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The wonders of Socotra
Mountain high

Cortina d’Ampezzo

The Honey Badger

in Africa

Bhutan International Half Marathon

Interview with BMX star

Adam Kun

Plenty of



Issue 43, July 2014

Available at: Go Sport The Dubai Mall and Bawabat Al Sharq Mall in Abu Dhabi,
Adventure HQ in Times Square mall in Dubai and Dalma mall in Abu Dhabi.
Qatar Doha: Go Sport in Villaggio Mall, Doha City Centre Mall

Distributed by:


On the cover: Socotra, Yemen
Photo by: Pavel Bafeel
Managing Editor Daniel Birkhofer
Editor Glaiza Seguia
Administration Jane Mesina
Sales & Marketing (advertisement enquiries)
Linda Turcerova
Tel: 04-447 2030
Mobile: 055 9398915
Published by
Outdoor UAE FZE
In cooperation with D32 Events
P.O. Box 215062
Dubai, U.A.E.
Tel. 04-447 2030
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P.O. Box 40401,
Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.
Printed at
Galadari Printing & Publishing LLC
P.O. Box: 11243, Dubai, UAE

© 2014 Outdoor UAE FZE
Issue 43 July 2014


Ramadan Kareem
This is a holy month of awareness and respect for religious and cultural sensitivities.
Active individuals here face some challenges during Ramadan, where in the temperatures rises to the 40s. Acute starvation and dehydration are obstacles to physical performance and should be tackled in a daily basis, but you should still follow the rules.
There are disciplines on maintaining fitness during this month. Minimise playing extreme
sports and intense exercises during the day, especially under extreme heat. According
to experts, the best time to do activities is either early in the morning or at sun down.
It is better that the level of exercise or sports should be moderate. Fluid intake, when
you are allowed, is important. Doing exercises or playing sports in general, especially
during Ramadan, need not prevent proper nutrition, supplementation and exercise. Yes,
it will be a challenge and requires both discipline and moderation, but that is part of the
whole process. As they say, respect is a two-way street. To earn respect, we must show



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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.

Daniel Birkhofer
Founder and Editor in Chief


Jane Mesina

Glaiza Seguia-Godinez



All contents are under copyrights and may not be
reproduced in any kind without written permission.
© 2014 Outdoor UAE FZE
Reg. at Creative City Fujairah
P.O. Box 4422, Fujairah, U.A.E.

Linda Turcerova
Sales and Marketing

Kit Belen
Our fishing pro

John Basson
Moto/ATV and
all round adventure

Tori Leckie
Writer, runner,
and adventurer

Eulogy van Dyk
Outdoor loving
Qatar explorer

Sean James
and MTBing

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

Mike Nott
The 4x4 expert






















Here are the best shots sent in by you for the
monthly “Want Fame?” photography competition!
Thank you for all your entries, they were all great
and it was hard selecting the best photos this month.
Congratulations to the top three winners, who will
each receive Buff headwear and five free copies of the
magazine: Beerta, Brendan Moloney and Mike Jobling.
Well done!
To submit your entries, simply email us
with the subject “Best Shots.”

Beerta Maini


Water rocket man in Abu Dhabi.

Brendan Moloney


Dubai Trail Runners group running out
at Showka Wadi.

Mike Jobling
Let’s roll.




Stay up-to-date with the latest events

Ramadan Motorsports Festival

July 4 to July 25th, starts from 9:00pm, Oman Automobile Association ground, Oman
Summer just got hotter with these exhilarating motorsports challenges. The Oman Automobile
Association is hosting a series of events throughout July including the Ramadan SWS Karting
Challenge, Drift Challenge and Rallly Super Stage. For more details, contact,
+968 24 510 630 or visit

Dubai Kartdrome Ramadan Challenge
July 7 to July 21, Dubai Kartdrome

The traditional Ramadan Challenge at Dubai Kartdrome is back with four rounds held
on Monday evenings with some interesting new elements added. The best of UAE’s karting
drivers will be out in force to battle it on out the tracks. For more information,
contact or call 04 3678700.

Summer Camp for Kids

July 13 to 14, 7:30am to 1:30pm, Sunset Beach
Keep the kids active and happy this summer with a combination of indoor and outdoor camp. It
consists of a unique program three days per week with activities like paddling sessions, dancing
and games that will keep the kids excited and challenged. Suitable for ages eight to 12.
For details, email or call 04 4526000.

TrainYas by Activelife

Every Tuesday, 6:00pm to 9:00pm, Yas Marina Circuit Abu Dhabi
Runners, cyclists, or even walkers who just want to take a stroll with family and friends are invited
to join the weekly TrainYAS by Activelife and sweat it out on the Formula 1® track. Open to all
fitness levels and speeds, the Yas Marina Circuit offers a safe and friendly training ground. To
register, visit,

Revolution Nights

Every Wednesday, 6:00pm, Dubai Autodrome
Revolution Cycles Dubai bike shop is inviting everyone to head down to the Club Circuit at
Dubai Autodrome in Motor City for the free weekly community event of cycling, jogging, rollerblading or walking. The floodlit venue provides a safe and controlled environment for the whole
family. For more information, visit








Climbing and National
Governing awards in Qatar
Words By: Garreth Stockton

There is climbing in Qatar,
albeit rather limited but there
are delights to be enjoyed in Fuwairit, Zekreet and the unusual
Musfer sinkhole. Beyond this,
there is a number of climbing
walls and some of these are in
schools, shopping centers or the
Aspire Park.
Climbing is an adventurous activity, and
as such has its own representative body
within each home country. In that way it is
no different to sailing, kayaking or mountain biking. It is those governing bodies
which define the level of experience and
skills necessary to instruct or coach in those
environments. Gaining a National Governing Award in any adventurous or outdoor
activity is the standard to which providers
in the public and private sectors strive for.
After all, those bodies represent a wealth
of experience and knowledge accumulated
by people employed in those industries
for years. Within the UK, this is the British
Mountaineering Council - through Mountain Training UK.
There are a number of schemes to train
and skills assessment required to supervise climbers on purpose-built climbing
walls and structures. These vary from the
Climbing Wall Award, the Climbing Wall
Lead Award, the Single Pitch Award and
then the Mountain Instructor Award and
Prior to assessment, candidates must
have completed training or successfully
apply for exemption. Following this they
must have six months climbing experience
and have climbed at three climbing walls,
one of which must be a large commercial
centre. Before applying candidates must
have: lead at least 40 routes, and be able
to comfortably climb Fr4 (French grade 4);
gained a minimum of 15 hours of group
Paul Smith talks to candidates

Coaching methods

Cutty Shark F6b, Fuwairit

management skills and hold a valid first aid
During May, Paul Smith, a holder of the
Mountain Instructor Award visited AKIS,
assessed three staff and one student
against those standards. This is a significant development as this is the first time
that the Climbing Wall Award has been
assessed outside of the UK. The problem
here is that there is an absence of walls.
Other applications have been refused in
other Gulf states, because it is necessary to

Interstellar Flight F7a+ Musfer Sink Hole

be assessed on a wall which you have not
been trained at. Partnership agreements
between Aspire Academy, Qatar Leadership Academy and Al Khor International
School have enabled this to be possible.
With over 1,100 members in the Doha
Climbers Facebook page, the demand and
interest in all forms of climbing is healthy
and alive here in Qatar. The benefits in
terms of health, personal fitness, team
building, leadership development and communication are numerous. Across Europe,
North America, Australia and Southeast
Asia there has been a significant increase
in all styles of indoor climbing facilities, and
Qatar has the potential to join this exciting
lifestyle change with the right patronage.
Involvement from Mountain Training
UK is certainly welcome, and there is
the further chance that a Desert Walking
Leader Award could be a viable option in
the future.




Gross National Happiness
Running Bhutan’s Himalayan Kingdom Half Marathon, May 2014

Words By: Andrew Hudson

The day dawns gently over
the Paro Valley as I stretch and
peer out over the valley from
the chalet amongst the pines.
Below me the expanse of rice
paddyfields and small farms
watered by the Paro Chhu
River slowly comes to life.
The light strengthens and, while the
valley turns a variety of green hues in
response, the pre-monsoon drizzle drops
dully off the pine trees onto the pine cushion carpet outside my window. The pine
needles smell fresh and invigorating in this
early morning hour. Across the valley ethereal wisps of cloud caress the pine-covered
Himalayan foothills and draw a brief curtain
across the buttressed walls of the Paro
Dzong, the fort monastery and administrative centre of this peaceful agricultural
community. This idyllic visage is, however,
not the reason for my early rise.




Start line ceremony

I am awake because I am in Bhutan’s
mountain kingdom, a small landlocked
country in South Asia located at the eastern end of the Himalayas, approximately
255km east of Mount Everest; bordered to
the north by Tibet and to the south, east
and west by India. I am awake at this early
hour because I am running the Himalayan
Kingdom Half Marathon today in a country
where gross national happiness – a core
Buddhist value – is a counterpoint to gross
national product; where economic growth
is a means to achieve more important ends
such as cultural heritage, health, education,
good governance, ecological diversity and
individual wellbeing.
And, with calf and upper leg muscles still
somewhat stiff from a climb to the prayer
flag festooned Taktshang Goemba or
Tiger’s Nest Monastery at 10,000ft above
sea level in Paro’s vicinity two days ago,
I approach the start line to witness the
unique yet simple and evocative Buddhist ceremony to bless the race. As the
countdown commences all the advice and
information I have gleaned to date flitters
through my mind until, all of a sudden, I
become focused, and we are off into the
early morning.

Running at 8,000ft above sea level is
somewhat unusual; running at this altitude
for the first time is even more so. I listen to
my own derived advice and start off slowly.
My heart beats strongly and my breath is
short as I try to find my rhythm.
Walk, run, walk, run for the first few kilometres and then through a narrow rocky
path before I break free onto a stony country road. At last, I have some rhythm now.
On my right the Paro Chhu River, swollen
from the overnight rains, warbles over the
rounded river stones – all descendants of
the great rocks and crags that thrust
Tiger’s Nest Monastery

heavenwards into the Himalayan sky. On
my left is an irrigation canal and homesteads, with resident dogs cuddled up
against the chill, children in the national
dress on their way to school, and farming
families toiling in the paddies.
The kilometres pass by and I have settled down. But running at this altitude is
hard work. I pass a few runners and we
exchange friendly greetings and words of
encouragement. Then, at around the 10km
mark it starts to rain and with supporters
cheering us on at the water point we turn
away from the urbanised centre of the Paro
Valley and progress up a gentle ascent
behind which the upper reaches are
white from the previous evening’s
snowfall. The road becomes
somewhat stony now and more
care must be exercised over the
surface. I reach the fourteenand-a-half kilometre mark at
7,545ft, feeling strong ahead of
the four kilometre climb to the
highest point of the race.

