enjoyable drive and pleasant

hike into a 6-hour battle against the elements. Once out of Yerevan, the roads quickly became iced over, and visibility reduced as a blizzard began blowing. Not to be so easily deterred we pressed on to Aragats village at the foot of the massif. Here, after some discouraging conversations about the state of path into the mountains, we decided to arrange for the hire of some Skidoos to avoid a long trudge through thick snow. Tucked up in a warm car with a cup of coffee, I imagined speeding over snow drifts with the wind in my hair, throttle down on a high powered skidoo as we climbed effortlessly to our camping site for the night. However, in true Armenian style, what eventually clattered in to greet us were two original model Russian skidoos at least 30 years old, mostly tied together with string and barely running. With the weather threatening heavy storms, we repacked our bags, tied what we could to the skidoos using Sellotape and squeezed ourselves on to the back of the seat, gingerly holding onto our huge, brusque and fearless Armenian drivers.


With two riders and multiple bags on each Skidoo, they were heavily overladen and seriously unbalanced. Strength, concentration and anticipation was needed as even the most modest incline had the potential to fling the passenger off the back and into the snow. Not easy to maintain with strong winds and whiteout conditions. Eventually, after a few initial turns had resulted in overturned bags, people and skidoos, and with much scowling and grumbling from our veteran drivers we got the hang of riding shotgun and after a couple of hours we arrived at our campsite for the night, where they promptly dumped us and returned to the village. Yet again, this being the Armenian way, I was in for a surprise. With storm conditions, and wind speeds up to 45km per hour, pitching a tent in the open was an uninviting prospect, and my excellent guide, Mkhitar, had found an unconventional emergency shelter: a rusty oil tank with a door hacked into one end. Even with this improvised shelter it was still necessary to pitch the tent, which meant a hard two hours of snow shoveling to turn the perfectly cylindrical floor of the oil tanker into a surface flat enough to hold the tent. Tired, cold and with aching muscles we collapsed into the tent, ready for a hot drink and some food. Mkhitar, carrying the stove while I carried the food, had only just begun unpacking when he turned sheepishly towards me with a worried look, having been in this position before, I knew exactly what that look meant before he needed to tell me – he had forgotten to bring anything to light the stove with. Despite racking our brains for every trick we had ever heard of for igniting a spark, and coming very close with a AA battery and chewing gum wrapper, we eventually admitted defeat, and had to go to sleep

grumpy, hungry, and as we had not been able to melt any snow to drink, thirsty. When we woke in the morning we immediately knew that the previous day’s toil had been worth it, the storm had blown over, the sky was clear blue as far as the eye could see and we were alone, completely surrounded by fresh snow. With no working stove to cook breakfast with, we ate a couple of mini Snickers bars and immediately set off towards our objective, hoping to find some water on the way. The waterfall, despite being only 3km away, took several hours to reach due to the thick snow and our heavy bags. But the experience of being alone in the beautiful mountains, with perfectly clear skies and nothing to think about except the 20 metres ahead of me was pure bliss. I wanted it to go on forever. We soon had the waterfall in sight, and it was immediately obvious that large parts of it had not frozen, despite the cold temperatures. It was, after all, very early in the season. However, we thought we could make out a climbable line of ice on the right hand side, and having come this far, we pushed on in high spirits, the prospect of ice


climbing on one hand, or a drink of water on the other. Forging our path through steep, thigh deep snow, we eventually reached the base of the ice fall. The second we sank our ice tools into the base of the climb we knew it would be impossible. The ice was completely waterlogged, spongy, and about as unsafe to climb as it’s possible for ice to be. There was not even a discussion. Strangely, given the considerable effort we had put into getting to this point: pushing through the storm the previous day; the roller coaster of the skidoo ride; the snow shoveling and the fiasco with the stove, I was not disappointed that the waterfall was not climbable. Mountaineering is much more about being in the mountains and enjoying the experience than ticking off climbs or achieving objectives. I was quite content to shoulder my bag and begin the long journey back to the airport. I arrived back into Dubai at half five in the morning on Sunday. The excitement of having done something adventurous with my weekend more than compensated for my heavy eyelids and sore legs. I have asked Mkhitar to ring me the instant the waterfall is completely frozen; I will definitely return! ■


LADAKH – DESERT IN THE SKIES! Words + Photos by: Bishwaranjan Das

Growing up amid mountain ranges, I always felt a deep connection with nature. I need that periodic dose of wilderness. Even after moving to the Beautiful Dubai which we now call home, I never lost my connection with nature and head out hiking whenever I can. Often, I look back upon my initial days of travelling, my rookie days when passion was abundant just like now but resources were limited. Every traveler or outdoor enthusiast, has that one story which can be called the ‘Initiation’. I have my story from Ladakh – The Desert in the Sky. Ladakh, one of the northern most regions in the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. It nestles high in the Himalayan ranges, so high that the thin air is unable to support any vegetation. Most of the slopes remain covered in a thick blanket of snow throughout the year and reveal themselves for just a few months during the summer. These rugged, lifeless mountains with their narrow winding high roads have attracted motorists for decades. Ladakh is the Mecca of every motorist who is willing to risk everything just for a thrilling riding pleasure. I was in my mid-twenties, with a fairly stable corporate job. My inner adventure devil would make its appearance every now and



then and tempt me to venture into the wild. A Road trip to Ladakh isn’t your average holiday trip, it requires months of planning and arrangements. You must be ready to move when the season starts. The roads to Ladakh are only accessible between May till August and remain closed for the rest of the months due to heavy snow and landslides. Travelling during the peak season can still be tricky as the roads are often closed for maintenance or fresh landslides due to melting snow. Considering all odds, I began planning for this ride of a lifetime and the first thing that I needed was a reliable Motorbike. The Royal Enfield Standard 350, was the perfect machine for the job and a true match for the rugged terrain. I bought a second-hand Royal Enfield and began restoring it right

away with the help of a local genius. I also needed a partner in crime so I started selling the idea to some close friends but sadly for me, nobody was willing to buy the crazy idea. The plan was to start the Journey from New Delhi and reach Ladakh via Manali and return to Delhi via Srinagar, a total of roughly 1300KM. In an ideal scenario, this route should not take more than 10-12 days, but there are no ideal scenarios above 18,000 ft., one must be prepared for the worst. Soon I realized I should embark on this road trip alone, I was nervous! My bike restoration was complete, and during this process I also learned a few bike hacks from my mechanic. Some basic skills such as changing a flat tire or changing wires and bulbs can prove to be life savers. I packed essential spare parts for the bike, as these can be hard to find in remote mountain areas. It was mid-August and I hit the road with my ‘Tornado’, that’s what I named motorbike. My schedule got delayed by almost a month due to poor planning and also because I had to be extra cautious being a solo rider. People usually ride in packs, sometimes with the safety of a medic and mechanic. I had none of those! The road from Delhi to Manali and up to ‘Rohtang Pass’ is a bit touristy so there are plenty of Hotels and other luxuries. Riding was easy so far, I crossed Rohtang pass after 2 days of riding and reached Keylong, a small remote village in the mountains. It was dark by the time I reached here and I was a bit shaken by the cold winds and broken winding roads. The roads are swept away by frequent landslides and leave behind giant cracks& marshy swamps. Next morning, I filled the petrol tank and carried an extra 20ltr jar, there was not going to be another petrol station for next 400kms. The journey from here on was challenging as there were high mountain passes and unimaginable road conditions. Repair work in these places is extremely slow due to frequent weather changes. My next stop was supposed to be ‘Saarchu (14,070ft), crossing the ‘Baralacha La’ mountain pass (16,040ft.).


After some local advice, I decided to stay overnight at Paang, which I was told has better tented facilities and a better point to make the final push to Leh, the capital city of Ladakh. The places between Keylong & Leh only have basic tented accommodation and Tea houses, offered by the local nomads. The situation is a lot better now with more and more tourist flocking the trails. As I continued my journey, I was greeted with magnificent views of the snowy peaks and glacial lakes. This was a paradise for any thrill seeker. I wasn’t the only rider here, groups of bikers passed by waving with joy. It was like a biker’s brotherhood and we were happy to see each other in this remote wilderness. We waved at each with happiness and satisfaction that we made it this far, not everyone has this pleasure as the mountains can be very choosy towards who rides here! Me and my Tornado pushed forward towards Paang, the thin air was starting to cause trouble in the ignition system. No oxygen, no ignition! Huge portions of road were swept away by the gushing water from the melting peaks and what looked like small streams, nearly cost me my trip. One such shallow stream turned out to be deep water and nearly pushed me to the edge. Thankfully enough, a nearby road construction worker rushed to my aid and pulled me across. Riding solo is fun but in times like these, you miss a pillion rider. I made my way through the wet dirt tracks, often just pushing the bike through the marsh and reached Saarchu. Me and my bike were exhausted and decided to stay here instead of Paang. It was a long daunting night, I couldn’t sleep due to a severe headache and mountain sickness. Next morning, still somewhat exhausted I hit the roads. Not wanting to push too much, I decided to stop at Paang which was just 75 KMs away and relax the rest of the day. Mid-way between Saarchu and Paang, my bike developed serious ignition problems and began to die on me. I couldn’t bring it back to life and the only option was to push the bike uphill. Extremely exhausted, I fell several times and didn’t even have

enough energy to get back up. I would lie on the muddy roads for a few minutes, catch up on my breath and then rise again. This continued for several hours and finally two local middle-aged women spotted me and helped to their nearby camp. These nomadic middle-aged women were a lot stronger then I imagined. Though somewhat rescued, this was just the start of my problems! I lost one of my bags which was tied to the bike and was too dizzy from altitude sickness to even notice it. All I had left was a bag full of spare parts and a first aid kit. The weather took a quick turn and began snowing for the next 2 days, blocking all the roads as a result. The nomadic lady was an angel in disguise and offered me to stay with her family all this time. She even got help from a nearby military station to fix my bike. Several people made attempts but we couldn’t bring the bike to life. After being stuck in Paang for 3 days, the weather cleared and a group of Australian riders arrived at the camp. Luck was in my favor this time, the group had a mechanic who could temporarily fix my bike. I hoped that my bike lasts till I reach Leh where I could get it checked properly. Next morning, I bid farewell to the local family and continued my journey towards Leh. I reached an endless flat area between two giant mountains, the mountains play games with you sometimes and I often felt an unexplainable pull. Completely memorized by their sheer size, I moved forward. Soon enough I realized the temporary solution gave up and my bike went dead on me


again, I must have pushed it too much. I spent the next 7 hours by the Tornado under my make shift plastic cover, protecting myself from the timely snowflakes. Many riders stopped to help me but they couldn’t do much. Finally, an empty pickup truck offered to load my bike and gave us a ride. On the eighth day of my solo road trip I reached Leh, Ladakh. I spent the next one week visiting places in Leh and the magnificent Nubra Valley, of course after completely fixing my bike. I was greeted by the heartwarming hospitality of the Leh people and never really felt alone. A group of back packers joined forces with me and we decided to visit Pangong Lake, a beautiful wonder of nature that lies between the Indo-China boarder. We did face problems while riding up to the lake but this time I had a pillion rider. We took turns at riding and pushing the bike. Oh, I almost forgot to mention ‘Khardungla Pass’ (17,582 ft) one of the world’s highest motorable roads. This pass is what has been attracting riders from all over the world. I had lost count of dates/days in this short span of time and quite unwillingly I had to plan my return trip. Leaving Leh behind, I moved towards Kargil, dropping off a back packer at ‘Lamayouro’, a unique Buddhist village completely unspoiled by the modern times. After Kargil, I spent a few more days at Srinagar, then Jammu and finally returned to Delhi. The journey took roughly 20 days as I crossed several villages, mountain passes, monasteries and people. I was a changed man not only physically but also spiritually! ■


Saudi Arabia - On the tracks of Jacques -Yves Cousteau

Words by: Denise Ostermann Photos by: Supplied

Being a passionate diver my travels have brought me already to some beautiful spots on this planet. But I never thought I would consider Saudi Arabia as one of my travel destinations. On my visit home, my dad took out a book from the shelves, handed it over to me and told me that if diving is my passion I should read this book. I threw a glance on the cover and read: Jacques-Yves Cousteau - The Living Sea (1963). Jacques-Yves Cousteau was a French naval officer, explorer, scientist, photographer, author and researcher who studied the sea and all forms of underwater life. But most importantly he was the co-developer of the aqualung. Thanks to his invention we can peacefully experience the beauty of a hidden world in the depths of our oceans and thanks to his book my interest in exploring the red sea was piqued. As per his recommendation the south of the red sea is the best place to explore virgin waters. Ever since then I have been dreaming about diving there. After a few years trying to organize a trip to Saudi Arabia it finally became a reality. I got the visa sorted and convinced my brother to join me, as he has been a few times already on business trips to Saudi Arabia. Even though he preferred to spend his holidays somewhere else he finally gave in and joined me. Getting the visa for expats is a bit tricky but hopefully this will ease up a bit with the future plans of developing the tourism sector in Saudi Arabia. We had to fly into Riyadh first where we met up with some friends. After all, I was pleasantly surprised. From the time we entered the country until we left the place everyone was doing their very best to make our stay as pleasant as it could be. People were very friendly and helpful and it was no issue at all to get around. Even when we seemed 34


a bit lost we were invited to join people until we reached our destination. Unfortunately, there was not a lot of time to explore the city of Riyadh. Nevertheless, the modern

architecture with the mix of traditional forts and buildings was fascinating. Especially the Kingdom Centre as well as the Al Faisaliah Centre are definitely standing out. In the evening we continued our journey to Jeddah on one of Flynas daily flights, the low cost carrier of Saudi Arabia. The next day early morning we found ourselves on the way to the marina from where we were taking the boat out to the Red Sea. All excited, we were picked up from the hotel and about an hour later we reached the destination. It was a strange feeling to hop on the boat all covered up in Abaya and a little bit uncomfortable handling all the diving gear. But thankfully we had a nice group with us who were helping the ladies and taking care with the equipment and this would only last until we passed by the coast guards. Afterwards we eased up again and everyone was in their dive outfits. We did not have to drive for long until we reached our first dive spot. Jacques-Yves Cousteau did definitely not promise too much. The visibility is amazing and the variety of underwater sea life just incredible.


