Page 1

The Outdoor Gear Issue

Complimentary Copy


++extra pages

‘like’ us on Facebook!

Outdoor gear and product reviews

Ajman Glory

New Dive Site Ian and Brian rediscover a lost wreck

Xp150 & Xp170


TRIED & TESTED in Asilah Oman

++A Fishy Vision Fishing Kit has

What lure colour is the best?

Bare necessities John’s BARE family camping necessities

Get to us on Facebook!


Issue 21, September 2012



september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM


Managing Editor Daniel Birkhofer Editors Kim Perks, Tara Atkinson, Angelo Cabrera Designer Oybek Daniyarov Administration Jane Mesina Sales & Marketing (advertisement enquiries) Tara Atkinson Tel: 04-447 2030 Mobile: 055 9398915

more content this month than ever before Can you feel it? Yes, the magazine just got heavier and it’s loaded with more content this month than ever before, with tons of products for your outdoor musings and some great articles to follow suit. We knew we would reach this point during the season but we did not expect to have to increase our pages before the season really kicked off!

Published by Outdoor UAE FZE P.O. Box 215062 Dubai, U.A.E. Tel. 04-447 2030

This issue is the first one with 68 instead of the regular 60 pages, and rest assured, this is just the beginning of more improved changes you will see this season, not only with the magazine but with all our services. We are working on some very exciting events and concepts to get you involved and connected as well as many improvements with our presence on the world wide web.

Distributor Tawzea, Abu Dhabi Media Company P.O. Box 40401, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.

If you have any feedback or any recommendations share them with us. We are not only open for any dialog, we are eager to get your feedback because by the end of the day, all we do is for you and the community so your opinion really counts.

Printed at Galadari Printing & Publishing LLC P.O. Box 11243 Dubai, U.A.E.

If you visit ADIHEX exhibition, don’t miss out and to pass by to our stand 7F12 this week.

Daniel Birkhofer

© 2012 Outdoor UAE FZE Issue 21, September 2012 The Outdoor Gear Issue

Price: 10 DHS


+extRA pAgeS

+ +

‘like’ us on Facebook!


OutdOOr gear and prOduct reviews

Ajman Glory

New Dive Site ian and Brian rediscover a lost wreck

Daniel Birkhofer Founder and Editor in Chief

Xp150 & Xp170


tRieD & teSteD in Asilah Oman

Tara Atkinson Sales and Marketing

Oybek Daniyarov Graphics & Programming

++A FiShy viSiON Fishing Kit has

what lure colour is the best?

BARe NeceSSitieS John’s BARe family camping necessities

Get to us on Facebook!


Issue 21, September 2012

The information contained is for general use only. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this magazine has been obtained from reliable sources, however the publisher is not responsible for any errors. All information in this magazine is provided “as is”, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information. In no event will the publisher, its related affiliates or anyone else be responsible for any decision made or action taken in reliance on the information in this magazine. All contents are under copyrights and may not be reproduced in any kind without written permission. © 2012 Outdoor UAE FZE Reg. at Creative City Fujairah P.O. Box 4422, Fujairah, U.A.E.


Kim Perks Copywriter and Editor

Jane Mesina Administration

Angelo Cabrera Junior Editor

+ +


Kit Belen Our fishing pro

Pete Aldwinckle Climber and all-round adventure seeker

Gordon T Smith Desert Diver and wannabe Marine Biologist

Mike Nott The 4x4 expert

John Basson Moto/ATV and all round adventure seeker

Tori Leckie Writer, runner, blogger, adventurer and adidas athlete

Patrice Wergifosse Traveller and adventurer

Ian Ganderton Kayaker, climber, mountainbiker and snowboarder. Enthusiastic jack of all trades, master of none.

Toby Foord-Kelcey





september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

















september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM


Here are the best shots sent in by

you for the monthly ‘Want Fame?’ photography competition! We had so many entries, so we had to add a couple more because they were so brilliant. Congratulations to the top 3 winners (who each receive Buff headwear and 5 free copies of the magazine) Aey Pothecary, Deo Lone and Robin Leyde. Well done!

To submit your shots simply email us at with the subject ‘Best Shots’. You can submit maximum 3 image per month.

Aey Pothecary-Levi Body Drag


Deo Lone- Valley of Jebel Hafeet


Robin Leyde -Hatta Pools




september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

EVENTS CALENDAR Stay up-to-date with the latest events

Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition (ADIHEX) September 5 to 8, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC), Abu Dhabi

The high profile event will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year and will feature many festivities and live performances such as an equestrian show, falcon & saluki beauty contest, camel auction, art competitions and traditional hunting activities. Visitors will have the opportunity to purchase the latest camping, hunting, equestrian, outdoor and marine sports equipment; as well as seeing a designated heritage area to acquaint visitors with the deep-rooted traditions of Abu Dhabi and the UAE. P.S. OutdoorUAE will be there as well, come down to our stand 7F12 to meet the team and pick up your latest copy of OutdoorUAE

Mini Desert Challenge 10km

September 13, 6:30 p.m – 8:00pm start , Al Qudra Road, Dubai This hiking event is meant for first-time desert hikers and those who want to practice with their GPS skills more. Everyone is welcome to join, but it will be quite tough considering the heat and humidity of the month. The format will be an approximate 10km loop out on the Al Qudra Road (between Arabian Ranches and Bab al Shams). Registrations will close either when 50 teams is reached or two days before the event. For more info, visit the UAE Adventure Racing Facebook group or register at

UAE International Jet Ski Championships September 14, 3:00 p.m to 5:00 p.m, Breakwater, Abu Dhabi

The international marine sports clubs of Abu Dhabi and Dubai have joined together to organize and host the UAE International Jet Ski championships. Since the launch of the championship it has grown in to a very strong international competition with participation of the regions and world best Jet Ski racers. The races are divided into different classes, allowing competitors to compete at their own level of specialty. This means the races are always very close and racers must rely on their skills to beat the competition. For more information visit

Aloft Runs For Children

September 22, 9:00 a.m, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center, Abu Dhabi This event is the first of its kind in the Middle East where runners and families can enjoy a sporty funday inside this fantastic cool venue and raise money for charity. Besides being the first competition run of the season for the Abu Dhabi running community, it is a family and team fun event. Visit or for more details.




september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

Never Stop Exploring In-store talk:

September 25, 7:00 p.m to 8:30 p.m, the North Face Store, the Dubai Mall, Cinema Parking Come and join The North Face® and OutdoorUAE at The Dubai Mall to hear 3 very different stories about the Outdoors, Adventure and Exploration. Meet three extraordinary people: Omar Samra, Cath Todd and Read Macadam; who never stop exploring, pushing and challenging themselves. Please note there is limited availability. To reserve your seats email before the 15th of Sept.

Waves & Race Masters September 28, Wadi Adventure, Al Ain

The Wadi Adventure Waves & Race Masters is the first of a nine-event series hosted by the surf and SUP clubs from Abu Dhabi and Dubai. It is meant to promote Stand-Up Paddling and show solidarity between watermen. It also the first league of its kind in the Arab region and aims to promote the UAE as an international Stand-Up Paddling hub. To register or find out more information about the event, email

Spinneys’ Build-Up Ride 2 of 4 September 28, 6:00 a.m, Dubai

According to the group, the Spinneys’ Build-up Rides are designed to be the “next step”, following on from Wednesday nights down at the Dubai Autodrome on the Spinneys Cycle Safe nights, and is one’s path to getting ready for the Spinneys’ Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge. Cycle Safe Dubai has designed a training calendar that will get you from the couch to 92km in 5 months. For more information and to register for the second of the four-part series ride, visit


september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM


“Take Me With You” Over the last two months, we asked you to ‘take us’ to the most exotic and adventurous outdoor locations you have visited. Here are the exceptional entries that we received for our; “Take Me With You” competition! Thanks to Ian Ganderton, Gordon Smith, Jacob, Omar, Matthias Schwarz and Kevin West for sending in these splendid photos with our magazine! Each of you have won a Light My Fire Camping Kit worth more than AED 120!

‘Like Us’ raffle winners announced! We would like to thank all our fans who have supported the magazine and our Facebook page. Over the last two years, we have seen the community grow on our social networks and with hard work to get the message out there, we have gone from strength to strength, and without our devoted fans, this would not have happened! As a way to celebrate how far we have come, we ran a raffle on Facebook to give away 100 Meal kits to 100 lucky Facebook likers between the 15th and 25th of August (over the Eid holidays). Outdoor UAE would like to congratulate the 100 lucky chosen winners who will receive a Meal Kit from Light My Fire worth 80 AED!

If you want to find out if you were one of the winners, log onto For more information about our competitions, ‘Like’ us on Facebook and get involved!




september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

+ +

Q&A Where to rent Quads in Dubai?

Atif Mahmood sent us by email the question where to rent a Quad bike in Dubai. He wanted to have the information before his visit to Dubai and of course he got his answer: Thank you for the kind query. The nearest quad bike shop that provides rental services around your place in Al Barsha would be along the strip of Sheikh Zayed Road. You can try and get in touch with Sandstorm Motorcycles (+97143470270, And if you would like, you can also try the Golden Desert Motorcycle Rentals (+971507842020,; the latter business would be far out in the Dubai-Hatta Road, but their manager said that they can make travel arrangements for you from your location to their spot. The two will businesses be more than happy to accommodate you with other information that you would need to know regarding rates and offers. You can check the commercial directory at the back to see the list of other ATV rentals that might pique your interest, and our online commercial directory at, too! We hope that this would answer your query well enough! Your Outdooruae team.

What are the new border rules to cross the Dibba border post? Ian Ganderton sent us by email a request if we know more about the new border regulations on the Dibba Border post at the East Cost, since rumors are going around that it’s not possible anymore to cross the checkpoint if you haven’t registered before for an entry permit with any tourist business in Dibba. Lisa Schwaiger from Sheesa Beach Travel & Tourism in Dibba was so kind to provide us with the current border rules: Please note that all UAE residents are required to send 1 week prior the trip to Dibba a copy of their passport visa page as well as a copy of the front page (the one with your photo on) to the hotel or dhow operator. No need to send copies for guests on UAE tourist/visit visa. They will submit this information to the police check point prior entering Dibba Oman which is new ruling from the UAE government. The original passport is required on the day of entering Dibba Oman at the check point for all people. Please be informed that there are no restrictions to enter into Dibba Oman for certain nationalities. (You still might be lucky and will not be checked and make it though the border post without the preparation in advance. Unfortunately yet, there is no rule or information how to enter Dibba Oman for a private trip – by the new rule it would not be possible.) Have you got any questions about the outdoors and the activities that we cover? You can post them up on our Facebook wall at or send them to and we’ll answer them the best way we can!

e let tH

d o o G imes

*1st year insuranCe absolutely


*Get FinanCinG proFit rates



*Terms And Conditions Apply



*Customer inCentives up to


ts r o p S m u 2 Makto

p i h s n o i p m a Ch



oss Se


ne G hotos: Way Words + P

Under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamad Bin Saif Al Sharqi, the annual sporting event takes place during the Holy month of Ramadan, with the motocross racing being spread over 2 weekends making for exciting racing as all riders attempt to take home some of the generous prize money that is on offer. The 2012 event was held over the first 2 weekends in August and spectators were treated to a great show, with each class having two races per night that provided 4 nights of action packed racing. The purpose-built floodlit track was in great condition for the riders and with the high temperatures and humidity became a real test of the riders’ fitness levels. The competitors were split amongst 3 race classes:

r Motoc


Sam Sunderla

The Open class was dominated by Sam Sunderland aboard a Honda CRF450R. The 23–year-old from England won all eight of the Open class races held

Seb Hussein


Top 5 per class

The Open Class: Where riders could ride 250cc or 450cc machines.


The Clubman Class: Where riders with less experience competed. Quad Cass: Four-wheeled action that provided spectators with some of the closest racing. Motjaba Karimzadeh



way fight for the win amongst Saif Al Kumaiti, Philip Van Der Walt and Sean Holder. All three riders provided great, hard fought racing and consistently finished in the top 3 in their races over the course of the two weekends. In the end it was UAE’s Saif Al Kumaiti who got the win, followed by South Africas Van Der Walt and Holder in 2nd and 3rd. Some of the weekends’ best action came from the quad class with the Obaid Al Kitbe from UAE and Sebastien Husseini involved in great battles over both weekends. The two riders went back and forth in nearly swopping victories in all the races. When the dust settled, it was Husseini that managed to come out on top overall after Al Kitbe made a few mistakes and finished 2nd whilst Mansoor Suwaidi rounded out the podium in 3rd.

over the two weekends. The newly-signed HRC Factory Honda rider led from start to finish in 7 of the 8 races and put on a great display of consistency- fast riding on the tight, technical track. While Sunderland was out front, there was a bunch of great racing going on behind him, with riders battling for the final two podium spots. At the end of the two-weekend race, it was Motjaba Karimzadeh from Iran riding a KTM 250SX-F in 2nd and South African Sean Gaugain (who recovered from a spectacular crash) riding a Honda CRF250R that rounded up the final three, both proving that consistency and determination was key in all 8 races to be able to get up on the finishing podium. In the Clubman Class, there was a three-

1.Sam Sunderland 2. Motjaba Karimzadeh 3. Sean Gaugain 4. Eric Delleuse 5. Olly Eveleigh


1.Saif Al Kumaiti 2.Philip Van der Walt 3.Sean Holder 4.Murice Dineen 5.Anwar Nuamy


1.Sebastien Husseini 2.Obaid Al Kitbe 3. Mansoor Suwaidi 4. Mobel Ali Issa 5.Alex McFarlane

Wayne Gray


september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM






SHARJAH DIVERS Words: Ian Hussey and Brian Lugg

What do the ships: “MV Isabel,” “Thinner Wreck,” “Dollard,” “Ajman Glory” and “Mullah” have in common? Divers from the British Sub-Aqua Clubs, Sharjah Wanderers Diving Club and Desert Sports Diving Club in Dubai have just proved that these are all the same vessel, the “Ajman Glory,” wrecked off the coast of the UAE 23 years ago this week. The “Ajman Glory” (originally the “Dollard”), was a coaster, constructed in Haarlem in the Netherlands in 1957. After several changes of both name and owners, the ship was lost on 28th August 1989 whilst en route from Hamriyah to Bandar Abbas in Iran carrying a cargo of vinyl acetate monomer. It was abandoned by its crew prior to sinking so its final resting place remained unknown. The “Ajman Glory” became a fabled wreck which eluded divers for many years. The original searches were conducted by the Brian King from Sharjah Wanderers Diving Club (BSAC 406) and were focused around the last reported coordinates. These searches were unsuccessful, which was perhaps not surprising, since the abandoned vessel could have drifted a considerable distance before going down. About twelve years ago, Chris Lobel, a diver from Desert Sports Diving Club (BSAC 1339) in Dubai organized a wreck search based on some coordinates he had been given by local fishermen. He found a wreck near the location which he labeled the “MV Isabel,” after his wife and fellow diver, or the “Thinner Wreck,” because of the drums of what he took to be paint thinner in the cargo holds. Chris took some notes and made a sketch of the vessel which were kept in the Dubai club’s records, but little further attempt was made to dive the wreck, possibly because the coordinates were not completely accurate, making it difficult to find. In 2009, Chris was leaving the UAE and




decided to make another attempt to find the wreck that he had last dived over a decade earlier. Chris and a team of divers from BSAC 1339 spent three hours searching in vain before giving up. Had they known it, they had probably come within 50m of their target. “Ajman Glory” stayed in the thoughts of the BSAC divers but its location remained a mystery until a chance encounter in May this year. A team of divers from BSAC 406 led by Ian Hussey and Mike Anthony were diving the wreck of the “Dara,” a well known dive site 12km north of Hamriyah. Also on the same site were some divers from World Seas Diving based in Umm Al Quwain and led by Ali Al Suhail. Ali was kind enough to give the Sharjah divers some coordinates for a wreck that was previously unknown to them, which he had called the “Mullah.” BSAC 406 dived the “Mullah” several times over the following weeks and eventually passed the coordinates on to Brian Lugg, still with BSAC 1339 in Dubai. Brian checked the club records and noticed that the location of the “Mullah” was

Sketch by Chris Lobel c. 2000

very close to the co-ordinates of the “Thinner Wreck” recorded twelve years earlier. Brian sent a copy of Chris Lobel’s sketch to Ian Hussey and he and the Sharjah divers immediately saw the resemblance between the “Thinner Wreck” and the “Mullah.” Brian contacted Nelson McEachan, the Wrecks Officer of the UK Hydrographic Office


who identified the link between Chris’s description of the cargo of the “Thinner Wreck” and the cargo carried by the “Ajman Glory” on its last journey. Nelson wrote: “The ‘Thinner Wreck’ is an interesting one. AJMAN GLORY was lost on 28.8.89 on passage Hamriyah for Bandar Abbas. She was initially reported as having sunk in 25 58N, 55 38E but this was later revised to being her last known position and as she was abandoned afloat; she could have drifted a considerable distance. The wreck was inserted on charts as a Dangerous Wreck, Position Doubtful in response to US charting action. She was 52.7m by 8.5m, with a draught of 3.0m. 497 gross tons and carried a cargo of vinyl acetate. Later in 1989 it was reported that ‘1,000 drums of toxic and inflammable chemicals has broken free from the wreck and have washed up on the UAE coastline,’ however I have no information whether the cargo was in drums or in bulk.” Now that they had some specific and checkable information, the Sharjah club returned to the wreck to take some measurements. The vessel measured between 50m and 55m in length and 8.5m across the beam. These figures clearly suggested that the wreck was indeed the “Ajman Glory,” but for a positive identification, more data was needed. Ian Hussey sent a message out to present and former members calling for information. Marc De Ruyter and David De Marneffe both responded promptly with some additional details and some photographs that they had found after some research on the internet. The pictures closely resembled the “Mullah” wreck and the divers were confident that


september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

Turtle at the stern behind the former wheelhouse.

Starboard side looking towards the stern. The rear cargo hold is to the right, The crew quarters and walk way are ahead.

the “Ajman Glory” had been found at last. For final confirmation, a systematic bowto-stern visual inspection of the wreck was carried out by BSAC 406 and a video was made. The six drain holes along the sides, the remains of the four vertical pipes in front of the bridge, the trapezoidal cut-out at the bow, the anchors, the remains of the masts, the lifeboat davits and other features were all noted exactly as they appeared in the photographs. All this information was passed to Nelson McEachan of the UK Hydrographic Office. Having studied the data and the photographs, he emailed the divers: “I have looked at your dive report on the BSAC 406 website and I agree that this is the long lost Ajman Glory. A first-class job, so please pass our thanks to all the divers involved.

I will forward the data to our Regional Team with a recommendation that the charted Dangerous Wreck, Position Doubtful be deleted and this wreck be inserted.”

THE “AJMAN GLORY” TODAY The “Ajman Glory” lies approximately 15km off the cost of Umm Al Quwain in 28m of water or 20m to the highest point of the wreck. It is upright with the bow pointing in a northerly direction. The wreck is heavily encrusted with marine growth and is home to small shoals of snappers and jacks. There is also a resident turtle. The wheelhouse, which appears to have been a timber structure, is no longer there and both masts are horizontal, perhaps knocked down by another vessel passing overhead. The ship is otherwise almost intact. There is no sign of the cargo apart from two empty steel drums in the forward hold. What caused the vessel to sink remains a matter of speculation. There is evidence of a

Port side facing the bow section.

collision on the port side of the stern but this is well above the water line and is unlikely to have been a factor. The physical condition of the wreck offers no other clues. The weather as recorded at Dubai Airport does not indicate any particular problem – indeed, 28th August 1989 seems to have been one of the calmest days of the month. The following photographs were taken by Peter Jackson of Sharjah Wanderers Diving Club (BSAC 406) on 24th August 2012. The diver seen in some of the pictures is Ian Hussey.

Ian Hussey & Brian Lugg

Stern section behind the former wheelhouse.





Passionate For Extreme Sports

september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

and sport club. It has many activities under its umbrella which makes it a preferred and selected club for everyone. Due to the demand and interests of the UAE society, the club focuses more towards off-road activities as it is one of the primary loved activities in the region and during the winter seasons. However, the club arranges many activities such as swimming, scuba diving courses and others trips across the UAE. What challenges were you faced with? We were faced with financial challenges, where such these activities and sport are undoubtedly very costly. Such these activities contain high level of professionalism, expertise and arrangements. Currently, the club is supporting it’s self by events participation and small sponsors fees which assisting the club to run. However, it is not enough to expand its activities and strategies to the next level.

Words: Rabi’ah M.