I am part of a group of runners and
our progress ebbs and flows as we come
to the realisation that this is a serious,
serious climb. Walk, run, walk, run as the
route continues to ascend, leaving the
tarred surface behind until even the dust
surfaced road gives way to what can best
be described as a basic trekking path. The
narrow path ascends past irrigation furrows then alongside a fence until it winds
through thick brush and the ever-present
pines. Upwards, ever upwards and, just as
I thought it would level off far above the
Paro Dzong, the path edges upwards once
again. My calf muscles are threatening to
seize up on me now as I coax myself
ever upwards until the gradient
eventually tempers and I have
crested the hill at 8,313ft.
I rapidly realise that with
just over two kilometres to go
there is little likelihood of a swift
descent. The track is very narrow,

without any camber and at one point it
runs dangerously close to barbed wire
fencing, while at other points the descent
to the valley below on my right is best described as cliff-like. A missed footing, or a
wrong turn and one could end up far from
the designated route within seconds.
I hear the footfalls of a fellow runner
behind me and listen to the question that
is on every runner’s mind as we descend to
the valley floor: “When will this punishing
bush path end?”“Focus, take one step
at a time and the descent will inevitably
end,” I reply as we pass the route markers and check points with leg muscles
straining against the pull of gravity. And
then, almost unexpectedly, I burst out
of the bush onto a tarred road at the 20
kilometre mark and utter a primeval cry of
joy, knowing that the end is near. My fellow
runner passes me and down the road I go,
switchbacks and wet surface and all until
race officials, well-wishers and finishers
clap me across the finish line.
I have conquered the altitude, the
notorious hill and my tired calf muscles.
But, more importantly, I have once again
conquered myself, as our greatest victories
are always over ourselves. What a feeling
of euphoria and accomplishment! The
Himalayan Kingdom Half Marathon is
tough but every finisher knows full well that
they have been tried and tested and that
they have overcome the adversity. After all,
isn’t this why we run?
River crossing

38m Buddha above Thimpu


Summer friendship in UAE

Words By: Stephen Turner
Photos By: Stephen Turner, Margaret Rafferty and Charo Abano

“Drrinngg” goes the alarm at

3:15am. Going to bed at 12:15am
to arise three hours later is not to be
recommended. Lee Harris at Dubai
Trail Runners efficiently organises
trail runs at Showka every Friday and
Saturday morning for groups of very
friendly 12 to 25 like-minded souls.
Early starts are essential at this time
of year, and the 25°C (instead of 33°C
in Dubai) experienced on a recent
June Friday morning made for a very
pleasant run along the jeep tracks and
wadis with 20km or 30km options.
One June weekend, we decided to run
both mornings. An evening meal with
friends on a Friday led to a late(ish) night,
so come Saturday morning we departed
to go running just as we saw revellers
emptying out of the Tecom metro station
and stumbling their way home after an
energetic night of clubbing.
Arriving at 4:45 at an ADNOC petrol
station just short of the agreed dam starting point, we filled up with fuel and coffee.
On returning to the car the engine failed
to start, a flat battery was suspected. Flat?
We’d just been driving for over 60 minutes,
it should be charged. Hmmm. Quick text
to runners en route to the dam hoping they
might stop elicited no response. A dead
The expat community is strong and a
MTB friend coincidentally drove up with his
wife. “Any jump leads?” No.
Go into shop. None for sale.
A petrol attendant strolls up. “Need cables.” He returns to the shop and produces
some booster cables. The shop assistant
thought I’d asked for “charcoal” not



“charging cables.” Oh well.
Delighted that the
garage sold us some, we
hoped to be trail running
very soon. We linked our
two cars and ran the engines for ten minutes. The
engine still doesn’t start,
the battery not accepting a
Two charming and
polite 21-year-olds appear
in local clothes and offer
help. We use their Land
Cruiser engine, run the cables and rev
up for another 10 minutes. All lights off,
turn the key. Nothing. Battery is definitely
The Emirati with long curly hair talks to
his friend, who in his accented English very
kindly offers to drive us 10km to Al Dhaid
to buy a replacement. Thoughts of running
are now abandoned. We arrive as the sun
rose to a sleepy Al Dhaid at approximately
5:45. Nowhere is open. We need to wait till
6:00am... maybe. We are taken for coffee
at a roadside café. The barista is still in
his pyjamas when, after much shaking of
hands, he sympathetically informs us it’s
Saturday, nowhere is open till 8:00am. So
we have two hours to kill.
The two young Arabs are cousins and
both named Saif, live in Al Dhaid and are
Bedouins from the Shams tribe. They invite
us to their house outside the town, and
treat us to a tour of their neighbourhood –
we see the palm tree farm/
cemetery/disused fruit
farms abandoned owing
to a drought/municipality
building/wedding centre, etc. Then we go to a
small forest in the desert

to see camels and smoke local tobacco.
It’s stronger than normal and lit in a very
small bowled pipe. We take photos and I
begin to share some of my pics of our UAE
hikes on my mobile. They reciprocate. Talk
continues in the shade of the Toyota. Longhaired Saif had been to Europe and they
pump me of my time working in USA and
Scandinavia. The shorter haired Saif loves
country music, especially Johnny Cash.
Suddenly, after a discussion, they decide
to take us dune bashing over the dunes to
Fossil Rock and beyond. We get bounced
and whiplashed a few times, become stuck
in soft sand, and climb up and down the
sand and rock hills that
we usually see from the
Showka road every week.
It’s a riot. Brilliant fun. Far
better than any touristy trip.
Eventually we need to
return to go shopping, but
they both insist on a short
trip back home. Mum has
prepared a breakfast for us
which we cannot decline.
After a feast of local bread,
cakes and fruit, washed
down with Arabic coffee, it’s
time to buy a battery.
Of several car parts
shops, only one has my battery size. Our two friends, who by now we
have formed a strong relationship, begin
bartering with the solo vendor and threaten
to go elsewhere, beating him down to a
lower price. Whereupon I realise he doesn’t
take credit cards. So back we go into the
town centre and find a local bank that not
only takes my debit card but charges no
commission. Success.
Finally buying the battery, we return to
my abandoned Mazda at the petrol station.
Neither of them let me help, insisting they
do all the work re-fitting the battery. One
turn of the key and up she fires. Handshakes all round, photos with each other,
emails exchanged and off we go on our
separate ways.
In 30 months in Dubai this is our first real
interaction with local Emirati from a purely
social perspective that’s not been via business and/or not having been previously
introduced. They were both an absolute
pleasure to spend a very hospitable morning. Generous
with their time, enthusiasm
and spirit. I can’t thank them
enough. Their family should
be very proud of them.
Smile Factor: Immeasurable.


Queens of
the mountain
Women and mountain biking in the UAE
Words + Photos By: Sean James

I don’t claim to be an expert of
women and biking, but over the past
month I have probably done more
research and reading than most. The
intention at the start of this project
was to highlight mountain biking in the
UAE and particularly what the women
are doing here. I initially believed it
would only cover a couple of pages but
the project increased in scope when I
discovered more and more.
It is an interesting project as both the
UAE and mountain biking are traditionally
male-oriented. Whilst researching ideas
and information, I came across statistics
and initiatives both in the UAE and around
the world that made me raise my eyebrows and want to extend this article. As
a result, part one is an introduction and a
general background whilst part two will
showcase a number of women in Dubai
who are regularly out in the heat and dust
competing and training on their mountain
bikes all over the world. A female friend
of mine regularly gives motivational talks
to other women. One of the facts I picked
up from her that I thought amazing, was
that to increase the performance of girls in
classroom exams was as easy as ensuring
that a female invigilator who was perceived
as an expert was present. How easy is that
to raise confidence and participation in a
group of people?
What is happening not just in the Middle
East but worldwide is in a similar vein and
nothing short of revolutionary. From the
first ever female Afghani Cycle team, who
now regularly compete in major championships to the Rapha 100 (July 20th 2014) to
the equal prize money for women at the



The Velo Vixens

Cape Epic, there is a growing movement
of women who are regularly riding their
bikes. It seems the best way for women to
progress is to work together. In the UAE
biking, both road and mountain seems to
be booming. Shops, tracks, coaches and
facilities are opening for business every
month. We now have a Tour that attracts
the top cycle teams. At the moment this is
only the men. How much longer before a
progressive leader here decides to stage a
major women’s cycle tour in Dubai.
“For the first time in US history, 60% of
bicycle owners who are between the ages
of 18-27, are women.” These figures are
from a survey titled “The American Bicyclist
Study: On the Road to 2020.” These
figures are surprising and encouraging.
However the survey also pointed out some
other worrying information. The study also
showed that in the USA, 3 million youngsters and juveniles dropped out of cycling
between 2011–12, with outdoor activity
rates amongst adolescent girls the lowest
recorded. Despite the introduction of Title
IX over 40 years ago in the US, female
participation in recreational exercise seems
to be dropping.
This does not seem due to a lack of motivation or enthusiasm. Women only groups
with imaginative names such as SheRiders,
Dirt Skirts, Dame Cycling, Team Estrogen,