We found so many species in just one dive that I haven’t seen yet in all my dives together. I was overwhelmed and fascinated at the same time that breathing was secondary. But mainly I was so happy that I have finally made it to one of the dive spots highest up on my list. And definitely it will not remain the only time I visited this place. The next trip is already in the planning! Back on shore the day was coming to an end. Hungry after a long day out on the sea and underwater we met up with some friends for dinner and shisha at the Corniche.

Unfortunately, we only had limited time in Jeddah as well and were not able to see the old town and heritage area. For the next trip there will be definitely time planned for some sightseeing. The next day we were already on our way back to Dubai. And thanks to Emirates very comfortably with an upgrade to business class in the A380. Thanks to Jacques-Yves Cousteau who encouraged me to explore the Red Sea from a different point of origin. And hopefully it will soon be easier for every-one to explore the beauties of the Southern Red Sea. ■



Trapped by Ice, I’ve Never Felt So Free Words by: Quinag Photos by:

His mission is to solo cross and arctic dive along the mythical Northwest Passage, the sea route that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. The objective of the exploration is not a selfish, sporting pursuit but one at the service of the planet. Alban aims to capture the beauty of a poetic, mysterious region and to demonstrate its increasingly fragile nature in the face of the ravages of climate change. Why the Northwest Passage?

Scientifically, the Northwest Passage is an under-discovered region. Dually, it is one of the world’s most breathtaking and important natural environments. Its existence is threatened by climate change and increasing commercial and political interests. In 2014, the first cargo ship passed through the Passage without the need for an escort from ice breakers. The route has opened for increasingly longer summer periods in recent years – one of the most visible manifestations of climate change on the planet. By the summer of 2050, the consensus among scientists is that, if the current rate of warming continues, the entire Passage will be largely ice free. In addition, increased commercial interest will lead to a rise in oil spills; black carbon waste will accelerate the ice retreat and have a catastrophic impact on marine life.

What will Alban test?

Alban will travel alone equipped with a

pair of skis and two sleds which will allow him to carry the 180kg of material needed for the expedition. When the conditions permit, he will be propelled by kite. He will only have polar wildlife for company. The freezing temperatures will drain him of 6000 kJ a day. Throughout his mission, Alban will collect samples and data. He will analyze planktons, collect ground measurements of the atmosphere and aerosols, and, study brain reactivity in this extreme environment. Through film and photo, he will document the beauty of the region before the summer months and arctic melting ensue.

When does the mission take place?

The adventure begins in early March, 2018 and is set to finish some two months later. Alban will travel from the hamlet of Kugluktuk to the village of Resolute Bay in the Nunavut region of Canada. He will travel some 1,240 miles tracing the route of Norwegian explorer Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen who, with his crew, was the first person to cross the Northwest Passage following a journey of more than three years in 1906. This is a crossing not without risk.


Who is Alban Michon?

One of the world’s foremost adventurers and ice divers. Alban fell in love with diving at the age of 11 when admiring pictures in magazines – notably of compatriot Jacques Cousteau. At the age of 16 he dived under ice for the first time at a lake near a friend’s home. It was an experience which had a profound effect on Alban who decided at that moment he wanted to dedicate his life to the pursuit and to adventure. Over the past decade, Alban has achieved numerous successes in the polar regions. In 2010, he was part of the “Deepsea Under the Pole” team, spending 45 days at the North Pole and diving under Arctic ice floes. Two years later, he completed a 51-day, 620mile expedition by sea kayak diving under icebergs along the east coast of Greenland.


How will Alban spread his message?

“This expedition is not adventure for adventure’s sake, or about physical strength or being alone for three months. It is an exploration at the service of science and the general public,” explains Alban. On his return he will work with laboratories and academic institutions to present the expedition’s scientific findings. Alban’s ultimate target, though, is to capture the imagination and empathy of the general public, promoting the beauty of the region and raising awareness about its perilous predicament. He will work on a dedicated film, a commemorative book, a photo exhibition and present at conferences. As Alban continues: “The expedition will bring unique moments, moments which may not exist in a few years’ time. We need to do it now before it’s too late so we can share the adventure with the general public. It’s important to share the values of these

expeditions and the environmental message. When something is beautiful, we have a stronger desire to preserve it.” ■





Tell us the background story of the car…

For every off-roader there is a quest to find a car that offers reliability with performance. The car I am driving was through an acquaintance which had low mileage, it was TRD Edition and only road driven up till that point. This is a rare combination to find as anyone would tell you, so I bought it immediately and it has been a great companion ever since.

What modifications have been made, performance and cosmetic wise?

Name: Ali Asgar Rokadia Nationality: Indian Occupation: Entrepreneur Vehicle: Toyota FJ Cruiser TRD Edition

The modifications on my car include; a Cold Air Intake System, Borla Performance Headers, Throttle Controller, Roof Rack for additional storage,18-inchMoto Metal Rims running 285 65 18 Cooper AT3 Tires with 1.5-inchoffset.For great visibility during night driving, I have equipped my vehicle with offroadlights, to improve the approach angle a custom Radical Motorsports’ metal bumper and their 8mm aluminum skid plate with steel frame and side fenders to complete an aggressive look. Furthermore, I have added Dobinson’s MRR shock absorbers with Radical Motorsports’ upper control arms for a stable and comfortable ride on and off-road.

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

I would consider the Radical Motorsports, Throttle Control and Radical Motorsports, upper control arms that are designed especially for sand as the best feature in my car.

What were your other options before you bought this car?

There was the Nissan Xterra and the SWB Toyota Prado 120 Series with a 4.0Liters V6 engine that I was considering but I am glad about the choice I made eventually.

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

This is my daily driven car, twice a week in sand and mountains and occasionally expedition drives.

Are you planning any future modifications?

At some stage I plan to upgrade to a 5.7 T-Force engine for additional horsepower and torque in my FJ Cruiser with dual shock system.

What 4x4 do you dream of owning?

My dream car is the “Mercedes G Wagon 500” lifted 4 inches! ■



Name: Laila Taha Nationality: Phillipines & Egypt Occupation: Officer – Pilot Ground Training Support, Etihad Airways Vehicle: Dodge Durango, Limited, 2005

Tell us the background story of your car?

The Durango was a natural choice after the first one drowned in Wadi Showqa, I got used to the Durango because it had the power and the space that I needed. This was actually intended for road use only but after a few offroad trips, I decided to modify it for my off-roading activities.

What Modifications have been made, performance wise and cosmetic wise?

Engine wise: It’s not permitted by the law, so nothing at all, Magnum/Hemi V8, 5.7 delivers a decent 330BHP however, I have made some performance modifications though: I got custom built aluminum skid plate with radiator enforcements and two extra heavy duty radiator fans; about 3” lift through the torsion key with Rancho Heavy Duty shocks and springs in the rear. Borla exhaust, mounted air compressor, Best Line tube bumpers and side steps, winch and then the lights of course. Cosmetic wise, I have done a matte black paint job with red accents. I am not sure if I will consider the XD rims and Cooper Tyres as cosmetics because they are more performance products. Every modification has a purpose to serve!

Do you have something that you could consider it as a special feature of the car?

It is a Dodge Durango but it performs and looks like a monster. It is a head turner. It is not ‘WHAT’ is done on the car but “HOW” it is done that makes all the difference. Yes, the looks.

What were the other options before you bought this car?

I specifically looked for the Durango; I was sold on the car especially for the space and power. It has everything I need.

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

This is my daily drive vehicle but I do not hesitate to take it offroad simply because it is built for that purpose. All clubs are good and welcoming and I also enjoy going offroad with friends on the weekends and sometimes during the weekdays if time permits. Other than the regular weekly drives in the desert, I am a Marshal at Gulf News, Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, Dubai Baja, Explore UAE and many other state level events

and this is the only machine that withstands the beatings and takes me there.

Are you planning any future modifications?

Unlike the Wrangler, the Durango has limitations for modifications and I think I have modified it enough though but if I could get heavy duty axels and stiffer front shocks…. I would not mind. I can make the interior look better – we spend more time inside the car, so it has to be welcoming…

What 4X4 do you dream of owning?

Yes, a Jeep Wrangler 4 Door is something I would like to own and build – no limits to modifications…..■ Want your 4X4 to be the next feature? Just send us an email at with the subject “Off-Roaders Corner” and you and your car might just be the next one on this page!



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


e Rout



Your routes will be available online for everyone to download for free on 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 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



Habitually Healthy

BOOST YOUR RUN! Words by: Robert Jahn

Running seems like a simple thing. It’s the most human of movements if you think about it, move your legs faster than normal and now you’re not walking, you’re running! But as many of you know, with custom made laser measured shoes, technical clothes that prevent injuries and the latest in high-tech heart rate monitors and such - the simple act of running can be made into one of the most complicated things imaginable. Luckily the fuel you need to keep going, can be super simple, here’s how. At The Cycle Bistro, we are all about providing people with food that is good for you. We provide you with fuel, giving your body its optimum nutrients, without giving your body bad things that will waste energy to get rid of. Let’s analyze something like running. Fluid intake is of course important, that we don’t need to mention. Especially in the hot summer months of the UAE, if you don’t drink enough, you will have a poor experience. And what about nutrients?

All the fancy gels, tablets, powders and supplements that are available on the market now -there is nothing that beats one good old go to food…the banana. Ideal for runners the banana is packed full of B6 vitamins, carbohydrates, and most importantly electrolytes such as potassium and magnesium to help prevent cramping. Eat one medium banana 30 minutes before you go for your run, and you’ve got a good amount of energy to power through. But if you just get bored of the everyday banana, mix it up to create a delicious banana smoothie like you’ve never had before! ■


BANANA BOOST Ingredients • 1 Medium Banana • 200ml Almond Milk • 50ml Water • 15ml Maple Syrup • 2 drops of Vanilla Extract • 10 Cashew Nuts

Located at The Cycle Bistro, Dubai Motor City Call: 04 425 3000 Website:

Peel your banana, add all ingredients into a blender, together with some ice, and blend until super smooth. You can use coconut milk if you want, but that will make it heavier, with a risk of upsetting your stomach during a run so be careful with that!

Fun tip: Freeze the banana, and use the same quantities of everything else. Blend to make a super healthy and surprisingly creamy homemade ice cream!

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






For Men

Titan Ultra™ Short Sleeve Shirt

Caldorado™ III

Available at Columbia stores across the region

Available at Columbia stores across the region

Features • Omni-FREEZE ZERO™ sweat-activated super cooling • Omni-WICK™ • Antimicrobial treatment protects this product from bacterial growth • Drop tail hem • Reflective detail

Newly enhanced fit and feel for unparalleled comfort paired with the ideal balance of support, traction, and cushioning.

Fabrics • 100% Polyester. 86% Polyester and 14% Elastane

Midsole • FluidFOAM™ midsole for exceptional cushioning, flexibility and support • Patented FluidGUIDE™ technology for enhanced midfoot stability and a smooth ride on the trail • Ride heights: 19mm heel / 11mm forefoot

Upper New seamless abrasion resistant upper with soft forefoot flex zone, cushioning collar foam, fully integrated gusset, and reinforced toe cap for comfort and protection

Outsole • Full length rubber outsole • TrailSHIELD™ protection plate integrated with forefoot flex grooves • Multi-directional lug patterns provide traction on varied surfaces • 4mm outsole lug height

For Women

Titan Ultra™ Short Sleeve Shirt

Caldorado™ III

Available at Columbia stores across the region

Available at Columbia stores across the region

Features • Omni-FREEZE ZERO™ sweat-activated super cooling • Omni-WICK™ • Antimicrobial treatment protects this product from bacterial growth • Drop tail hem • Reflective detail

Newly enhanced fit and feel for unparalleled comfort paired with the ideal balance of support, traction, and cushioning.