An exciting sport and hotspot which appeals to a major community in U.A.E is the ‘U.A.E Professionals Club,’ and has been responsible for revolutionising the way off-road biking & entertainment activities are organised in the country. Rabi’ah.M speaks to Fahad Khalaf, the leading man behind the club’s success and how its actively campaigning for changing the negative perception of extreme sports and how safety is paramount to the club. Tell us about your role at the U.A.E Pro Club? The UAE Professionals Club is leading Sport Club in the UAE and Middle East. The club is specialized in off-road bikes activities. As the desert environment is one of the main tourists sight-seeing of the UAE, the club has given opportunities to its members to explore the beauty of this environment. Tell us how the U.A.E Pro Club came about as a concept and when? The concept of the club activities have been established based on demands of the society. The club helps people to be a part of the various desert adventures. As off-road is one of the international certified sports world-wide; the club helps the society to identify the international and certified standards of this sport. Apart from that, we would also like to educate the society and off-road bikers of the safety standards that will help them practicing this sport in relation to safety and professional manners. In addition we also provide training sessions to people that are interested to learn about off-road



biking and driving. The club is also working with the government hand in hand to reduce any abuse and misuse of such these activities and injury ratios. When did things finally start to materialise for the club and when was it finally launched? As the concept of the club is unique in this region, the club had passed the foundation stages which made it ready

for the expansion process. The club had started way before many years back by a group of professional off-road bikers aiming to participate in educating others and have better off-road biking activities in the UAE. In January 2011, the club got its official certified entities in the UAE. The club is approved and certified by General Authority of Youth & Sport Welfare, Emirates Motor Sport Federation, Department of Economic Development and Member in His High Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Al-Maktoum Establishment for Small and Medium Enterprises (Dubai SME). How did you make your selection for the kind of motoring activities you wanted to include? The club is an entertainment

What safety measures has the club taken to ensure nobody get hurts and in case of accidents or emergencies? In any event, there are couple of arrangements which are within the checklist of the event arrangements. One of these points is to ensure back plans for any un-expected situations might face the participants during any events. Secondly, having a First Aiders within the event provided by government entities or certified First Aiders. Thirdly, coordinating with government entities regards any injuries fallings. Finally, ensuring the safety processes are met in all line of the events.

Tell us about the rallies or events you organise to gather members? Currently, we gather members via social marketing / networking which helped positively in building and attracting new members to the club. Apart from that, we gather members by advertising in the social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, blogs and forums. How much community support have you received? So far, it is positive sign from the community and its support towards the club’s strategy. Acceptance of the UAE society towards this idea and its participations reflects their support and contributions for the benefit of the UAE society and sport.

Ordinary waterproof shoes

work fine until you use them in water.

OutDry 速 waterproofing system creates a unique one-piece component which results in superior waterproofing, breathability, comfort and fit.

Dubai: Ibn Battuta Mall of the Emirates Mirdif City Centre The Dubai Mall Abu Dhabi: Al Wahda Mall


h g u o Love T ra Atkinson Words: TaAt kinson ra Ta & on os: Ian Gandert


This month, OutdoorUAE tests the Fujifilm XP150 & the newer XP170 on a fourday break in Asilah Oman, next to Al Ashkharah (also known as Joe’s point). With an eight-hour drive away from Dubai, our plan was to head down as early as we could on a Thursday night after work and drive straight through to be in Asilah for 3 or 4 a.m in the morning, in hopes to and wake up for an early morning surf, stay for 3 days and get back to Dubai on the Monday. With some key ingredients – adversely windy conditions, sand, sun and a cold sea – we couldn’t wait to try out these two cameras and find out if they could live up to the expectations, but more importantly, were they idiot/life proof. Our first impressions of the newer XP170 and the older yet identical XP150 were: colourful, bold, yet rugged-looking cameras with a good grip and easily accessible functions and buttons. When we were loading the cars up, I was far too busy checking how different the cameras really were to help out (poor Ian!); the XP150 has a GPS setting and the XP170 doesn’t, but has a wireless sharing setting which aids in uploading to your social networks. Immediately I was trying to work out what the GPS could be used for; I took a few pictures with the XP150 whilst having the GPS button turned on at the top. It tells you where and in what direction you took the photo. It’s an interesting way to record your trip and we had a good idea towards the end of the adventure on how we would use these images to map out or plan future trips.



We had a late start due to lack of organisation from my part mostly (7 p.m!), so no amazing sunset pictures unfortunately, and we headed off to Al Ain in hopes the border would be quiet before EID. Whilst Ian was the designated driver I made it my job to see if we could post a few pictures on the OutdoorUAE Facebook page; whilst moving in the car and using the clever little Fujifilm App for my smart phone I downloaded earlier.

this stage of working it all out, the only thing the camera didn’t do was cure car sickness. After a few hours of travelling, my car sickness had gone and I got back into fiddling with the camera again, whilst trying to maintain an eye-dashboard-road-camera level, this time with the XP150 GPS. Whilst moving, the GPS was great and even when we stopped; it picked up our exact location and direction we took the photo in, I was also curious to see what settings would suit the cameras best

When using the new XP170, firstly take a picture in the dimly lit conditions- (note to self: try not to use flash to burn the driver’s eyes or scare car next to you in thinking it is a speed camera), I went for the more subtle, ambient road light image of us moving somewhere instead. Secondly, click the app on your phone and the social sharing button on the camera simultaneously; hold this for about 30 seconds with both of them touching each other. This will save the image on your phone (I was hoping something magical would happen, but it didn’t. It seems like basic wireless technology). This is a great way to share your photos, simple and efficient in regards to converting the images to web quality and making them easy to upload. The only flaw in this system is that you have to then fiddle around uploading them onto your Facebook page. The idea was for us to upload a few images onto the OutdoorUAE Facebook page whilst on the way to Oman through Al ain. These images would need to be saved into an album and not be scattered all over our Facebook wall. A clever way around this is by downloading ‘Facebook Pages app’ which makes the whole process more efficient. Unfortunately for me, by

whilst in the dark. Ian and I are self-confessed camera addicts; we both have DSLR’s and also had unnecessary amounts of camera equipment during the trip. The most daunting thing about a small point- and- shoot camera is that it does everything for you. It works this way so you can capture the action without thinking. (i.e. jumping on the roof of the truck, to get away from an arm-sized spider running at you from across the petrol station).

It sounds ridiculous, but I was over-thinking the camera; it’s easy to do. Luckily, Ian has had some experience with point-and-shoot cameras and recommended that I used “P”(Automatic Mode with a programmed setting). You could turn flash on and off if you needed (ideal for ambient night shots).

As we had crossed the border into Oman, we weren’t able to use the wireless transfer on the XP170 to upload; my phone didn’t have roaming so a decision was made to focus more about how the cameras would function over the next 3 days. After arriving at base camp ‘Barasti’ at 3 a.m, we set up our tents in what it seemed like 100kph winds (a slight over-exaggeration of course), and Ian reassured me that these winds weren’t the worst it got. Sleeping the first night is always a pain due to the tents flapping about, not to mention the fishermen pulling the boats into water with their cars at 5 a.m! The best advice given to me during the trip was to buy a pair of silicon earplugs for kids. It’s the best way to sleep. We managed to surface around 8 or 9 a.m and checked out the surf, it looked okay, but a bit messy. It was incredibly windy and with the currents, a pain for both paddle/surfing. I was

Ian having a look at his windsurfing images out of the sun. You will need a bit of shade to be able to see them properly even though it has an anti-reflective coating is still hard to see.

Ian taking off over his man-made jump!

surprised how strong the current is over at Joe’s Point. You’d be surprised at how cold the water gets up there even through summer, so a rash vest is advised! The afternoon surf session was ok as well but nothing worth taking pictures off and retired after a hard day of what seemed like mostly paddling and chilled out under our Barasti. Over the next few days, we were using the cameras to take pictures of our surroundings, fun stuff or interesting things that were going on.

Saving our tent from blowing away was an important part of our daily routine!

As the surf got progressively worse and wind got better, the windsurfers and kite boarders were out in full swing. Ian decided to test the camera in the water with one of his windsurfer friends; he was using the “P” setting with no flash, the continuous shooting mode as well as the sport mode. Giles was moving pretty fast, and the focal length varied on the shot. Some shots were blurry or had water droplets on them, but these were expected; this is a trial and error process when you’re out there with the elements




september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

view which when following the arrow on the screen 360 degrees clockwise at eye level, gave you a full panoramic view. It took a few attempts, but I was impressed with this; done without a tripod, and in very windy conditions, it’s an epic way to capture your surroundings. The video function (on both cameras) was an interesting one. You can actually shoot and edit a whole video using your camera (clip cutting and joining settings), and with 22°2’23”N 59°40’18”E

and using a new camera. More than 70% of the images turned out great. If you have the XP150, check out the metadata in the photo. It provides you with the GPS and also a link (if you are using Lightroom to edit the photos) to Google Maps to find out exactly where you were. The sand and wind did play a major part in the general functioning of the cameras. We found that the two-lock system, although clever, is a little tricky to use especially when there is sand flying everywhere. It tended to get into one lock, which then couldn’t open the other lock. But with a slight knock against something hard, the sand dislodged itself (shockproof up to 2m’s!). Another trick with these cameras is just washing them with a bit of water and baby shampoo or baby oil and water to lubricate the sand. Just make sure it is dry when you open the camera as water can easily get into the seal. The water-repel-

Check out our You Tube Channel and Facebook Page to have a look at the video the wireless transfer and social app on your phone with the XP170; upload it directly onto Facebook (if you have roaming on your phone, of course). This does come with a warning though, (I really should have known better). If you are recording in the HD video mode, do not use a memory card lower than Class 6, go for a high-speed Class 10 as this kept freezing the camera. Also, using the video editing function drains the battery life dramatically; make sure you have a spare battery on stand-by if you are big into video. If you don’t use the video settings very much, the battery life is great, we charged it once and haven’t need-

Panoramic View of Joe’s Point

lent camera lens was handy in these conditions, not having a slide cover like most other cameras made it easy to use when there is sand everywhere. During the next evening, we took a few snap shots in low light using the panoramic

ed to since, and until now it’s still ½ full. I was also impressed by both cameras functioning in different light and activity situations, keeping the camera in “P” it seems to adjust really well to any well-lit situation. There will be times when switching to sport mode maybe better, or macro to capture something with a lot of detail,but you can be just as creative with your point-and-shoot

Macro Setting with an interesting animal shell Ian found

Tara Trying out the camera



as you are with your DSLR. The camera also comes with an LED Illuminator (can be used as a torch if needed) to light up the shot, but be warned – it is a bright white LED, so it has a ‘ spotlight-ish feeling’ to it when shooting. For this trip, we set the image settings

The optical zoom isn’t too bad either.

(Large 4:3 which shoots at 14MP (4320x 3240) the compressed JPEG ends up at 6-10 MB after it is taken depending on the photo) we also used Fine image quality, Auto ISO, Auto White Balance, with face detection off and with the occasional flash for fill.

Tara’s Thoughts about the camera

“Three days and four nights just isn’t really enough time for these trips as a rule of thumb; weeks would have been great. I found the general functionality of the cameras very user friendly; they were easy to figure out without a manual for your basic shots and upon exploring, you stumble on some really great features. It works great in well-lit conditions, with the knowhow, also okay in low light or dim conditions. Battery life is good, and it seems to be up to standard in all the modern technology: GPS/ Wireless Transfer, and editing videos (The only downside to the XP170 is that Fujifilm haven’t found a way to implement the GPS system found in the XP150, so at the moment, it’s one or the other). Overall, the quality of the XP150 and XP170’s images are good and it presents itself as a great ‘allrounder’ point-and-shoot camera, perfect for the outdoors and at 999 AED for the XP170, and 1,299AED for the XP150 you can’t go wrong. (P.S As it was so windy down at Joe’s Point, the DSLR’s stayed in the car the whole time! We were too worried about the sand to bring them out, so really, this is a great alternative in extreme conditions and prevents wrecking your DSLR!)”

Ian’s thoughts about the camera:

“While none of the roughty-toughty point and shoot cameras will be able to match the quality of a good DSLR is not just about pixel quality, it’s actually more about being in the right place at the right time and composition. I think everyone should have a roughty-toughty point and shoot. It can cope with spilled drinks on the table, kids chewing it and knocks and bumps daily life dishes out. For outdoorsy types it’s even more beneficial to have a camera that is at home washing around it the top pocket of a rucksack or stuffed in the front pocket of a PFD. It doesn’t matter if your hands are wet or the sand is blowing everywhere, they allow you to focus on the shot you want and to experiment with more extreme photographic environments like surf. The cameras did an excellent job on all these fronts, I particularly liked the GPS geotagging function and the uploading to Facebook was neat too”

Tara Atkinson


september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM


HITTING THE WALL A & J’s Boot camp training for the ADNIC 10km Run Words: Angelo Cabrera

Follow one out of the

two of OutdoorUAE’s team members’ (Angelo Cabrera) as he shares the first in his series of personal accounts during his two-month training itinerary from Ignite Fitness (one of the leading wellness and fitness companies in the UAE); in a bid to get fit for the 10km ADNIC Yas Run in November.

“Good heavens, what have you put yourself into”, was the pressing question reverberating inside my sweating skull as I huffed and puffed pushing on for another sit-up crunch. But the struggle, I believe, will be sweet in the end when you have come to achieve the result that you have toiled for. For me, it would be passing through the 10km ADNIC Yas Run finish line this coming November, the first run that I have ever entered. I didn’t imagine myself to be entering this sort of stuff before; entirely not a fan of



running at all. But because of the annoying amount of weight that I put on in the early part of the year, that I was hoping to shed, the encouragement from the people in our office and the urge to know just how far I can go in accomplishing a feat of endeavor such as a 10km run, I can’t help myself but to say “yes” in entering the ADNIC Yas Run and make my adventurous and outdoorsy team proud. So with that, myself and Jane, another one of OutdoorUAE’s team members, had gone off for our first fitness assessment. Jane had the same reason as I did in agreeing to this challenge, but had been very anxious as to what sorts of tests would we have to endure and how will our trainer be. Having not had exercise for the past several months she was worried we would not be fit enough for certain conditions, so she expects to the training to yield good results to her health when it has all been completed

The first day was hard – grueling, gutwrenchingly hard, though Fabian from Ignite Fitness, our hardy fitness trainer said that this was the easy part; Jane and I were made to do as many sit-ups, push-ups, squats as we could in 60 seconds, do the fastest run and time that we could to hit the 800-meter mark on the treadmill and finally, hold our body on a plank stance the longest that we could. If that was just the easy part, I wouldn’t want to think about as to what Fabian would have us do as we get to the hard part – the boot camp! “Push on!” my inner-self scorned adamantly, a commander rallying a worn-out warrior; “Push on! Do not surrender to it!” it said, as I was beginning to hit that so-called “barrier” and was taking its toll on my physical being. Many times I have crossed the straining


september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

zone; I admit that I could only take so much punishment as my physical being would let me, having yielded when I was just a few inches away from the end. Jane had her own shares of struggle during the ‘easy’ part as she pushed herself to the max to finish every routine that we were made to do. She gave her 100 percent in each of them, as proof; the beads of sweat trickling down her forehead and the sound of resilience after every task. As our the battle that was the first training day ended, I was a bit exhausted, muscles and joints feeling a little sore, but felt accomplished after having finished all the routines that were needed to be done for the day, no matter how easy would it be for some. Jane was quite worn-out herself, but with lots of deep breathing and water intake told me that she may have had more of her share of exhaustion. But all in all, it went well, as we wore smiles on our faces despite the whirlwind of tiresome workouts that we had just accomplished (I doubt we would be still smiling after every boot-camp session). I know that the first few weeks will be a hard grind as we move along, but with enough will power, sheer dedication and determination to achieve the great end, I will make it through the finish line like a warrior who has won his first battle. 10km may be a piece of cake for seasoned runners, but for the likes of us, it’s more than enough to be considered as a challenge. So then, let’s see if Jane and I can make it through the great distance ahead. One day down, a whole lot more to go.

To Be Continued…

Angelo Cabrera




Grinding away

the days Kit Belen Tests Out The Latest OutDry Shoes From Columbia

en Words + Photos: Kit Bel

“I am really rough with my gear, as with everyone, I don’t really like worrying about things breaking when I’m outdoors trying to enjoy myself.” Columbia has always been one of the brands I use for outdoor wear. Most of my fishing shirts and pants are from Columbia. They make some of the most innovative outdoor gear available, and this is only my second time trying out a pair of shoes from them; however, things are positive from my last pair. On paper, this is what the company says of the Pathgrinder™ shoe:

• • • • • •


Tremendous support from a lightweight shoe Breathable mesh and synthetic upper Seamless, supportive midfoot cage Techlite cushioning with FluidFrame design for optimized support, stability, and protection Midfoot TPU support bar for additional torsional rigidity Omni-Grip rubber compound outsole with independent lug pattern


“Built around a seamless, supportive midfoot cage, the breathable mesh and synthetic upper provides protection and comfort through a variety of outdoor conditions. Under your foot, the Techlite FluidFrame midsole utilizes three different densities of Techlite foam strategically placed through the full-length midsole for optimized support, stability, and protection over changing terrain.” I’m really not much of a shoe guy so I just thought, hey, why I don’t just use these and try them out in my “normal conditions?” So off I went. Holding them for the first time, I thought they were a bit heavy for a pair of “sneakers.” I don’t mind, I love wearing leather work boots so these were pretty light, but would they be ideal for beach, boating and fishing? I was lucky enough to have two trips lined up so I could use them in two different fishing conditions. A bit of reading on the internet did say that this was a multi-sport shoe, so my thinking was that the pair could potentially do well on different surfaces. The first day was on a friend’s boat. This presented me with a chance to test them out on a wet wooden deck. The weather wasn’t

really cooperating and the waves hit the boat broadside a lot, this became a bit hairy since we were fishing the aft deck. The deck gets wet because it sits low; it was, however, a perfect fishing platform so there I went! The outsole has a surprisingly better grip than I expected. It does look like it’s made of rubbery plastic, I’ve seen a lot of these and they don’t grip surfaces well. This one has surprisingly good grip. I didn’t even notice that my feet stayed dry, which I only realised when I took the shoes off to enter the cabin for a nap. What a welcome surprise. It gave me more motivation to manhandle them in day two of my test.

Day two almost got cancelled. Winter is fast approaching and the first few signs have been showing; this morning, it was the very thick fog. Wearing the shoes for the second time made me notice how good they felt around my ankle, wearing no socks since I was planning on getting wet means that I risk myself to chafing from the inside lining of the shoe. I believe Columbia has also thought of this since the fabric they placed on the ankle

opening is not only soft, but also well cushioned. Heel support was also equally good, usually, when companies say that there’s some heel support, the spot around the heel is rigid. I always hate that rocking feeling when the heel of the shoe is too rigid. It feels almost natural with these; almost like I’m wearing sandals. One thing I also have to say is that these are very comfortable driving shoes! I drive around a lot and these are the first pair that I like driving with. I almost always take my shoes off when I’m driving. I

especially like how your feet feel cool when you direct the A/C vents to them. The shoes have a breathable membrane on top that makes it comfortable.

Out on the beach

Arriving at the beach, I looked around for a good launch spot and walked along the water. 5cm of water and nothing inside the shoes; and my feet weren’t feeling hot at all either. I happily unloaded my kayak and assembled everything in and around the water with no signs of the water getting in, and a bonus: no sand in there as well. While paddling and sailing around, the shoes kept my feet dry. I even tried to force water in them by dragging my feet in the water while at sail. It took the manhandling like a star. I did get water in them by walking to deeper water, but they didn’t become water logged as I expected them to be; well, maybe a little bit, but I didn’t really notice it that much. By the time I was out sailing, I forgot that I stepped into deeper water. But the fact that there was no sand in them made me a very happy camper. They kept my feet dry and warm and by the time I got back, my feet hadn’t even wrinkled up. That’s a first for me. Back at home, I washed them and tried to push the stitching in, I pushed hard and didn’t feel it give. I did the same with the synthetic lining; nothing would budge. Further inspection on the inside of the shoe revealed that Columbia has stitched the sole into the sides with heavy gauge thread, ensuring that they don’t come

apart easy. The areas I expected to have some wear (parts where they are normally glued) have not moved and it looks like they won’t come apart any time soon. I wouldn’t say that these are the ultimate pair of shoes as time will tell exactly how long this pair would last me. For now, I’m very impressed and happy with them. These are tough shoes and I really have a feeling that I would be enjoying them for some time before looking for another pair that would suit my requirements. After the trip, I went home and washed them. Finding that there was still some water in them, I wrung them. Everything is intact and good as new. What else can I say? If you are in the market for a shoe that can

take you anywhere and not worry about tearing or breaking them, these come pretty close. Although made with synthetic materials, they are surprisingly rugged and well made. I’ve tested them all I could and honestly couldn’t find anything bad about them, they work great in all sorts of environments and if you are also looking to do more extreme adventures than just the day-to-day stuff, they are definitely worth a try.




september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM


Triathlon goes

Mountain bike

It was for the second time in March 2012 that two athletes of Abu Dhabi Triathlon Team raced the challenging Cape Epic mountain bike stage race in South Africa. Despite their fitness the team had to overcome obstacles they had never experienced in a triathlon race. But they finished and are now looking for more. Cape Epic is an 8-day race around Cape Town held in March. Teams of 2 riders have to ride and finish together otherwise they will not find their names in the official results. All started in 2004 when the idea was brought to the Western Cape from the Ruta del Conquistadores, which takes place in Costa Rica. Today Cape Epic has reached its logistical limits with 600 racing teams who do on average 800 km mainly off-road with 16.000 m of climbing. In spite of the fairly high entry fee of approximately 4.000 Euro (18.000 AED) there are many more potential riders who would like to participate than there are entry slots. The registration is done through a raffle where every interested athlete applies up until May. In June the organizers officially announce the lucky ones who are allowed to struggle in the South African bush the following year.