The Tuesday Tarts, Women on a Roll, Velo
Vixens, Lady Loopers and PinkBikers are
becoming more widespread and encouraging new entrants to the sport. They also
seem to have a sense of humour and enjoy
creating their own identity.
The American study also asked what the
barriers for women to taking up an outdoor
activity, such as mountain biking, were.
Listed among the top reasons were “not
having someone to participate with” and
“the feeling that they didn’t possess the
necessary skills or abilities.” Biking or doing
outdoor sports with organised groups, such
as those below, helps to overcome these
issues. Try them for yourself and see how
much fun they are.
One interesting statistic that I found
gets a lot of discussion time on forums
and particularly women’s forums is the use
of Strava. Strava is an application that lets
you record, track and analyse not only your
times and efforts but also those of your
friends on specific rides or segments of a
route. It should allow greater collaboration
and enable riders to seek out and ultimately
ride with women of similar ability. Interestingly though, women riders only make up
10% of Strava users. Whereas, runners on
Strava are split equally with 50% male and
50% female. So does this mean women are
less competitive or not interested in


statistics than men and they are only
interested in riding for fun? Strava has the
added bonus that if you are the fastest on
a particular segment you get to be called
“Queen of the Mountain” for that segment.
If you are a member on Strava, follow Marianne Vos. She has so many “QoMs” that
she has been called the Queen of Strava.
June seemed like a very good month for
female role models, Andy Murray started
to work with Amelie Maurismo, Helena
Costa was appointed as head soccer coach
at French Ligue 2 club, Clermont. Even
Formula 1 seemed to want female drivers
with Danica Patrick, the first female to win
an Indy car race being cited as the first ever
Formula 1 driver in 2016. Hot on her heels
are Simona de Silvestro and Susie Wolff
who have already taken part in practice
So “women and mountain biking” –
things are changing. All you need to do is
look and get involved. Manufacturers are
making specific mountain bikes for females.
The women’s clothes sections in bike shops
are carefully thought out and extensive. In
the UAE, females hold significant positions
in many of the bike shops and coaching
organisations. Online, I found at least 10
training camps across the world specifically
for women who are thinking of competing
or simply starting in mountain biking.
To finish, a few more interesting pieces
of information that I found. According
to a study by Fischer and Namgung, as
you would expect, men’s and women’s
perceptions of safety and of the feasibility
of bicycling are different. Women are more
sensitive to the absence of bike lanes and
trails. For this reason the well-developed
trails and infrastructure in the UAE, both
on and off road should be appealing. Of
710 female mountain bikers questioned,
46% said they first learned about mountain
biking from a partner and 44% said a friend
invited them out to ride.
What can you do if you’re an
experienced mountain biker?
• Ask another woman to go on a ride with
you. Chances are she’ll enjoy it and tell her
• Organise a weekly or monthly ride if there
is not one that you like

• Start an open, welcoming online club that
focuses on women via social media (Instagram, Strava, Facebook)
• Start a club that also meets socially, face
to face outside of mountain biking
• Talk to your local bike shop about their
ideas to get more local women mountain
What can you do if you are
interested in mountain biking
but fear getting started?
• Ask an experienced mountain biker to
take you out on the trail and say yes when
they ask you to go. Refuse to say no just
because you don’t think you can keep up.
• Join a local woman’s ride
• Find a women’s only mountain bike camp
• Find a local mountain bike race and enter
the beginner’s category. This is a good
place to meet other women mountain
• Find a local bike shop that will help you
get started with the correct bike and gear
The following are some of the more
prominent female only cycle groups that
are in the UAE.
The Dirt Skirts – They came together in
2013 with the goal of empowering women
to learn and practice mountain biking
together. There are now more than 30 who
meet at Showka and ride between 15-30km
off-road. Angelika Whitaker runs the Facebook group and rides so get involved.
Velo Vixens – A group of experienced
female road cyclists kept under control by
Emma Woodcock who claim to be positive,
eager, supportive, reliable, competitive,
open-minded, focused, fit women. Their
regular ride around the Dubai Cycle Course
at Al Qudra is on Monday mornings at
The Tuesday Tarts


05:30 in the summer. They also organise
other rides and events such as the Rapha
100. On Wednesday mornings, there is a
skills based clinic for ladies new to group
riding or those just getting back on the
bike. They have a no-drop policy on this
ride so you won’t be left behind. Contact
them and get more details via
TREK Seih Al Salam Women’s Cycling
Group – A relatively new group that rides
from the Trek store at Al Qudra on Monday
evenings. The group welcomes beginners
and the distances they ride reflect that and
keep everyone together.
The Tuesday Tarts – A group of female cyclists led by Caroline Labouchere based at
Arabian Ranches who meet every Tuesday
evening at Al Qudra to ride the loop. At
present David Labouchere is coaching the
group so expect big performances from
these ladies in the future.
Other female group to get
involved with in the UAE
• Ladies Hiking Club. Midweek hiking in the
UAE mountains led by the ever keen and
experienced Helen Rodd
• Dubai surf club
• Women’s Football (
• Dubai Roller Derby Addicts
• GoYAS by Activelife (every Wednesday
for women only)
• Rapha 100 - Global event on 20th July 100km rides
• Afghan Cycles - inspirational trailer about
women’s cycling in Afghanistan (vimeo.
Next month, meet the women who are
pioneering mountain biking in the region
and competing in races worldwide.


Dubai Paragliders
Landing in Abha, Saudi Arabia

Words By: Tony Terry
Photos By: Laszlo Toth

In the sport of paragliding,
a safe landing is considered a
good one. With this in mind our
group of four Dubai Paragliders
took the opportunity to test our
landing skills in the 2014 Asser International Competition
for Paragliding Accuracy held in
Abha, Saudi Arabia.
Our group of four was headed by Laszlo
Toth, a flyer since 1982 who serves as both
our paragliding instructor and guide to
the best sites to practice the sport. The
team consisted of Laszlo’s 20-year-old son
Daniel, a flyer with exceptional ability and
experience, Carl Bailey an avid outdoors
enthusiast with about a year’s experience

and me, the most novice of the group.
The competition was scheduled for
three days, June 20th to 22nd. After our
flight to Jeddah, we travelled the remaining 650km by car, an opportunity to see
Saudi Arabia and experience the challenges of driving their highways. In all, we
travelled from Dubai, elevation zero and
by day’s end we arrived at Abha’s Jabal Al
Sooda (the rock mountain) that is approximately 3,000m or 10,000ft high.
Our goal was not to win the competition, although this would have been
a great accomplishment. We were all
there for the adventure and experience
the completion would offer. The Aseer
competition, now in its third year, attracted
a diverse group of GCC nationals and
expats from all over the world. A total of
31 competitors, including one woman,
took part in the event. The 13 countries
that were represented included host Saudi
Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Lebanon, Syria, Kuwait, Hungary, New Zealand, Switzerland,

Locals watching the take-off

Carl landing

the Czech Republic, Scotland, America
and Russia.
Paragliding is a sport of extreme patience. Each and every flight must have
perfect weather conditions. Wind direction and speed at the launch and landing points must be monitored to ensure
safety for the pilots. On many days, I have
awaken to beautiful weather thinking we
would fly only to learn that the wind conditions were either too strong, weak or had
shifted in the wrong direction.
Weather was also the main concern in
Abha. Our first day was spent waiting for
the wind to slow down. During most of the
day the winds were gusting between 22 to
27km per hour and were coming as a side
wind to the launch zone. The optimum
headwinds we waited for was in a range of
15 to 20kph so we spent most of the day
in the event’s massive tent and swapped
paragliding stories.
Although we were not flying, we were
all impressed as one participant, Tomas

Preparations for take-off

Laszlo Toth



The participants

Lednik a Czech paragliding test pilot and
instructor, who flew in the extreme conditions and performed aerobatics for the
Saudi crowd filled the mountain top. Tomas was invited by the event organisers to
add a higher level of professionalism to the
ranks of weekend paragliders that made
up the participants. In addition to performing, he also flew willing Saudi onlookers in
tandem flights. From the looks of amazement on their faces, many of the locals
might possibly take up the sport now.
What is it that attracts men and women
to the sport? Sure, we have all looked to
the sky and marveled as birds casually soar
in free flight as the mountain winds keep
them aloft, but what is it that takes you
to the next step? My paragliding fascination began with a weekend trip to Dibba,
Oman. I drove to the mountains outside
the Zighy Bay Resort. When I got there I
expected to take in the spectacular view
of the mountains and sea, instead I arrived
and watched as three men prepared a
brightly coloured canopy for flight. The
canopy laid nearly motionless on the level
dirt spot that served as the launch area
there tucked in the mountains. Within seconds of my arrival, one of the group took
the lines and in one swift, effortless
Dubai Paragliders Team

motion, he lifted the canopy that easily
filled with air from the winds coming off
the sea. The pilot glanced overhead at
his canopy that was completely filled and
steady in the winds. He then began a slow
run jog with his passenger to the cliff’s
edge where they were immediately greeted by an updraft that took them into the
air. I stood in awe at this incredible sight.
There was only sound as they traveled
away from me — my statement of “wow.”
From that moment, I knew I had to fly.
Soon after viewing this flight, I put
Google to work and found Dubai Paragliders on Facebook. Contact was made and
within a few days I was practicing lessons
in proper ground handling. If you have
been to Jumeirah Open Beach you may
have seen some of the students practicing.
Following ground handling and canopy
launching lessons, it was time to fly. My
first flight was at Wathba hill near the
Abu Dhabi endurance riding stables and
course. The 100m summit made of rock
and surrounding desert sand offers one
of the best and approved areas to fly in
the UAE. This flight was an experience
that took my interest in the sport from “I
have to try paragliding” to “I have to get
better.” This was the reason for my trip to

Abha and the Asser event.
Only 17 of the 31 competitors were
able to fly on the first day of the competition. By the time the winds shifted and
steadied to the proper speed it was late
in the afternoon. This meant that 14 of us,
including our entire group, had to wait for
the second day to make their first flight.
This gave us time to properly view and
access the landing area at the base of
Jabal Al Sooda. It was a challenging set
up that consisted of a dirt patch nearly the
size of a football pitch, but more narrow.
There, nearly in the centre of the landing zone they had made a series of chalk
circles as the bullseye target.
We each had two flights on the second
day of the competition. In the late morning we made our first flight. It was a
fantastic flight with nearly perfect winds
and we each successfully landed. Later
that afternoon we made our second attempt. Although the winds at the launch
zone were good, the winds at the landing
zone were a completely different matter.
Landing in the confined area was made
even more difficult due to the strong
updraft that came from the mountain
valley. Imagine trying to land as you are
being pushed higher by the winds at the
landing zone. Following our landings, we
all shared the same comment that it was
the most challenging weather conditions
we had ever experienced. Our goal was a
target landing, but that afternoon, safety
was our main concern.
That was the end, the third day the wind
was too severe for any flying and the competition was called to an end. We did not
win, but the experience was incredible.
We had each challenged and took our
abilities to the limit. Soaring 3,000m above
the Aseer Mountains in Saudi Arabia never
came to my mind when I first began the
sport and now that I have, I wonder where
my next experience will take me.
For more information about the Dubai
Paragliders contact:
+971552120155 or +971552250193