Fabrics • 100% Polyester. 86% Polyester and 14% Elastane

Midsole • FluidFOAM™ midsole for exceptional cushioning, flexibility and support • Patented FluidGUIDE™ technology for enhanced midfoot stability and a smooth ride on the trail • Ride heights: 19mm heel / 11mm forefoot

Upper New seamless abrasion resistant upper with soft forefoot flex zone, cushioning collar foam, fully integrated gusset, and reinforced toe cap for comfort and protection

Outsole • Full length rubber outsole • TrailSHIELD™ protection plate integrated with forefoot flex grooves • Multi-directional lug patterns provide traction on varied surfaces • 4mm outsole lug height





PRODUCTS 2017 Naish Orbit Kiteboard

2017 Naish One

2,321 AED | Was 2,578 AED

4,770 AED | Was 5,300 AED

Available at

Available at

Lightwind Freeride The Orbit is designed with a large surface area and low rocker for early planing and freeride fun in lightwind conditions. Its surface area, flat rocker, double concave bottom shaping and responsive flex provide easy planing, a smooth ride, superior edging and soft landings. The newly refined outline makes the Orbit more playful and the ride more forgiving, even when small chop starts to develop. It also features an angled heel-side center fin for strong upwind performance while still maintaining a playful ride.

ONE 12’6” Inflatable Racing/Touring The ONE 12’6” is hands down, the bestselling inflatable SUP around the world for all-around cruising, long distance touring and N1SCO one design racing. It features a sleek race outline, 30 inches of width and six inches of thickness for incredible rigidity, stability and speed. It also has an integrated number guide on the deck pad for referencing proper stance position.

Available size: 152

N1SCO stands for “Naish International SUP Class Organization” which is a one design racing class where all riders compete exclusively on the ONE 12’6”. N1SCO competitions include sprint, intermediate distance and long distance racing, as well as team relays that are accessible for any level rider. They are competitive, fun events that are easy to follow, thrilling to watch and a great social experience for the whole family.

Karma Grip

GoPro HERO6 Black

1,470 AED

1,599 AED

Available at Grand Stores, Virgin Megastore, Sharaf DG, Emax and Jumbo Electronics

Available at Grand Stores, Virgin Megastore, Sharaf DG, Emax and Jumbo Electronics

Capture stabilised footage so smooth your ordinary shots will look extraordinary. Enjoy professional, cinema-quality video whether you’re hiking, cycling or chasing your kids through the park. Karma Grip captures the amazing handheld and bodyworn perspectives that only a GoPro can – now with pro-quality stabilisation.

HERO6 black transforms your adventures into incredible QuikStories right on your phone. With its all new GP-1 chip, next level video stabilization and twice the performance, looking good has never been so easy. Add voice control and a durable, waterproof design and HERO6 black is the ultimate go pro for sharing life as you live it.





PRODUCTS Oztrail - Fast Frame Cruiser 420 Cabin

Starboard – 2018 Tikhine Blend Zen SUP

Available at Adventure HQ (Times Square Center, Dalma Mall & Yas Mall)

Available at Adventure HQ (Times Square Center, Dalma Mall & Yas Mall)

Truly large awning space coupled with a fully integrated folding frame. This model is the perfect mix of simple design and quality materials.

Tikhine inflatables are built LIGHT and include a built-in shoulder carry strap making them effortless to carry to the water. The board’s carry handle is flat, well suited for Yoga exercises and relaxing poses.

Coghlan’s Light Sticks, Family Pack

Wireless speaker 12W, Plug 220-240V (iPod not included)

1,315 AED

75 AED

Available at Al-Futtaim Ace store and online at These Coghlan’s Light Sticks offer a safe, reliable light source in all conditions. They are available in several colours and can be used as warning lights, marker lights, signal lights, dive lights or safety lights for camping, fishing, hunting or hiking.



3,795 AED

199 AED

Available at Al-Futtaim Ace store and online at This speaker connects to your device via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and does away with unsightly and confusing cables.


Kozo planned everything for us and we can’t thank him enough for the experience

Haru and Yuki were already in the dome when we got there and they helped us get rigged and ready to catch fish - they are quite good anglers!


The whole team before we started fishing (and eating)

Fishing in Japan for the first time Words by: Kit Belen Photos by: Kozo Okubo

Wakasagi fishing is quite unique and only for winter months

Japan is awesome. There are a lot of things there that are not found anywhere else. I believe they have the most diverse fishing industry in the world – this is to be expected since fishing is deeply engrained to their culture and it was even the most favourite pastime of the Samurai.

Abbas getting instructions from Kozo while trying to feel the soft bite of the wakasagi I really like all forms of fishing and this is

us to have a barbeque inside the dome. definately something I want to do again What we found out later on was that Mr. MiIt was a surprise that there was a fishing We were treated to another experience hara is a professional bass fisherman! So we trip set up for us by Kozo Okubo, one of - the best steak dinner I have ever had in had two of Japan’s top notch anglers fishing Japan’s most prolific anglers. my life. Since Tojo Lake was pretty close to with us and showing us the ropes. We fished for something totally unique, a Kobe, we went to a place near Kozo’s house, It started snowing and the water temperafish called Wakazagi. It’s quite a small fish which had the best Kobe beef I have had in ture was quite cold, even if the conditions and I was really surprised at the kind of tackmy life. It was really an experiwere against us, we le we used, it was so high tech ence on it’s own. still caught some for something so small, but The trip to Japan was indeed fish. My first ever the Japanese love this fish and something I would remember for fish in Japan is a have invented technologies to the rest of my life. A memorable Wakasagi of about help them catch it. From fish trip shared with an old friend 10CM and they finders to specialized rods and and a trip that marks the start of said it was a big reels for them, fishing tackle a great friendship with great peoone! made for them are an industry ple. I will let the pictures do the Great company of their own. talking. ■ and new friends You fish inside plastic domes always make for an on a floating platform with I thought I was imagining Till nest tide change, excellent experilarge rectangular holes in the things, but this is actually a Mihara had home lake advanence, even if the floorboards. Although it’s not sinker holder to keep it out tage and was the first to catch a normally allowed, the Lake of the way while they put fish, something to be expected fishing wasn’t that good. baits on the hooks manager, Mr. Mihara allowed from someone of his caliber


Kozo and Chef Todome really gave us a dinner to remember It’s hard to beat this and I think we have to go back there soon

The typical setup for Wakasagi fishing involves really small hooks almost like a sabiki, a fishfinder, an automatic reel with depth guage and very warm clothes

You can barely see Mihara in the frame but he was instructing me on what to do while reeling in my first fish of the trip




Crossing the Crescent :

From Arada to Khis Words by: Marina Bruce Photos by: Marina Bruce, Ingrid and Peter Gabris, Heather Gorman, Dawn Wadsworth

The Rub Al Khali, or Empty Quarter, is the largest sand dune desert in the world, covering around a quarter of a million square kilometres. Mainly located in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, small sections spill into neighbouring Oman and the UAE and this portion was our destination for a fun-filled adventure weekend in early January. The Rub Al Khali in the UAE is mainly situated south of the Liwa Crescent, a 140km long series of ancient oases, linked these days by a streetlit dual carriageway. British explorer Wilfred Thesiger is believed to be the first westerner to visit Liwa in 1946 and since then, many more of us have followed in his footsteps, forgoing the traditional camel for our trusty 4x4s!

Keep calm, it’s only breakfast!



The wonderful Rub Al Khali

So, on a cold January night, seven cars assembled to camp some 10kms south of the Arada roundabout, ready to make a relatively early start the next day. This was not one of my standard, “suitable for anyone with a 4x4 tag along trips”. Due to the technical difficulty and remoteness of the route, I needed my drivers to have some experience and a real sense of adventure, so it was by invitation only. We woke to a cool clear morning and after breakfast I set my GPS for “east” and started to pick an easy path from Sabkha to Sabkha, these being the salt flats which typify this area of desert. Over on the west side of “the crescent” the crossings are relatively low and mostly easy and we made good progress despite stopping many times for photographs. Did I say that this drive takes you into the most photogenic dunes in the UAE? Huge sand massifs rise from the grey Sabkha, some over 100 metres in height; on their North faces they are complex with small dips and gullies at low level, growing in size until you reach the top where there are massive car-grabbing bowls before tipping over to the south in spectacular slip-faces. The low sun in the early morning and late afternoon

see the sand take on a rich red hue and the shadows cast by the curves in the sand show the dunes at their most photogenic. The dunes gradually become larger, the crossings higher and the degree of technicality increased too, but by this time my groups were in “the zone” and took the many self-recoveries, necessitated by the soft sand conditions in their stride. Stopping for lunch high up on a dark red dune, we enjoyed our hot food, ready in the right place at exactly the right time - such is the joy of heating pies in the engine! By now I had stopped following the route in the book and chose instead to forge my own path; in retrospect I suspect Mike’s route may have been easier, but I have no regrets as we all got out of the desert in one piece and what’s a little bit more sand between friends? Late in the afternoon, we came to a really difficult crossing - a tricky approach to a huge bowl, followed by a 20-metre high wall of sand. It took us about an hour to get everyone through here, and I briefly contemplated camping there for the night, however, I could see the perfect campsite less than 500 metres away so decided to press on.


A sea of sand and sabkah

Dune climb

Recoveries were always a team effort

It was indeed the best camping spot my tent has ever been pitched on, gorgeous red sand, a stunning dune massif to the south, some shelter to the north and plenty of space so we could spread out a little. To top it all, next morning, fog descended around 6am making the landscape surreal. I never drive in fog; it is the most dangerous of conditions as you cannot see where you are going and would be oblivious to any dangers, so we took our time loading up the cars. By 9:30am the fog had cleared and we were once more eastward bound. After the horrendous dune crossing of the previous evening we were rewarded with more mellow terrain for the next 3 or 4 traverses, but soon we were back into more difficult dunes necessitating some careful contemplation of route options! We made a few stops for photos and to explore the dunes, Heinz, Bebi and Peter even walked up a 40 meter slip-face – not sure where they got the energy or why but the photos they took from the top looked worth the walk! The most difficult obstacle as often happens, was our last one before reaching the gatch; we could see our exit track and all that stood between it and us was a series of extremely deep bowls. I dropped into one and instantly regretted it as it was way deeper and softer than it looked from 40 metres above; I suggested to my friend Anton, who acted as my assistant for the weekend, that he might find another path and take the rest of the convoy round, however, it turns out

that everyone was in the mood for some entertainment and opted to watch me extract myself from my predicament before trying out alternative routes. First attempt, I almost made it out, coming to a halt just 10 metres from the top, however, a miss is as good as a mile and a second attempt was required. This time, having quickly deflated to 8.5psi, and with 4LOW engaged I succeeded in driving out of the bowl with no problem, so my audience put away their cameras and headed back to their cars. Anton then led the convoy round a slightly easier way but even this route had its share of technical difficulties and it was a good hour until our tires were on the gatch. We had hoped to make it to the end of Mike’s route but sadly, with only two hours of daylight left and a happy but tired group we decided to return to the road via the gatch from Khis. All in all, a wonderful weekend which was memorable for the right So much scenery

reasons; teamwork, camaraderie, no vehicle damages and set against the backdrop of the magnificent Liwa Dunes. Not one car had made it through without at least one “refusal”, there were many stucks, Graham had plenty of chances to use his winch, and there was also frequent use of spades! If you would like to try the Liwa Crossing for yourself, then why not try Route 3 in Mike Nott’s great book “Advanced Off Road Adventure Routes UAE and Oman. My drive commenced at his start point and we concluded at the Khis Gatch near waypoint L22. It is best to tackle it as he suggests, from west to east, as it can be very difficult to scale some dunes from the opposite direction; if you wish to complete his whole route then you should probably allow a full two days. ■

Social Media Facebook: /DesertDivaUAE Twitter: @15shadesofsand Insta: thedesertdivame Blog:




How a Bicycle is Made “Visiting a factory where our beloved "two-wheelers" are built” Words by: Nico de Corato and Vito Brunetti Photos by: Nico de Corato

The first vehicle resembling a bicycle was invented in France in the year 1791 by Comte Mede de Sivra, called “celerifere”. It was a wooden scooter with two equalsized wheels and a seat, but no steering, brakes, or pedals; velocipedes were driven by kicking the ground with the feet. Only in 1869 the word “bicycle” came into use; when pedals were introduced, this was a very big improvement. Bicycle frames began to be constructed entirely of metal, an improvement in both performance and material strength over the earlier wood frames, and bike design began to change accordingly. The pedals were still attached directly to the front wheel but solid rubber tires and long spokes on a much larger front wheel provided a greatly improved ride. The transmission of the movement was solved by connecting the pedals to a gear wheel linked to a chain, this technical innovation allowed a reduction in the dimension of the front wheel. The next stage of bicycle development came with the creation of the safety bicycle by John Kemp Starley. The safety bicycle became a reliable and comfortable device that could be used by people of all ages for everyday transportation. Soon, the new safety bicycle started to be coupled with inflated rubber tires that ended the jolting and painful ride inflicted on cyclists when hard rubber tires were the norm. In the early 20th century, were introduced the first cycling competitions as the Tour de France (1903) and the Giro d’Italia (1909). There many different types of bicycles and many types of people with biking needs.