Abu Dhabi Triathlon Team was founded in 2009 by Faris Al-Sultan, Swen Sundberg and Werner Leitner. All three of them have been among the “lucky” Cape Epic competitors. Faris Al-Sultan, former Ironman world champion and team captain, took the first steps to make this challenge come true. He had the chance to participate in the Epic MTB challenge and thus take his team into the first season as Abu Dhabi Team in June 2009. He took his mountain bike to Abu Dhabi and improved his off-road abilities which were in need of being brushed up. After having “collected” a few kilometres on the MTB in the desert he travelled to Cape Town with former pro triathlete Werner Leitner who started to manage the team at that time. Faris was surprised about the very

technical courses in South Africa and had a tough time. He was happy to see the finish line in Lourensford Wine Estate with just minor injuries e.g. some stitches in his arm. During the Epic there were times when he was really afraid to endanger his main job as a professional triathlete. Nevertheless, the team Al-Sultan/Leitner reached the 34th place in the end. Three years later, in 2012, a more experienced team was sent to South Africa again: this time it was Swen Sundberg and Leitner who wanted to do it better. But the conditions were different. Overall, the tour was more difficult, the stages tougher, the weather less stable, and they rode faster, which meant in the end they had to deal with a lot of technical problems. The 2012 Cape Epic started with a team trial prologue in Durbanville, a suburb of Cape Town. All teams were sent on a 27 km hilly course. The main reason for that was to determine the order of the start blocks for the first stage on the following day. Swen and Werner placed under the best 50 teams and were therefore allowed to start the first 115 km stage with the leaders. Sounds good? Yes, but that was about the only good thing of stage one. Just after 20 km the struggle started. A broken rear derailleur stopped them and one hour passed until


september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

a new part could be organized. The next 4 days worked pretty well although they had to cope with some flat tires and weather changes ranging from 35 degrees Celsius with sunshine to 15 degrees with rain. Especially the nights in the race camp turned out to be pretty cold in the tents. Before the last two stages Werner thought that everything was done and a place among the best 30 would be possible – only to learn that a stage race is only over after crossing the finish-line of the very last stage. With a torn chain and a broken back wheel the finish was suddenly in the far distance again. In the end, however, Swen and Werner bravely finished with a 70th place overall. They promised to be again at the starting line in 2013. Hopefully they have learned from their experiences and things will go without a hitch this year. It is not enough to face a challenge like the Cape Epic with a fit triathlon body. Mountain biking in stages with more than 100 km off-road in each stage does not only require riding abilities. It also requires the knowledge of how to handle unexpected problems efficiently and quickly. And they will occur, trust me! And, what’s more, teamwork has to be effective and the teammembers have to have each other’s back at all times otherwise they won’t see the finish-line. More information about the Cape Epic:




Badwater 2012

Race Report PART 2 by Cath Todd - Dubai-based, 2XU-sponsored athlete.

Part 2 of the Badwater race: We continued the long meandering uphill towards Darwin, which took a few good hours to finish off the night section. Sunrise was incredibly beautiful and the morning was not so hot. In fact, there was a nice cool breeze as the sun came up across the mountains. For the first (and perhaps only) time I took in the beauty of the place. Molly, John and Darryl took turns walking with me up the mountain. Darryl made a nice morning coffee on his camping stove. The avocado-delights continued to go down a treat and I was still taking in aqualyte and shake. Finally, we got to the top and then there was some nice running on the flat and downhill sections, which were gradual descents. I overtook quite a few people on these long downhill sections and although my legs were sore, it was a good section and I felt comfortable. I ran and walked some towards Darwin. After Darwin, there was a 30-mile (c. 50km) downhill section, but a long downhill is hard to run on sore quads, so I ran the most of it, but walked a fair bit, too. The running/walking helped to overtake quite a few runners and put me in a relatively good pace. John, Molly and Darryl all took turns to pace along this section, and eventually we ended up catching Jason’s team (a runner from the High 135-mile race in India). It was good motivation to keep up some speed as Jason did not want us to overtake him



and we were trying to do just that (he was in the 6 a.m. start group). This cat-and-mouse game continued for a long time. We had reached the 100-mile mark by that time, and that was great, but we still had another 35 miles to go and the sun was starting to get very hot yet again. Finally we ran past Jason and continued on to Keeler. From Keeler, you could see Lone Pine, the aid station before the ascent up Mt. Whitney. Problem being it was 23.6km away across a long, relentless sabca, in extreme heat, hot wind with sand beating my legs. It was then I started to fall apart, as it turned to 1 p.m. I was very, very hot and extremely tired. I felt faint and could barely muster a walk. The end just didn’t seem to get any closer. After a few kilometers, my crew put a wet towel over me. It was heavy, but it kept out most of the heat (except the hot sand whipping my legs). John was pacing me at the time and I started sobbing. I couldn’t help it. It wasn’t pleasant and I was so tired, sore and hot. After a short stint, Molly changed my towel to a lighter one and I wrapped this around my head and body, and continued to shuffle on. I went across to the car a few times for some respite, and finally sat in front next to Darryl and bursted out crying. I remember saying that ‘it’s horrible out there and I don’t want to go back.’ Molly, having been in the same mindset herself during her race, in tears at the same location, helped by saying that I just had to get this section done and she understood completely. I said that I needed something substantial to eat and Darryl made me a cheese and avocado sandwich. During this time I saw Jason pass, running on toward the finish. The sandwich, Jason, and Molly’s words that I had to move faster and get this over and done with, got me back out into the hell that it was, and continued on. I

started marching very fast, with purpose, and before I knew it I was running again. Darryl joined me for a long stretch and during this time, we fast-walked, fast-ran towards Lone Pine. During this time the big blister under my foot burst, but I quickly treated it and ran on. We passed several people during this stage and finally made it to the sanctuary of Lone Pine. At Lone Pine, Molly suggested I get my blisters tended to. My crew went and got burgers, refuelled the car and Molly went to get me a sandwich. During this time, the blister-expert lady fixed my blisters very well but did take a long time to do this (30 minutes) as she was showing another guy how to fix them properly. However, I got to then use a proper toilet, change my running skirt, change my socks and felt relatively fresh again. After this time I had a bit of a sandwich that Darryl made, then hit the road with John – the start of the Mt. Whitney ascent. This final section of the race was a 13-mile climb up Mt. Whitney and felt like forever. Teams were passing us in cars, going back down the mountain and I was green with envy. I wanted to be finished too! They were cheering us on though so that was motiva-


tional. I was sore and tired at this stage. The sun was going down, but my back was in a lot of pain. Molly, who had lent me her iPod, called John over; a stretch therapist and chiropractor in Las Vegas, to help me out. I honestly thought that it won’t help very much, my back was really sore, but Darryl got his thermorest out and by the side of the road, John gave me a 5-minute stretch session. I got up and it was like magic – my back had no pain whatsoever. I couldn’t believe it. We soldiered on towards the end. Once I hit the steeper section, with 3.8 miles to go, I started marching faster. I had some of Molly’s sandwich and John was pacing me. I was going with a good stride and John was keeping me occupied with good stories. It was a long, long climb, but with good pace we got near the end. The final 200m was great – Molly and Darryl had parked the car and joined for the finish, and we crossed the finish line as a team at Whitney Portal. We finished the race in 36 hours, 27 minutes. Oh, how I loved getting that belt buckle from Chris Kostman. That evening on the 17th of July 2012, I became a Badwater finisher. I’ve never been happier to get to the end of a race and I’ve never been more grateful to my team for getting me there. It was a team effort and a shockingly hard race. I am also indebted to all my friends from Dubai who supported me in training and online whilst the race was

september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

going on. You are great. We headed back to the hotel, absolutely exhausted (all of us), but apparently for our team, our adventure was not over – the hotel reception was closed. We managed to call from another hotel, but the manager had said that our rooms had been cancelled that day. A former crew member, Adam Dearing from Missouri, had cancelled our room on us that day without any notification despite the credit being in my name (although the hotel was in his name). So we had nowhere to sleep and all the rooms were taken everywhere in Lone Pine. We spent about an hour driving around and calling other towns, trying to find somewhere to sleep. After running and crewing 135 miles, this was the last thing anyone wanted. Finally, we found a room back in Stovepipe Wells, and John and Darryl drove us back there (they were so tired, it was dangerous). At around 3 a.m. we got to our rooms to sleep, but since this hotel was far away from Lone Pine, we missed the awards the next day. Moral of the story – always book your own room at Lone Pine. Was it the hardest thing I’ve ever done? Yes. Would I run this race again? Definitely. To my most awesome crew: John, Molly and Darryl. Cheers!

Cath Todd special runs during the day. Besides the fantastic prizes all runners will enter a grand prize raffle; the more km you run, the more chance to win one of the many prizes including trips, weekend breaks & stays in one of the many Starwood hotels around the world, dinners, health club memberships and many more. Funds raised will be donated to Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ Road to Awareness 2012 Campaign Supporting UNICEF’s education work for children in Ethiopia. The campaign aims to raise at least $300,000 to support UNICEF in the construction of pre-schools and help 50,000 children under the age of 6 to get ready for primary education in Ethiopia. For more information or to register online visit: or

Aloft Runs For Children @ ADNEC After its tremendous success in 2010 and 2011, the Aloft Abu Dhabi @ ADNEC - Family Day is hosting its 3rd indoor charity run inside the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center on September 22nd. This unique event is the first of its kind in the Middle East where runners and families can enjoy a sportive & fun day inside this fantastic cool venue. Besides being the first competition run of the season for the Abu Dhabi running community, it is a family & team fun event. The team charity run is taking place from 08:00 till 18:00 (10 hours) with 6k-10k-20k competition runs at 09:00 and 14:00 for the experienced runners as well as special runs for children, fastest lap and some more




september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM


Has The Emperor Got New Clothes? 26 inch vs 29 inch

Back to Back Test Photos + Words: Ian Ganderton

I’m at the Eurobike Demo day, the first day of one of the biggest bike trade shows on the planet. Here to work but determined to have plenty of fun, too. The world’s major players bringing huge fleets of demo bikes and I’ve decided it was time to answer the question of the “26er” or “29er.” Since mountain biking was ‘invented,’ back in the day the default wheel size has been 26 inches. There have been the odd bike around with something different, I remember, many moons ago, a couple of manufacturers producing bikes with 26-inch front and 24-inch rear wheels. In the past couple of years, the 29-inch wheel has become huge. In the demo bike fleets here at Eurobike 29ers seem to have a leading edge over 26ers in terms on the number of bikes. There is a huge push going on in terms of development and marketing, and at last 29ers are likely to make it onto the shop floors of the Arabian Peninsula’s bike shops in quantity this year. But my question has been why? “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it?”... Isn’t it just going to get really complicated? With a small market already, our region’s cycle retailers have struggled to supply key components and consumables ( e.g tyres) suitable for the range of terrain and riding that goes on here. Won’t another wheel size just water down all this and offer confusion and lack of choice through too much choice as a result.

The Eurobike Demo Day Paddock



BMC Four Stock 29er

Despite my cynicism, I wanted to give the 29er a fair play and so to the demo day where I could ride bikes from manufacturers back to back on decent test tracks rather than just round a car park. First, a bit of theory about wheel sizes; The smaller the wheel build, the lighter, stronger and stiffer it will be. Because they are lighter, they accelerate quicker making a bike feel nippy. Bikes with smaller wheels can be built a lot smaller and shorter. A BMX is a good example of all of this. 20-inch wheels can take a beating on a small bike that loves being thrown around. The problem with small wheels is they fit ‘between the gaps’ on rough surfaces. Bigger wheels, on the other hand, don’t fit in the ‘gaps,’ and so smooth out rides; reducing rolling resistance. Once up to speed, this makes them faster. It’s in the XC and endurance race scene that 29ers gained all their initial traction as ‘bigger wheels are faster.’The bike I ride is a big burly 150mm, full suspension, 26-inch wheeled trail bike. Cycling is 90% about the rider, max of 10% about the bike. I love my bike and the experience so I rarely race, I ride for kicks and giggles. So it’s “Ian the Cynic (who already has a bike he loves)” that sets out to test 26 vs 29. BMC were the first to sort me out with a bike. I wanted to start on something that would feel ‘normal’ so a BMC Trail Fox TR02 had SPD pedals fitted for me and the suspension set up. The Trail Fox is the kind of trail bike I think most people should buy. With 160mm suspension on both ends, it’s built up to be light and strong enough to ride both classic and modern mountain biking, with fun and composure up and down. Immediately I felt at home on the bike. Built up considerably lighter than my bike it felt nice to ride. Jumping off a couple of kerbs on the way down the road out of the event centre; all was good in the world, the

sun was bright in the sky and warm on the skin without feeling like a hair dryer was pointing down my throat and I was mountain biking, happy days. Then once out of the village, the test circuit moved onto a gravelly farm track with a couple of rocks here and there, which I used as small kickers to pop off. The track then dived into the woods and I came to a stop at the top of what looked to be a muddy, stony gully in a crowd of other testers. The marshal had stopped everything because of an incident. After a few minutes, a bike appeared on a shoulder, hauled up out of the gully. The front wheel was properly pretzled. The crowd oh-ed and ahh-ed, a cycnic crowed “ha ha, typical, it’s a 29er!” One of the problems with bigger wheels is they aren’t as strong due to the bigger lever-



ages at play. This was the only busted wheel I saw, but was it just a coincidence that it was a 29er? Was it because there were more 29ers out there? Once the rider was off the track, everyone set of down the gully. Some ‘dived’ down, others pottered. Rattling down over the muddy rocks and slippery roots, I caught a glimpse out of the corner of my eye someone assisting another broken wheel rider, but it was only a glimpse as the trail needed my full attention due to ‘testing,’ purely for the benefit of you, the reader. Once down the gully, the track crossed over a foot bridge and then along a fast, wide, wet track next to a stream. Small wet gullies crossed it and the Trail Fox easily soaked them up as I manualed through them feeling the plume of water thrown up behind me each time. The track left the woods and went along through a field next to a river before a short section of black top led to a brutal, muddy, slippery, long and gut-busting climb. I knew it was going to hurt, but I also knew it was perfect for testing grip and ‘rideability’ of the bike. The Trail Fox climbed just as I’d expected it to, brilliantly with loads of grip. Modern trail bikes climb the rough stuff brilliantly. A section of field and then a road back through the village, gave me chance to reflect. After a fun lap of everything I’d expected, next up was my first ever ride on a 29er. BMC had a Trail Crew spec Four Stroke

FR02 29er set up for me. Immediately, the difference was obvious. Just riding through the crowd at the event centre, things felt smoother and faster rolling. Out of the road I was thinking and feeling everything as I was very conscious of riding. The four stoke has 120mm travel at the front and 100mm at the back. Whilst the ride of the 29-inch wheels was smoother, and felt a lot faster, there was less cushioning in the

landing when I messed around off the curbs. On the gravel track it was all smoothness and speed, but popping the rocks- the harshness was there compared to the longer travel Trail Fox. Down the gully my first 29er ride didn’t feel as composed as the pervious 26er. Harder tyres maybe? Less travel? Or maybe I just wasn’t used to it? Fast and smooth along the river, the front wheel didn’t lift as easily through the small gullies and the back didn’t soak up the hits in the same way. Up the climb it felt like the tyres were pumped up harder than before, with the back wheel not gripping in the same way. I have a feeling if there was a stopwatch on it I’d have been faster. Hmmmmm, lots of food for thought as I cycled back to the event centre. For the second pair of bikes Giant were going to look after me. The guys at Ride have been very vocal about the new Trance X 29er and this was the first bike available. A bit more travel than the BMC Four Stroke with 120ish mm front and back; it did feel very tall to climb on as we were setting up the suspension. Down the road and the gravel track, the TranceX had all the smoothness and feeling of pace of the previous BMC 29er but with a tad more cushion when hitting things. Down the gully, there was plenty of grip and composure over the rocks and rooty steps, but it felt like a big bike through the trees and this was the only bike on the test that I clipped a handle bar on a tree. Fast n’ smooth along next to the stream, I could feel the extra travel at the rear through the small gullies. Up the gut-busting climb, there was more grip from the rear making things feel a lot more poised and in control. Was this the extra travel or a different slightly softer tyre though? Hmmmmm Back to the event centre for the last bike, a Giant Reign X. The Reign has been a popular all-comers’ burly trail bike for a long time and I’ve ridden them before. The X takes things up a notch with extra travel front and back, with a 250g heavier frame giving increased strength and stiffness. Arguably way to heavy and pointlessly GRRRR for general riding, I immediately fell in love with the bike. Bikes like this make me feel like I

september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

should be a magazine rider, landing the big hits, throwing huge tail whips and manualing through the gnarl. Fact of the matter was I was just riding down the road, jumping off the kerb like a kid but I was instantly in love with this bike. Along the road trying to throw whips off the kerbs, I could feel the draggier 26-inch wheels with the heavy tyres, but that 180mm bounce which wanted to soak up everything. Again down the gravel track I was wheelying as much as possible; grinning from ear to ear with the sun warming me to the cockles of my heart. The bike just tore up the gully and looking at the GoPro footage, I can see the obvious difference in speed down between the 29er and 26er bikes I’d just tested. Boom through one gully, that plume of water was there behind me again, boom through the next, pedaling hard to hit the next one even faster, BOOM. HELL YEAH! Rounding the corner to the climb, I was worried it would hurt but as the back wheel bit into the ground, with so much grip and composure and up I went. Undoubtedly, the stopwatch would have said the 29ers were a lot faster up, but I felt they lacked the composure of both the longer travel 26ers. So back to the event centre reflecting on 29er vs 26er question. No wait, just one last blast down that rocky gully on the Reign X. So in conclusion, I think I’ve got a test to decide if you’re a 29er or a 26er mountain bike rider. To decide, answer the following multiple choice question: Which group of surnames best represents your cycling heroes? A) Wiggins, Cavendish, Hoy, Evans or Overend? B) Hill, Baraclough, Peat, Ashton or Atherton If your answer is A, then you should seriously look at the current crop of 29ers to bring a grin to your chops because they are fast. However, the two 26er bikes made me feel like the rider I want to be and had me grinning from ear to ear, and that’s the feeling I ride for.

Ian Ganderton

Giant Trance X 29er





The Cold Run

september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM


42 k



OutdoorUAE find out how team Arctic Xtreme is preparing for the Polar Circle Marathon – here in the desert and under the scorching sun! Neil Munro and Diarmuid O’Malley may have justified their extreme determination to run through a land of ice and snow in the earth’s arctic region, but being here where the sun has put on its seasonal temper for the umpteenth time, we can only imagine just how extreme “extreme cold” is. Even more so, just how exactly are they preparing for the climate conditions that they will be facing in Greenland which is the exact “polaropposite” of oven-hot Dubai, as they are training in the middle of summer!

But before uttering words, “bonkers,” “just plain mad,” or even both, the bold running tandem have got all the stuff they need and certainly what it takes for a challenge in the freezing temperature conditions of the marathon’s location. (They have also been very glad to share the details of their training with us). Diarmuid has been putting efforts into kick starting his training program by firstly, getting his feet back on the road and with some running, doing exercises that are focused on his core and flexibility, and lastly, following a strict diet plan.