Exploring new heights
Words + Photos By: Rhys and Laura Jones

After several months of
planning and training, the time
had come to start our adventure to Greenland. The plan was
ambitious – to climb the highest
peaks in the Arctic, and make an
ascent of a previously unclimbed
It was hard to imagine the polar climate
of the Arctic as we packed our kit bags in
our home in Dubai. The temptation to be
dismissive of just how cold it might get
was something we were very mindful of
as we shuffled down jackets and heavy
duty mittens into various piles on the floor
of our spare room. Finally though, it was
time to start our long journey, and it was
with some relief that the day had finally
come to leave and start heading north.
We flew via UK where we saw friends and
family, who seemed a little concerned for
us! We repacked, shaving more weight
off our kit and leaving behind all of our
luxuries. With just one ski bag and one



kitbag between us, we flew to Iceland,
and then onwards to the northern tip of
the country, from where we’d fly in a small
ski-equipped plane to Greenland. 
We sat at a round table in the tiny
domestic airport, killing time before our
pilots and charter aircraft was ready. Our
first sector was from Akureyri (Iceland) to
a small gravel landing strip on the coast
on Greenland, called Constable Point. We
heard there was freezing fog at Constable
Point, which delayed our departure by six
long hours. We eventually flew to Greenland, high above the icebergs and frozen
ocean. By the time we landed, our pilots
didn’t have enough duty hours remaining
to take us on to the glacier, a further twohour flight inland. So we spent the night
in a bunkhouse, getting twitchy and ever
more eager to finally touch the snow and
get started!
The next morning we took off, just
Laura and I in the back of our plane, and
flew over hundreds of miles of pristine
Arctic wilderness. It was shades of white,
blue and black, with peaks jutting out of
the icecap. It was visually stunning but
the sense of commitment became ever
greater as we realised we were getting
farther and farther away from civilisation
and medical help. If anything went wrong,

we knew we had no margin for error. Our
guide, Simon, was waiting at Base Camp,
a cluster of three tents on an otherwise
blank canvas of glacier. He’d been escorting a small team the week before and was
staying on to lead our trip. The plane then
took off, leaving just the three of us, feeling very insignificant against such a vast
We had lunch and a full briefing on all
of our emergency kit: satellite phones,
beacons, flares. We also discussed polar
bear safety and procedures. We slept
with a rifle in each tent and prayed we
wouldn’t see a bear. We hoped we were
far enough inland that none would be
passing. Fortunately, we didn’t see so
much as a trace of any wildlife for the
whole trip! That afternoon, we fitted skins
to our skis; thin mohair sheets which grip
the snow. We’d be walking everywhere on
skis, as it spreads the weight and enables
easier passage over very deep snow. We
also adjusted our pulks, the large plastic
sleds which we dragged behind us containing all of our food and kit.
The next day we started a long ski
tour to a high camp on Gunnbjornsfjeld,
the highest mountain in the Arctic. We
thought we’d climb this mountain first,
and as it was my birthday I felt particularly


excited about it. We loaded our pulks and
walked towards the horizon, aiming to
turn at the base of a ridge line, and then
ski up steeper slopes to a small flat area
where we’d pitch our tent. We planned
to travel light, taking just two nights of
food, as we would summit the mountain
the next day, sleep, and then return to
Base Camp the following day. My pulk felt
like it was full of lead. I can comfortably
say that hauling it up to high camp was
one of the hardest days of my life (even
compared to climbing Mt Everest). It was
sheer physical effort, for hours on end and
mile after mile. We finally reached camp
after nine hours, exhausted. We melted
snow to make boiling water for our
freeze-dried meals, and collapsed into our
sleeping bags.
We woke up after a long and cold

night of perpetual daylight. The tent was
shaking in the wind as we got dressed
for the climb. We set off from camp and
each had to stop to put on our spare
layers of clothing. Extra jackets, thicker
gloves, balaclavas. We just couldn’t stay
warm. It was around -30°C and the wind
was increasing. We decided that the only
sensible decision was to retreat to our
tent and wait for the wind to die down.
We would certainly have gotten frostbite
in those conditions, so we hunkered down
in the tent for the afternoon. I was secretly
glad of the extra rest, still feeling drained
from the previous day. That evening the
wind picked up even more, shaking the
tent violently. It continued to do so for the
next two days, with no respite. The three
of us were sharing one small tent so there
was no privacy. We also ran out of freeze-


dried meals, not planning to stay so long
at the camp. Instead we ate soup and the
rations we’d singled out as being our least
favourite – tinned sardines and mushroom
On the fourth morning, the wind was
dying down, so we decided to make an
attempt on the summit, else we’d have
to return all the way to Base Camp, and
then ski all the way back up again to have
a second attempt. It had been a long
few days cooped up in the tent, and we
were pleased to be outside and moving
again. That said, we were tired and hadn’t
been eating well, so the thought of a long
summit day was hard to take on with the
usual amount of enthusiasm! We were just
pleased that the weather was improving
and we had a shot at the summit. More
about that, next month. TO BE CONTINUED




The Honey Badger
Episode 3: Close encounters


Celebrating our one year anniversary in Lion Bluff Lodge

Destination: Tsavo National Park, Kenya
Date: 21st May – 20th June 2014

After an incredibly long wait
for The Honey Badger to
arrive, James and Mira then had
further delays resulting from
industrial strikes at Kalindi port
in Mombasa and an overpriced
and less than helpful shipping

Hippos relaxing at our campsite at Jipe Lake



James had two tedious days waiting
with the agents where the car had been
stored after arrival at the port. Whilst all
of the paperwork was in order the wait
was caused by a number of individuals
vying for bribes to which they considered
themselves entitled. A total of 35,000 KES
(400 USD) was demanded by customs,
operations managers, security personnel
and agents. With the existing agent fee of
1,300 USD and the interminable delays,
James was not inclined to pay anything
extra and therefore had to wait and
haggle. Two days and 60 USD later, The
Honey Badger was free.

A quick addition of a metal trunk on
the roof to cater for over-packing, and a
stock up on food, and The Honey Badger
was ready for her first safari. Tsavo East
and West National Parks, the setting for
“Out of Africa” was a wonderful start to
the journey. Tsavo East was the first stop,
but only after a brief spell in jail for James
having been caught in a speed trap. After
an hour in a cell waiting for a court appearance, Mira managed to point out that
no crime had, in fact, been committed,
and then negotiated James’ bribe-free
release, dodging the 10,000 KES which
had been requested. There was still time
for a quick safari before they settled down
for the night at Ndololo public campsite. Other than the guard who slept in a
nearby lodge, James and Mira were the
only people there. Whilst this was initially
an exciting prospect, the limitations of being alone in the African wild soon became
clear. A large family of baboons had also
taken up residence at the campsite and
were clearly hungry. Whilst they were fairly
cautious around James, most were happy
to have a go at Mira from time to time.
The Honey Badger was parked about 20m
away from the loo and Mira asked James
to accompany her for a quick visit after

View of Kilimanjaro from Jipe Lake campsite


Ndololo campsite

dark to ward of any speculative baboon raids.
On the way back to the car James had a quick
scan of the area with a very powerful (3,500
lumens) torch only to find a hunting lioness
10m away! The lioness was walking towards the
campfire next to the car, but thankfully turned
away when dazzled by the torch. Not taking any
chances, the couple legged it back to the loo at a
speed that Hussein Bolt would be proud of, and
quickly barricaded the door with anything they
could find. The following hour consisted of occasional nervous glances out of the window and
considering the prospect of sleeping in a loo for
the night. Eventually, however, a call to the Tsavo
East warden’s house saved the day and some
rangers were sent to clear the campsite. The rest
of the night consisted of fitful sleeping and the
occasional Hyena visit. The tentative walk down
the ladder to be greeted by a leopard in a nearby
tree the following morning was enough to ensure
that pepper spray, baton and machete have been
to hand at all times since.
The next day was spent exploring Tsavo East
which has an abundance of African elephants and
other wildlife. If you plan a visit, the pipeline road
is definitely worth a look. Four of the “Big 5”
were spotted within a few hours, including hundreds of elephants. The rhino is the last remained
The next stop was Lumo Wildlife Sanctuary for
one night at the Lion’s Bluff Lodge to celebrate
the couple’s first wedding anniversary. Absolutely
breathtaking views from the room, wonderful
food and staff, and a plague of harmless tick-like
A friendly crowd at Lion’s Bluff recommended
Lake Jipe and drive through Tsavo West before
heading to Nairobi. The campsite was a couple of
metres from the lake and right next to two families of hippos. A group of elephants also visited
for a swim during the night and came so close to
Tsavo East views

the car that the alarm was triggered several times.
Although Tsavo West does not have the
abundance of wildlife found in Tsavo East, it does
have incredible scenery including sunsets over Mt
Now taking stock in Nairobi (Nairobbery,
apparently) for a few days at Jungle Junction
campsite before heading with a few detours
towards Ethiopia.
Tsavo East:
Entry fee: 70 USD per person for 24 hours
Car entry: 350 KES
Public campsite fee: 20 USD per person
Lumo Wildlife Sanctuary:
Entry fee: 60 USD per person for 24 hours
Car entry: 300 KES
Lion Bluff Lodge: 8,000 KES per person per night
(expensive but a truly special anniversary treat)
Tsavo West:
Entry fee: 70 USD per person for 24 hours
Car entry: 350 KES
Public campsite fee: 20 USD per person
A key part of Mira and James’ trip is fundraising and volunteer work. If you are interested in
helping them to achieve their target and make
a difference to African communities and wildlife,
please spread the word or donate using the following links:
To donate:
If you would like to follow our
journey through Africa:
Facebook page:


The beauty of Socotra
Words + Photos By: Pavel Bafeel

Socotra, heaven on earth
and the land of the kids and
goats, is a UNESCO protected
area and home of unique fauna
and flora.
Socotra is the largest island of Yemen,
approximately 130km long by 50km wide
and a population of 55,000 with their own
district language and culture. The best
time to visit Socotra is between November
and May. November is mostly green with
light wind and average of 30°C, while April
is best for fishing and observing the unique
tree’s flowers. During the summer, it’s high
windy season and only enjoyable for kite
surfers. If you will choose Socotra as your
holiday destination, I strongly recommend
you hire a driver and a tour guide. I think
the best in the business is Socotra EcoTours (, they
charge approximately 700 USD for six days
tour for two people. Eco-Tours provide you
with hotel, transportation, guides, food,
camping gear, etc.
Places to visit on Socotra:
Dihamri marine protected area
It boasts with one of the richest coral reefs
on the archipelago. You can relax on the
beach in palm leaf huts or swim and snorkel in Dihamri bay where snorkeling gears
can be hired. Some marine species you will
see underwater include: parrotfish, moray
eel, rays, sea urchins and, if you are lucky,
you will meet turtles. Divers can also use
the services of Dihamri Diving Center and
go for a dive here or another of superb diving spots in Socotra.
Dihamri marine protected area

Trek to Homhil

A protected area with fabulous sceneries
that give you a kind of prehistoric feeling.
You can take a trek to Homhil that starts at
the bottom of a spectacular ravine on sea
level. The trek is of medium difficulty and
won’t take more than one and a half hours.
You will have enough strength to enjoy
the view back towards the sea where you
started ascending.
Once at Homhil, you can choose from
a selection of walking trails. You will be
astonished by the prehistoric atmosphere
of the landscape rich with dragon blood
trees (Dracaena cinnabari) and bottle trees
(Adansonia digitata). You will be addressed
by local children who sell dragon blood
resin and frankincense. One of the trails
leads to a viewpoint with a natural pool of
almost freezing blue water.
Hoq cave and Arher
Hoq cave is easily accessible by foot and
you have to plan for about one and half
hour trek to the entrance of the cave. Cave

Homhil Plateau with a bottle tree



View from the Diksam Plateau with a dragon blood tree

is approximately 1-1.5km long, path is
marked by reflection tape and make sure
to have a good flashlight with you.
Arher is a place where a fresh creek
comes out from a granite and meets salty
seawater on the beach. You can relax on
the green grass around, swim in the water
or if you feel fit, climb a huge sand dune to
get a fantastic view of this charming spot.
Diksam and Derhur Canyon
Diksam Plateau and gorge is definitely the
most spectacular limestone landscape feature on the island. The gorge drops 700m
vertically to the valley floor. The edge of
the gorge has attractive stands of dragon
blood trees and the extensive limestone
pavement. Sections of the plateau have


Derhur Canyon

partially slipped into the gorge, leaving
“lost worlds” accessible only to buzzards
and vultures. The plateau is home to nomadic Bedouin herdsmen who move from
one site to another with their herds. They
welcomed me with a cup of tea.
The forest in Diksam is the last dragon
blood woodland. Nowhere else in the
world can one find these trees growing in
such densities as here. 
After Diksam Plateau, the road plunges
400m into a profound chasm slicing through
the granite, giving a completely different
atmosphere from the airy heights of the
plateau. The lush canyon floor has been
planted with palm trees, in the shade of
which lay Bruce’s Green Pigeons (Treron
waalia) and Laughing Doves (Spilopelia sen-

Detwah Bay

egalensis) and you can refresh by swimming
in the wadi’s deep pool, escaping the heat.
Qalansyia, Detwah Bay, Shua’ab area
Fishermen’s town of Qalansyia is located
on the western part of the island. It consists of traditional Socotri houses, narrow
alleyways and a long beach full of fishing
boats ready to set off for today’s catch or
to take you to Shua’ab beach, which is the
most beautiful beach on the island.
Detwah lagoon, which is a marine
protected area, is renowned for its magical
landscape. You will be charmed by a white
sandy tongue surrounded by turquoise
waters of the bay. This surely is one of
the best views on the island. When you
are there you have to ask for a fisherman
Abdullak the “Cave Man” and he will show
you all the species living in the lagoon.
After the lagoon tour, he will prepare delicious mussels or blue leg crabs in his cave
above the lagoon.
Thank you,


*Please refer to your consulate for travel
advisories to Yemen.

Catch of the day on the Shua’ab beach

Dolphins on the way to Shua’ab beach

Pavel with the Yemeni





on the


Cortina, the Queen of the Dolomites!
Words By: Nicola de Corato
Photos By: Cortina Turismo’s Archive

Cortina has been always
considered the Queen of the Dolomites, where you can enjoy trekking
to the vie ferrate (iron roads), road
bike trips through the passes to free
riding, sophisticated gourmet events
to activities for the whole family, and
a range of sport, musical and cultural
events like the Coppa d’Oro (historical
cars race) to the many marathon and
triathlon races that take place here.
The silhouettes of pinnacles, spires
and towers, impressive and unmistakable
Dolomite shapes, are carved into the brilliant blue sky. Cortina’s timeless landscape,
a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Area,
is a paradise for hikers and climbers with
a wealth of hiking trails, classic and sport
climbing itineraries, and some of the most
beautiful via ferrata routes in the Dolomites.
Enjoy classic family walks to Croda da Lago,
perhaps via Mondeval to visit the prehistoric
burial site of the Mondeval Man, or visit the
extraordinary Lake Sorapis with its turquoise
waters. Hike through the spectacular Val
Travenanzes and experience its continuously changing scenery or visit the trenches in
the 5 Torri area where the Alpini, the Italian
mountain troops, were positioned during
the First World War.
The legacy of the mountain soldiers is not
limited to the vast open-air Museum of the

Great War. The hugely popular via ferrata
routes in the Dolomites were originally
pioneered by the Alpini and the Kaiserjager
during the war in order to access hard to
reach areas of the mountain. Today, these
are maintained by the alpine guides who
have also added more recent routes. In fact
some of the most beautiful via ferrata routes
in the Dolomites can be found right here
in Cortina and now is the perfect time to
try one. Following a metal cable for safety,
hikers move along spectacular mountain
passages at altitude equipped with a safety
harness. Cortina has a rich variety at all
levels of difficulty, from beginner routes
suitable for children aged eight and up, like
the ferrata of the cascate (the highest permanent waterfalls in the Dolomites) and the
ferrata degli Alpini, at Col dei Bos, to highly
vertical technical routes for experts, such
as the Sci 18 in Faloria. Some of the more

challenging routes are also among the most
spectacular for sheer beauty, such as the
Lipella which takes you to the peak of the
Tofana di Rozes, and the Tomaselli, which
rises to reach the Cima Fanis. The Olivieri to
Punta Anna, which departs from Pomedes
on Mount Tofana is another all-time favourite, offering breathtaking views of Cortina as
you rise above the green meadows and into
the Dolomite rock.
Thanks to 56 refuges, restaurants and 34
lift facilities, the summits are just waiting to
be conquered, offering natural viewpoints
for admiring the Ampezzo valley below.
It is highly recommended to seek the
advice of mountain professionals prior to
attempting a via ferrata for the first time.
Cortina’s alpine guides organise individual
and group excursions. They also furnish
you with the correct safety equipment and
teach you the basic techniques for how to

approach a via ferrata in safety.
Sometimes, in order to find yourself,
you first need to get lost; what better way
than exploring the Dolomites’ vertical miles
with climbing, free climbing and dedicated
climbing areas.
These numbers make Cortina the natural
home of rock sports. There are technically
demanding, incredibly scenic climbs as well
as a huge number and variety of vie ferrate,
which were created in Cortina during the
First World War to facilitate movement of
troops and artillery.
Local alpine guides organise special
tours, lasting from three to seven days, with
the option of staying overnight in one of the
refuges and availing of a luggage transfer
Among the numerous areas for free
climbing activities is the historic 5 Torri area
with incredible 108 routes. This is where
the legendary red-shirted Cortina Scoiattoli
(Squirrels) climbing club was formed back in
1939. That’s why you can find a red squirrel
in the logo of Cortina!
Cortina offers the chance to learn rock
climbing with courses and mini courses,
under the expert tuition of professional
climbers, even if you’ve never climbed
outdoor before. Just remember that the
indoor climbing experience is very different
from outdoor climbing, which requires an
entirely different competency and skills for a

safe experience. But also an “easy” outdoor
approach with a professional guide can let
you experience the Dolomitis in safe way.
First important step is to wear proper
gear and in a proper way: your instructor
will assist you in that, if it’s your first time. Try
different ways to grip different handholds.
Some holds will be crimps with just your
fingertips crunching down on the top of
the small hold. Others are jugs that you can
comfortably wrap your whole hand around;
holds that you can pinch; or pockets which
you can cram a few fingers into. No matter
what the holds though, your forearms are
burning and your upper arms are getting
The problem is that you’re trying to power up the wall with your arms, and you’ve
inadvertently discovered one of the keys
to successful climbing, either indoors or
outside—use your feet effectively. Legs are
not only stronger than arms, but they’re also
better for bearing your body weight than
your arms. Moving from your feet and legs
helps keep the weight off your arms. You’re
able to move with economy and balance
rather than with sheer strength since with
vertical posture your weight stays over your
feet and you maintain a natural balance.
Other common sport activity you can
easily do is trekking: one of the best trek
we had, is the one along the canyons and
waterfalls trail in the Ampezzo Dolomite
Natural Park.
Discover many alpine lakes, streams and
waterfalls hidden away in the mountains
surrounding Cortina. For the adventurous,
canyoning offers a refreshing alternative to
hiking on a hot summer’s day. For unforgettable water experiences walk along the
waterbed of alpine streams, abseil down
gorges of incomparable beauty, or climb
down rushing waterfalls with ropes.
If you prefer some more relaxing activity,
you can enjoy the sunrise in the mountains. It is an unforgettable experience and
nowhere is this spectacle more impressive
than in the Dolomites.
Ticking this one off the wish-list is easy:

simply book an overnight stay at one of
the many mountain refuges and ask to be
woken up in time to catch the first rays of
sunlight creeping between the towering
peaks until they glow with warmth.
And after marveling at the magic of
sunrise, there’s nothing better than a hearty
breakfast before embarking on an intense
day of exploring Cortina and its environs,
or joining one of the fantastic events taking
place there, such as the Coppa d’Oro delle
This event has been held every year since
its creation in 1947. It was an instant success
because of the spectacular landscapes of
the Dolomites. The race was launched by
Ferruccio Gidoni, president of AC Belluno,
and its most famous testimonial was the
legendary Tazio Nuvolari, who was guest of
honour at the first races. It was a very useful
testing ground for the top drivers of the
major car makers of that time. The course
has always been the same: 303.8 km.