Some people like tricks, some like races, and some like speed control. You will need to take into account your own preferences when choosing the right bicycle for yourself. It doesn’t make sense to purchase an expensive carbon fiber racing bike if you have to run the dune of a desert or a mountain bike if you have to use it in the city. The first step in building a bicycle is to design the frame you intend to make. It is important to decide which material has

to be used and the dimensions. There are lots of materials, but the expensive carbon fiber has to be preferred when lightness is required. Regarding the frame, we have to make a distinction between a large scale and tailor made production. In the second case, the measures are to be taken directly from the customer as if it were a suit, taking also all the characteristics needed for the ad hoc frame construction.

Vittorio Brumotti and extreme use of his bike at the Dubai Tour 2017

In both cases, one has to be study the geometry of the oblique and steering tube, whose junction point is the most stressed part of the entire bike. It is also important to study the connection of the rear triangle (formed by vertical chain stays and seat stays) and the front triangle (formed by oblique, top and seat tubes). The bottom bracket shell is exposed to a heavy stress, due to the energy given to the pedals. In order to counter these forces, it is necessary to correctly design the dimension of the rear chain stays, defining the final diameter and the position of the coupling. To draw a frame, you use a CAD software with a three-dimensional modelling programme, taking in consideration the forces at work and the subsequent resistance. Some software can simulate the movement of a bicycle in order to detect instantly the weak parts of the frame. Once the frame design is completed the construction phase begins which includes: the assembling, painting and finishing. Steel frames need the accuracy of welding and the choice of tubes. Carbon frames require a different method of construction. The carbon fiber layers are wrapped around a core, inserted into a mold which is after put in a high temperature oven. In the following steps the oxygen is removed while the heating solidifies the

resin. Once a mold is open the core has to be removed and finishing has to be done. It is a long process to get from the raw materials to the finished product, this process is time and energy consuming. This is the reason why carbon fiber bicycles are very expensive, but compared to other ones are more resistant, stronger and very light. The wheels are the meeting point between the ground and the vehicle and are composed by the hub and spokes. The hub allows the anchoring of the rear wheel, the frame and the front wheel and make them rotate. The spokes join the hub at the center. The wheels have the tires and are in between the road we run and the bicycle. The handlebar, joins with the fork, the seat fixes to the frame through the seat pillar and the pedals are the points of contact between the user and the bicycle. Moreover, through the pedals we transmit the power which is developed by our legs. The transmission is given by the cranks, which connect the pedals to the bottom bracket fixed to the frame, and together

With Antonella Nigro from Montante Cicli during the interview

with the crowns define the crank set. Finally, the chain transmits the movement from the crowns to the sprockets, that are attached to the freewheel body of the rear wheel. The rear derailleur, most commonly known as the gear, is part of this transmission set. It maintains the chain in tension and also allows the same to pass from one sprocket to another. The front derailleur, allows the chain to pass from a crown to another one. Gear and derailleur serve to “change the gearâ€? and modulate the effort involved in pedaling according to the condition of the road under our wheels. The gear change takes place thanks to the controls positioned on the handlebar. The right control actuates the gear shift, the left control the front derailleur. On the handlebar there are also the brakes. They are important components present in all models which serve to reduce the speed. We thank Montante Cicli factory for all the technical detail and for having given us the chance to take pictures during the construction steps of some prototypes. â–

Accessories are so important in a bike




Words + Photos by: Paul Robida

Eastern Arabia, and the UAE in particular, is an Off-Road heaven. Every week-end, between November and the end of March, as the weather finally cools off over the desert, thousands of us from all corners of the Emirates, go out to play in the sand with our toys. We push their mechanical limits, test our newly installed “upgrades” and acquired gears, showcase our driving skills, as we try to climb up daunting dunes. All that for a nice day of fun before a well-deserved barbeque under the stars among friends and family. However, no matter how great all this Dune-Bashing may be, I am one to believe there is a lot more to off-roading than just turning around the usual local 50


spots. Particularly in a region offering so many adventurous overland routes for the explorer in us. Living in Dubai and having roamed around dunes for a few seasons, it was time this year to go and search for more. Looking beyond our official playgrounds, I began researching the possibilities our neighbour, the Sultanate of Oman, could offer. For a European expat like myself, the word “Sultanate” alone resonates like an exotic adventure... I think of Sindbad the sailor finding refuge in the many isolated creeks of the coast... The Frankincense of the Dhofar and its world renown incense... The Bedu's caravans traveling through the furnace of the desert on their way to some remote oasis... The diverse and exotic wildlife of the lagoons of the Al Wusta shores... Or the rugged mountaineers in isolated settlements, cherishing date gardens in a land where water is a rare treasure. I began to look at the great and well described trails designed by Mike Nott, found in his book “Advanced Off-Road Adventure

Routes. UAE & Oman” published by our favourite magazine. But most of those were far for me and not necessarily recommended to be done solo. Instead, I wanted to start with something simpler and close enough to be covered during the week-end. The Al Hajar mountains, seemed then the obvious choice, offering an interesting contrast from our beloved desert. Now, maps, “detailed” atlas with all the names of local towns and Hamlets, Wadi or Jebal aren't easy to come by unless you are in the military. So, to avoid getting lost and to play it safe, I first went with friends with more experience of the area. Sadly, that first week-end of exploration brought more frustration than joy. I had basically just replaced Dune Bashing with Wadi Bashing. A long drive to reach a remote (and in our case very short) trail, for another barbecue under the same stars before a long drive back home the next day. Having chosen a national holiday to do these just added long hours at the border, and a large party crowd around us all night.


Yet, despite the obvious disenchantment, the majestic landscape had successfully intrigued me enough to give it another shot. What some in our group had discarded as just bare dry rocks, had brought up many unanswered questions. Why those different stone colours, those strange rock alignments, the various lines drawn in them suggesting a pile up of sorts? Against all odds, I had just discovered a sudden interest for Geology! The next evenings were spend digging for information’s, trying to make some sense of obscure scientific verbiage, my head buried in dictionaries. Ophiolites, mantle crust, Hawasina, Cretaceous limestone’s, marine sediments, etc, etc... All technical terms familiar to people from the Petroleum industry, but sounding like Chinese to me... The more I advanced through this self-imposed crash course on earth's local history, the more questions came about. Oman had just revealed itself to me as the magical geological wonderland, curious scientific minds from all over the world have come to study. It was time to go back to the mountains and observe some more. No point returning to the same trail though, I had to create my own trace based on a combination of researched cultural interests, like the Haffit tombs of Bat and Al Ayn, the ruins of Al Aqli, beautiful villages like Bilad Sayt or Misfat al Abriyyin, the forts of Bahla and Nizwa, etc, and my new geological endeavours. I needed a continuous track through the mountains leading me to my chosen destinations, without having to divert on long and boring road detours. But that is a lot easier said than done! Most interesting tracks following Wadi often lead to dead ends, as very few connect between valleys.

However, with perseverance and the necessary luck I was able to design a serious first path taking me through the Western part of the range. It was now time to go see if what looked so good on Google Earth, was actually feasible by car. Everything looks so easy to pass through on flat satellite images, while rocks, gulley’s, barriers only become noticeable and problematic when you're confronted with them on site! Fortunately for me the first drive turned out very promising. Beautiful sceneries, gorgeous valleys, amazing Wadi, last but not least, extremely hospital people, all along a good mix of well-maintained trails and more rugged transitions, fun climbs and steep descents, all of which, despite a few alterations here and there was a good display of what was soon to follow. This appetite for knowledge and the need to understand what laid in front of my eyes kept me going. After the Al Hajar al Gharbi, I ventured further on to the Oriental side, the Al Hajar Ash Sharqi, where I found new tracks to climb. Instead of turning around once done, I then prolonged my course through the Wahibah desert, the al Huqf range, the Al Wusta coast, down the Dohfar mountains, all the way to the Yemeni border, all well beyond my original intentions. I had reached the end of the road; it was now time to come back.


I couldn't just take the freeway home, but I knew it wouldn't be safe to enter the Rub Al Khali on my own either. This next episode needed the company of friends (some excited about the prospect of discovering that part of the desert, others just here to get me back, worried I was to never return!) We met in Salalah where I enjoyed a few days of rest waiting for them before the beginning of our expedition. We had planned to follow portions of the well traced Oman route n° 14 from Mike Nott, and improvised some of our own now and then. There, lost among grandiose dunes, I saw the sand dance to the rhythm of the winds. The Shamal and the Monsoon, one after the other, shaping dunes as artist’s mold clay, creating beauty for us to admire. Each new mile filled up my GPS device with new way-points, my field notebooks with extra information’s and anecdotes, as well as my camera with more and more pictures. In the next articles I will try to describe to you in details what I have seen and learned, along the 4.000 or so kilometres of trails I traced as a result around the Sultanate of Oman during my journey. One that takes you to the best natural, geological but also cultural spots in the country, hoping you too will feel the urge to go out and explore. Not just for the sake of off-roading, but because understanding that what stands in front of you is the result of a fascinating story, a story that makes it all more beautiful to see. ■


Astove Atoll:


Words by: Rasmus Ovesen Photos by: Rasmus Ovesen, Martin Ejler Olsen, Kyle Reed

The Seychelles, in the western reaches of the Indian Ocean – not too far away from Madagascar, have fast become the GT epicenter of the world. And Astove Atoll is THE place to catch a monster GT on the flats! GT’ are very accustomed to the wrenching noise of things breaking. They have powerful and jagged jaws; they pack a nasty and lightning quick bite; and they delight in crushing whatever pitiful prey they manage to hunt down - whether it be a bony baitfish, a hard-shelled crab or even a nonsuspecting bird with feathers, beak and all. They hit such things like freight trains - with blind fury and relentless impact, churning them into bits and pieces. And, as a result, the sounds of death and destruction frequently echo through their cranial cavities and straight into whatever primitive minds that have sparked inside their powerful and sturdy frames.



As a GT fly fisherman, one is also destined to get accustomed to - or at least become uncannily familiar with - the noise of things breaking. GT’s are notorious for wrecking tackle, and after a recent week of GT fishing in the Seychelles – at the stunningly beautiful and wild Astove Atoll, the sound of rods, fly lines and leaders breaking have become painfully etched into my mind. For instance, there was that repeated eerie sound of poppers getting completely demolished – hooks getting bent out of shape, foam being shredded and ripped into pieces, feathers and fibers scattered all about. Along with the knife slash-like sounds of GTs cutting through the surface - backs and serrated fins clear out of the water–in hot pursuit, and the inevitable collision-like explosions, as they thrust themselves forward, open their bucketsized mouths and thunderously inhale the fly; that’s enough to send shivers down my spine, as I sit here putting symbolic pen to paper. Additionally, there was that freak incident where the guide – who shall remain name-

less – grabbed the leader on a big fish that was close to the boat and in danger of getting snatched by a massive oceanic white tip shark. His finger got pierced by the top section of the fly rod, as the fish took violently off. Apparently, the leader knot had gotten caught in the rod tip, and as the fish surged downwards, the top of the fly rod followed the directional path of the leader – straight into the guides' hand, snapping loudly and ultimately piercing his finger, full blank, splintered carbon fiber shrapnel and all. There was also that incident where a massive GT hit the fly right below the lava cliffs to the far south of the atoll. This fish violently erupted on the fly the very instant it hit the water – as if it somehow already knew that something was going to fall from the sky – and, once hooked, it took off like a bullet along the jagged, corally shoreline demolishing the whole fly line and ultimately snapping the 120lb test leader. Even in the howling winds the whiplash-sound of that leader snapping was loud enough to stun- and stop us dead in our tracks.

Sadly, there was also that incident where an otherwise perfect interception of a massive, jet-black 70-80lb GT in meter-high surf swells followed by a 25 meter+ cast into strong headwinds resulted in a take so brutal that the whole fly line snapped on the strip-set. That fish was to die for, but then again: Had the fly line not snapped on the strip-set, it might very well have surged towards the corally reef edge and broken me off there. Either way, that whole episode was accompanied by the deafeningly quiet sound of my heart breaking. During the course of six full fishing days at Astove Atoll, my good friend Martin Ejler Olsen and I experienced some of the most exhilarating and nerve-wracking GT fishing imaginable. Reminiscing about the trip, I must admit that I’m still pretty shell-shocked and mind-blown about the amount of fish we encountered and how unpredictable, erratic and (at times) superaggressive these fish were. I sometimes find myself struggling to keep my nerves calm during an allimportant fight, or when a momentous sight-casting opportunity presents itself. But I’ve never shaken to the core – with such a boiling mixture of adrenaline, excitement and sheer, panicky fear raging inside my body – as I have when fishing Astove Atoll. Wading and scouting for GTs there along the corally reefs, roaring surf lines, and jagged lava cliffs is nerve-wracking enough itself. Casting for one - knowing that you probably just get that one cast before the fish suddenly vanishes again – only adds to the excitement of it all! Ultimately, however, it is the take that renders one a trembling nerve wreck. It is,

by all means, truly frightening! Once fired-up and zeroed in for the kill, the Astove GTs will attack with such fury and brutality that one’s first impulse is to quickly dispose of the fly rod and jump out of the water. If that impulse is foolishly ignored and one counter-intuitively responds to the explosive collision by strip-setting the hook, one is in for a grueling fight; a fight that will stress one’s tackle and physics to breaking point, and too often result in a harrowing snapping sound. Despite challenging conditions with heavy winds, cloud cover, rain and periodical thunder during most of the week – something very atypical for Astove Atoll, I managed to land 17 GTs, and had I been more stoic, calm and – perhaps – endowed with a little more luck, I might have landed well over 25. And as if that wasn’t enough, Martin and I also managed to squeeze in some absolutely outrageous bonefish-, triggerfish-, and permit fishing. Not to mention an afternoon offshore, where schools of huge barracuda, rainbow runners, milkfish and sailfish kept us busy. The real monsters – like the fiery-tempered 70-80lb GT that broke my fly line, the massive black one that snapped a 110lb leader on the corals, and the shark-like 120lb+ behemoth that rejected my fly(and broke my dreams),ultimately evaded me. But there was one thing that these fish couldn’t break – my spirit. And I have absolutely no doubt in my mind: I will be back in search for Astove Atoll’s indomitable and raging apex predators – the masters of destruction!