“Each morning when I wake up, I take a spoonful of Manuka Honey for its antibacterial and antibiotic qualities,” he said, which was some advice given to him by one of their supporters. “It is also reputed to reduce inflammation, which is definitely needed with the pain I feel in my back,” Diarmuid continued. Aside from running, Diarmuid has also found a knack for cycling and has been a regular rider in the Dubai Roadsters’ Friday rides, where he cycles distances from 80 to 120km, which has become a big part of his training regimen. He has also flown back home to Ireland to join the 180km ‘Ring of Kerry’ Cycle event. The hardy runner from Ireland has also been suffering back pain that he was trying to put off, and has been proving difficult to ignore during his runs. “I [finally] decided to go get an MRI on the back, I have being putting this off for some time as I didn’t want it to show up something I didn’t want to see,” he explained, having had the problem as a result

of abusing his body upon playing rugby during his day. The doctors had likened his back ailment as that to a ‘yellow card;’ a sort of warning, but will get a lot serious if he did not address the issue. “The main problem seems to coming from not engaging my right gluteal muscle while running hence extra workload on my back and hamstring. So I need to release and free up the whole right side: hip socket and leg,” he added. Sadly, Diarmuid has been advised by doctors to put his running laps aside for a while. But he has been making up for the running part by putting in a good amount of time in his cross-trainer machine, swimming, yoga sessions and walking in the cold confines of Ski Dubai for temperature conditioning. On the other hand, busy Neil has been covering a lot of ground with his training which had been mostly hitting the road and doing 8km runs at Safa Park, to16km runs together with the Dubai Creek Striders during Fridays. He also supplants his runs with training sessions at a gym in Al Quoz, and a bit of more running in the indoor track at the Dubai World Trade Center. His reported progress has yielded good results; he has lost 3.5kg in a few weeks’ time and has

reached his target weight which he aimed to maintain during the summer months. Neil will also take on some cold weather training at Ski Dubai, which has kindly offered them the opportunity to use their indoor slope for a few morning treks. He has also been offered to set up a cross trainer or treadmill inside a chilling chamber in Milk & Honey which plummets down to around -20˚C! He will also be entering a marathon event in Bordeaux, France on the 8th of September which he considers as a sort of ‘warmup’ run before the Polar Circle Marathon in October. More updates to follow on Arctic Xtreme’s progress next month, we’ll keep you posted!



september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM


An Essential Outdoor Gear Guide for the best products this season! Epic Adventure Equipment 3,950 AED Available at: or call 050-3634839 Desert Expedition Roof Top Tent and Skirt Details: This can fit to almost any vehicle; all you need are 2 cross bars or a roof rack. Sand colour canvas with waterproof, rip-stop and rot proof canvas. Enjoy a fantastic night sleep on the built in mattress. The tent also comes with a skirt and floor providing loads of extra space below ideal for changing or showering. Tech Specs: • 3 windows and 1 entrance all with mosquito netting • Capacity: 2 persons • Sleeping area(W) 140cm x (L)240cm • Closed dimensions:(H) 38cm x (W) 140cm x (L) 120cm • Weight: 54kg

Viking Offroad 650 AED Available at: or call 050-3634839 1” x 30” Kinetic Recovery Tow Rope The Viking Offroad Kinetic Rope stretches 30% at breaking point, making it much more effective and safer than regular straps based on dynamic pull rather than static. The more stretch the more kinetic energy is built up to help move the vehicle and the less impact on the vehicle itself. Tech Specs: • 1” x 30’ (25mm x 9m) Recovery Tow Rope • MBS 33,500Lb (15.2T) • Utilized for heavy P/U trucks, military Hummvees • Made w/ 100% premium DuPont nylon • Double-braided • Color: black with orange tracer recovery tow rope, black cordura eye guards

Scepter Fuel / Water Canisters 295 AED / 179 AED Available at: or call 050-3634839 Military Fuel Can (MFC) 5Gal/20L Details: The Scepter Military Fuel/Water Canisters were developed by Scepter to meet design and performance requirements set by the U.S. Army and Canadian Forces for leak-proof, rugged, safe, dependable and cost-effective plastic jerry canisters. The cans are highly reliable, lightweight and rust proof, making them perfect for UAE conditions. Tech Specs: • Cap straps are colour coded to identify type of fuel (Gas/Diesel) • Accepts pour spouts • Fits standard pattern vehicle brackets for liquid storage containers • Air-vent tube in neck keeps pouring smooth • Inside threads accept adapters for stoves and heaters • Air chamber at the top; the container will float




september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

Nathan Endurance Hydration Vest 350 AED Available at: Go Sport, Adventure HQ and One size fits all. The reinvention of the bladder pack. Instead of compression, Nathan Hydration Vests utilize a system of balanced weight distribution which eliminates pressure points at shoulders. Meant to be worn a little loose, it feels more like a hug than a weight on your back, resulting in the most comfortable way to carry fluids for extended periods of exercise. This is a high performance hydration vest designed for those who are not willing to compromise on comfort and performance. It features a 2 liter hydration bladder, dual front pockets completed with a 3-way propulsion harness in a lightweight breathable mesh which means the pack is only 300g, brilliant!

Nathan Speed 2 Hydration Belt 120 AED Available at: Go Sport, Adventure HQ and Sizes – small, medium and large The original one-handed hydration belt. The Nathan Speed 2 ensures fluid is easily accessible, close at hand, and never in the way. With added features like smart phone and nutrition storage pockets, moisture-wicking backing, and incorporated medical emergency cards, the Nathan Speed Series keeps fluids and essentials at your side, leaving your mind on the finish line. Each flask holds 300ml where fluids are easy to draw from the leak free push-pull cap, we recommend this hydration belt for training runs and for racing up to 21km.

F2XU V:2 Velocity Triathlon Wetsuit 2,300 AED Available at: Sport in Life Distribution and Sizes – 8 men’s and 5 women’s Recognised as the leading triathlon wetsuit on the planet, representing supreme sports engineering, the propriety 2XU V:2 wetsuit is a must have for all triathletes. It features Velocity Strakes for improved hydrodynamics and increased forward motion, Concave Water Entrapment Zones on the forearm and Propulsion Panels on the lower legs for greater power out of the kick. 2XU’s outstanding Rollbar, Floating Zip Panel and Transition Panels complete this phenomenal wetsuit with an overall stretch of 520%, so it’s incredibly flexible too. Note: Triathlon wetsuits differ from diving wetsuits in that they are designed to float. This is done by using a 39 cell (more buoyant) or 40 cell (more flexible) neoprene which is coated in a nano silicon composite skin. The aim is to get people swimming faster through the water with less drag. There are 3 parts to a triathlon wetsuit, the inner lining (which is fabric like and holds the rubber together), the neoprene (which is rubber and offers the buoyancy) and the coating (silicon – which provides a lot of the speed). The suits offer incredible buoyancy, warmth speed (an average swimmer can swim about 10 secs faster per 100m wearing a wetsuit than without).




september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

Bladefish 5000 3,200 AED Available at: Go Sport in The Dubai Mall, Adventure HQ, Intersport

Explore the ocean, dive for longer and go further with the lithium-ion sea scooter. Introducing the latest underwater propulsion Bladefish 5000; compact and lightweight it’s easy to travel with in addition to ultra-maneuverability in the water. The hydrodynamic design and lithium-ion battery technology means you get powerful thrust for longer hours and combined with rapid recharge times. Top of the range, it withstands deep dive durations, with 120 minutes at variable cruising speeds up to 5.25kph it can take you a maximum depth of 40 meters.

Grex R1 Helmet 550 AED Available at: Al Yousuf Motors Showrooms The all new Grex R1 is, indeed, the helmet designed by the most demanding motorcyclists for the most careful ones. It was designed, developed, tested and engineered by a team of specialists who are passionate motorcyclists, before being engineers, designers or technicians. • The Grex R1 represents value for an excellent entry-level fullface helmet. • The base trim and the visor trim of this full-face helmet are both made of rubber. • The visor is scratch resistant and offers UV protection up to 400 nanometres. • Ventilation is ensured by two front air intakes. • The internal padding is particularly comfortable. • Quick release retention system and padded chin strap

Gerber - Strata Multi-Plier 430 AED Available at: Go Sport the Dubai Mall

Slim, sleek and packed with functionality, the Strata delivers spring loaded pliers, hungry carbide cutters and 13-outboard components including a clam package opening tool for those pesky plastic packages. SAF.T.PLUS Locking system keep components in the open and closed positions when you want them to be. 13 Components: • • • • • • • • • •

Pliers Carbide pinch cutters Saw 1/2 Fine edge & Serrated blade Can & bottle opener Scissors Large flathead driver Retail package opener & small driver Large cross driver Small tipped file





september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

Fujifilm XP170 999 AED Available at: Grand Stores Available in orange and blue

The latest edition to the tough XP series: The FinePix XP170 offers extreme photo taking capabilities, whilst enabling high quality images to be shared on social media platforms on the spot. The FinePix XP170 has the Wireless Image Transfer function which means you can connect to AndroidTM smartphone/tablet or iPhoneTM/iPadTM with the camera and upload high-quality images to social networking sites as soon as a picture is taken. Fujifilm FinePix XP170 key features: • 14.4 mega-pixel CMOS sensor / Full HD movie capture • 5x optical zoom (28-140mm equivalent to a 35mm camera) with water repellent coating • Waterproof to 10m / Shockproof to 2m (Dust/sandproof) • Wireless Image Transfer


Fujifilm XP150 1,299 AED Available at: Grand Stores Available in black, silver, orange, green and blue (The price comes with a camera, case and 4GB SD card) If social networking isn’t your game, one to also watch out for and still on the market is the XP150. This is the twin sister of the XP170; it has the same 4-way protection features and functions, but comes with nifty integrated GPS instead of a wireless transferring function. Fujifilm gave OutdoorUAE the XP150 and XP170 to try out over the space of 4 days, turn to page 16 to see how well these cameras performed.

Weber BBQ - Smokey Joe Gold 331 AED Available at: Dubai Garden Center, Desert Garden Center ( Khalifa Park, Abu Dhabi). Also available in Ace Hardware and selected Spinneys Going on an outing to the beach or venturing out camping in the desert? Take along your Smokey Joe and enjoy the delights of direct grilling your steaks and chicken fillets. • • • • • • • • •


10 year warranty program Porcelain-enameled bowl and lid Lid lock for carrying, which lowers to double as a lid holder Rust-proof aluminium vents provide the proper airflow for perfect barbecuing Rust-proof side vents Ash catcher underneath the charcoal grate Weather-proof handle with protective heat shield Available lid and bowl colors: Wedgewood Also available: Smokey Joe® Gold - Black, Lime, Bone and Turqouise


Oztrail - Blitz 240 pop up tent 2,995 AED Available: exclusively at Adventure HQ

Durable Ripstop canvas construction with an integrated Blitz frame system, ideal for campers and off road enthusiasts that are on the move to new campsites every day. The Blitz frame offers generous head room, excellent strength and near vertical walls to provide excellent interior space

Waeco 35 ltrs Compressor Cooler 2,759 AED Available at: Jumbo Electronics, Ace Hardware Outlets, Adventure HQ, Yellow Hat, Lulu Al Barsha, Emax Electronics, www.blingmytruck. com Waeco Compressor Cooler CF-35AC/DC 35Lts. Powerful compressor fridge/freezer with enough volume and yet easy to handle. Sometimes all you need is a cold drink. Modern life is unthinkable without supermarket fresh food, available any time of the year, purchased when convenient an hour, week, or month before the meal is actually eaten. Long distances between stops no longer means warm drinks, stock up your CF-35 before the trip. Utilized for heavy P/U trucks, military Hummvees • • • • • •

Detachable lift-up lid. Interior light as standard. Secure locking mechanism. Wire frame evaporator guard. Utmost stability with injection-moulded parts. Soft-touch operating panel with hard-wearing membrane keypad. • Ergonomically shaped recessed grips and sturdy, detachable carrying grips.


september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

SEA-DOO SEASCOOTER 3,750 AED Available at: GO Sport, IBN Battuta Mall, Mall of the Emirates & Mirdif City Center Push your diving experience to a new level of excitement. SEA-DOO® SEASCOOTER™ VS SUPERCHARGED PLUS, now features a reinforced nose cone that protects the unit during transport and in rough environments. This ultimate dive propulsion vehicle was rated No.1 overall by Diving Science and Technology (DSAT). The VS SUPERCHARGED PLUS delivers two levels of thrust. So save air, stay down longer and get more fun out of diving! • • • • • • •

Variable speed control Speed up to 3 mph / 4.8km/h Run up to 1.5 hours with normal use Weight just 18 lbs / 8.2kg including battery Waterproof construction prevents accidental flooding Adjustable buoyancy Impact resistant heavy duty rubber hull protection

BMC - Team Elite TE29 SLX MTB 8,995 AED Available at: Adventure HQ and ProBike You are looking for the extraordinary, a fantastic performance and a distinctive design? The BMC 29er’s geometry is the result of countless test rides. We passed through several prototype stages before settling on this as the optimum configuration. The short 430 mm chain stays combined with the optimum bottom bracket height and a 70° steering angle guarantee secure handling on trails.

Assist Professional Tool Set 199 AED* Available at: Dubai Garden Center and Desert Garden Center Abu Dhabi High quality tool set with about twenty essential tools like a hammer, pliers, screw drivers, saw, measurement tape, isolation tape, etc. all fitted and well organized in a portable plastic case. These tools are essential for every home or car. Further tool sets with more tools are also available. *199 AED (before 269 AED)

Hurricane Soft Roof Racks 150 AED Available at: Surf Shop Arabia: Tel: 04 3791998 Size: Fits any standard size car and 4x4 Removable soft roof racks used to transport water sports equipment, hassle free! Its a great little product for your surfboard or paddle board and even works with smaller cars.




september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

Overboard Ipad case 150 AED Available at: Picnico,Adventure HQ, GO Sport,Intersport,Leisure Marine Transform your zoom lens camera into an underwater model with the OverBoard Waterproof Zoom Lens Camera Case, guaranteed submersible to 19ft / 6m and offering protection from sand and dirt as well. The optical front lense and Lenflex rear window allow you to take ultra clear photos while your camera is safely sealed inside the waterproof camera case thanks to our 100% waterproof Slide Seal System™. The handy wrap around window design also allows easy access and full use of all your camera’s buttons and functions.

Singing Rock Guru climbing harness 345 AED Available at: Adventure HQ, GO Sport The Dubai Mall Color: Yellow All-around sit harness comes with an ergonomic design: innovated construction of the leg loops in addition to innovated Rock & Lock buckles. It has reinforced tie-in points and a padded waist belt. Leg loops made out of a breathable PES fabric with high abrasion resistance + EVA foam perforated, holes 5 mm diameter + 3D fabric. This harness is especially designed and has a slot for an additional carabineer porter. Trimmed technical textile increases the waist belt rigidity. With a haul loop (max. load capacity 30 kg) and BMI system in place this harness is a must have. Weight: 395g Size: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL

Ocean Active Stick baits 100 AED to 250 AED Available at: Ocean Active, inside Dubai Garden Center Colours: red, blue, silver, pink, green and orange. Perfect lure for a number of game fish. GT’s, Kingfish, Barracuda, Sailfish just to name a few. We have three different styles. Ulua, Wahoo and Bobara. They each have their own unique swimming action. They come in a number of sizes and colours. Sizes: 40grams – 200grams.


Columbia - Pathgrinder Outdry 475 AED Available at: Ibn Battuta, Mall of the Emirates, Mirdif City Centre and Al Wahda Mall (Abu Dhabi)

The OutDry® waterproofing system is a patented and exclusive lamination process that bonds a waterproof, breathable membrane directly to the back side of a product’s outermost layer, creating a unique one-piece component while sealing the stitching and any other potential water entry points. The result is superior waterproofing, breathability, comfort and fit.

If you are a distributor of outdoor gear and products and would like to feature any of your products here please contact us +971 4 4472030 or For all our other readers, if you can’t find a product in the market or think we should feature here a specific product please also contact us on the details given above.



Knowing your paddle board! If you haven’t already tried it, Paddle boarding is one of the best whole body activities you can get involved with; no matter what the weather. It’s great for the flat waters of the UAE and is easy to pick up once you have the knowhow. If you wanted to try it for the first time or have a paddle on the weekend, renting is your best option; check out Surf Dubai down on the Beach Road and a lesson with them as well will get you a long way in picking up the first steps. If you’re getting to the stage where you find yourself renting a paddle board out every weekend for your Friday paddle or are looking to get involved with some of the paddling events this season, it may be worth looking into buying one. The only problem is how do you know which one is right for you?

Flat water and surfing If you want to ride your board on the flatwater or ride the small waves into shore then you should look at the Naish Nalu and Naish Mana range of boards. The Naish Nalu series are longboards that are easy to ride and offer all-around performance in a wide range of conditions. The Nalu series is for first time paddlers, flatwater cruisers and longboardstyle waveriders.The Naish Mana series are wide, stable and consist of compact shapes that offer immediate success, the Mana series was designed to accommodate riders of any weight or skill level. Learning the basics, catching waves and progressing into all aspects of surfing has never been easier than on a Mana. Size matters! A 100kg rider wanting to do a lot of flatwater paddling and a small amount of surf would be advised to use a Naish Nalu 11’6”. We would recommend a Naish Mana 9’5 for for a rider between 55kgs and 85kgs who is

NaishSUP: T. Kraft Leboe

looking to learn to surf SUP and do a small amount of flat water paddling. Surfing SUP surfing is becoming more and more popular, it is relatively easier than regular surfing as the SUP boards have much more volume and stability than traditional surfboards. For entry level surfing there are a few boards that would be recommended. The Naish Nalu 9’0” and Nalu 10’6.5” offer traditional longboard entry level fun as does the Naish Mana 9’5”, all of these boards would be good for a surfer up to 85kgs. For the more experienced surfer it’s recommended that the Naish Hokua series is more suited. These boards are smaller with less volume than the Nalu and Mana series. They offer cutting edge performance and are the board of choice for World SUP champion Kai Lenny who rides a Hokua 8’0” which is suitable for riders up to 70kgs.

With paddle boards coming in all different lengths and sizes it’s very confusing when you’re trying to find the right one. With the right information however it’s easy. Using some basic guidelines from Naish and their range of boards as an example; you can use this article to get an idea of how to choose the right one. Firstly, what is your weight and experience? It is no use if you weigh 100kgs and buy a 100 litre volume board and expect to be able to paddle around the Burj Al Arab for example – a 231 litre volume board would be more ideal. Secondly, what are you going to use it for, Flat water only, flat water and surf, surf only or racing? A race board won’t be any use on the waves down at Sunset beach.



NaishSUP: E. Aeder


september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

The 2012/13 race season in the UAE is going to be big! Don’t get left behind when the flag drops, the only way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to get yourself a Naish Glide, the board that has won more races in the UAE than any other. The 12’6” and 14’0” boards are the most popular sizes and boards weigh as little as 8kgs, and over the 6km race distances this weight advantage will help you tremendously. Even if you don’t compete, these boards are great for long distance paddles. What about the paddle? As a rule of thumb; the paddle should be around 20cms longer than your height, the blade is angled and should point forward at all times.

NaishSUP: Y.Lii

Which one to get? The Naish Sport aluminium paddles are a great entry level purchase. Naish offer the Makani (carbon shaft/fibre glass blade and the more expensive but lightweight Kaholo full carbon paddle for the more professional paddler. These paddles come in 8”, 8.5” & 9” blade sizes. The size really depends on your size, a 9” blade shouldn’t be recommended for a 55kg rider as you have a lot of water to move with that blade! You can look at all these fact and options, but at the end of the day it’s up to you which one you buy and it also depends on your budget. For instance you may decide to buy a more expensive wooden deck one that has a composite deck, it’s all down to you. We would also advise you to get a carry bag to protect your board from any scratches. Need more information? If you are interested to purchase your very own paddle board get in touch with Go Sport, Dubai Mall (04 3253595) or Go Sport, Bawabat Al Sharq Mall, Abu Dhabi. Want to find out what SUP Races there are on this year? Log onto and checkout our events calendar, or sign up to our newsletter for event updates.

NaishSUP: D. Wong




september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM


e r u t n e v i h C ck Ad Forsan Hits The Fabulous


writer, runner, blogger & adidas athlete PS. My email address is tori@fitchicksandfastwomen. com for thoughts, ideas, and suggestions… or just to say hello!

This column in recent months has seen me in gay Paris, running the 83km-ish EcoTrail, in stunning Lijiang, China, running the mountains that border Tibet, in the fabulous foothills of Nepal, volunteering at Hamro Gaun and in the French Alps, battling the snow and the winds of Val D’Isere’s Ice Trail. So this month, I thought it’s about time I covered something closer to home … and I daresay, my bank manager will thoroughly agree. Besides, we are utterly spoilt here in the UAE with a number of super cool adventure facilities boasting state-of-the-art equipment unrivalled anywhere. But as is often the case, we fail to take advantage of those right on our doorstep, except when planning a corporate event or entertaining out-of-town guests. After my visit to Al Forsan however, I made a strict mental note to not only return myself, but to spread the word about this fantastic venue.

Have you been yourself?

If yes, I suspect you too thought the place great. And if not, I suggest you plan a date because this place rocks. It really rocks!

Al Forsan is a sprawling and spectacular sports project with a huge array of activities from karting to buggying, shooting to archery, riding to polo, wakeboarding and water skiing, flight simulation and much more. I can think of no other set up quite like it in the world, nevermind the region. I went along with my very own 007 … first up, we checked out the flight simulator, then headed to the handgun range and let loose.

Fly baby fly

Stepping from a waiting area and into a dark cockpit is pretty surreal, especially when you then sit down to fly a 747 around Sydney. 007 was captain and I first officer – a good move with my track record behind the wheel although having said that, I’m still revelling in the fact that my last collision saw me handed the green slip rather than the pink. Wonders never cease! Having been a massive traveller my entire life, I found the whole experience too cool to convey, especially considering you could never go into the cockpit now during a flight. The days of being a kid and going into the cockpit during the flight to chat up the pilots and getting your little frequent flyer logbook filled are a distant memory now! We took off very easy then flew all around Sydney, taking in the dense urban landscape, the CBD, the iconic landmarks and the spectacular coastline. Landing seemed the only really tricky part and I truly marvelled at the sheer technology and computer automation that goes into these planes now – I wonder whether pilots will ever find themselves out of jobs altogether?