Starting out from Cortina, it took in Passo
Falzarego, Agordino, Arabba, Passo Pordoi,
Val di Fassa, Passo Rolle, San Martino di
Castrozza, Fiera di Primiero, Feltre, Belluno,
Longarone, Pieve di Cadore, Auronzo,
Misurina and Passo Cimabanche. And back
to the town known all over the world as
the “Queen of the Dolomites”, Cortina
Nowadays the Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti is a proper event, more than a race.
The 2014 edition will take place from
Thursday, July 17th to Sunday, July 20th.
Ready to explore,

Nico is a blogger, marathon runner and
triathlete, diver and heli rescue swimmer with Bergamo Scuba Angels. You
can read his blog at www.dubayblog.
com or email him at for information about Dubai
and desert trips, to schedule a desert
run together, or just to say hello.

For more information and pictures, please
do not hesitate to contact me or visit
Cortina Turismo
Consorzio di promozione turistica
Via Marconi, 15/b
32043 Cortina d’Ampezzo (BL)
How to get there
The village has nearly 7,000 inhabitants
and it is located at 1,224m. Geographically it is included in the Belluno province
and it is 72km from the town of Belluno.
It is located between Veneto and Trentino
Alto Adige regions, the border between
the two regions is at Cimabanche Pass
(1,530m) 13km from Cortina.
By bus
There are direct bus connections between
Cortina and some Italian cities:
• Bus service between Mestre (Venice)
railway station and Cortina d’Ampezzo
(Bus line Cortina Express) in connection
with the Eurostar trains from/to Milan.
• Bus service between Bologna railway

station and Cortina d’Ampezzo (Bus line
Cortina Express/Zani) in connection with
the Eurostar trains from/to FlorenceRome-Naples and with the “Adriatica”
line (Rimini-Ancona-Pescara-Bari).
The journey from/to Mestre takes about
two hours and 15 minutes and from/to
Bologna three hours and 55 minutes. It is
possible to pay the ticket on board. For
further information, please contact Seam
Office at
The Cortina Express is operated
through very comfortable buses, also
with Wi-Fi connection: panorama is
enchanting and the service is available all
over the year (triplicate during the high
There are also regular bus services to
and from Venice with stop at Mestre and
Treviso. The travel takes about three hours
and 15 minutes. During the high season
there is a daily service, whereas, in other
periods of the year, the service is on Saturdays and Sundays only. Booking at the
Seam ticket office in Cortina is required
(service not available by telephone). Information at ATVO Bus company.


Socotra, Yemen: A Botanical Odyssey
To step foot on Socotra is to embark on a
botanical odyssey through one of the most
alien-looking places on earth. This island,
off the Horn of Africa, is the most isolated
island in the world of non-volcanic origin.
Scientists call it the Galapagos of the Indian
Ocean, with one-third of its plant species being unique to the island. Socotra is
located 380km from mainland Yemen, and
there are absolutely no safety or security
issues here. Travelers do not even leave the
airport in Rayan en-route to the island.
Day 1: Wednesday - Arrival, Dihamri (snorkeling) and Ar-Ar Beach
Day 2: Thursday - The Interior: Homhil Hiking and Diksam Plateau
Day 3: Friday - Qalansiya, Shaub Beach
and Dolphins in Detwah Lagoon
Day 4: Saturday - Departure from Socotra
Two nights camping on the beach (all
equipment included), and one night in a
basic hotel.
Full board
Transfers and activities:
Private 4X4 vehicles (max of four travelers
per car) for the duration of the trip

Fitness Level:
This trip is suitable for people of all fitness

Escape Travels
+971 56 694 5364


Hiking, snorkeling, camping, cliff diving, dolphin watching


4 Days / 3 Nights

Cost (not including flight) Starting at 2,300 AED not including flights.
Two-way flights with Felix Airways are 2,730 AED

Departing on request every Wednesday and returning on Saturday.

Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley
Two days exploring the Kathmandu valley
For many, stepping off a plane into
Kathmandu is a pupil-dilating experience:
a riot of sights, sounds, colours and smells
that can quickly lead to sensory overload.
Whether you’re strolling the winding streets
of the old town, marveling at exquisite
medieval temples of Darbar Square or
haggling your way through Thamel’s many
shops, Kathmandu is an intoxicating, amazing and simply fascinating place.
The Kathmandu Valley is home to the
UNESCO World Heritage villages of Patan
and Bhaktapur, and is a patchwork of terraced fields and sacred temple towns that
showcase the glory of Nepal’s architecture.
The whole valley is a living museum of Nepali culture. It is hard to go a few hundred
metres without stumbling upon a medieval village or a centuries-old temple. If
Kathmandu is the head of Nepal, the valley
could be its heart.
Full-day Rafting Trip
The rivers of Nepal are full of life and drain
from the highest mountains in the world.
Nothing compares to the rush of rafting
these rivers! With professional guides and
a support team, no experience is necessary; overall physical fitness and a sense of
adventure is all that is needed!


Hiking, white water rafting and sightseeing


4 Days / 3 Nights

Cost (not including flight) 2,140 AED not including flights
Two-way airfare is approximately 1,600 AED

October 3rd, 2014 (Eid Holiday Escape)

Half-day Hike
Draped along the heights of the Himalayas,
Nepal’s sublime scenery, time-worn temples
and peerless walking trails leave visitors
spellbound. With an easy or challenging
route to choose from, all ages and abilities
can do this hike. You’ll see temples and rice
paddies along the way, and be amongst the
country’s most spectacular nature.
Three-star standard hotels in Kathmandu
and a Mountain Lodge overlooking the
mighty Himalayas
Daily breakfast and lunch while rafting / hiking / sightseeing
Transfers and activities:
• Exploring Kathmandu Valley includes
• All transfers, including airport transfers
• Professional English speaking guides
during all tours

• Activity option of white water rafting or
• Two days of sightseeing in the Kathmandu Valley
• One night in the mountain village of
White water rafting includes:
Transfers, lunch, all rafting equipment and
permits, guides and support team
Hiking includes:
Transfers, lunch, group hiking guides
and hiking permits
Fitness Level:
This trip is suitable for all fitness levels
Escape Travels
+971 56 694 5364


Golden Tulip Dibba - Resort
Golden Tulip Resort, Dibba is located
on the shores of the East Coast of the
Musandam Peninsula in the Sultanate of
Oman, just 60 kilometres north of Fujairah, and only 120 kilometres, or less than
two-hour drive from Dubai International
Nestled on a pristine sandy beach, in
the foothills of the rugged Hajar mountain ranges, it immerses guests to this
legendary hideaway for its blend of

natural beauty, romantic heritage and
contemporary luxury. From its site it offers
dazzling panoramic views as well as terrific
base point for recreational activities and
excursions, such as exploring the region
stunning Wadi’s (Wadi Bih, Wadi Khab Al
Shamis, Wadi Sidr/Sana, Wadi Tayyibah,
Wadi Asimah, Wadi Wurrayah).
The area is also renowned for its
fascinating marine life, home to many
exotic species of fish. The coral reefs off

the coast offer divers and snorkelers the
ultimate underwater experience. Enjoy
adventurous excursions and activities such
as dolphin watching, dhow cruise, scuba
diving, fly fishing, cannoning, kayaking,
rock climbing, and mountain safari, just to
name a few.
With its idyllic climate and deep embrace of the outdoors, Golden Tulip Resort Dibba is the perfect place to indulge
the senses and invigorate the soul.

Golden Tulip Khatt Springs Resort & Spa
The Golden Tulip Khatt Springs Resort
and Spa is a Mountain and Spa Retreat
in the heart of the Arabian countryside at
the foot of the Majestic Hajar Mountains,
overlooking a beautiful valley full of date
palms and farmland. The Resort & Spa
is around 45 minutes from Dubai and
only 20 minutes drive from the beautiful beaches of Ras Al Khaimah and five
minutes from RAK airport. During your
stay with us you will enjoy our leisure and
dining facilities as well as our spacious
and comfortable rooms.
Mountain and Spa Retreat Khatt Springs
Wellness & Spa is an unrivalled heaven of
peace and tranquility spread over an area
of more than 2,000sqm that will help you

hydro pools with gentle massage jets,
14 treatment rooms, ice grotto, steam
and sauna rooms, snail showers and
warm stone beds. We will be pleased to
welcome you as well to The Harmony
Ayuverda Centre in which you will try a
new way of therapy and philosophy of living life with our wide range of herbal and
mineral medicines.

relax and rejuvenate your soul, mind and
body. A wide range of spa services will
be offered to you and will be provided
separately for men and women: 38° warm




Habitually healthy
Thai chicken skewers scented with lemongrass
and lime leaves served with raw papaya salad
Words By: Chef Christopher Zerbe

Well, it’s summer time here in the
Middle East and you know what that
means! Vacations! (Well, for some of
During this time, we tend to break our
carefully crafted diets that we swear by all
year round in favour of the more convenient foods we find in our little summer
sanctuaries away from home. Personally, I
just returned from a short trip to Thailand
where food is in abundance and can be
found just about anywhere. Whether it is a
little street hawker stand selling Pad Thai
or crispy fried chicken or grilled squid on a

stick, there are so many tempting choices!
The biggest thing to watch out for when



Preparation Method




(I like to use boneless free range chicken thigh meat) cut
into 2 inch cubes

Thai marinade



Just put a bit of lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves, red
chili, coriander, sea salt, coconut oil in your food processor
and grind into a paste, marinate meat for up to 2 hours in
it. (Some coconut aminos are a nice addition too!)