Fact file – Astove Atoll and the Seychelles:

Astove Atoll is situated in the Indian Ocean, due north of Madagascar and some 1000 kilometres southwest of Mahé, which is the main island in the Seychelles. The atoll offers a rare glimpse into a world, which has changed very little over the years passed. It’s a place of rare beauty, where the daily dramas of a pristine and virtually untouched ecosystem play out vividly in front of your eyes. Wild pigs and goats roam the island as do huge tortoises and colourful terrestrial crab species. Several endemic species of birds can also be seen darting about in the tree tops and palm trees among colourful butterflies, but it isn’t until one has a look below the water surface that one realizes just how prolific the wild life is. The flats, lagoon and reefs are teeming with life, and along the Astove Wall, which is best described as gazing down into the Grand Canyon, you’re likely to see anything from huge sharks, sea turtles and dolphins to sailfish, rays, barracuda and wahoo. The Astove Wall consists of the large flats and reef dropping a vertical 90 degrees, from knee-deep water to an abysmal depth of a kilometre. No wonder that the famous and acclaimed marine pioneer, Jacques Cousteau, shot his underwater documentary “The Silent World” here!

Fact File – Lodging:

Astove Atoll caters to an exclusive six fly fishermen per week, and the season extends from November to December and March to April. The newly renovated lodge offers full-catering service, exquisite Creole cuisine, and accommodation in single air-conditioned en-suite rooms. If you’re interested in booking a trip to Astove Atoll, or some of the other renowned Alphonse Fishing Co destinations in the Seychelles – including Cosmoledo, Alphonse Island and Poivre, send an email to:

For further information, be sure to check out these links: and

Fact file – Transport and logistics

The transportation to Astove Island is usually via Dubai to Mahé and Seychelles International Airport. Here, Emirates is an obvious choice, seeing as they have regular flights with appropriate arrival times in relation to the journey onwards: English/ The plane to Astove Atoll leaves early in the morning, and as a result you’ll need an overnight stay in Mahé. We found the villas at Eden Island, which is close to the airport, to be very charming, comfortable and relaxing. Eden Island offers beautiful, newly-built apartments, maisons, and villas situated on its own gated island with ambient marinas, cozy cafes, a shopping center, and a view to the ocean along with pearly white, palmridden sand beaches. When time permits, Eden Island is also a great starting point for discovering Mahé, the Seychellois capital.

For more information, please check: For transportation services to and from the airport, logistics or tourism requests, Creole Travel Services is your point of reference: You’ll continue your journey to Astove Atoll on a 3-hour IDC flight arranged by Alphonse Fishing Co. It departs from the IDC Hangar outside the International Airport, and getting there involves a 10-minute taxi-ride. Depending on your itinerary, you might experience a good deal of layover in Dubai International Airport on your way back, and it might therefore be a good idea to get some rest in the Dubai International Airport Hotel, which is conveniently located inside the departure terminal:

Fact File – The Fishing

If you’re in the market for targeting the biggest flats-caught giant trevallies in the Indian Ocean, Astove Atoll is the place to be. It’s shallow lagoon, jagged coastline and endless flats surrounded by sheer drop-offs provides the giant trevally with a unique and versatile feeding habitat and, as a result, giant trevallies are extremely abundant. Besides GTs, Astove Atoll boasts trophysized bonefish, Bluefin trevally, triggerfish, barracuda, milkfish and Indo-pacific permit. And if one ventures offshore, one can catch yellowfin tuna, dogtooth tuna, wahoo, groupers, sailfish and much, much more - just meters from the coral reef edge.

Fact File – Gear and Equipment

Since the species diversity at Astove Atoll is quite overwhelming, you’ll need a versatile range of tropical fly rod-and-reel setups. You’ll generally need a minimum of four

setups: An 8-weight setup for bonefish and triggerfish, a 10-weight setup for permit and milkfish, and two 12-weight setups for giant trevally – all of them pre-spooled with tropical floating lines. The reason why it’s a good idea to have an extra 12-weight setup on you at all times is that it enables you to switch quickly between poppers and streamers when sight-fishing for giant trevally. Furthermore, because giant trevallies are known for breaking rods, melting down reel drag systems and emptying backing reserves, a backup 12-weight setup is essential. While the gear required for bonefish, triggerfish, milkfish and permit is similar to that used elsewhere in the tropics, the gear needed for giant trevally is in its own league. Here, you’ll need the very best saltwater fly rods in combination with a fly reel that can stop a herd of wild horses. I found the Scott Meridian rods and Waterworks-Lamson reels (including the Cobalt) to do the job beautifully!


As a life-insurance during the utter mayhem and chaos of a giant trevally outburst you’ll need a minimum of 300 meters of 80lb backing in combination with a specially designed fly line – such as Scientific Angler’s 100lb test Sonar fly lines. The fly line is then linked to the fly via a 2-metre long 100 – 130lbs fluorocarbon tippet. It may sound completely out of proportion, but it is all due to the fact that a giant trevally needs to be treated with extreme strictness and maximum pressure during the fight. Otherwise, they will run off and you’ll risk getting spooled or being cut off on corals and other subaqueous structure. The flies, that are most commonly used at Astove Atoll, are specifically designed and developed for the fishing here. Fulling Mill, in England, have launched a series of flies developed in close cooperation with the guides at Alphonse Fishing Co, and they can be found here: The giant trevallies are fished with either NYAP poppers or gnarly streamers tied on the strongest possible 6/0 – 8/0 saltwater hooks like the Gamakatsu SL12s. They should be bulky, pulsating and have big, staring eyes – and it’s an advantage if they’re made out of materials that don’t suck in too much water. Among the local favourites are the Brush Fly, GT Mullet, Bus Ticket and Serge’s Wrasse. When it comes to wading equipment, clothing and such, you can pack like you normally would for similar tropical trips. Otherwise, Alphonse Fishing Company provides in-depth information about what to bring prior to the visit at Astove Atoll.

Fact file – Giant Trevally (Caranx Ignobilis) The Giant Trevally – or GT - is a member of the jack family, Carangidae – a family of aggressive predatory fish distributed throughout the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region. GTs are found across the marine range stretching from South Africa to Hawaii including Japan in the north and Australia in the south, and although they sometimes

school up, they are predominantly solitary predators. Phenotypically, the giant trevally is recognized by its rather steep head profile, ovate and moderately compressed body, protruding eyes, powerful tail scutes, its spiny dorsal fin and strongly forked cordal fin. It varies in colour from a charcoal black to a silvery colour with occasional dark spots and discrete marbling’s. They are broad-shouldered and muscular fish that are capable of both explosive bursts and long-distance surges. Size-wise, GTs have been recorded up to 170cm in length and weights in excess of 80 kilos. However, a 50lb+ fish caught on a fly rod is considered a trophy. They are ferocious apex predators that grow relatively


fast, reaching sexual maturity at the age of roughly three years and 60cm in length, and it is believed that they can live to about 25 years of age. GTs inhabit a very wide and varied range of offshore and inshore marine environments, but the biggest individuals seem to prefer deeper seaward reefs and drop-offs with good structure and diverse forage resources. They will, however, patrol shallow water on occasion both for hunting and reproductive purposes. GTs primarily feed on other fish such as bonefish, mullet, snappers and eels – but they will also feed on squid, shrimp, crab, lobster and even birds and turtles. ■

GOALS Words by: Nicky Holland (Personal Trainer)

Goals. What are they? To me, having a goal is having something to aim for, a vision, a target, a focus. Goals are what keep us motivated, they give us direction, purpose and meaningfulness to justify why we are doing what we are doing. With all that said, we must plan our goals specifically. It is the second month of the year and a time where a lot of people start to drop off from their fitness goals which they set at the beginning of January. Why do people do



this? The main reason, is that the goals set are too hard to achieve and the expectation of fast results is too high. Results take time, we must trust the process and keep working hard.

The goal setting acronym SMARTER stands for • Specific • Measurable • Achievable • Realistic • Time • Execution • Results

It is a great reminder of the factors we need to think about when setting a goal. If we have some-thing to aim for we are more likely to achieve. I will give you a basic analogy and make it Dubai specific. For example, you are in a desert, it is 45 degrees and you need to find shade. You look around but can’t find anything. Then you notice a tree in the distance. You keep your eyes focused on the tree and walk directly towards it. Then you find your shade. During the walk you can track your progress as you start to get closer to your goal…which is the tree. You gain confidence and become motivated as you get closer and closer to what you want which is the shade. If you didn’t have anything to aim for, then you would have no direction. No structure, no plan or target. You may start by looking at the tree but you may get distracted. This means you lose focus, direction and it will take you longer to get to where you want. In fact, you would probably still be looking for that tree now, unless you came across it through perseverance or luck. Which we sometimes do, but having a structure for your goal shows consistency. That is the difference between achieving your goal once or achieving your goal more than once.

If something is important to you, like a goal should be, don’t leave it down to luck. Have a plan, have a structure and then you can set yourself steps to monitor your progress along the way, so that you don’t lose focus, direction or motivation and to ensure you are on the right track. Think about what you really want then think about how you’re going to get there. A good tip is to write it down. Then you are committing to those goals. You see the steps visually and watch your results come together. You just need to take ownership and work hard each day to get there. If you need help with your fitness goal, then I can help you.... “Make 2018 your year that you achieve what you set out to achieve.” ■ Nicky Holland Personal Trainer Website: Instagram: @nicky__fitness




to Earn Free Speed and How to Break the Plateau Words + Photos by: Pedro Gomes

It’s very easy to progress as an athlete in the early stages – practice makes perfection and with time you will gain form, fitness and experience. There are ways of improving your performances with the same exact training you are doing, almost like gaining free speed just by tweaking a few details. To begin with, here are three simple guidelines you should embrace and take into consideration if you want to improve your next triathlon performance:

1. Train your weaknesses – most triath-

letes are very good at one discipline. Two, at the most. A swimmer will always be a strong swimmer; a runner will always have a relative faster split. Considering triathlon is the culmination of three sports, you should focus on the ones you are ‘less’ strong, likely the same you don’t like as much. Swimming is definitely the biggest handicap of triathlon because riding a bike or running is something we do almost from the minute we learn how to walk. Finding a group to train your weaknesses will help you boost your overall performances and become motivated to do so.

2. Train transitions – the

purpose of training transitions is not to save you time on the actual transitions, although you can actually find a minute or two on those. Visualize the transition you are about to do a few seconds prior to it – if you are swimming, mentally picture yourself running to your bike, picking up your helmet and rolling out. If you are biking, imagine yourself, racking your bike, putting your running shoes on and running out. Do this in the final moments of the length you are enduring. It will do wonders to your transition times. However, the main goal of incorporating transition training into your schedule should be to prepare your muscles and body for the change of sport. The swim to bike transition is fairly soft, muscle wise since you will be using different muscle groups. The bike to run transitions is usually harder since the muscle set you are using is similar. Training this transition will prepare your body and mind for it on race day and it will be much easier to deal with the emotions and sensations on race day.

3. Fuel right – you may be the most fit per-

son on race day and still not improve your performances if you do not fuel right. Think of your body as a car engine – likely the higher horse powered one wins but similar engines will have different performances accordingly to the fuel you use. Fueling your body right is the only way you will ever race at your full potential. Unlike the local 10K or 15K road races, it’s very unlikely that you will finish your triathlon race without eating anything. Either if it’s gel or energy drinks, you have to make up for the energy deficit as soon as possible during the race and you are only able to do so if you focus on your nutrition on race day from the gun on. In fact, sky is not the limit – your lack of energy is. In theory, your body can only store about 50-60 minutes of energy. If you do get to that point and you’re still going, it’s almost impossible to immediately reestablished your glycogen reserves. The body needs time to process all the energy you are in taking and you will likely hit the “wall” very fast. Do not discredit hydration either, remember that water is an important element on energy production and without it the reaction will not happen. This is not just true for your races – you should fuel your workouts right to. Train harder, race stronger. While the above three “tricks” are useful to begin with, we all will hit a plateau. It’s just the normal progression of any athlete to hit it at one point, because we as triathlete often get into a strict routine and anything that moves away from it affects your life balance and mindset. However, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is defying the rules of sanity so here are three tricks to trigger your body into the next level:

1. Train your head –

90% of all endurance races are won not by your body, but by your head. If this is true on race day,

it’s also true in training and to reach new limits you need to embrace a bit the pain, accept it, and surpass it, trying to build mental toughness. It’s often that once you hit a plateau because you quickly lose the ability to suffer hence mental toughness is one of the biggest challenges triathletes face. After a few years, their ability to suffer alone, when noone is watching and cheering, becomes less self-sufficient because we get so used to it when we race and when we train with a group. I wish I had the key that fits all to building mental toughness, but I have found that taking one or two of the weekly key sessions on your own, with no group or anyone pushing you, and embracing that key session as a race is something that works for me.