Hitting the mark

A quick refreshment then we headed to the range for some shooting. LOVED it! My previous experiences have been limited to either shooting at boarding school with the CCF (forced and I went to great lengths to come up with extravagant excuses to avoid) and the odd clay pigeon or game shoot, back home in bonnie Scotland. I’d never shot with handguns before though, and fancied myself as a character straight out of a Bond film. Fitting, don’t you think?! We shot a good few rounds. The focus required is addictive and it requires just the sort of mind : body connection that Adventure Chick loves. This coming autumn, Al Forsan’s shooting options will extend to include a Sniper Riffle range, which sounds pretty cool too.

Now it’s your turn …

The long hot summer will soon draw to a close, our lives will return to their usual fast pace and before we know it, the year will be out. Scary but true! I remind myself of this when not maximising every possible opportunity to do great things in great places with friends and family, old and new. Al Forsan is full of great things and is without doubt a great place, so make sure it’s at the forefront of your mind when next planning some fun here in the UAE!

Love Tori x

Writer, runner, blogger & Adidas athlete.

Speed with Ease: The 2013 Yamaha 212SS

For a 21-foot speed boat, Yamaha’s new 212SS model has put up big efforts on blending comfort and ease whilst being mighty fast, all at the same time. In terms of design, the boat gives off the feeling like you’re driving behind the wheel of a marine version of a roadster with the cockpit’s sports car-inspired design its perfectly-positioned throttles and easy-toread gauges controlled by an internal GPS system. Another highlight is also its ‘Low Speed Handling Technology,’ which directs the water flow at an optimum angle, creating a more responsive handling as the boat is turned right and left (port side and starboard) at slow speeds. Whereas for space, the boat has more rooms in the bow, in the cockpit, and on the stern swim platform for plenty of sightseeing opportunities for the people on deck. And might we add that it also has a removable carpet on its floor? And to complete its high-speed package, the boat’s 4-stroke, 4-cylinder, 1.8-liter twin engine is said to blast the whole vessel from zero to 30 in less than 4 seconds, with top speeds over 55 miles-per-hour. Not forgetting its onboard entertainment, the boat has a CD player, an MP3 player input and a convenient stern-mounted remote, and built with a premium Clarion® Stereo system that delivers outstanding sound quality for music on a slow cruise.

Specifications • • • • •

Dimension (LxWxH) : 6.50 x 2.6 x 1.8 (m) Fuel Capacity : 189.3 L Engine Type : 4-stroke, 4-cylinder, 1,812 cc Dry weight : 1,336 kg Storage capacity : 2,031 L

For boating fanatics who savvy comfort while bursting on the waterfront at high speeds, Yamaha’s latest 212SS would be more than just a worthy option to consider.





T y e n r u A Jo

a r a k o T

Japan les Nick Bow Photos: Words +

For the last few years, I have

been lucky to have had some great Japanese clients and made a couple of trips to Japan. It has been a great experience to learn new techniques, see new products, understand why products have been developed and generally get a better understanding of where and how Giant Trevally (GT) fishing has developed. This has also greatly changed the way that I fish and how I run our charter operation in Oman.

Over the years there has always been one place in Japan that has been talked about with a mystical tone and somewhere that I have always wanted to visit and fish, and that is The Tokara Islands! It is a place of legend and there are endless stories of monster fish, bad weather and of course, the boat Big Dipper and Capt. Fukui-san! This is the home of fishing for Giant Trevally. When Konishi-san, the President of Carpenter Fishing Rods, and Mogi-san, the owner of Pro Shop Mogi, invited and arranged a trip for me to Tokara, I had no



hesitation in saying yes! We arrived in Osaka Japan and met up with the team and then took another domestic flight to The Amami Islands. The excitement was palpable. As we flew south and could see the sea, everything looked perfect, though Konishi-san had warned us that the weather could be bad due to a typhoon off the coast. However, fingers crossed, so far, so good. As we started to descend, one of the guys nudged me to look out the window… heartbreak - the sea was upside down, wind pumping and dark clouds! The sea was very, very angry! Yet this is a part of fishing; when the weather and conditions can’t be perfect all the time, although we always wish it could be! After the initial disappointment, we soon cheered up as we were arriving in Amami and for me, a new place to visit and experience! We were greeted by Capt. Fukui-san’s wife and quickly learnt that we would not be heading out for The Tokara Islands due to the weather. We arrived at Fukui-san’s house, which sits on a point right above the beach. Amami is a beautiful tropical island with sugarcane, palms and an island-style, laid back vibe. We unpacked and started to rig up the gear. Fishing Amami and Tokara is slightly different from anywhere else I have fished; you wake up around 7:00 a.m. and then have breakfast and head out around 8:00 to 8:30 a.m. It is very leisurely for normal fishing, but you soon come to realize this is done because you fish almost until dark and also, the body cannot handle much more fishing due to extreme conditions, casting heavy

lures and fighting big fish! After breakfast on the second day, we packed up the two minibuses and headed for the Marina and the legendary boat Big Dipper. At first glance, she is an amazing boat; purpose-built for GT fishing. We loaded a small tackle store onto the boat and headed out into the still very angry sea! I looked at the sea and thought it was going to be a very long hard day and trip, but after the first 30 minutes of running into the sea at 22 knots, I realized that the Big Dipper was not a boat, but a high performance GT weapon! We got to the first GT point off Amami where the current was huge, with big waves and lots of wind. I started fishing off the stern of the boat to get the feeling of the boat and to try and calibrate my sea legs! Not easy initially with a huge swell and rough conditions, but slowly we got used to the conditions and started enjoying ourselves and being out on the water and fishing in a new place! The water was crystal clear and the place just felt fishy! After a couple of drifts, we moved to the next and last point off Amami before heading for the famous Tokara Islands. The last point was a couple of small islands sticking out of the sea in no man’s land and just had GT written all over it! By now, we had forgotten the weather and were just excited to try and hook a fish, but we were


reminded every now and then when the boat rocked at right angles to the sea and we were almost flung off the fore deck though we soon got used to grabbing for the railings and holding on. I must say, it is in these conditions that we would not be able to fish in Southern Oman on Centre Console boats! By this time, I was on the bow of the boat casting into the shallow areas and working big hand-made Gamma stickbait lures, then one of the guys let out the all familiar GT cry and I looked up and saw a good fish swirl under his lure which had not hit it; the fish came back again and missed, and then disappeared. By now, our GT adrenalin was pumping and this was what we had come for! Now the night before we had been talking, and the guys had said that around Amami the GTs were smaller, around the 25kg to 30kg mark, so this was the size of fish we were expecting. I put out a long cast with the wind with the new Carpenter Monster Hunter 80H custom rod Mogi-san had given me and started working the 160 Gamma (amazing lure) back towards the boat with long strokes, when from the side, a massive black shape came up, rolled on the lure and almost pulled me off the bow of the boat. I struck the fish several times making sure the hook was set properly and the game was on! Now on the fore deck of the Big Dipper, you stand about 2m above the water line so I opted to get to the stern of the boat to fight the fish so I didn’t end up overboard. I slowly got a bit of line back and used the fish as leverage to walk the fish to the back of the boat. Finally in position, I started to work the line back. Another strong burst and with line peeling off the reel, I thought that these Japanese GTs were very strong for 30kgs! After getting some more line back, I could see the fishes’ number plate way down in the water, the fish must have been 40m away which you could clearly see as the water was so clean. I got the fish up to the boat and it was clear that the fish was way over 30kgs. An amazing fish for Amami and I was very happy with my first Japanese GT! The fish weighed in at 47kgs! I was over the moon to have caught such a great fish so early on the trip, so I took a few minutes while we did another drift to enjoy the moment, and also to sit back, take-in the environment and enjoy a great feeling of a long-standing mission accomplished! This was the start of an amazing trip that took us out to the Tokara Islands. We stayed in a different small guest lodges out on the Tokara Islands every night and ate some of the best food I have had the privilege of eating, everything from young bamboo shoots to squid ink noodles. The reason I love fishing is not for the actual physical part of catching a fish, but rather for the experiences, the places I get to see and the people I get the meet. Truly, catching a fish is a bonus! After three hard days of fishing, we ended up with a

total of 10 big GTs and a host of smaller fish. But finally, our time in Tokara came to an end and we headed back to The Amami Islands. The following day, we packed up amidst driving winds and a big storm that we had just managed to miss. It was sad to be leaving Amami and Tokara but we will be back again. This trip was really amazing and something that I have wanted to do for a long time. I have said it before and I’ll say it again; when I found GTs in Oman and started GT charters, I thought I knew everything about fishing and now, 8 years later, I realize how little I know and how much I still have to learn. It is not all about power and high drag settings; there is a whole culture of how GT fishing evolved and a great history and it is great to be able to spend time with people like Konishi-san and Fukui-san, and continue to learn. Finally, as we drove away from Fukui-san’s house, I turned around and in true Japanese hospitality, Fukui-san was standing in the pouring rain, waving goodbye to us till we were out of sight about

september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

1.5km down the road. For more information on fishing trips or fishing products come in and visit us at our Fishing Shop in the Dubai Garden Center or follow our trips and reports on Tight lines!

Nick Bowles

Charter Destinations: + + + + + + +

Dubai, UAE Fujairah, UAE Musandam, Oman Hallaniyat Islands, Oman* Maldives Seychelles USA

For your once in a lifetime chance of a 50kg+ GT contact Nick or Jon at Ocean Active. Nick: +971 50 459 2259 Jon: +971 50 502 2924 Email:,

Check out our shop at the Dubai Garden Center for a full range of imported GT fishing equipment. *Limited 2012/2013 charters still available.

OA quarter page ad.indd 1

Ocean Active

29/05/2012 11:0


september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

Our Experts

Experience is a Dangerous Thing...

A Little

Words + Photos: Mike Nott

If you haven’t been to southern Africa, then you should go. It’s an area of the world that is ripe for adventure, and it is vast. Before I ended up in the UAE, my previous job involved an awful lot of travel. One of the most memorable times of my life was learning to fly in South Africa, at Swartkops airfield in Pretoria. I was in South Africa for a seven-month stint and had decided that there could be no better way to spend my ‘incountry’ allowance than learning to fly and then, hopefully, getting the chance to fly around southern Africa before I left. I was very lucky and had managed to get membership at the Flying Club at Swartkops (a military airfield) and had the bonus of being taught to fly by seasoned South African Air Force pilots. The other advantage to this was that the instructors’ manner was, well, let’s call it ‘brusque.’ So, if you could cope with the ‘directness’ of military instruction, you would get on very well. They also allowed me to complete my ground school training at the same time as the practical aspect of flying; normally they would insist you do the former before the latter. I’m not going to bore you with the learning process but you need a minimum of 40 hours of flying to gain your licence and I managed to get mine after 42. Thus, equipped with a South African Pilot’s Licence, I now had about two months left of my stint to fly around southern Africa (unfortunately I did have a job to do, with a break of a month in between, so I couldn’t get my licence earlier). Now the adventures could begin. The weekend after I got my licence, I persuaded two colleagues that we should fly in a small fourseater Piper Archer PA28 to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. This was a distance of 1,100km and it was likely to take some time in an aircraft that could only go about 220km/h. Undaunted, I booked the plane for three days but there was a sharp intake of breath at the Club as it was considered a little ambitious for a newly qualified pilot.



However, I must have impressed someone because the Chief Instructor, who’d flown with me on my final test, said I should be allowed to go. Good man! So, with air charts bought, flight plan filed, passengers weighed and a plane full of fuel, we took off for Vic Falls. Despite having gone through the ground school and done the flying tests etc., I’d never really mastered the art of using the navigational radio beacons that help aviators navigate, and we didn’t have a GPS. So, this was going to be a wholly visual, map-to-ground flight. Fortunately for me, there are some remarkably obvious ground features that would assist. So, we followed the motorway and the road to the border with Zimbabwe, dropped in to Bulawayo to refuel, and clear immigration and customs, and then followed the railway line from Bulawayo through Hwange National Park towards the hills to the south of the town of Hwange. Now, one of the freedoms of flying in such a vast and empty place as southern Africa is that there are huge areas of uncontrolled airspace. You need to broadcast on the radio every so often to warn other aviators of your location, height, heading and speed but apart from that, you can do pretty much what you want. So, we descended to an ‘unadvisably’ low level, slowed down and got to see some excellent game as we flew over Hwange Park.

Wing over Victoria Falls

The next stage of the flight proved a little testing, navigationally. The railway line bore off in another direction as we headed towards the hills. This called for close attention to the map and the hope of picking up the road heading to Vic Falls airfield. Having company helped and we passed over the hills, picked up the road and landed in Vic Falls after 7 hours in this cramped little plane. Being here, we had to make the most of the adventure activities on offer. We hired some mountain bikes, headed over to marvel at the falls, onto the Vic Falls bridge, where we did the and then onto Livingston in Zambia to book a whitewaterwhite-water rafting descent of the Zambezi the next day. That done, we headed back but, being the spotter I am, I took a solo diversion to the Livingston Railway museum, while the other two returned to Zimbabwe. Satiated, I headed back across that spectacular bridge and headed off onto some tracks to parallel the river only to come face to face with the back-end of a very large elephant. Not wanting to test his patience, I skedaddled pretty quickly the other way. The whitewater rafting the next day on the Zambezi was outstanding. You can do this on the Colorado River, but you don’t get the added bonus of sharing the slack water with hippos and crocs!Having successfully returned to Swartkops, I and my two colleagues were keen for another ‘international’ flight.

Rafting on the Zambesi River


september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

Victoria Falls Bridge bungee jump

I’d been accumulating quite a few hours flying internally in South Africa and had also managed to do a reasonable time on the Comrades Marathon. So this was to be a our last jaunt outside. We decided to head to Botswana and I’d identified a couple of airfields from my air charts and one in particular, in the Kalahari, that took my fancy. This was to be a two-day jaunt, where we’d visit a couple of bush strips (dirt/gravel airfields), try and do some game watching and generally have a ‘look’ at Botswana. The flight was, again to be a visual, mapto-ground navigation feast, though with one very disturbing error. So, flight plan filed, passengers weighed again and with full tanks, we headed off to Gaberone in Bostwana, where we could do the immigration and customs formalities. On calling the tower at Gaberone International Airport, they stated they had no record of our flight plan, but welcomed us anyway and told us to come in and land. Now, a Piper Archer flies a lot slower than a Boeing 747, and it seemed that the air traffic controllers hadn’t taken this fully into account after I’d lined up with the runway. As soon as we touched down, the tower ordered me to ‘immediately’ leave the runway and as we did, a British Airways 747, coming in behind us, nearly blew us over. Welcome to Botswana.


We booked into a game reserve outside Gaberone, where we could wander at will, guideless, which was a very special treat.

The next day, we headed back to the plane and took off for the Kalahari. Perhaps in hindsight, I had bitten off more than I could chew. It wasn’t a particularly long flight but it became obvious that the weather was not helping. The bush plain was gently gaining height whilst at the same time, the clouds were gradually descending so I could see in the distance that the two met. I was only qualified to fly in clear view off the ground

Elusive Kalahari Airstrip

Safely Down in the Kalahari

and had done no instrument flying (for when you’re in cloud or when out of sight of land) so this was getting a bit dodgy. I kept to a height I knew was higher than the ground and we flew into the cloud, which is horribly disorienting and a bit of a shock first time round. Keeping the plane straight and level by the instruments, we eventually came out of the cloud, completely lost, but at least in view of the ground. The Kalahari is a big place, and not somewhere you want to get lost in when flying, with only limited experience. We now had a rather anxious time trying to locate ourselves (a GPS really would have helped). This is not the time to panic or forget your navigational skills; methodically tackle the problem. The charts were 1:500,000, so only the larger ground features were shown, as well as roads and large tracks but there were none to be seen. We knew were we’d come from so it couldn’t be that difficult, surely? After an eternity of keeping the panic suppressed, I spotted some salt pans on the ground and they looked remarkably similar to some on the map and they were in the right’ish area, though horribly off course. We decided they were similar enough for us to rely on them as being where we were and changed heading for the dirt strip we’d been aiming for. Hugely relieved, after an hour or so we spotted the dirt strip from afar and I descended to do an inspection flypast;

paralleling the runway at about 100ft to check it was ok, which it seemed to be. I climbed and then turned to come in for a landing on this deserted desert strip. We touched down, but too far down the runway, meaning there wasn’t enough room to stop, quickly I pushed the throttle fully in to take off and go round again. Stupidly and perhaps in panic, I raised the flaps (completely the wrong thing to do at this stage), resulting in a loss of lift, the stall warning light coming and my passengers wondering what all the noise was as the undercarriage crashed through the tops of the trees at the end of the runway. Turning to them as calmly as I could, I think I managed to pass it off as a minor hiccup, not the potential disaster it could have been. This second time I was determined to get it right, which I did, and we disembarked onto a soft sand strip in the middle of the Kalahari. There was nothing and nobody around so we went off for a wander and had a delightful late morning’s game viewing. We called in at another strip on the way back to Gaberone and reached Pretoria and Swartkops by dusk. Having been spoilt by flying in southern Africa, flying in the UK was just not comparable. There is no liberty, everywhere is controlled airspace, and it’s all a bit less enjoyable. I thought that coming here may be different but the UAE is a small country and the liberty to come and go as you please as an aviator is just not possible. So my flying days are ‘on hold’ until I get the chance to, hopefully, find somewhere else as vast and as ‘uncontrolled’ as southern Africa was.

Mike Nott Mike is an avid adventurer. He is also the expert behind the ME4x4 supplements that we have shared with you over the year. We will also be bringing you his ‘opus,’ if you will, in the form of a book entitled ‘Advanced Off-Road Adventure Routes for the UAE and Oman’. Available now at and in book stores across the UAE.

Livingstone Railway Museum




september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM


The BARE necessities John’s BARE family camping necessities I have been camping my whole life and, for the past 41 years, have spent many nights in tents, sleeping bags, stretchers, under the stars, in the rain, hail, wind, dust and who knows what else. Not to mention all my military deployments where I even once had to sleep in a Baobab tree because of lions that were in the area! If you are asking me for a list of the minimum gear or equipment you need for camping, you first have to tell me what your intentions are; are you going to go hiking, climbing, cycling or are you just camping to relax? The ONLY people that should be concerned about what to take and what not, are those who have to carry everything in their backpacks! Their mission is not camping, but rather hiking, the activity or sport they love and enjoy. They don’t mind sleeping in a cramped, one-man tent, on hard, cold ground, because they are out there doing what they love.

For family or recreational camping, there can never be a minimum list, especially here in the UAE where we don’t have trees, or other natural “objects” to assist with camping! Most countries accommodate campers and have camping facilities with ablution blocks, showers and allocated areas to wash dishes. However, there are virtually no such places in the UAE or Oman. Also, the natural vegetation and surroundings elsewhere would allow you to get some shade, protection from the wind, and wood for the campfire and BBQ. There would also be some rocks that you could use to “elevate” the grid from the fire. Good luck finding that here, and if you enjoy holding the grid for the duration of the BBQ,



Words: John Basson

then I suppose you don’t need to bring a portable BBQ. Also, if you enjoy the taste of sand in your food, I suppose you then don’t need a windbreak either…? No, I’m sorry, I take everything with me! All my friends laugh when I explain how much stuff I take camping. However, once we arrive and my “camp” is pitched, they cannot but agree that, that is how all camping should be! There are my “one-night” camps which I impulsively decide upon and would then take the boys away for just one night. We’d plan to leave home at about 16:00 and all our food would be prepared at home (hotdogs or something light). This I do to get the boys outdoors so they can exhaust themselves on the dunes. We return early the next morning and have breakfast at home. For these one-night trips, I only take sleeping gear, the prepared food and lights for the camp. For any camping other than this; I take EVERYTHING with me. I converted my quad bike trailer into a bit of a camper to make these one-night camps, and of course the longer trips, an even more “camper friendly.” I fit-

Easy one - night camp with limited stuff…

ted 2x200-litre water tanks under the trailer and, as can be seen from the photos, I also got a large tent made that attaches to the trailer. The structure is very sturdy and can handle most of the wind and dust we often experience. The trailer, of course, also allows me to take quite a few extra “necessities” that most people have to leave at home because of limited space. Don’t think that there is any SUV that can accommodate a family of four and one weeks camping gear! Not even a Land Cruiser or Nissan Armada has sufficient space. I am sure many of you are disagreeing as you are reading this, but I have seen what the campsites look like when two or three families arrive on Mashira Island with their SUV’s loaded and cramped-in like sardines. There is just not enough space and they have very limited facilities! Let me give you a rundown of what I take with me. Then as you read, you may again think that this is total overkill, but everything I have was bought out of “necessity.” Every time we camp I make a list of the extras we needed on the camp and ensure that I don’t go camping without these items the next time we go. The minimum equipment I would take on


a family camping trip for a typical 6 day (5 nights) camping holiday:

• Generator to power the TWO freezers

and the lights in the camp at night. You don’t need a 4,500 AED Honda generator, nor do you need an expensive camping fridge. I own a WAECO 80L camping fridge. It is great, but my other fridge is a 650 AED fridge bought at Carrefour and in some ways, more user friendly because it has a door and not a lid like the WAECO. Yes, the WAECO runs on 12Volts and can be used while driving, but if everything in the normal fridge had been frozen before you leave, then a 5 to 8 hour trip will not even start to defrost the food, even with the fridge being on the back of the trailer. (Remember to lock the door or pack something against the door.