Green papaya



Peel the hard, outer dark green skin off to reveal the light
green flesh inside. Cut in half and remove the seeds. Using
a peeler just shave off a big handful then cut into thin

Tomato julienne



Cut your tomatoes into half, then half again and remove
the seeds. After cut into thin strips

Sliced red onion



I prefer the taste of the small local red onions. Be sure to
slice nice and thinly

Red chili



Slice the chili in half and remove the seeds to cut down
some of the intense heat! Then cut into little strips

Sesame oil



I like to use just a small little bit like a teaspoon




Either use white vinegar or if you can find, I like coconut
aminos (similar to soy sauce without the soy!)

Coriander leaves



Just chop roughly with the stems

Mixed lettuces



I like a little salad with all my meals

Beefsteak tomatoes



Just can’t get enough tomatoes

traveling throughout places like Asia is
the amount of Ajinomoto (aka “flavour
enhancer,” aka MSG). Even though they
start off with fairly good quality meats and
poultry, you really should avoid the usage
of these seasonings and stick with a little
old fashioned sea salt and some pepper. Fortunately in a place like Thailand,
seafood and fish is in abundance! Steamed
or grilled with hints of lemongrass and
kaffir lime leaves, spiced up with Thai chili
and coriander, cooled down with opal basil
leaves and simple cucumbers. It’s a veritable explosion of amazing flavours each bite
you take! No need to “enhance” anything.
Just keep it natural. Don’t forget all the
lovely coconuts freshly cut and opened just
for you each and every day too. Definitely
my favourite! Anyway, here’s a recipe for
my own little Thai dish that I love; done up
in a simple, tasty, healthy way.
The Cycle Bistro
GPS location:
N 25° 02.792
E 055° 14.384
04 425 6555

What is fitness?
And are you as fit as your
life needs to be?
Words By: Candice Howe
Photo By: Ales Vyslouzil

At LifeSpark, like many
CrossFit facilities, we believe
that fitness is essential to a
great life. It is the physical embodiment of confidence, dedication and passion.
We love the freedom that comes with
being physically able to do anything that
you want to do; whether it a day’s surfing,
rock climbing, wadi bashing, desert driving or travelling on adventures to remote
corners of the earth. We want a level of
fitness that enables us to enjoy everything
we demand of life, and to be fit enough
to be able to handle whatever surprises
life throws back.
With this in mind, your fitness programme has to support whatever life
throws at you! The fitter a person is, the
more they are physically able to do things
that bring excitement and fun into their
Fitness is about being able to push the
car out when it’s stuck in the desert, as
well as enjoy driving the dunes. It’s about
the paddle boarder who can single-handedly re-strap the board to the car roof, in
high winds, after an hour on the water. It’s
about people maintaining and improving their functional capability, exceeding
rather than meeting the demands of
their sport or activity. It’s about excelling,
accepting any challenge and achieving
your goals. We believe that everyone can
achieve great fitness and that great fitness
facilitates all life’s adventures.
When looking for a definition of fitness
it is difficult to find a decent answer. The
dictionary defines fitness as:
1. the state of being fit
2. Biology:
a. the degree of adaptation of an organism to its environment, determined by
its genetic constitution
b. the ability of an organism to produce
viable offspring capable of surviving to
the next generation
These definitions do nothing to advise
or guide an individual to achieve any
level of fitness. The key themes are there;
ability to adapt, survive, but by defining
fitness as a state of being, there is little
scope for growth or development. There
is certainly no accounting for an individual’s ability to thrive.
CrossFit’s definition of fitness is the one
that we aspire to, and use to inspire our
community. CrossFit is a strength and



conditioning programme that delivers
genuine fitness. The beauty of CrossFit’s
definition of fitness is that it is quantifiable. There are four elements to the
1. 10 Components of Fitness
The 10 general physical skills or components of fitness are widely outlined in
sport physiology and exercise science.
CrossFit aims to increase fitness in all 10
areas in order to broaden the general
base of physical preparedness. While
this may be seen to limit potential in one
area, results have shown that for the vast
majority of people, improvement across
all 10 components leads to an increase in
overall, and often task specific performance.
The 10 components of fitness are:
Power, Speed, Strength, Stamina,
Accuracy, Endurance, Balance,
Coordination, Agility and Flexibility
Fitness is therefore developed through
a programme that improves all of these
2. Task performance
This focuses on breadth and depth of performance. Fitness requires the ability to
perform well at every, and any, combination of tasks – essentially a constant state
of preparedness. Picture an infinite number of physical challenges. Fitness can be
measured in how well you can perform at
any and every imaginable task.
3. Energy systems
There are three metabolic pathways that
provide the energy for all human action:
a. Phosphagen pathway, which is used in

high-powered activities lasting up to 10
b. Glycolytic pathway, which is used in
moderate-powered activities, lasting up to
several minutes
c. Oxidative pathway, which dominates
low-powered activities, those lasting in
excess of several minutes
Fitness in each of these pathways dictates the time and power within which you
can perform physical tasks. Total fitness,
requires competency and training in each
of these three pathways.
4. Health continuum
Viewing fitness as continuum from sickness to wellness to fitness ensures that a
measure of fitness will account for health
as well as physical prowess. Nearly every
measure of health will conform to this
continuum; which considers fitness as a
form of super-wellness, thereby placing
the eradication of illness and achievement
of health or wellness as essential in the
development of true fitness.
Consideration of all four of the above
elements enables the achievement of
broadest and most general fitness possible. This definition deliberately develops
broad, general and inclusive fitness. The
aim is to maximise potential and ensure
fun, adventure and challenge. It enables
the ability to say “Yes!” to whatever opportunities come your way.
Life rewards this kind of fitness.
Want to give LifeSpark’s approach to
fitness a try?
Contact CrossFit@LifeSparkCoaching.
com to schedule your free taster class!




The AIDA Freediving
Education System

Although freediving is
something anyone can try, it is
important to remember that
freediving is a sport with a
recognised hierarchy of training
courses in place. While you don’t
have to sign up for a training
course to enjoy a casual adventure near the beach, enrolling in
a certified course will help you
learn more about freediving and,
more importantly, how to practice it safely when you attempt
deeper dives.
AIDA International
AIDA was established in 1992 and is the
worldwide federation for breath-holding.
AIDA International is the regulatory body
for all competitive freediving competitions. It oversees record attempts and is
responsible for freediving education.

AIDA freediving courses
The AIDA education system is the most
popular training system for anyone
interested in freediving. An AIDA course
is a great way to learn more about safe
practices in freediving. Although you will
almost certainly improve your depths and
times underwater as a result of completing the various levels of AIDA education,
what is more important is that the AIDA
education system teaches students how
to dive safely with the right mindset.
There are AIDA training courses
suitable for all levels of the sport, from
total beginners through to competitive
freediving. AIDA courses are progressive and in order to enrol on a higher
level course, you must have successfully
completed the previous levels. The foundational levels provide you with not only

the practical skills which are taught in the
pool and open water environments, but
also the theory behind the exercises and
safety measures presented during the
Minimum requirements for AIDA courses
In order to sign up for an introductory or
foundation (Level I and II) AIDA course,
you must be at least 16 years of age
(with a parent or guardian’s signature) or
18, in good physical health, and capable
of swimming at least 100 metres without
You don’t need any previous experience of freediving in order to sign up for
an introductory AIDA course. Instructors
are happy to teach students who have
never done any type of diving before,
although many students use freediving
as a step up from snorkelling and scuba
diving. Complete beginners would need
to start off with the Level I introductory
course but more experienced snorkelling enthusiasts and scuba divers may be
able to start off at Level II.
Level I
The Level I Introductory course is perfect
for anyone who would like an introduction to freediving in a safe and controlled
environment. The course is a mixture of
practical and theory lessons and at the
end of it you will have gained a good
understanding of what this sport entails.
The Level I course includes breath holding exercises, descending and ascending
using fins, plus some theory lessons in a
classroom environment.
Level II
Level II Foundation is designed for
people who are already competent and
confident in the water. The course covers
everything taught at Level I, but practical
sessions will take place in open water as
well as in a swimming pool environment.
Unlike the Level I course, students will be
introduced to the four main freediving
• Static Apnea
• Dynamic Apnea
• Free Immersion
• Constant Weight
After completing the AIDA Level II you
would be able to dive to 16m and hold
your breath for over two minutes!
Level III
The Level III Intermediate course
builds on knowledge gained in
the Level II course. You will also
learn about different safety issues
and techniques, including free

falling, as well as how to use training
tables and the risks associated with increasing and decreasing water pressure.
Theory sessions are more in depth than
Level I and II courses. Upon completion
of a Level III you will be confident diving
down to 20m and holding your breath
for over three minutes!
Level IV
The Level IV Advanced AIDA course is
designed for those who want to do more
than recreational freediving. As well as
building on the knowledge gained in
the first three courses, students will be
introduced to variable weight diving,
body and lung stretching, cross training
and diet. Students have to be certified in
First Aid and CPR in order to complete
the Level IV Freediving course. After
completing this course you will confidently dive to 30m and possibly go on to
AIDA Instructor Courses
Students who have successfully completed Level I to IV can study for their
AIDA Instructor qualification if they wish.
This will allow you to teach students up
to Level III. AIDA Master Instructors are
qualified to teach students up to Level IV
and AIDA Instructor Trainers are qualified
to teach trainee instructors.
Just be careful because you may end
up like Rachael from Muscat who after
just one trip said:
“Into the blue – my exciting new addiction! Wow, where do I begin? I’m a
scuba diver and thought I’d give freediving a go. Feel bad saying this but the
feeling I get from freediving is like no
other. Totally at one with the ocean – my
biggest love. 
I’m now obsessed on promoting this
awesome sport here in Muscat to spread
the love I have found for this amazing
There are numerous ways to get
involved with this exciting sport through
AIDA freediving courses, so if you are
a complete novice or you want to
improve your existing skills, visit today or
for more information.