2. Take the hard days hard & the easy days really easy – as a triathlete myself,

I know this is much easier said than done. It’s, however, the secret of most successful triathletes. Our natural will is to train hard, every day for as much as possible but the body won’t have time to recover between workouts and you will eventually dig yourself into a hole of frustration, demotivation and maybe even overtraining. Taking the easy days really easy will make you go beyond and above your previous limits on hard days and make you faster on race day.

3. Hit the hills – it’s not by chance that

most pro cyclists and triathletes choose hilly locations to be based out of. Maybe it’s something you lack in the main training places in the UAE (Dubai and Abu Dhabi) and certainly you must not settle and you must hit those hills regularly. Hit the bridges for hill repeats, insert stairs on your runs, and drive to the mountains for bike rides. If you don’t have stairs or bridges nearby, and can’t find the time to drive, make one of your key sessions of running and cycling an indoor simulator one where you can practice the feel of it. The problem with training only in flats is that you are constantly rolling on a high inertia, low resistance surfaces, and you may even get excited about your average paces but you will actually be doing worse. ■



When you think of a training camp, the first thought that probably floods your mind is: that’s something for professionals! However, the reality is that anyone can benefit from one and it may be, in my opinion, fundamental for you to break certain plateaus some athletes reach at some point on their progression and, obviously it’s a boost in your fitness. On any training camp, the sole purpose is to focus on training, gathering like-minded individuals in a privileged location for training, and offering them the set up to focus on just sports, for a short period of time. From the participants is expected an extra commitment in giving their best at each session while from the promoter/organizer it is expected to arrange, organize and provide all conditions for each workout so the athlete is completely care free. But why are they fundamental? The reason is simple, when you commit to a training camp, it’s very unlikely that you will ease your way off any workout (or even skip a few) due to the peer pressure. You will “have to” show up for every scheduled session. Some athletes don’t necessarily stop working, you can still do it remotely at home, but the priority is shifted towards training and, hopefully, recovery. Improving on any sport is not just a matter of how much stress you can put your body through but also how you react and recovery from that load. This balance between work and recovery is often neglected if you have a full time job and this is where professionals get the largest edge over amateur athletes. In a training camp, you try to act like a professional and after training you spend the days laying horizontal.


My personal experience as an athlete and having endured multiple training camps over the course of this past 10 years, is also that we are all able to apply way more training loads in this perfect scenario than in any training at home kind of camp. Even if you are on vacations, you will have too many distractions that will keep you from recovering properly. It is also true that the actual fatigue from the training camp doesn’t really settle until you are back home, which tells us that the euphoria of the camp is what actually carries you through it! The group environment in a camp also helps you achieve and break new limits, providing you with a competitive feel to each session. Although I (and probably most coaches) would encourage athletes to respect their own efforts and goals, the reality is that it rarely happens in a group set up and we always try to beat the person next to us.

Our experience in Muscat, Oman:

If you are a cyclist, runner or triathlete in Abu Dhabi or Dubai, you probably have felt the lack of hills as being a big limiter to your training. Having found out about the quality of training in Barr Al Jissah, a bay area just outside of Muscat, Oman, I organized my first out of border training camp as a coach in the Middle East. If you have been

to Muscat, you are probably aware that the city is surrounded by big hills, which are easily accessed from the Barr Al Jissah area. Also, staying outside of the city avoids the big traffic area, improving training conditions and allowing us to enjoy the wonderful weather in the region during the winter. Regarding the weather; it is very similar to the UAE and while most of the northern hemisphere is facing low temperatures and dreadful conditions for training, it is a pleasant 20-25C during the day in the area. Over the last 10 years as an athlete, I have lost count of how many training camps I have done, and it was an extraordinary, fun experience to be on site actually making the calls and planning the sessions. I called it the Muscat Elite Triathlon Camp, not because all athletes present were elite or professional athletes, but because I felt like I wanted to take full advantage of the conditions the area offers and not exactly make of it a “holiday” camp rather have difficult, challenging sessions and full days of swim, bike and run. So the word “elite” is in the title for the commitment needed and the expectations. We drove from Abu Dhabi to Muscat by car, an easy 5-hour drive which took us through the deserted terrains of the country but you may also drive along the coast of Oman all the way to its capital. If you


are an expat in the UAE, beware that not all borders are suitable for you since they restrict access at some. The Meydzan one if you are coming from Abu Dhabi or the Hatta if coming from Dubai, are the best options. We stayed at the Shangri-La Resort in the Barr Al Jissah area and we did all our meals in the resort. The fact that you can park your car on the day you arrive and never touch it again until the day you leave, is step one to ensure training and recovery will not be neglected. The resort not just offered access to great roads for hilly rides and runs, as it provided with easy open water swimming conditions on its very own private beach. The result of the camp exceeded my best expectations. For most athletes present, sometimes a week with 10-12 hours of training is challenging very simply because they can’t recover fast enough due to their busy lives and hectic schedules, and to be able to muster 14 hours of training in four days was probably the hardest they have ever been pushed and will certainly boost their improvement as sportsmen (and women). Hopefully the great running, swimming but specially riding, will also leave a great stamp on their memories. The effects of a training camp are not just physical, most athletes come out of these training camps mentally tougher as well as they now know new limits. The retroactive effect will also be noticeable as these hard blocks of training will motivate them to train a little harder when they get back to their routines. Bottom line of this article is – if you never been to a training camp, you have been missing out on great fun and an incredible training booster! ■




Outrigging Paddling Name: Tina Tinggaard Nielsen Age: 46 Nationality: Danish Profession: Operations Director, The Pod Company

outdoors especially, being on water strikes a great connection with nature and having fun with surfing, meeting other paddlers from all over the world is something I really enjoy. It has been twelve years ever since and there has been no looking back!

Words by: Bandana Jain Photos by: Supplied

Outrigging is a Hawaiian Polynesian sport with roots dating back to the very beginning of Hawaii and New Zealand some 2000 years ago when the islands were actually discovered in outrigger canoes. Today, it is one of the national sports along with surfing in that part of the world. Here, in the UAE, too, it is gaining brisk momentum. So, if you are not the one to lie still and soak up the rays, get down to the beach and try outrigger paddling. “Dubai Canoe family welcomes you,” says outrigger Tina Nielsen for whom paddling is what makes her day, not sure what she would be without it and doesn’t really want to know!

What does paddling mean to you?

What inspired you to get into paddling and what has kept you hooked to it? I got introduced to it by my flat mate in the UK when I was looking for a sport after having stopped smoking. I love the great

Outrigger paddling is a fantastic sport, it gets you out on the water and a great stress buster because when you focus on paddling you get your mind away from everything else and therefore a chance to get away and see things in a different light. So, I would find it hard to work as much as I do if I didn’t have paddling in my life. Also, paddling is a great meeting point for like minded people from around the world and it goes without saying that I have forged great friendships through it. The great thing about the sport is the combination of the team and one- man training and races, so there’s never a lazy moment.

Trace your journey of outrigging…

I started outrigger paddling when I lived in the UK and loved it from day one. Within ten months, I started training twice a day for six days a week. Since I moved to Dubai in 2008, I started to surf ski as I didn’t have my one-man outrigger here yet (OC1, as it is often called). After an amazing OC6 race in Hawaii 2011 with the outrigger club in London, me and my coach Cam Taylor started discussing the possibility of getting a six-man outrigger canoe here to Dubai. Initially, three other paddlers and I got money together for one canoe and Cam promised to buy another one for us. In May 2012, we got the first two six-man outrigger canoes to Dubai and as far as I know, these are the only two in the Middle East, that are now fully owned by Cam. We are a team of around sixteen paddlers. However, the number keeps changing as people from other countries eagerly keep joining us. We are a group of different nationalities- Kiwis, Tahitians, Fijians, Brazilian, Panama, Irish English, Scots, American and Danish and we are always looking for more paddlers whether they are experienced or not!


Which has been your most memorable paddling stint and why?

There have been many memorable outrigging moments and very difficult to pick one out, but the best moments are probably the races with the crew from Dubai or simply when we are training here in the surf and trying to catch the waves and sprinting to the finishing line. Also, our two races of 48km around the Hong Kong Island have been absolutely fantastic. We were placed on third position both years. The Queen Lily race on The Big Island in Hawaii was another memorable race with 130 women canoes at the start line-six in each canoe and then the same amount of men paddling it back to the start for 38kms. For people new to outrigging, it is a tenman change race for the six-man canoe so we do changes every twenty minutes with fresh paddlers having had a break in the support boat jump in the canoe. And as Hawaiian Governor David Ige said while signing the Paris Sustainability Treaty in 2017 “We are all one canoe, one island and one planet”. This statement is very dear to me and the Dubai Outrigger Canoe Family, “We are all one canoe!” – the five words that explain all about outrigging!

also be a challenge to be a little twelve-man sport that not many people yet understand and love, like we do. Also, finding home for our two twelve-foot canoes has been a challenge. We were with DIMC in the Dubai Marina and due to the development of the Marina we are trying to find a new affordable place to have a home for our canoes. We have named our canoes as Kaimana (meaning ‘the magical ocean’) and Al Tahya (meaning ‘Arabic star’ to symbolize the fact that canoes were navigated between the islands of Hawaii, New Zealand, Tahiti, by the stars and that is how we want to think our canoe has come to the UAE).

What is next on your cards?

We are planning to do a race in France in July’18 with current paddlers and also the paddlers that have left UAE but are still a part of our Dubai Outrigger Canoe Family, followed by a race in Hong Kong in November’18. We have plenty of Dubai paddlers


that have moved back to Hawaii and are eager to join us out there, hence we are also looking at arranging a trip to the land of paddling- Tahiti or Hawaii in 2019.

How do you intend to take your enthusiasm further?

I would love the club to grow in Dubai and meet as many fantastic people within outrigger paddling as possible. I will always keep paddling and loving that connection and respect for the lovely ocean!

How would you describe UAE as a ground for paddling?

UAE is a fantastic place for paddling. It’s never too cold, sometimes very hot but it helps to know that by getting out early and getting back early you can paddle all the year around. We do get some waves, so it’s a fantastic place for paddling. The UAE has all the possibilities of being a big outrigger place as it is for stand-up paddling and surf skiing. ■ Facebook: Instagram: #bandanajain1726 Linkedin:

What challenges have you come up against? How have you kept yourself motivated despite these challenges? Dubai is a fantastic spot for watersport with fantastic people and great events, but can





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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, Decathlon, Dubai, Mirdif City Centre, +971 42839392, 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, Peiniger BMT Est., CBD, Khalifa Street, Yateem Optician Bldg., Abu Dhabi, UAE, +971 26262332, Sun and Sand Sports, most shopping centres, +971 43599905; Online store: +971 43149001; Retail store: +971 43504400,


Subaru Showroom – Al Khoory Automobiles Sheikh Zayed Road, Between 3rd and 4th Interchange, Dubai, +971 43146214 or 43146218; Email:,; 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, Dadabhai Travel, SR 1&2, GF, Gulf Towers, Oud Metha Rd. Dubai, +971 43885566, Desert Rangers, P.O. Box 33501, Dubai UAE, +971 44569944 or 507035111 Desert Road Tourism, Office 503, 5th Flr., Al Khor Plaza, Dubai, +971 42959429, Dreamdays, First Floor Rm. 107 Ibn Battuta Gate (Offices) Sheikh Zayed Rd., Dubai +971 44329392 or 44329393, Dream Explorer LLC, JLT, Dubai, P.O. Box 214576, +971 44563390 Dubai Relax Travel, P.O. Box 37459, National Towers: Churchill Tower Suite #614, Business Bay, Dubai, +971 528996307, Explorer Tours, Umm Ramool, Dubai, +971 42861991, Gulf for Good, P.O. Box 506006, 1/F, Building 4, Dubai International Humanitarian City, Dubai, +971 43680222, Gulf Ventures, Dnata Travel Centre, +971 44045880, MMI Travel LLC, Mezzanine Floor, Dnata Travel Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 4 4045999, Net Group, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, +971 26794656, Oasis Palm Dubai, P.O. Box 181258 Dubai, Office 404, Royal Plaza Building Al Rigga Street, +971 42628889 or 42686826, Rahhalah, Shata Tower – 27th Floor, Office No. 2711, Media City, Dubai, +971 44472166, Clubs Abu Dhabi Fishing, Camping, Kayaking, & Adventure Club, +971 5 04920860,