• Camping chairs (one for each person +

two or three extra for the inevitable visitor

• Two large folding tables and three smaller ones. (Ten would be ideal but…)

• Two cooler boxes for the cold drinks and

foodstuff that has to be chilled not frozen

• Two double-bed inflatable mattresses • We use normal bedding and take blankets and pillows, rather than sleeping bags

• Three 6m X 1.5m windbreaks (a MUST!) • Large 4m x 5m canvas with steel poles for

shade (a double MUST!). Normal quick pop-up gazebos cannot handle any strong wind and if you lose your shade, you might as well pack up and go home!

• Enough water for 10 litres per person per day + extra for dishes. This is for showering and cleaning, not drinking.

• Portable hot water shower system (gas

operated). To go for a hot shower at night revives the body and soul! I only added this to my inventory about three years ago. At least four of my friends, who also have been camping for years, have since bought this.

• “Pop-up” toilet tent with toilet. NOT the

“Portapoty” system which uses chemicals and water. Use the one that looks just like a toilet seat with a folding frame on it. Strap a 13Gallon “Glad” dustbin bag to it and next to the toilet tent you have a large plastic dustbin with a Sanita 55 Gal. heavy-duty plastic bag (don’t waste your money on any other brand or size. The 55 gal. one is stronger and thicker than the 30 and 50 gal.versions. Sanita is also the strongest brand and available at Carrefour). I am sure you can figure the rest out from here. This is clean, hygienic and by far the least effort. If you think taking a spade is fine, just wait till you camp in an area where there are several other people

september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

and try to find a spot that you are “safe” or that no one else has already used. While I am on this subject; don’t think that two boxes of 20 bags (the 13 gal. Glad bags for strapping over the seat) are remotely enough if you are a group of 6 adults and 6 children for 6 days… (Don’t forget the toilet paper!)

Many will argue that it is not worth the expense and that camping will become too expensive. Well, let’s do some comparisons: Hotel accommodation: on the beach, in season, for a family of four including lunch and dinner for 5 nights. You would be lucky if it

• My entire cutlery collection when camp-

ing is paper or plastic. Due to the lack of facilities I use disposable plates, cups, knives and forks. I then have a collapsible dustbin and again use the Sanita 55 gal. bags to dispose of it. I know that for those tree huggers and environmental people, I leave a huge “Carbon footprint” when I camp, but I don’t litter as much as one piece of plastic. Everything is disposed of properly and trying to clean dishes with limited facilities is not enjoyable.

• Gas stoves: the ones you can buy from

Carrefour or Lulu, which come in a carry case and use disposable canisters, are the best! They are dirt cheap (about 65 to 80 AED) and you don’t need matches or a lighter as they have self-igniting systems. Make sure you have sufficient canisters of gas and plan on about two canisters per stove per day. DON’T use the stove on your plastic table! Put a wooden carving board under the stove unless you don’t mind a hole in your plastic table.

• Plastic storage containers. We use these

for everything as they are so convenient. The 3 or 4 drawer ones in particular are great and make the accessibility to cutlery, rations, clothing and just about everything a pleasure.

• Portable BBQ and grid (no need to ex-

pand, just remember the bags of charcoal, firelighters or fluid and tongs to turn the meat)

• Bug spray! Just wait till you have pitched your camp only to find out on the first night that it was done on top of an ant’s nest!

• Dustpan and brush, or small broom, to sweep sand from the tents

• Tent pegs: go to the industrial areas and

look for a welding shop. Ask them to cut a 12mm rod into 30cm lengths and weld a “D” shape to the top. They will last a lifetime and can be hit into almost any surface. Then also get 25 x 25 x 3mm angle iron cut and make 40cm pegs to be used in sand. I have tried all the pegs available on the market yet nothing holds when the wind picks up. These pegs work!!

tent. Sure you don’t need a wind break or ……? The wind never blows during the night

costs less than 7,500 AED. For 7,500 AED you can get fully kitted, including: generator, fridge, tents, gear, chairs, tables, windbreaks AND buy a single QUAD trailer to load everything! I am not joking and have proven this to many people. Once you have all the gear, your camping becomes more enjoyable and remember that the next camping trip will cost you almost nothing as you already have the majority of your kit. Go For Gold and enjoy the camping

John Basson PS. My mother’s remark is that I’m nothing other than a 21st century Bedouin!

I take considerably more “stuff” than listed above, but these are the major items I can think of. If you think this is overkill, take this list with you the next time you go for a camping trip which is longer than three days. Then on the third day read the list again and you will be surprised.




september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM


A Fishy Vision What lure Colour is the best?

Words + Photos: Kit Belen

Joe must have caught his fifth fish, yet I wasn’t getting a single tap on my line. Fishing at the yacht club in the afternoon on a low tide targeting barracuda was our usual Sunday afternoon bit of fun, but what was happening wasn’t fun at all, at least to me. What frustrates me most is that these fish are known to attack anything that moves; apparently not the case for me this afternoon!

When he started reeling-in his seventh fish, I couldn’t stand my frustration, I just had to walk up to him to see his magic bullet for the day. What I saw confused me even more. Our lures were very similar in size and shape, the actions weren’t far off, we were both doing almost identical sweeps of the rod while working our lures, and yet he was getting all the fish, while I couldn’t get a follow. The lure I have been using was my one of my faithful Yo-Zuri Tobimaru, while he was using a Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow, both excellent lures for any predatory fish. While the brand was the same and actions of the lures were similar, the subtle difference was the belly colour. I found that his crystal minnow had a golden belly, while mine was silver. To prove this subtlety made the difference, I borrowed his lure and on the first cast, I nailed one. The first time I walked into a tackle shop, I thought I was going to have a heart attack. There were no real tackle

Red is one of my all time favorite colors for surface fishing



What colors we see underwater isn’t necessarily what fish see

shops in the Philippines back then and when I finally walked inside a real one, I saw walls and walls of something I was obsessing about for a long time – Lures. Lures come in several different configurations that cover anywhere from the water’s surface to several metres below it. They come in different shapes, weights, sizes and more importantly, a barrage of colour combinations! We cannot have just one lure; as anglers, we are automatically hoarders of lures. The next colour might just be the one that the fish will bite the next time you get on the water. I almost always have two or more colour variations of the same lure. The question begs to be asked;what is the best lure colour? In the few years that I’ve been fishing, I have found the most effective colour to be the one that you find nice to your eyes…and tied to the end of your line. The 24-carat golden lure in your tackle box will not catch fish on its own! You have to tie it on and cast it out for it to be doing the catching bit. Often, the colour of those lures which attract most fish are the ones that give you confidence. You tied one particular colour one day and it got you a lot of fish, so that lure and colour becomes your “confidence bait.” The one lure that catches the most fish is your most often-used one. The fishing lure industry is massive, constantly introducing the same lure popped from the same mould with a different colour scheme. More often than not, these colours are very regional in their use and it is a ploy to catch more anglers than fish. That’s not to say that they won’t catch fish – they will. The next time you visit a tackle shop, look around for a colour pattern called “Rainbow Trout.” This particular colour scheme is designed to imitate the colours of the Rainbow Trout, a freshwater fish! Yet, using that colour in the salt doesn’t stop it from producing

fish. There have been millions of dollars spent on research on how the fish see the colours of our offerings. However the old guide to choosing

Topwater lures were mainly brightly colored so the angler could see the lure while working it - these days, they come in a rainbow of colors

colours holds its own till this day: use bright lures on bright days, dark lures on dark days. This is a formula that has been expanded over the decades to also cover water clarity. In very clear water, light colours and natural patterns rule supreme. In muddy or stained water, bright, almost-neon colours will be more visible, as would really dark colours since they will present a silhouette to the fish, something visible even from a distance. Here’s a fact - the fish will, for certain, FEEL your lure before they see it. They sense vibrations from afar using their lateral lines. Colour would only be visible at shorter distances. Although I do believe that colours sometimes matter, for me, how the lure moves is more important than how it is coloured. If colour really matters a lot, then why is “Red Head” one of the most often-used colour patterns by people the world over? It looks exactly what the name says; it is a lure with a solid white body and a red head, and in some instances, the body would be black and the head–you guessed it– coloured red. The last time I checked, there is almost

Fly the

always a Red Head version of the lure in every manufacturer’s catalogue. There is no fish with that colour in the wild; the closest you would ever get would be koi and goldfish, fish that a wahoo would never see in its lifetime, yet it is one of the best colours for anything that eats fish. Glow in the dark lures work well in deep water

Tech Talk When you deal with colours, you deal with light. Remember that white light, as we see it, is a mix of the colours of the rainbow – ROYGBIV – Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Researchers say that after 3 metres red disappears – this is probably the reason why you see a lot of red coloured lines for sale today. In ideal conditions with the sun directly above you and the waters glass calm, the penetration of red Dark colors keep their color at depth and are my light only goes up top choice for deep divers to 3 metres. On the other end of the spectrum, blues and violets penetrate the deepest, at about 61 metres. This is the reason why at that depth, everything takes on a bluish hue. If you take this into consideration, it gives you a great guide on what colours to start with. As with almost everything fishing, it is about preferences. What lures and their colours you choose to tie at the end of your fishing line, is your decision.

Light wind? No problem.

The Fly goes in virtually no wind and is incredibly fun to ride. Its exceptionally light weight is primarily the result of removing the center strut. In doing this, the center section of the canopy performs like a spinnaker and generates incredible power in light wind. The Fly uses the Park’s proven easy-handling design, which gives it superior turning ability, but it incorporates more overall sweep, which helps the Fly relaunch in marginal wind conditions.

Silver and Gold Handing Joe back his rod, I asked him, “Do you honestly think that the silver and flash on my lure makes a difference from the gold in yours?” “Honestly, I always use silvers in the morning and when the sun is still bright, and then switch to gold in the afternoons. I read Natural color patterns often work well especially if the fish are it somewhere and feeding specifically on a type of baitfish I have seen this sort of thing happen a few times… but you never know, it’s fishing!” Joe said. I went back to my tackle box and took out an entirely different lure. By the time I finished walking to the car and tying it on, almost all the golden light from the sun was gone. “A black lure, are you really going to use that?” Joe asked. Casting the lure out, I twitched it a few times and felt a heavy thump. “It’s a snapper!” Till next tide change,

Kit Belen

Key Features: • Exceptionally lightweight • Based on the proven Park platform • The power of an 18 with the turning of a 12 • Two strut design • Amazing low-end • Superior water relaunch in light winds • Includes 10m extension lines OCEAN SPORTS FZE +971 (0) 55 935 2735 > Photo: Mike Duhaime


Doris Matlok Occupation: Legal Contracts Manager Nationality: Australian Age: 43

Where do you go to do your activity? I live in the Dubai Marina area, and with the great access to the beach and the excellent walkways and running paths, it’s so easy to pop down to the beach for a swim, SUP or a run. I also train with Marcus Smith from InnerFight who is an awesome trainer and coach.  He has been a key part of my training programme for my Sahara Race in October.  When I can get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, you’ll find me running in a quiet wadi somewhere in the UAE or Oman. I also escape to Hatta, RAK, Dibba, or Fujairah, the mountains are amazing and are great places to run and explore.  

Why did you come to the UAE, and how long have you been living here? I have been in the UAE for 5 years. I moved here because of a job offer, but also because of the opportunity to travel, live in a new country and also the great weather here in the Middle East.  Dubai is a great base to travel to so many amazing places in the world.  The rest of the world is so far away when you live in Australia (my home country).  I also love the weather here.  It’s always sunny!  What’s not to love about that? And of course there are so many great places to see in the UAE and the Middle East. I’ve seen some amazing places since moving here in 2007, such as Musandam, Salalah, Bani Yas Island,  and further afield such as Sharm El Sheikh, Cairo, Jordan, Istanbul and Kathmandu.  And of course you don’t have to go far out of the city of Dubai to escape into the amazing desert, it’s so beautiful.    



What’s your passion and how long have you been in to it? I love anything outdoors!  Being stuck at a desk all day, I can’t wait to get out in the sunshine and fresh air and enjoy the outdoor life here. I have been running for many years, but since moving to the UAE, I’ve taken up triathlon, scuba diving, and SUP, to name a few.  I started triathlons in 2008 and have completed 2 Ironman distance events, but I am now taking a break from triathlon and focusing on my running.  I also love the desert, it’s so beautiful and peaceful, which is why I’m combining the two by taking part in the Racing The Planet Sahara Race in October/ November this year. There are also so many great sporting and outdoor events that are held in the UAE, ranging from runs, swims and bike races through to multi-discipline events such as aquathlons and triathlons, so I try to do as many of these as I can.  It’s fun, it’s a great way to keep fit, and you meet new and interesting people all the time.  

What are your plans for this year? I’ve entered the Racing the Planet Sahara Race, which takes place in Egypt in October/ November 2012. It is a 250km run across the Sahara Desert over 7 days and it is self supported, so I have to carry my sleeping bag, all my food for 7 days, emergency kit, etc. The only thing supplied by race organisers is water.  It’s my first multi-day event.  I’m doing the race as a fundraiser for a not-forprofit organisation that provides support for sufferers of depression and bipolar. I know so many people with one of these conditions, and it is very sad to see what they go through, and the impact it has not just on the sufferer, but also their friends, family and work colleagues. I hope that my run will raise awareness about these illnesses as well as raise funds for medical research and support services for sufferers as well as their loved ones. I’ve set up a Facebook Group which anyone can join and there you can follow my preparations for the race as well as learn more about my fundraising.    What would you recommend to our readers if they wanted to start doing it? Just start!  If you are interested in running, swimming, cycling, triathlon, whatever, start small and keep building on that.  There are some great sports groups here in the UAE, so I’d also suggest joining one of these groups. It’s a great way to meet new people, and they can help you with any questions you have, particularly if you are new to the sport. Plus, you also have to love what you’re doing and have fun!

PEOPLE Name: Stephan Vanden Auweele Occupation: General Manager Nationality: Belgian Age: 44 Why did you come to the UAE, and how long have you been living here? I moved to Abu Dhabi in the end of 2008 upon my assignment with Starwood to launch the 2 newest Starwood Hotel brands (aloft & element). Prior to this, I was living in Spain, Portugal, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Seoul and several European destinations. Having spent over more than 20 years in different countries has been an incredible life experience for me and my family. When I am being asked

which is the best ...all of them! Each destination has something unique and special, if not, you’re looking in the wrong direction. What’s your passion and how long have you been in to it? Besides my job and my family, running has been my leisure passion forover 20 years. When arriving in Abu Dhabi, I was introduced to cycling, which has been great ! Since, I have shared my passion for both sports as well as some swimming needed for the triathlon, which I have also started doing since. I discovered cycling has a lot more social life around the sport than running and I enjoy the rides with fellow bikers on the weekends. I believe in today’s world with 24/7 being connected, our life balance is taking a different dimension, whereby each one has to find ways to achieve his/her state of well being. I truly believe in the old Greek saying “Mens sana in corpore sano,” or a sound mind in a healthy body; there is no better feeling than after some great outdoor run or ride ! What is your most recent Acheivement? Over the last weeks I took part in a The 570km bike ride in the French Alps, including 9,000m of climbing (gradient) in support of ‘Starwoods Road to Awareness charity ride’, and has surely been one of the most intense 4 days of my life. Knowing that with the achievement of the 26

Stephan Vanden Auweele bikers, we were able to raise close to 50,000 USD for UNICEF’s program for the children in Ethiopia which has given a greater value to this physical achievement. I can also see people do admire and support this achievement which is out of the ordinary! Earlier this year, I also did the Ironman 70.3 in Antwerp, the Abu Dhabi Triathlon and the Dubai Marathon, which have all been first time achievements. Now, I will need to put some targets for the upcoming season.

What would you recommend to our readers if they wanted to start doing it? Start gentle and have fun! The fun part and the sense of achievement is crucial to like these endurance sports. Don’t do it because you have to but because you like to and feel good about it afterwards. “Mens sana in corpore sano” or a sound mind in a healthy body as the Greeks used to say. Surround yourself with some like-minded people which will support you and encourage you but know your limits (not all of us

Where do you go to do your activity? Mostly, the runs and rides are close to my home in Khalifa City in Abu Dhabi. Yas Island is a great place for running and a short ride whereas the area behind Abu Dhabi airport offers some great biking tracks where one can easily do a 120 to150km. Some longer or more exciting rides are Coast to Coast (Dubai to Fujairah 220km) or climbing the Jebel Hafeet mountain in Al Ain. Of course, we try to avoid the hot times of the day so training is mostly early morning, even in summer ! What are your plans for this Year? Keep the training up and join some of the events for the upcoming season. For 2012, there are several competitions coming up: The Aloft charity run, the SZC 10km run series , the Abu Dhabi Half Marathon, the Coast to Coast and some sprint triathlons (there’s a great website: premiermarathons. com where all events are listed and where you can enrol in all UAE events) Another 70.3 Ironman is also on the wish list... some exotic destination would be great so my wife and kids will love it as well !

are Usain Bolts). For most of us, it is not about winning, but participating in it and challenging yourself to reach your potential.





EAST COAST MARTINI ROCK Words + Photos: Gordon T. Smith

Martini Rock is situated very close to Khor Fakkan on the east coast of UAE (GPS N 25 20.123 E 56 22.882) and is probably one of the most visited dive sites by the east coast operators. Most weekends, you will find several boats at this site. Fortunately, there is a mooring at this site so anchors are not required, reducing damage to the area and avoiding accidents to those who may be below from dropping anchors. However, occasionally the mooring is cut, and sometimes, an anchor is required. The site is suitable for divers of all levels from novice to the more experienced, and a good multi-level dive can be done here with still something to see on the safety stop at 6m, without having to hang on a line or float in the empty sea hanging on to your SMB, which every diver should carry.

Currently, the mooring line is anchored at around 13m (depending on tides), and following the rock on the left-hand side (counterclockwise) the depth drops to around 22m at the outer (eastern) side. Temperatures this year have been below the norm, and rather cool thermoclines down to 22C have been recently experienced despite air temperatures in the high 30’s and surface water temperatures around 28C. I, for one, am getting cold after 30 minutes and will soon be donning my 5mm suit. Call me a wimp, but I would rather be warm and comfortable than cold. Remember that cold diving without suitable protection can be a predisposition to decompression sickness.

Marine Life

The most noticeable thing about this site is the plethora of colourful orange, red and purple soft corals of Dendronephthya species in the upper section (more about this later). Additionally, there is a lot of blue and yellow whip coral as you go deeper, and it is worth inspecting these closely with a torch as many smaller interesting creatures inhabit them. Around the rock, you will come across many Pillow Stars (Oreasteridaesp) as well as other smaller members of the starfish family, and occasionally a large Crown of Thorns (Acanthasterplanci), which on close inspection, might reveal some example of symbiosis with shrimps living in between the spikes. Fish life is generally abundant, with



frequent shoals of gillraker Mackerel seen swooping around along with rainbow fusiliers and snapper, frequently being chased and attacked by trevally or jackfish. As this is a protected area, there are many groupers around, opportunistic predators, on the lookout for an easy meal. Lizardfish (Synodussp) are also sitting, waiting for something to swim past and launch themselves like torpedoes impaling their victims with their needle sharp teeth. Plenty of scorpionfish (Scorpaenopsisoxycephalus) inhabit this site, and be very careful if you have to touch the rock for some reason; look carefully first, otherwise, you might be on a quick boat ride back to Khor Fakkan. One thing to remember, most

marine poisons are lowtemperature acting and by using warm water on the wound, the pain will subside as the heat breaks down the protein of the poison. However, poison from a stonefish (Synanceiasp) can be fatal and will require ananti-venom. There are also a few Lionfish (Pteroisvolitans) hanging around, and when disturbed, they will spread their fins out and go in a head-down position ready to defend

themselves also with poisoned spines – be careful! Predating on the scorpionfish are the moray eels, and you will find various species lurking in the Dendronephthya corals, which are also home to many smaller fish including the small boxfish (Ostracionmeleagris) that dart around, their obscure non-streamlined shape belying their ability to swim off very quickly. On the sandy surrounds of the rock, you will find plenty of gobies living in holes along with their live-in shrimp housecleaners (Alpheus sp). Sea Pens wafting in the current,

and perhaps a ray or two half buried in the sand. After about 20 minutes in the deeper side, move slowly back towards the mooring line shifting to a shallower depth for your multi-level dive, and by monitoring your dive computer, you will be rewarded with a longer time as air consumption will decrease when you ascend. Explore the small canyons, observe the Sergeant Majors (Abudefdufvaigiensis) laying their eggs (purple patches) and protecting them against other fish looking for a quick meal. The Redtooth Triggerfish (Odonusniger), swimming awkwardly or hiding in crevices, perhaps sleeping. You may also be approached by one of several larger fish, the Broomtail Wrasse (Cheilinuslunulatus) with their distinct yellow marking above their pectoral fins. Take your time to dive this site, swim slowly, touch nothing and take only photographs. Even in poor visibility, this site has a lot to offer.

Gordon T. Smith


september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM


Oman escap Words + Photos: Darryl MacDonald

In August 2011, my wife,myself and two good friends were looking to beat the summer heat in Muscat and decided to tackle the highest peak in Oman. Reaching near 3,000 meters, Jebel Shams, which translates to “mountain of the sun,” is not for the faint of heart as we soon discovered.The entire trek can be completed in a single day; a very, very long day, approximately eleven hours from bottom to top and back at a steady pace.Instead, we decided to take full advantage of the spectacular views the jebel had to offer and camp overnight near the peak, returning the following morning. Before heading off, I checked the weather on multiple sites to ensure everything looked good for the weekend trip. We departed Muscat early Thursday morning,making it to the trailhead within three hours of driving. The start of the summit hike is 3.2km north of the Jebel Shams Resort, in a wadi behind a Bedouin-style camp. The hiking trail is well-marked with red, white and yellow paint swatches; from each marker, you are able to see the next. The start of the trail is a gentle




In preparation for our trip we packed the following essentials: • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Backcountry packs (50-80 liter capacity) Tent Hiking boots Water (7 liters each) Food (3 meals) Camp stove First aid kit (lots of blister pads) Headlamp Camera Rain jacket Warm clothes Sleeping bags GPS


slope over rocky terrain with some light bouldering in places. Eventually, the trail meets up with a cliff edge continuing upwards towards the peak, offering spectacular views of Wadi Nakhr, over a kilometer below.Upon the first glimpse over the cliff edge, it’s easy to see why this is often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of Oman. As we neared the final approach to the summit, the weather suddenly changed. A dark,ominous thunder cloud rolled in from the east, hanging over the peak of the mountain. Based on previous unpleasant experiences with lightning and mountain tops, I convinced the group that it would be beneficial to everyone’s health to wait out the storm at a lower elevation and call off the hike if it persisted. We managed to find a semi -sheltered location from which to watch as the cloud unleashed rain, thunder and lightning for the next hour. One of the strikes was so close; the thunderous boom was deafening and made everyone jump. We could feel it as much as we could hear it. Then,as quickly as it came, the stormy weather blew past. We continued at a steady pace towards the top, away from the ridge, through a saddle and eventually out to a ledge that traversed the gorge. Approaching the peak, the sun hung low in the sky offering beautiful views to the west with the nearby peaks bathed in the golden glow of dusk. As we came up onto the plateau, we were a little surprised to find the wind gusting near 20km/hour. With the temperature hovering around 14 ˚C and the wind-chill, it was cold! After exploring along the topridge, we decided to camp in a sheltered saddle, hoping it would offer protection from the elements. As we set up camp, the wind was still gusting and the rain started up again. We worked at a frantic pace to set up our tents so we could escape the wet, chilly weather and get into some warm, dry clothes. Our fourseason backcountry tent held up well against the weather, but our friend’s“Carrefour special” nearly blew away with the wind gusts. Luckily, the wind and rain subsided and the clouds cleared, revealing a spectacular, star-filled sky. We could finally relax, enjoy a hot meal and laugh as we reminisced over our luck with mountain weather. I never thought it would be possible to complain of being cold in Oman in August! The following morning, I awoke early and hiked to the top of the plateau to watch the sun rise over the valley below. As I sat there, enjoying the peaceful quiet and breathtaking views, I was reminded why I enjoy my weekend escapes so much. After breakfast, we packed up camp and started our descent back down the trail. The weather was cool and refreshing, the visibility much improved thanks to the previous day’s rain. We took our time descending, stopping at several vantage points to take photos and enjoy the scenery. As we neared the end of the trail near noon, the temperature was hitting its peak, around 30 ˚C. If you undertake this weekend adventure, don’t forget you are hiking in the mountains and need to be prepared for the unexpected, both with regards to weather and emergency response. With a little pre-planning, even an unexpected thunder shower can’t spoil your fun! As we like to say in Canada, get out there, have fun and “keep your stick on the ice.”

september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

Darryl MacDonald has been exploring mountains since he was eight years old, racking up thousands of kilometers hiking. He started with the Canadian Rockies, soon expanded his horizons to reach all ends of the North American continent, and finally moved overseas to quench his thirst for adventure. His background as a medic (EMT), helitack wild firefighter and arborist all come in handy when “getting lost” in the great outdoors.




september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

Tips & Tricks

A Touch of Care for a Healthy Skin Outdoors Interview by: Jane Mesina

When we are young, the main skin complaints are greasy skin and acne. But as we grow older, the skin gets dry and more problems may occur and the challenge is to counteract the problems of the skin. However, we can have beautiful skin no matter what our age, race or color is. The secret is to understand how your skin functions, and to take care of it properly. Here are some tips and advice on how to take care of our skin from Dr. Taysir Jarbouh Rashid, Dermatologist of Kaya Skin Care Clinic.

Tips on how to prevent sunburn: •

Applying a sunscreen, the right amount shall be applied which is 30ml for the whole body (for adults). Don’t forget parts like your ears or your toes and even your scalp.

Tightly Woven clothes are good but should be loosely fitted at the same time.

Broad brim hats can also be of good help.

Sunglasses, the bigger the better. Color, style and cost have nothing to do with the amount of sun protection offered. Always select glasses classified as 99 to 100 percent of UV rays. Some labels specify “UV absorption up to 400nm.” This is equivalent to 100 percent UV absorption.

Seek shading and not too much exposure to the sun.

Drinking enough water on a daily basis.

Antioxidant vitamins can help also.

Avoid the daytime when the sun is at its peak and the sunlight has the highest intensity


Be aware when you are at the beach or close to water that the surface reflects the sun light and amplifies the sun effect and the risk of sunburn.


To ease the pain if you have sunburn: The burning sensation (feeling) and redness are the 2 most annoying factors, and this can be solved by a cool shower (or cooling in general) and also by applying an Aloe Vera lotion, if those 2 didn’t work perfectly then pain killers can be taken to help (e.g. aspirin). What are some of the biggest skin-care mistakes men and women make? •

Most common mistakes are not protecting their skin with the appropriate sun screen as a way of saving on their pockets.

Over-washing the face whereas 1 or 2 times a day are sufficient, so the milder the better.

Enough consumption of water is the best for the skin. According to various sources, drinking more water is no problem at all, because the body does not store excess water. If you drink more water, you will have to go to the toilet more frequently. As a result, your system will be running well, flushing unwanted salt from your body (by sweating too).Drinking excessive amounts of water may also lead to hyponatremia (too little sodium in the blood). The best strategy is to observe what your body is telling you. If you feel that you lack energy, constantly thirsty and have dark-colored urine, then this could be a sign that you are not getting enough water.

their skin, acnes not healing, a wound not healing etc. If you are not certain or are suspicious of any observation you should consult a skin expert. •

As a woman, we tend to buy products for our skin to look fairer and at the same time, this can also prevent us from sunburn, skin allergies or even worst as skin cancer.

Nonetheless, we sometimes overdo this and can lead to rashes or worse. As your Outdoor buddy, I personally advise you to take the natural and effective way. As Dr. Taysir said, the right consumption of water is perfect, added with right exercise and proper meal, you’ll never go wrong. In some cases it may require a specialist’s prescription; see your dermatologist before using such products.

Remember, we cannot run away from the unbearable heat in the Middle East especially during summer time but we can always stay safe by doing the right thing. Enjoy the heat of the sun but don’t forget the sunscreen, you, Outdoor enthusiast! Take care!


Note: / Salt and fatty acids can als make your skin dry.

What should I do to prevent skin cancer? •

A preventive measure could be routinely checking yourself at home and in front of the mirror if there are more freckles, moles expanding, bumps etc. or if anything unfamiliar appeared on

Dr. Taysir Jarbouh Rashid Kaya Skin Care Clinic

On-Road Safety with Helmets How to remain safe and cool whilst using a helmet on-road. Whenever someone decides to have some solo outing, riding a motorcycle pops up in most of enthusiasts’ minds. More often than not, people ride for entertainment and take safety as a matter of personal choice, and sometimes this type of behavior usually leads to overlooking safety. As far as safety is concerned, helmets are key devices as they protect you in case of an accident, collision, or even a normal fall due to skidding or encountering an obstacle on the road whilst riding. Furthermore, they also help in protecting your head and upper torso from airborne obstacles, such as dirt, flying pieces of stones or glass, bugs, rain, snow, and sleet. This article is aimed to put forward some of the key factors in figuring out the safest and also most stylist helmet:


This is the most important factor that you have to understand before purchasing a helmet. Riders come in varying head shapes. These shapes include round, oval, egg, reverse egg and earth. Helmets are also particularly made to cater to these varying head shapes. Thus, the choice is given to the purchasers. They must select the most appropriate helmet shape that will greatly support their head.


Be sure that your helmet gives you appropriate peripheral vision. This is simply to avoid accidents and other untoward incidents.


Liners vary depending on the design, material and shape of the helmet. Liners must give comfort and protection to the rider. Thus, it must be compatible with the rider’s needs. Liners that produce pressure points must be avoided. Pressure points are usually located against the temples, forehead and cheeks. Helmet liner ‘skull cap’ is preferable. Moreover, it is better if you personally try the helmet before purchasing it. This is to ensure that it will not be burdensome in the future. Before purchasing a helmet, it is important to wear it first for an extended period to be sure of the fit and feel. Wear ear plugs to be acquainted with the surrounding sounds. While going through some latest helmets by leading manufacturers such as Arai, Bell and Nolan, we have come across GREX R1, the latest professional helmet by Nolan Group and its also tested and approved by Snell and DOT. The GREX R1 is a professional riding helmet dedicated to stylish riders such as teenagers and young adults. It represents value for an excellent entry-level full-face helmet. The base trim and the visor trim of this full-face helmet are both made of rubber. The visor is scratch resistant and offers UV protection up to 400 nanometers. Ventilation is ensured by two front air intakes. The internal padding is particularly comfortable and above all, it’s made in Italy by the Nolan Group. Depending on the kinds of roads that you ride, the average distance you ride every day, and the amount of traffic in the roads that you normally ride, you should decide the amount of protection you need. You should always take adequate safety measures while riding such as helmets, jackets, boots, gloves, chest, etc.


september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

Tips & Tricks

Am I hydrated? Most of us know dehydration is a bad thing to happen and particularly for those of you who are new to the region, it may well be something you experience at some point. The bad thing is, if you feel a headache or, even worse dizziness, it is already too late and it will take some hours or days for your body to recover. Everyone undertaking any kind of outdoor activity will agree that, especially during the summer months, you need to learn to drink to stay hydrated and not because you feel thirst. You quickly get used to sweating but it takes some time and experience to figure out how much liquid your body is really losing. On dry and windy days you might not even feel the sweat because it’s evaporating. An easy way and a very good indicator is



your pee. If you drink and don’t pee at all for several hours, rest assured this is a sign you are dehydrated. If you pee, the darker the pee, the less hydrated your body is, meaning you should drink much more. You can follow the chart as an indicator: (We found this chart in the toilet of Al Jazeera Aviation Club) You also need to pay attention to what you are drinking as water alone is not enough, especially here in the UAE, where most bottled water comes from desalination. There are various supplements with electrolytes, minerals and salts which your body needs. Don’t be surprised by the amount of water you can pour into your body. When I’m out fishing on a medium hot day with temperatures of 35-40°C for 8 hours, I will need about one litre of liquid per hour to stay hydrated, and fishing is one of the more relaxed outdoor activities ;-).

1 2

If your urine matches the colors numbered 1 through 3 you are hydrated, continue to drink fluids

3 4 5 6 7

If your urine matches the colors numbered 4 through 7 you are dehydrated and you need to drink more fluid.

EVERYTHING YOU CAN DO OUTDOORS IN DUBAI Attracting thousands of visitors, Dubai International Outdoor Show is a great opportunity to meet new customers, develop relationships, build your brand, sell products and generate sales leads. This exciting three-day event offers a large selection of exhibits, spectacular features and interactive demos. If you are involved with the outdoor industry in the Middle East then you NEED to be a part of the Dubai International Outdoor Show.

Limited spaces available. BOOK YOUR STAND NOW! For sponsorship and exhibitor enquiries contact: Mosaab Abdo - Event Manager - E: - M: +971 50 817 9727 Supported by:

Official outdoor magazine:

Organised by:

Where can you buy us? You will find the magazine in more than 800 locations across the UAE, here are some of the most popular locations. Ask in a supermarket or local grocery store close to you and you will have a good chance of finding our magazine on the shelves. DUBAI

Selected Choithrams, Spinneys, Carrefour and Al Maya supermarkets In all good book Stores: Books Plus, Jashanmal, Borders, etc. Selected Supermarkets Selected ENOC & EPCO Petrol Stations 800 Sports - Sheikh Zayed Road Adventure HQ - Sheikh Zayed Road, Times Square Centre Barracuda Fishing Shop - Sheikh Zayed Road Circle 8 – The Dubai Mall Dubai Garden Centre - Sheikh Zayed Road Go Sport – Ibn Battuta, Mall of the Emirates, Mirdiff City Centre Go Sport The Dubai Mall Icon Auto – Al Quoz K2 Shop - Dubai Mall KTM - Sheikh Zayed Road Leisure Marine/ Beach Street Jumeirah Beach Walk Masaood Marine - Sheikh Zayed Road Ocean Active - Sheikh Zayed Road

Picnico - Jumeirah Beach Road Probike - Al Barsha Sand Storm Motorcycles - Al Barsha Sebsports - Al Quoz Surf Shop Dubai - Al Barsha Wolfi’s Bike Shop - Sheikh Zayed Road


Selected Supermarkets In all good book Stores. Selected ADNOC Petrol stations Arabian Divers and Sports Fishing Charters - Al Bateen Marina Desert Garden Center Resort Marina - Al Bateen Marina Sports Direct - Khaladiya Mall The Club - Abu Dhabi Tourist Area Go Sport - Bawabat Al Sharq Mall

Other Emirates

Selected Supermarkets In all good book Stores Selected ADNOC, ENOC & EPCO Petrol Stations



Go Sport - TBC


Selected Dive Centres Selected Hotels Concierge and Lobby Selected Universities and Schools Dubai and Abu Dhabi Airport launches Abu Dhabi Airport Duty Free - distribution stands First and Business Class of Etihad flights Al Maha Resort Dubai (in hotel rooms) Aloft Hotel Abu Dhabi (in hotel rooms) Al Jeer Marina - Ras Al Khaimah Dubai Autodrome Dubai Dolphinarium Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club Sharjah Paintball & Shooting Centre Sofitel Hotel Dubai (in hotel rooms) The Palace - Old town (Spa) Wafi, The Pyramids Umm Al Quwain Marine Sports Club

Please note this is just a selection of some of our distribution locations, in case you want to know a location near you contact us.

Ballooning Adventures Emirates, Dubai, +97142854949, Jazirah Aviation Club, Ras Al Khaimah, +9716139859, Seawings, Dubai, Sky Dive Dubai, Dubai, +971501533222,

Blue Waters Marine, +97142232189, Dubai, Extreme Marine, Dubai, + 97143992995, Rineh Emirates Trading LLC, Dubai, Al Quoz, +97143391512, Repair and maintenance Extreme Marine, Dubai, Dubai Marina, + 97143992995, Rineh, Al Quoz, +97143391512, The Boat House, Dubai, Al Quoz, +97143405152, Cruise Operators 4 Yacht Arabia, Shop No. 5, Dubai Marina Yacht Club, 800 92248, Al Bateen Marina, Abu Dhabi, +97126665491, www. Al Marsa Travel & Tourism, Dibba, Musandam, +96826836550, +97165441232 Leisure Marine Beach Street, Dubai, TheWalk JBR, +97144243191 Bateaux Dubai, Dubai Creek – opposite the British Embassy, +97143994994 Bristol Middle East, Dubai Marina, +97144309941, Delma Industrial Supply and Marine Services, Al Bateen Jetty, Abu Dhabi, +971 2 6668153, Eden Yachting, Dubai Marina, +971504586171, Emirates Yachting, Dubai, +97142826683 El Mundo, Dubai, +971505517406, Four Star Travel and Tourism, Dubai, 04 2737779,

All previous months issues are available on in the magazine section tab, in the online viewer free of charge.

DIRECTORY General Sports Equipment Megastores

Adventure HQ, Dubai Times Square Center, Sheikh Zayed Rd, Toll free: 800-ADVENTURE, Decathlon, Dubai, Mirdiff City Centre, +97142839392 Go Sport The Dubai Mall, Dubai, +97143253595 Go Sport, IBN Battuta Mall: 04-368 5344, Mall of the Emirates: 04-341 3251, Mirdif City Centre: 04-2843034 InterSport, Dubai, Times Square Centre & Dubai Festival City, +97142066587, Sun and Sand, Most Shopping Centres +97143504444, Go Sport, IBN Battuta Mall: +97143685344, Mall of the Emirates: +97143413251, Mirdif City Centre: +97142843034 InterSport, Dubai, Times Square Centre & Dubai Festival City, +97142066587, Sport in Life, Nad al Hamar Rd., Ras al Khor, Dubai, +97142896001, Sun and Sand Sports, most shopping centres +97143504444,

Adventure tours and desert safaris

MMI Travel, Mezzanine Floor, Dnata Travel Centre, Shk Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 4 4045888, Alpha Tours, +97142949888, Cyclone Tours & Travels, Abu Dhabi,



Khalifa Street, +97126276275, Dadabhai Travel, Sama Bldg. next to Al Mulla Plaza, Dubai-Sharjah Road, Dubai, +97142209393, Desert Rangers, +97143572200, Dubai, Desert Road Tourism, Al Khor Plaza – 503, Dubai, +971-42959429, Dream Days, +97144329392, Dream Explorer LLC, Dubai, +971433198801, Dubai Relax Travel, Dubai, +97144221776, Element Fitness, Dubai, +971 050 2771 317 Explorer Tours, Umm Ramool, Dubai, +97142861991,, Gulf for Good, Dubai, +97143680222, Gulf Ventures, Dnata Travel Centre +97144045880, Net Group, Dubai & Abu Dhabi, +97126794656, Oasis Palm Dubai, Dubai, +97142628889, Rahhalah, Dubai, +97144472166, Relax Tours Travels, Dubai, +97144221776, Wild Guanabana, Dubai, +971 056 7954 954,


Boating & Sailing

Manufacturer Al Fajer Marine, Dubai, Al Quoz, +97143235181, Al Shaali Marine, Ajman, +97167436443, Gulf Craft, Ajman, +97167406060, Distributors & Dealers Art Marine, Dubai, +97143388955, Azure Marine, Dubai, +97143404343, Leisure Marine Beach Street, Dubai, The Walk JBR, +97144243191 Luxury Sea Boats, Dubai, +971505589319, Macky Marine LLC, Dubai, +971505518317, Nautilus Yachts, Sharjah, +97165576818, UAE Boats 4 Sale, Dubai Marina, +97144471501, Western Marine, Marina Yacht Club, Dubai, +97143039744 The Boat House, Dubai, Al Quoz, +97143405152, Equipment Ali Khalifah Moh Al Fuqaei, Deira, Dubai, +97142263220 Al Masaood Marine, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, +97143468000,






september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM




AL YOUSUF MOTORS E-Bike out door

GoSport The Dubai Mall C

Tel: 04-3253595 Fax: 04-3253590







Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa - Al Aqah Beach, Al Aqah Beach, Fujairah, +97192449888, Ghantoot Marina & Resort, Abu Dhabi, +971529933153, Happy Days Sea Cruising LLC, Dubai, +971558961276, +971503960202, JPS Yachts and Charter, Room 225, Emarat Atrium building, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 4 343 7734, www.jpsyachts. com Khasab Divers, Oman, +97156 7255889, Khour Shem Tourism, Oman, +96826731919, www.khourshemtours. com LY Catamaran, Dubai, +971505869746, +971566506683, Marine Concept, Dubai, +971559603030, Nautica1992, Dubai, +971504262415, Noukhada Adventure Company, Villa 332/7, Al Meena Street, Abu Dhabi, +97126503600 ,