Balloon Adventures Emirates, Office 123 Oasis Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 43884044, Dubai Paragliders, +971 552120155 or 552250193, Jazirah Aviation Club, Ras Al Khaimah, +971 72446416 or 555531318, Seawings, Dubai,+971 48070708, Skydive Dubai, The Palm: Al Seyahi St, Dubai Marina, +971 43778888,

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, Al Jeer Marina, RAK border Musandam, +971 72682333 or 504873185, Al Shaali Marine, Ajman, +971 67436443, Al Yousuf Industrial, LLC, +971 4 3474111,, Elite Pearl Charter, P.O. Box 214173, Saeed Tower 1, office #3102, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 43889666, Gulf Craft, P.O. Box 666, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Street, Ajman, +971 67406060, Distributors and Dealers Art Marine LLC, Al Quoz Industrial Area, Sheikh Zayed Road, 3rd Interchange +971 43388955, or Azure Marine Dubai, +971 4 3706886, Luxury Sea Boats, Showroom #8, The Curve Building, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 4 3284629, Macky Marine LLC, Box 37594, Ground Floor, Marina Yatch Club, Office # 5, Dubai Marina, Jebel Ali, Dubai, +971 505518317, Nautilus Yachts, Sharjah, +971 553419494 or 503419494, The Boat House, P.O. Box 71628, Al Quoz, Dubai, +971 43405152, UAEBoats4Sale, Dubai Marina, +971 42932465, 567001801, 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, Blue Waters Marine, Shop 11, The Curve Bldg., Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 43808616 or 553899995, Extreme Marine, Dubai Marina Branch, +971 43992995, Japan Marine / D1 Marine, WS # 110, Dubai Maritime City, +971 4 4426395 or 55 1666035, Rineh Emirates Trading LLC, Al Quoz, Dubai,, +971 43391512 Repairs and Maintenance Extreme Marine, Jebel Ali Branch, Jebel Ali, Industrial Area, P.O. Box 97705, Dubai, +971 48830777, Rineh Emirates, Sheikha Sana Warehouse 1, Al Quoz, +971 43391512, SNS Marine, Dubai Creek & Yacht Club,

Dubai, +971 501405058, The Boat House, P.O. Box 71628, Al Quoz, Dubai, +971 43405152, 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, Captain Tony’s, Yas Marina, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, +971 26507175, Delma Industrial Supply and Marine Services, Al Bateen Jetty, Abu Dhabi, +971 26668153, Eden Yachting, Dubai Marina, +971 43282930, 50 3716377, Emirates Yatching, P.O. Box 8380, Dubai, +971 42826683 El Mundo, Dubai, +971 505517406, Four Star Travels and Tourism, Dubai, +971 561012599, 4 Yatch Chartering LLC, Toll Free: 800 YACHT (92248), Office #4, Dubai Marina Yatch Club, Dubai, Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa, Al Aqah Beach, Fujairah, +971 92449888, Ghantoot Marina & Resort, Abu Dhabi, +971 529933153, Happy Days Sea Cruising LLC, Dubai, +971 48706668, LY Catamaran, Bur Dubai, +971 566506683, Marine Concept, P.O. Box 282586, Office 611, Al Barsha Business Centre, Dubai, +971 43958022, 559603030 Nautica1992, Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection, Dubai Marina, +971 504262415, 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 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, The Yellow Boats LLC, Dubai Marina Walk – opposite Spinneys, Intercontinental Hotel Marina, 800892, Marinas Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club, Abu Dhabi, Breakwater, +971 26815566, Abu Dhabi Marina, Abu Dhabi, Tourist Club Area, +971 26440300 Al Jeer Marina, RAK Border, Musandam +971 72682333 or 504873185, Al Wasl Charter & Fishing, Airport Road, Al Qwais Bldg., Off. 207, Dubai, UAE, +971 42394760 or 42959477, Dubai Creek Marina, Deira, Dubai, +971 43801234, Dubai International Marine Sports Club, Dubai Marina, +971 43995777, Dubai Marina Yacht Club, Dubai, +971 43627900, Dubai Maritime City Harbour Marina, Dubai, +971 43455545 Dubai Offshore Sailing Club, Dubai, +971 43941669, Emirates Palace Marina, Abu Dhabi, +971 26907725 Fujairah International Marine Club, Fujairah, +971 92221166, Intercontinental Abu Dhabi Marina, Al Bateen, Intercontinental Hotel, Abu Dhabi, +971 26666888, Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa Marina, Jebel Ali, Dubai, +971 48145555

Pavilion Marina, Dubai, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, +971 44068800 Umm Al Quwaim Marine Sports Club, Umm Al Quwaim, +971 67666644, Dragon Boat Groups Dubai Dawn Patrol Dragon Boating, Dubai, +971 508795645, Dubai Diggers, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, pier next to 360, Dubai, +971 501547175, UAE Dragon Boat Association, +971 507634008,

Camping & Hiking

Equipment, +971 505548255, Gulf Camping, Dubai, UAE, +971 551222252 or 502550666, 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, Tour Operators Arabia Outdoors, Dubai, +971 559556209, Absolute Adventure, Dubai, +971 43926463, Desert Road Tourism, Al Khor Plaza – 503, Dubai, +971 42959428, Libra Travel & Tourism LLC, +971 43397700, LibraTravelDubai Mountain High Middle East, Dubai, +971 506595536, Sheesa Beach, Musandam, Dibba, +971 50336046,


Mountain High Middle East, Dubai, +971 43480214,


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



Al Shaheen Adventure, Abu Dhabi, +971 28137444, Arabia Outdoors, Dubai, +971 559556209, Dorell Sports Management, Dubai World Trade Centre, +971 43065061, E-Sports UAE, Dubai, +971 43697817, The Club, Abu Dhabi, +971 26731111, Information UAE Climbing, +971 506456491,

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, Micah’s Bike Shop, Warehouse No.4 6th St. Al Quoz 3, Dubai, +971 43805228 Probike, Dubai, Al Barsha 1, +971 43255705, Rage Shop, Al Ghurair Centre: +971 4294 8634; MOE: +971 43413388; Al Wahda Mall, Abu Dhabi: +971 24437617, Dubai Mall: +971 44341549, Revolution Cycles, Shop G05, Apex Atrium, Motor City, Dubai, +971 43697441, Ride Bike Shop, Sheikh Zayed Road: +971 43395602; Mirdif City Centre: +971 42840038; Al Seef Village Mall, Abu Dhabi: +971 26337172, Sportz Unlimited, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, + 971 43388644 or 43391333 Tamreen Sports LLC, Khalifa Street, Abu Dhabi, +971 26222525, The Cycle Hub, Motor City, Dubai, +971 505528872 or 44256555, 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, Trikke UPT, P.O. Box 53527, Dubai, + 971 43434499; P.O. Box 33869, Abu Dhabi, +971 26333377, Wolfi’s Bike Shop, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 43394453, Operator Absolute Adventure, Dubai, +971 43926463,, Clubs Abu Dhabi Tri Club, Cycle Safe Dubai, Dubai Autodrome Dubai Roadsters, +971 43394453,



Equipment Al Boom Marine, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, +971 42894858, Al Hamur Marine and Sports Equipment, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, +971 43444468 Al Masaood Marine, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 43468000, Al Yousuf Motors, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 43390621, Blue Waters Marine, +971 43808616, Dubai, Gulf Marine Sports, Abu Dhabi, +971 26710017, Premiers for Equipment, Sheikh Zayed 1st. Road, Abu Dhabi, +971 26665226, Dive, Building #123, Street 26, Area 369, Al Quoz Industrial Area 4, Dubai, +971 43414940, Scuba 2000, Al Bidiya Beach, Fujairah, +971 92388477, Diving Centres Al Boom Diving (equipment), Dubai, Al Wasl Rd, +971 43422993, Al Jeer Marina, RAK Border, Musandam, +971 72682333, Al Mahara Dive Center, near Muroor St. across from main bus terminal, +971 26437377,, Arabian Diver, Hilton Marine, Ras Al Khaimah, +971 72226628 or 502428128 Arabian Divers and Sportfishing Charters, Al Bateen Marina Resort, Abu Dhabi, +971 506146931, Coastal Technical Divers,, Deep Blue Sea Diving, International City, Dubai, +971 44308246, Desert Islands, Sir Bani Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE, +971 28015454, Divers Down, +971 559888687, Dubai; Fujairah, Rotana Al Aqah Hotel Resort & Spa, +971 92370299, Emirates Divers Centre, Abu Dhabi, near Meena Fish Market, +97126432444, Freediving UAE, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, +971 506130486, Freestyle Divers, Al Corniche Street, Dibba, Fujairah, +971 504514259, Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa - Al Aqah Beach, Al Aqah Beach, Fujairah, +971 92449888, Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, Dibba Road, Fujairah, +971 92449000, Neptune Diving, +971 504347902, Pavilion Dive Centre (equipment), Dubai, +971 44068828 Scuba 2000, Al Bidiya Beach, Fujairah, +971 92388477, Scuba, +971 502053922, 7 Seas Diving Center, Khorfakkan, +971 92387400, Sharjah Wanderers Dive Club, Sharjah, +971 506683430, Sheesa Beach, Dibba, Musandam, +971 503336046, Sky & Sea Adventures, Dubai, Hilton, Jumeirah Beach Road, +971 43999005, Clubs Atlantis Underwater Photography Club, Dubai, +971 44263000 Desert Sports Diving Club, Dubai, Emirates Diving Association, Diving Village, Al Shindagha, Dubai, +971 43939390, Filipino SCUBA Divers Club (FSDC), Dubai, UAE, +971 566952421, Freediving UAE, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah,, Sharjah Wanderers Dive Club, Sharjah, +971 507840830,


Fishing & Kayaking

Equipment Al Boom Marine, Abu Dhabi & Dubai, +971 42894858, Al Hamur Marine and Sports Equipment, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, +971 43444468 Al Masaood Marine, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 43468000, Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd, +971 43390000, Arabian Divers and Sportfishing Charters, Al Bateen Marina Resort, Abu Dhabi, +971 506146931, Barracuda Fishing and Outdoor, Dubai, Street 13A 1, Al Safa 1, +971 43466558, Blue Waters Marine, Shop 11, The Curve Bldg., Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 43808616 or 553899995, Challenging Adventure, Wadi Al Bih Ras Al Khaimah, +971 561060798 or 44538386, Global Climbing Trading LLC, Dubai Investment Park 1, Dubai, +971 48829361, Ocean Active, Dubai, Garden Centre, +971 502898713, Operators Absolute Adventure, Dubai, +971 43926463, 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, Al Mahara Dive Center, Downtown Abu Dhabi, +971 501118125, Al Wasl Charter & Fishing, Airport Road, Al Qwais Bldg., Off. 207, Dubai, UAE, +971 42394760 or 42959477, Al Shaheen Adventure, Abu Dhabi, +971 26429995, Al Wasl Charter & Fishing (Al Wasl Passenger Yachts and Boats Rental LLC), Airport Road, Al Owais Building, Dubai, +971 42394761, Arabian Divers and Sportfishing Charters, Al Bateen Marina Resort, +971 506146931, Arabia Outdoors, Dubai, +971 559556209, 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, Fun Beach Water Sports, Dubai, +971 507050433 or 506947764, Happy Days Sea Cruising LLC, Dubai, +971 48706668, 503960202, Hiltonia Beach Club, Hilton Abu Dhabi Hotel, Abu Dhabi, +971 26811900 Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, Dibba Road, Fujairah, +971 92449000, Nautica 1992, Dubai, +971 504262415, Noukhada Adventure Company, Villa 332/7, Al Meena Street, Abu Dhabi, +971 25581889, Ocean Active, +971 504592259, Sheesa Beach, Dibba, Musandam, +971 503336046, Soolyman Sport Fishing, Umm Suquiem, Fishing Port No. 2, Jumeirah Beach, +971 508866227, 508866228 or 503402379, Summertime Marine Sports, Dubai, +971 42573084, Xclusive Yachts, Dubai, Dubai Marina, +971 44327233, Clubs Abu Dhabi Camping, Fishing & Kayaking Club, Dubai Surfski & Kayak Club, Kitesurfers’ Beach, Umm Suqeim 1, Dubai, +971 554986280,

General Sports Equipment Distributors

Adventure HQ, Dubai Times Square Center, Sheikh Zayed Rd, Toll free: 800-ADVENTURE,