Aloft Abu Dhabi

ADNEC Exhibition Centre Abu Dhabi, P.O. Box 94943 Tel: +971 (0)2 654 5000

RAK Marine LLC, Ras Al Khaimah City Hilton Marina, +971504912696, +97172066410 Sea Hunters Passenger Yachts & Boats Rental, Dubai Marina, +97142951011 Sheesa Beach, Dibba, Musandam, +971503336046, Smoke Dragon Of London Yacht, Abu Dhabi International Marine & Sports Club, +9715070 11 958/+971504546617 Summertime Marine Sports, Dubai, +97142573084, The Club Abu Dhabi, +97126731111 The Yellow Boats LLC, Dubai Marina Walk – opposite Spinneys, Intercontinental Hotel Marina, +8008044, Marinas Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club, Abu Dhabi, Breakwater, +97126815566, Abu Dhabi Marina, Abu Dhabi, Tourist Club Area, +97126440300 Al Jeer Marina, RAK Border, Musandam +971 7 2682333 or +971 50 4873185 Al Mouj Marina, Muscat, Oman, +968 9423 9777, Dubai Creek Marina, Deira, Dubai, +971 4 380 1234, Dubai International Marine Sports Club, Dubai Marina, +97143995777, Dubai Marina Yacht Club, Dubai, +97143627900, Dubai Maritime City Harbour Marina, Dubai, +97143455545 Dubai Offshore Sailing Club, Dubai, +97143941669, Emirates Palace Marina, Abu Dhabi, +97143388955 Festival Marina, Dubai, Festival City, +97144498400, Festival Marina, Dubai, Festival City, +97142085100, www.mourjanmarinas. com Four Seasons Marina, Doha, Qatar, +974 4494 8899, www.mourjanmarinas. com Fujairah International Marine Club, Fujairah, +9719 222 1166, Intercontinental Abu Dhabi Marina, Al Bateen, Intercontinental Hotel, Abu Dhabi, +97126666888,

Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa Marina, Jebel Ali, Dubai, +971 4 814 5555/5029, Lusail Marina, Lusail City, Qatar, +974 5584 3282, www.mourjan-lusailmarina. com Marina Bandar Al Rowdha, Muscat, Oman, +968 24737286 (ext 215), www. Pavilion Marina, Dubai, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, +97144068800 The Pearl–Qatar Marinas, Doha, Qatar, +974 4965801, Umm Al Quwaim Marine Sports Club, Umm Al Quwaim, +9716 766 6644, Dragon Boat Groups Dubai Dawn Patrol Dragon Boating, Dubai +971508795645 (Michael) Dubai Diggers, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, pier next to 360, Dubai, +971501547175 (Nick Hando), UAE Dragon Boat Association, +971507634008 (Jason),









Camping & Hiking

Equipment, +971505548255, Jack Wolfskin Mirdiff City Centre Dubai, (04) 2840228 Al Wahda Mall Abu Dhabi (02) 4437802 Picnico, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, +97143941653 Tresspass The Dubai Mall, 2nd floor above ice rink +971 4 339 8801 Tour Operators Arabia Outdoors, Dubai, +971559556209, Absolute Adventure, Dubai, +97143459900, Libra, +971559228362, Mountain High Middle East, Dubai, +97143480214, Sheesa Beach, Musandam, Dibba, +97150336046, Desert Road Tourism, Al Khor Plaza – 503, Dubai, +971-42959428,



Muscat Diving & Adventure Centre, Oman, +96824543002, Mountain High Middle East, Dubai, +97143480214, www.mountainhighme. com Oman World Tourism, Oman, +96899431333, www.omanworldtourism. com


Equipment Global Climbing Trading LLC, Dubai Investment Park 1, Dubai, +97148829361, Adventure HQ, Dubai Times Square Center, Sheikh Zayed Rd, Toll free: 800-ADVENTURE, Barracuda Fishing and Outdoor, Dubai, Street 13A 1, Al Safa 1, +97143466558, Jack Wolfskin Mirdiff City Centre Dubai, (04) 2840228 Al Wahda Mall Abu Dhabi (02) 4437802






Services Absolute Adventure, Dubai, +97143459900, Adventure HQ, Dubai Times Square Center, Sheikh Zayed Rd, Toll free: 800-ADVENTURE, Al Shaheen Adventure, Abu Dhabi, +97126429995, Arabia Outdoors, Dubai, +971559556209, Dorell Sports Management, Dubai World Trade Centre, +97143065061, E-Sports UAE, Dubai, +97142824540, The Club, Abu Dhabi, +97126731111, Information UAE Climbing, +971506456491, www.


Equipment Cycle Sports, Shop No. 1, Al Waleed Bldg., Al Barsha 1, Dubai, +97143415415, Micah’s Bike Shop, Warehouse no.4 6th st. Al Quoz 3, Dubai, +9714 3805228 Probike, Dubai, Al Barsha1, +97143255705, Rage Shop, Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Festival City, +97143369007, Ride Bike Shop, Dubai Mall, Festival City, Oasis Centre, Mirdiff City Centre, +97143750231, Sportz Unlimited, Sheikh Zayed Road & Jebel Ali, Dubai, + 97143388644 Tamreen Sports LLC, Khalifa Street, Abu Dhabi +97126222525, www. Fun Ride Sports, Rm no. 4, Mezzanine flr, C-13 bldg. Khalifa A City, Abu Dhabi, +97125566113, Peak Performance, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Mall, Dubai, +97143413056/+97143308023 Wolfi’s Bike Shop, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, +97143394453, Clubs Abu Dhabi Tri Club, Cycle Safe, Dubai Autodrome Dubai Roadsters,




Equipment Al Boom Marine, Abu Dhabi & Dubai+97142894858, Al Masaood Marine, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, +97143468000, Blue Waters Marine, +97142232189, Dubai, Gulf Marine Sports, Abu Dhabi, +97126710017, Premiers for Equipment, Abu Dhabi, Sh. Zayed 1st. Road, +97126665226, Al Hamur Marine and Sports Equipment, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, +9714 3444468 Scuba 2000, Al Bidiya Beach, Fujairah, +97192388477 Scuba Dubai, Al Barsha, Al Khail Road, Dubai, +97143414940,

Diving Centers 7 Seas Diving Center, Khorfakkan, +97192387400, Al Boom Diving (equipment), Dubai, Al Wasl Rd, + 97143422993, Al Jeer Marina, RAK Border, Musandam, +97172682333, Al Mahara Dive Center, Downtown Abu Dhabi, +971501118125, Al Marsa Musandam, Dibba Harbour, Musandam, Oman, +968 26 836550, www. Arabian Diver, Hilton Marine, Ras Al Khaimah, +97172226628, +971502428128 Arabian Divers and Sportfishing Charters, Al Bateen Marina Resort, Abu Dhabi, +971506146931, Atlantis Dive Centre (equipment), Dubai, The Palm Jumeirah,+97144263000, Deep Blue Sea Diving, Dubai, International City, +97144308246,

september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

Divers Down, Fujairah, Rotana Al Aqah Hotel Resort & Spa, +97192370299, Emirates Divers Centre, Abu Dhabi, near Meena Fish Market, +97126432444, Euro-Divers Oman, Muscat, Oman, +96895035815, Extra Divers Ziggy Bay, Oman, Musandam, +96826735555, Free Diving UAE, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, Freestyle Divers, Dubai, Al Wasl & Dibba, Royal Beach Hotel, +97143944275, Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa - Al Aqah Beach, Al Aqah Beach, Fujairah, +97192449888, Global Scuba Dive Center, Civil Aviation Club, Oman, +96899317518, Khasab Divers, Oman, Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, Dibba Road, Fujairah, +97192449000, Moonlight Dive Center, Madinat Qaboos, Oman, +968 99317700, Muscat Diving & Adventure Centre, Oman, +97150 3289642, Neptune Diving, +97150 4347902, Nomad Ocean Adventures,, +971508853238, Dibba, Oman Oman Dive Center, Muscat, Oman, +96824284240, Pavilion Dive Centre (equipment), Dubai, +97144068828 Scuba Oman, Oman, +96899558488, Sharjah Wanderers Dive Club, Sharjah, +97150 784 0830, Sheesa Beach, Dibba, Musandam, +971503336046, Sky &Sea Adventures, Dubai, Hilton, Jumeirah Beach Road, +97143999005, The Pavilion Dive Centre (equipment), Dubai, +97144068828 Clubs Atlantis Underwater Photography Club, Dubai, +97144263000

Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club Opposite Arabian Ranches P.O.Box 7477, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 361 8111 Fax: +971 4 361 7111 Email:

Dubai - Tel: 04 3390621 | Dubai Auto sport 04 3388822 Abu Dhabi - Tel: 02 5588890 | Abu Dhabi - Buteen - 02 6660591 Sharjah - Tel: 06 5388066 | Ajman -Tel: 06 7410004 Al Ain - Tel: 03 7211444 | Fujairah - Tel: 09 2221188 Ras Al Khaimah - Tel: 07 2351592

Desert Sports Diving Club, Dubai, Emirates Diving Association, Diving Village, Al Shindagha, Dubai, +97143939390, Filipino SCUBA Divers Club (FSDC), Dubai, UAE, +971 56 6952421, www. Sharjah Wanderers Dive Club, Sharjah, +971507840830,

Fishing & Kayaking

Equipment Al Boom Marine, Abu Dhabi & Dubai+97142894858, Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd, +97143390621, Al Hamur Marine and Sports Equipment, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, +9714 3444468 Arabian Divers and Sportfishing Charters, Al Bateen Marina Resort, Abu Dhabi, +971506146931, Blue Waters Marine, +97142232189, Dubai, Al Masaood Marine, +97143468000, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Barracuda Fishing and Outdoor, Dubai, Street 13A 1, Al Safa 1, +97143466558, Global Climbing Trading LLC, Dubai Investment Park 1, Dubai, +97148829361, Leisure Marine Beach Hut, Dubai, The Walk JBR, +97144243191 Ocean Active, Dubai, Garden Centre, +971502898713, Operators Al Boom Diving, Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, Fujeirah, +97143422993 Absolute Adventure, Dubai, +97143459900, Al Hamra Marina and Yacht Club, Al Hamra, Ras Al Khaimah, +97172434540, Al Mahara Dive Center, Downtown Abu Dhabi, +971501118125, Al Shaheen Adventure, Abu Dhabi, +97126429995, Al Wasl Charter & Fishing ( Al Wasl


september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

Passenger Yachts and Boats Rental LLC), Airport Road, Al Owais Building, Dubai, +97142394761, Arabian Divers and Sportfishing Charters, Al Bateen Marina Resort, +971506146931, Arabia Outdoors, Dubai, +971559556209, Barracuda Diving Centre, Fujairah International Marine Club, +9719222558 Belevari Marine, Abu Dhabi,+97126594144 Fun Beach Water Sports, Dubai, +97153244550, Happy Days Sea Cruising LLC, Dubai, +971558961276, +971503960202, Hiltonia Beach Club, Hilton Abu Dhabi Hotel, Abu Dhabi, +97126811900 Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, Dibba Road, Fujairah, +97192449000, Nautica1992, Dubai, +971504262415, Noukhada Adventure Company, Villa 332/7, Al Meena Street, Abu Dhabi, +97126503600, www. Ocean Active, Dubai, Garden Centre, +971502898713,

Xventures, Dubai, +971555404500, www.x-ventures. ae


bli ON BU ng LI Y my NE tru ! ck .co



Free UAe delivery | GreAt PersonAl service online PAyment FAcility | rUn by 4x4 exPerts

• roof top tents • Awnings • roof racks • Jerry cans

• storage solutions • recovery Kits • Picnicing & Kitchen • Pretty much everything else...

For all enquiries: or 050 363 4839 Sheesa Beach, Dibba, Musandam, +971503336046, Summertime Marine Sports, Dubai, +97142573084, Soolyman Sports Fishing, Dubai, Umm Suqeim, +971508866227, Xclusive Yachts, Dubai, Dubai Marina, +97144327233,

General Sports Equipment Distributors 800 Sport, Al Quoz, Dubai +971 4 346 7751 Adventure HQ, Dubai Times Square Center, Sheikh Zayed Rd, Toll free: 800-ADVENTURE, Flip Flop Arabia,, www. Global Climbing Trading LLC, Dubai Investment Park 1, Dubai

+97148829361, Goal Zero, +971509128353, Jack Wolfskin Mirdiff City Centre Dubai, (04) 2840228 Al Wahda Mall Abu Dhabi (02) 4437802 Ocean Sports FZE, +971559352735, www. Sakeen General Trading, +97147094224, www. Tresspass The Dubai Mall 2nd floor above ice rink +971 4 339 8801

Horse Riding

Equipment Cavalos Equine Care and Supplies, 16th Street, Al Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, +9172 2222433, Emirta Horse Requirement Centre, Dubai, Sheik Zayed Rd, +9714 3437475, Mirzan Equestrian Equipment, Dubai, +971 4 4472808, Equestrian Centres Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Abu Dhabi, +97124455500, Al Ahli Riding School, Al Amman Street, DubaiSharjah Rd., +97142988408, Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Abu Dhabi, +97125568555, Al Sahra Desert Resort Equestrian Centre, Dubai, +971 44274055, Dubai Polo Academy, Dubai, +971508879847, www. Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Dubai, Arabian Ranches, +97143618111, Desert Equestrian Club, Dubai, near Mirdif +971503099770, +971501978888 Desert Palm Riding School, Near Al Awir Road (going to Hatta-Oman), Dubai, +97143238010, Emirates Equestrian Centre, Dubai, +971505587656, Ghantoot Polo & Racing Club, Abu Dhabi, +97125629050, Golden Stables Equestrian Club, Al Khawaneej, Dubai, (Nouri): +971555528182, Mushrif Equestrian and Polo Club, Mushrif Park, Al Khawaneej Road, Dubai, +97142571256, Qudraland Community,, www. Rahal Ranch, Al Wathba Racing Area, Abu Dhabi, +971566127914, Riding for the Disabled, Dubai,,, Sharjah Polo & Equestrian Club, Sharjah, Al Dhaid Road, +97165311155,

Jet Ski

Dealer Al Masaood Marine, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, +97143468000, Liberty Kawasaki, Dubai, Interchange 4, Sheikh Zayed Road, 04-3419341, Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd, +97143390621, Rentals Fun Beach Water Sports, Dubai, +971 5 3244 550, The Cove Rotana Resort, Ras Al Khaimah, +9717206000,

Motocross & ATV’s

Dealer Al Badayer Rental (Rental), Dubai-Hatta Road, +971507842020, Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd, +97143390621, KTM, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, exit 42, +9714323151, Golden Desert Motorcycles Rental (Rental), DubaiHatta Road, Dubai, +971551532550, PolarisUAE (atv’s), Ras Al Khor, Nad al Hamar Road, Al Ghandi Complex, +97142896100, www.polarisuae. com Liberty Kawasaki, Dubai, Interchange4, Sheikh Zayed Road, 04-3419341, Sandstorm Motorcycles (Rental), Al Quoz, Dubai, +97143470270, Seb Sports, Al Quoz Industrial Area 1 Dubai, +9714 3393399 Wild X Adventure Shop, Dubai, 97148321050, www. Equipment Desert Road Tourism, Al Khor Plaza – 503, Dubai, +97142959429, 2XWheeler, Motorcity Dubai, +97144548388, Sandstorm Motorcycles (Rental), Al Quoz, Dubai +97143470270, SebSports, Dubai, Al Quoz Industrial Area 3, +97143393399, Wild X, Dubai, Um Al Ramoul Industrial Area, +97142852200, www.


Distributors & Dealers Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd, www. Duseja Motorcycles, Dubai, Al Quoz, +97143476712, Liberty Kawasaki, Dubai, Interchange4, Sheikh Zayed Road, +97142822144, Polaris UAE, Al Ghandi Complex, Nad al Hamar Road, Ras Al Khor, +97142896100, Tristar Motorcycles, +97143330659, www.tristaruae. com Workshop & Services 2xWheeler Adventures, Dubai, +97144548388 Dune Bike, Dubai, Al Khail Road, +97143272088, Duseja Motorcycles, Dubai, Al Quoz, +97143476712, Gecko Motorcycles, Dubai, Al Quoz, +97143413550, Seb Sports, Al Quoz Industrial Area 1 Dubai, +9714 3393399 Clubs Dubai Motocross Club (DMX), Jebel Ali, Dubai, +971 50 6950764 (Tom Wynn)


Al Ain Raceway International Kart Circuit, Al Ain, +97137686662, Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Abu Dhabi, +97125568555, Dubai Autodrome, Dubai, +97143678700 Emirates Motorplex, Umm Al Quwain, +97167681717 Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi,





Dealers 4x4 Motors LLC, Shk. Zayed Rd., Dubai, +97143384866, Liberty Automobiles, Dubai, 8005423789, Manufacturer, +971505548255, www. LRC Off Road Engineering, Dubai, +971553198526, Repair and services Off Road Zone, Dubai, Al Quoz, +97143392449, Icon Auto Garage, Dubai, +97143382744, Saluki Motorsport, Dubai, +971 4 347 6939 Equipment Advanced Expedition Vehicles, Dubai & Abu Dhabi, +97143307152, Icon Auto Garage, Dubai, +97143382744, www. Wild X Adventure Shop, Dubai-Hatta Road, Dubai, +97148321050, Yellow Hat, Nad Al Hamar, and Times Square Center, Dubai, +97142898060, Tour Operator Desert Road Tourism, Al Khor Plaza – 503, Dubai, +971-42959429, Arabian Adventures, Dubai & Abu Dhabi, +97143034888, Oasis Palm Dubai, Dubai, +97142628889, www. Clubs Abu Dhabi Off- Road Club, ME 4X4,


Clubs ABRasAC, Dubai, Abu Dhabi Tri Club, Abu Dhabi, www.abudhabitriclub. org Mirdiff Milers, Dubai,

Stand up Paddling, Kite & Surfing, Wakeboarding

Equipment Al Boom Marine, Abu Dhabi & Dubai+97142894858 , Al Masaood Marine, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, +97143468000, Leisure Marine Beach Street, Dubai, The Walk JBR, +97144243191 Picnico 04 3941653 Jumeirah Beach Road Opposite Sunset Mall, Dubai Pearl Water Crafts, Dubai Marina Yacht Club, +971553749398, Surf Dubai, Dubai, Umm Suqeim, +971505043020, Surf Shop Arabia, Building 1, Al Manara Road (East), Interchange 3, Dubai, +97143791998, UAE Kite Surfing, +971505626383, Distributor Ocean Sports FZE, +971559352735, Kitepeople Kite & Surf Store, International City, Dubai, +971504559098,



Operator Al Forsan Resort, Abu Dhabi, +97125568555, www. Dubai Kite Surf School, Dubai, Umm Suqeim Beach, +971 504965107, Duco Maritime, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah and Abu Dhabi, +971508703427 Dukite, Kitesurf Beach, Umm Suqeim, Dubai, +971507586992, Kite Fly, Dubai, +971502547440, Kitepro Abu Dhabi, Yas Island and Al Dabbayyah, Abu Dhabi, +971505441494,, Abu Dhabi, +971508133134, www. Nautica1992, Dubai, +971504262415, Shamalkitesurfing, Umm Suqueim Beach – Dubai, +971507689226, Sky &Sea Adventures, Dubai, Hilton, Jumeirah Beach Road, +97143999005, Surf School UAE, Umm Suqeim Beach and Building 1, Al Manara Road (East), Interchange 3, Dubai, +971556010997, Watercooled 04 887 6771 Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Clubs Abu Dhabi Stand Up Paddle

september 2012 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

Discover the world’s ancient paradise



MUSANDAM Call (+968) 2 683 6551 or (+971) 50 3336 046

Water Parks

Aquaventure Atlantis, Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, +97144260000, Dreamland Aqua Park, Umm Al Quwaim, Emirates Road, +97167681888, Wild Wadi, Dubai, +97143484444,

Other leisure activities

Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Abu Dhabi, + 97125588990, Dolphin Bay Atlantis Dubai, +97144260000, Dubai Dolphinarium Dubai, Creek Park Gate No. 1, +97143369773, Ifly Dubai, Dubai, Mirdiff City Centre, +97142316292, Sadiyaat Beach Club, Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, +97125578000, Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club, Sharjah, +97143999005, SkiDubai, Dubai, Mall of The Emirates, +97144094000, Spacewalk Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, +97124463653,


Health, Safety & Training

Safety Lessons Marine Concept Yacht Charter & Sea School, Rania Business Centre, Dubai, +971559603030, Safety & Leisure Training Middle East, Dusseldorf Business Point, Al Barsha 1, Dubai, +97144502418, Sport & Health Centres The Physio Center, Suite 405, Building 49, Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai, +97144370570, www.

to list your company for free or to advertise, please contact us: 04 4472030

Al Bidiyah Beach Dibba Fujairah Telephone: +971 9 2388477 Email: Website: Dive centre is open from 9am to 7pm every day all year round. GPS: North 25 degrees 26.436 East 56 degrees 21.527.





Distributed by:

Global Climbing

Available at: Adventure HQ in Times Square Center, Go Sport store in Dubai Mall

OutdoorUAE September 2012  
OutdoorUAE September 2012  

OutdoorUAE September 2012