Al Yousuf Motors, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 43390621, 800 Sport, Al Quoz, Dubai +971 43467751, Flip Flop Arabia, +971 556881793, 501084010, Global Climbing Trading LLC, Dubai Investment Park 1, Dubai +971 48829361, Highbury Trading FZE LLC, P.O. Box 16111, RAK Free Trade Zone Authority, Ras Al Khaima, +971 526799506, Jack Wolfskin, Al Wahda Mall, Abu Dhabi, +971 24437802 Ocean Sports FZE, +971 559352735, Picnico General Trading, near Sharaf DG Metro Station, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 43951113 Portable Shade UAE, Jebel Ali, Dubai, UAE, +971 508897125, Sport in Life Distribution, Nad Al Hammar Rd., Ras Al Khor, Dubai, UAE, +971 42896001 or 42896002,, 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, Black Horse LLC, Baniyas West, Near Empost Abu Dhabhi, +971 25866205, Bonjour Equestrian Supplies, Nad Al Hammar Rd., Ras Al Kho, Dubai, UAE, +971 42896001, +971 42896002,, Cavalos Equine Care and Supplies, 16th Street, Al Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, +917 22222433, Emirta Horse Requirement Centre, Sheik Zayed Rd., Dubai, +971 43437475, Equestrian Clubs/Centres Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, +971 24455500, Al Ahli Riding School, Al Amman Street, Dubai-Sharjah Rd., +971 42988408, Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Abu Dhabi, +971 25568555, Al Jiyad Stables, Behind Dubai International Endurance City, Dubai, +971 505995866,, Al Sahra Desert Resort Equestrian Centre, Dubai, +971 44274055, Desert Equestrian Club, Mirdif, Dubai, +971 503099770 or 501978888 Desert Palm Riding School, Near Al Awir Road (going to Hatta-Oman), Dubai, +971 43238010, Dubai Polo Academy, Dubai, +971 508879847, Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Dubai, Arabian Ranches, +971 43618111, Emirates Equestrian Centre, Dubai, +971 505587656, Ghantoot Polo & Racing Club, Exit 399, Abu Dhabi/ Dubai Highway, Abu Dhabi, +971 25629050, Golden Stables Equestrian Club, Al Khawaneej, Dubai, (Nouri) +971 555528182 Hoofbeatz, located just inside the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Dubai, +971 569424551, Mushrif Equestrian and Polo Club, Mushrif Park, Al Khawaneej Road, Dubai, +971 42571256, Rahal Ranch, Al Wathba Racing Area, Abu Dhabi, +971 565066741, Riding for the Disabled, Dubai,,, Sharjah Equestrian & Racing Club, Sharjah, Al Dhaid Road, +971 65311188,

MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE Racecourses Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, +971 24455500, Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club, Exit 399, Abu Dhabi/ Dubai Highway, Abu Dhabi, +971 25629050, 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, Sharjah Racecourse, Al Dhaid Road, Sharjah, +971 65311155,

Jet Ski Dealers

Al Masaood Marine, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, +971 43468000, Al Yousuf Motors, Sheikh Zayed Rd., Dubai, +971 43390621, Japan Marine General Trading, Al Garhoud Road, Liberty Building, Dubai, +971 44426395,, Liberty Kawasaki, Interchange 4, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Direct: +971 45019442, 45019412 or 43419341,

Motocross & ATV’s

Dealers Al Badayer Rental (Rental), Dubai-Hatta Road, +971 68861161 or 507842020, Al Shaali Moto, Ras Al Khor, +971 43200009, Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd, +971 43390621, 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, Liberty Kawasaki, Interchange 4, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Direct: +971 45019442, 45019412 or 43419341, Motoventure, Hobbies Club, Al Awir, Hatta Road, Dubai, +971 555437392, Elite Dune Off Road Motorcycles Rental L.L.C. (MXDUBAI / Just Gas It), Falcon Oasis Desert Safari Camp, Al Awir, Dubai / +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, Sebsports, Al Quoz Industrial Area 1 Dubai, +971 43393399, Equipment Sandstorm Motorcycles (Rental), Al Quoz, Dubai, +971 43395608, Sebsports, Dubai, Al Quoz Industrial Area 3, +971 43393399, 2XWheeler, Motorcity Dubai, +971 44548388,


Distributors and Dealers Al Yousuf Motors, Sheikh Zayed Rd., Dubai, +971 43390621, Ducati, Al Salam Street, Abu Dhabi, +971 24918593, 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, Harley-Davidson, Mussafah 4, Street 10, Abu Dhabi, +971 25540667,, Liberty Kawasaki, Interchange4, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Direct: +971 45019442, 45019412 or 43419341, Polaris UAE, Al Ghandi Complex, Nad al Hamar Road, Ras Al Khor, +971 42896100, Tristar Motorcycles, Al Awir Road, Nr Oman Transport, +971 43330659, Workshops and Services Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Abu Dhabi, +971 25568555, Dubai Autodrome, Dubai, +971 43678700, Emirates Motorplex, Umm Al Quwain, +971 67681166 2xWheeler Adventures, Dubai, +971 44548388, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, 800 YAS (927) or +971 26599800,


Dealers Bling My Truck, +971 503634839 or 505548255,, 4x4 Motors LLC, Shk. Zayed Rd, Dubai, +971 43384866, Liberty Automobiles, Dubai, 800 5423789, Repairs and Services AAA Service Centre, Al Quoz, Dubai, UAE, +971 4 2858989, Icon Auto Garage, Dubai, +971 43382744, Mebar Auto, Al Quoz, Industrial Area 2, Dubai, UAE, +971 43469600, Off Road Zone, Dubai, Al Quoz, +971 43392449, Saluki Motorsport, Dubai, +971 43476939 Equipment Advanced Expedition Vehicles,


Dubai & Abu Dhabi, +971 43307152, Al Yousuf Motors, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 43390621, ARB Emirates 4x4 Accessories, Dubai International City, +971 4 4327190 & Musaffah, Abu Dhabi, +971 2 5553600 Bling My Truck, +971 503634839 or 505548255, Heartland UAE, Al Mafraq Industrial, Abu Dhabi, +971 569796524 or 506472447, Icon Auto Garage, Dubai, +971 43382744, Mebar Auto, Al Quoz, Industrial Area 2, Dubai, UAE, +971 4 3469600, Wild X Adventure Shop, Dubai-Hatta Road, Dubai, +971 48321050, Yellow Hat, Nad Al Hamar, and Times Square Center, Dubai, +971 42898060, Tour Operators Arabian Adventures, Dubai & Abu Dhabi, +971 43034888, Desert Road Tourism, Al Khor Plaza – 503, Dubai, +971 42959429, Oasis Palm Dubai, Dubai, +971 4 2628832 or 4 2686826, Clubs Abu Dhabi Off- Road Club, ALMOST 4x4 Off-Road Club, +971 507665522, Dubai Offroaders, www.dubaioffroaders. com JEEP Wrangler JK Fun Club,, ME 4X4,


Clubs ABRasAC, Dubai, Abu Dhabi Tri Club, Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Striders,, Al Ain Road Runners, Abu Dhabi, +971 504188978, Mirdif Milers, Dubai, Dubai Creek Striders Desert Road Runners

Stand up Paddling, Kite & Surfing, Wakeboarding

Equipment Al Boom Marine, Abu Dhabi & Dubai, +971 42894858, Al Masaood Marine, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 43468000, Kitesurf Dubai, Kitesurf Beach, Umm Suqueim and Jumeirah 3 +971 505586190, 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, Surf Shop Arabia, Building 1, Al Manara Road (East), Interchange 3, Dubai, +971 564716180, Surf School Arabia, +971 556010997, UAE Kite Surfing, +971 505626383, Distributors Kitepeople Kite & Surf Store,

International City, Dubai, +971 504559098, Ocean Sports FZE, +971 559352735, Operators Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Abu Dhabi, +971 25568555, Dubai Kite Surf School, Umm Suqeim Beach, Dubai, +971 504965107, Duco Maritime, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah and Abu Dhabi, +971 508703427, Dukite, Kitesurf Beach, Umm Suqeim, Dubai,+971 507586992, Kite Fly, Dubai, +971 502547440, Kitepro Abu Dhabi, Yas Island and Al Dabbayyah, Abu Dhabi, +971 505441494, Nautica1992, Dubai, +971 504262415, Shamal Kite Surfing, Umm Suqueim Dubai, +971 507689226, Sky & Sea Adventures, Dubai, Hilton, Jumeirah Beach Road, +971 43999005, Surf School UAE, Umm Suqeim Beach and Building 1, Al Manara Road (East), Interchange 3, Dubai, +971 43791998, Watercooled, Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa, Dubai, +971 48876771, Water Cooled, Watercooled Sports Services LLC, Hilton Beach Club, Abu Dhabi, +971 26395997, Clubs Abu Dhabi Stand Up Paddle, UAE SUP and Surf Association, +971 26665588,

Water Parks

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

Other leisure activities

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

Health, Safety & Training

Safety Lessons Marine Concept Yacht Charter & Sea School, Rania Business Centre, Dubai, +971 559603030, Sport and Health Centres Bespoke Wellness, Dubai, +971 553724670,





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 Orthosports Medical Centre, 5B Street,

Jumeira Beach road, Dubai, 800 ORTHO (67846), The Physio Center, Suite 405, Building 49,

Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai, +971 44370570,


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

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

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, Oman’s Kite Center, +968 94006007,

Manufacturer Saphire Marine, PO Box: 11, Post Code 118, Muscat, Oman, +968 24568887, 24566566, 24561619 or 24568881, Marinas Marina Bandar Al Rowdha, Muscat, Oman, +968 24737286 (ext 215),


Horse Riding

Fishing & Kayaking

Adventure tours and desert safaris

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


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

QATAR DIRECTORY Adventure tours and desert safaris

Al Mulla Travels, P.O. Box 4147, Doha, Qatar, +974 44413488, Alpha Tours, P.O. Box 13530, Doha, Qatar, +974 4344499, Al QAYED Travel & Tours, PO Box: 158, Doha, Qatar, +974 44072244, Arabian Adventures, PO Box 4476, Doha, Qatar, +974 44361461, 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, Falcon Travels, PO Box 22031, Doha, Qatar, +974 44354777, Gulf Adventures Tourism LLC, P.O. Box 18180, 29 Aspire Zone Street, Aspire Zone Al Ryyan City, State of Qatar Switchboard: +974 44221888, Net Tours Qatar, P.O. Box 23080, Doha, Qatar, +974 4310902, Regency Travel & Tours, +974 44344444, Qatar Adventure, P.O. Box 13915, Doha, Qatar, +974 55694561, Qatar Inbound Tours, P.O. Box 21153, +974 77451196, Qatar International Tours, P.O. Box 55733 Doha, Qatar, +974 44551141, Qatar Ventures, Barwa Village Bulding #12 Shop #33, Doha, Qatar, +974 55776679,

Cycling, Running & Triathlon Qatar Chain Reaction, Qatar Sandstromers, +974 77775207 or 77776634, QatarSandstormers Velostar Doha, groups/587539064642288/ Doha Bay Running Club, TriClub Doha,

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, GO Sport Qatar, City Centre Mall, 3rd Floor, +974 44631644; Villaggio Mall, +974 44157463, Sun & Sand Sports Qatar, City Centre Mall, +974 44837007; Dar Al Salam Mall, +974 44510179; Mustafawi Exhibition, +974 44935183,

Boating & Sailing

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

Add your free listing to the 66


Equestrian Clubs/Centres Al Shaqab, P.O. Box 90055, Doha, Qatar, +974 44546320, Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club, Racing and Equestrian Club, P.O. Box 7559, Doha, Qatar, +974 44197704,


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, Extreme Adventure, P.O. Box 33002, Shop 3, 4 Ahmed Bin Ali Street (Bin Omran), Doha, Qatar, +974 44877884, GoSport, City Centre Mall, 3rd Floor, Qatar: +974 44631644; Villagio Mall, Qatar: +974 44517574, Pearl Divers, P.O. Box 2489, Doha, Qatar, +974 44449553, Poseidon Dive Center, P.O. Box: 11538, Ras Abu Abboud Street, Al Emadi Suites, Showroom #2, Doha, Qatar +974 66084040, Qatar Scuba Center, 187 Al Mansoura Street, Al Mansoura Area, Doha, Qatar, +974 66662277, Q-Dive Marine Centre, Souq Al Najada cnr of Grand Hamad and Ali bin Abdulla Street; +974 55319507 or 4375065, World Marine Centre, PO Box 6944, Doha, Qatar, +974 44360989, Qatar Divers, Marriott Hotel Marina Near Old Airport, Ras Abu Aboud Area, Doha, Qatar, +974 55246651, 40405156, Qatar Marine, Go Sport City Center West Bay, P.O. Box 16657, Doha, +974 55319507, Qatar Scuba Centre, 187 Al Mansoura Street, Al Mansoura Area, Doha, Qatar, +974 66662277 or 44422234,

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


Muscat Diving & Adventure Centre, Oman, +968 24543002, Oman World Tourism, Oman, +968 24565288,

Fishing & Kayaking

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

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, Extreme Adventure, Shop 3,4 Ahmed Bin Ali Steet, Doha, +974 44877884, Fish World, P.O. Box 1975, Doha, Qatar, +974 44340754 State of Qatar (QatarSub), Souq Waqif, next to the Falcon Souq, +974 4431234, Operators Paddle Qatar, +974 55490895,

Stand Up Paddeling, Kite & Surfing, Wakeboarding

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

Cycling (Road & Off Road)

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


OutdoorUAE - February 2018  
OutdoorUAE - February 2018  

Come run, come hike, come bike, come travel, come explore with Outdoor UAE in the month of February! With our usual lineup of advice, gear a...