T R &I E D





Rum Runner :

A modular touring SUP
Words + Photos By: Daniel Birkhofer

If you are an outdoor enthusiast you would also love to try
new products, and so do I. But
sometimes I face some ethical
issues when we get a product
to test and it is hard to find
reasons to recommend the
We have one golden rule: we try to
find the pros of a product, but we will
be honest and not make up reasons to
buy a product if there are none. So when
I went to GO Sport to collect the Point
65n Rum Runner 12.5 Stand Up Paddle
board (SUP), I was sceptical. The Swedish
manufacturer Point 65n is the only supplier in the region that provides modular
kayaks and now also SUPs. The kayaks of
Point 65n are very similar to the shape of
the known kayaks in the market, but the
SUP is a complete new shape and I have
not seen anything similar to it the region.
More about this later.
The SUP, comes in three sections which
are held together by straps. The first
thing I noticed is that the gaps between
the sections are not seamless, and even
allowed for some movement when the
board was assembled and carried to the
car. This brought up my first worry; that
this will affect the performance on the

water and that the board will not be
stable. Dismantling and assembly of
the board is super easy and very fast.
Since the board breaks down into three
pieces, each section is light and easy to
handle regardless of your body height or
strength. It fits in the trunk of any 4x4, but
takes up some space and might not fit in
all cars. What I liked a lot is the retractable
fin which is spring loaded and released by
removing a small bolt. So there is no need
to unscrew the fin and you cannot lose or
forget it on your way to the water.
Now back to the shape. The Rum
Runner is not built for the waves, it is a
touring SUP and that is the reason for
the different body. The hull is a displacement hull which means the board is
actually deeper in the water and cuts
through it rather than float on top of the
water like most common SUPs in the
region. In my opinion, the vast majority
in the region use SUPs mainly for touring


Oval hatch for
Rails for attaching rod,
holders, GPS
gear compartment and smilar Comfortable EVA

pad with structured


Spring-loaded fin
automatically retracts
when hitting obstables
or hitting the beach

Super tough PE


simply because we have perfect flat water
conditions on the sea. When the board
is assembled, it is heavier than a normal
rigid or inflatable SUP and therefore much
harder to carry. The two handle straps
make this more convenient and easy to
carry with two persons or you can simply
drag it along the sand. The plastic body
is also much more forgiving than other
(molded polyethylene) materials, so that
little scratches are almost unnoticeable.
Also, the material will not bleach out in
In the water, the heavier body and the

Grab rail
for easy carrying

deeper waterline make the board very
stable yet fast. I am about 85kg and I was
able to stand on one leg on the board
with the foot on the outer edge. Try to
stand on any flat SUP on one leg if it is
slightly off-centered and you will certainly
dive into the water within seconds. The
standing platform of the board is even
lowered to the waterline so that the
centre of gravity is really very low. This
performance is the best I have ever seen
on an SUP and would make it only for that
reason the perfect beginner board since
it is almost impossible to fall off it. The
standing platform is covered with foam
and the plastic body is also suspending
further, so that paddling on your knees is
more comfortable than on other boards.
Being a touring SUP the waterproof hatch
in front is a great additional feature to
store a towel and drinks. Yet the rubber hatch was not easy to open and to
close, but I think this will get better over
time when the rubber gets more flexible
through use. I have used my other paddle
boards for fishing and I had to be quite inventive to be able to put a rod holder and
gear box on the SUP. The Rum Runner

has a very useful rail which can be used
as grab rail to carry the board but the real
plus point is that it can be used to attach
rod holders, GPS or any other kind of accessory you might want to take with you.
One of the places I enjoy most is the
flat water around the mangroves preferably in Umm Al Quwain since there is
almost no one else around. If you ever
paddled in the mangroves and creeks,
you certainly know you have to be very
aware of the tides in the already shallow
waters. The water can get so shallow that
the fin touches or even gets stuck in the
muddy sandy ground. The retractable fin
is ingenious in this situation because it
will suspend up if it touches the ground.
In that way you are able to get through
water even if the depth is only a few centimetres. It would not be the first time that
tides set in earlier than expected and you
get stuck somewhere in a shallow area
which you didn’t expect to be so shallow.
So all in all, I have to revise my first impression and admit, I am even positively
impressed with the performance and features of the Rum Runner. Of course, the
best thing is that with a price tag starting

from from 3,650 AED/QAR or from 390
OMR, the Rum Runner is far below the
average price of rigid or inflatable boards,
which are usually 5,000 AED and more. So
if you are looking for a touring SUP, this is
a great choice and you can even get it in
the elevator and store it in your apartment
or balcony.
The Point65n products are exclusively
sold by GO Sport.

381cm / 12,5’
81cm / 31,9”
28.4kg / 62lbs
135kg / 300lbs
Weight nose section 7.4kg / 16lbs
Weight mid section 11.7kg / 25.7lbs
Weight tail section 9.3kg / 20.5lbs
Length nose section 130cm / 4’3’’
Length mid section 133cm / 4’5’’
Length tail section 130cm / 4’3’’
Front hatch
44x26cm / 17,6”x10,4”

red and blue

More details on





A round-up of quality products available right here in the UAE

Yamaha Rider Cockpit 2-Person
1,050 AED (before 1,295 AED)

Available at Al Yousuf Motors across UAE
The bottom of this fun tube is shaped like a boat hull which is the key
to the unparalleled lively ride. It has comfortable inflated floors, durable 30 gauge bladders that are completely encased in durable double
stitched nylon. Measures 74” x 73” (deflated).

Lifeventure – SoftFibre Trek Towel
165 AED

Available at Adventure HQ in Times Square Center in Dubai and
Bawabat Al Sharq Mall in Abu Dhabi
Travel the world your way with these lightweight and small packable SoftFibre
Advance towels.
• Ideal for travel, sports, trekking or beach use
• Lightweight, ultra compact and highly absorbent SoftFibre material
• Treated with Ax Antibacterial formula
• Dries 8x quicker than a standard beach towel
• Absorbs 9x its own weight in water
• Weight: 310g
• Dimensions: 150 x 100 cm
• Patterns: Words, Explorers, Flowers

Lifeventure - Ultralite Wash Holdall
165 AED

Available at Adventure HQ in Times Square Center in Dubai and
Bawabat Al Sharq Mall in Abu Dhabi
Washbag made with lightweight siliconised Cordura fabric. A
spacious main compartment is accessed with an open top flap
which zips open. A detachable mirror and tuck away hanger
mean you can create a washroom wherever you are.
• Lightweight siliconised Cordura® fabric
• Large zipped main compartment
• Internal zipped pocket and tuck-away hanger
• Detachable mirror
• Weight: 98g
• Dimensions: 240 x 100 x 150mm





SonicBoom for iPhone 5
120 AED

Available at Go Sport Dubai Mall, Bawabat Mall, Abu Dhabi Mall, Villaggio,
City Centre Doha and Adventure HQ Times Square, Dalma Mall Abu Dhabi
and JBR as well as online through
Sleek armband offers easy-touch window. Ergological™ design integrates
NDurAthletic™ and moisture-wicking material. Fits iPhone 5, iPhone 4, and 4S and is
Ant+ dongle compatible.
• Unique hybrid of polyurethane and performance textiles delivers enduring protection
• Soft ergo-armband optimises comfort and eliminates friction
• Moisture-wicking material moves sweat away from body and adds breathability
• Reflective hits promote low-light visibility up to 1,200ft

Polar RC3 GPS BLUE Limited Edition
1,450 AED

Available at Go Sport, Dubai Mall and online through
The RC3 GPS has been developed to provide sports and fitness enthusiasts
with an all-in-one training device with the latest GPS technology built in.
Ergonomically designed, with naturally placed buttons, the RC3 GPS has a
breathable wristband for maximum comfort. Weighing only 58g and measuring
just 1,37cm in depth, the device is one of the lightest and slimmest integrated
GPS devices on the market. Its supersized digital display makes it easy to read
and customisable, allowing a user to display up to three rows of training data.
The RC3 GPS combines the very latest GPS technology with “Smart
Coaching” - unique training guidance and features developed by Polar over
the last 35 years. The device contains a wide range of easy-to-use heart rate
based features including “Sports Profile,” where users preselect a sport and
can monitor intensity specific to the demands of that discipline, and “Training
Benefit,” where instant intuitive feedback is given straight after exercise.

Sony Outdoor Premium (Action Camera)

Available at Adventure HQ
Light and compact full HD Action Cam perfect for recording all your active
pursuits. Capture every epic moment with amazing clarity and stunning detail,
whatever the situation, then play it back instantly with the included LCD mount.
• Exmor R CMOS Sensor; excellent low-light performance
• Full HD 1080 (60p,50p, 30p, 25p) HD 720 (120p, 60p)
• Steadyshot Image Stabilisation; shake free footage
• 12MP Still Image Mode
• Built-in NFC and WiFi; one-touch remote control
• GPS geo-tagging with data overlay
• Universal HeadBand (BLTUHM1)
• Grip with LCD (AKALU1)
• Ball Head (ADPBH1)
• 16GB Micro SD





Sony Chest Mount
120 AED

Available at Adventure HQ
Mount the Action Cam on the chest using AKA-CMH1 enables stable 360°
(non-step) operation in a vertical direction and can swing from side to side
using a pan-articulated mechanism. User can give video a sense of realism by
shooting at preferred angles while enjoying action sports.
• Hands-free shooting
• Protection of the human body from strong impact
• 360 degrees non-step freedom of operation

Corran SUP Matrix
6,495 AED/QAR
706 OMR

Available at GO Sport stores at Dubai Mall, Abu Dhabi Mall
and Bawabat Al Sharq Mall in the UAE; Villagio Mall and City
Centre Doha in Qatar; and Muscat Grand Mall in Oman



The Matrix is truly the master of all. Solving all the problems
of flex and wobble of inflatable boards, this ultra rigid do-it-all
board acts like it’s a hard shell, with the advantage of being
able to roll it up and put it in your Fiat 500, carry it onto an
airline, or hike up the furthest peak in Peru. Once inflated, this
board is fast and stable, making it possible to paddle long
distances with ease, or fish off of it. Aside from its obvious
pedigree design, we’ve solved the problem of the board flex
in inflatable boards. Pumping it up to a sturdy 15psi after inserting the carbon rods, this board is almost as stiff as a hard
shell board, with all the advantages of being able to roll it up.
The cream on top is the innovative flip-up skeg that means
you can launch into the water with the back of the board
beached (keeping feet dry) and paddle over shallow shelves
without getting bumped off.

Corran SUP Helium Carbon
1,095 AED/QAR
119 OMR

Available at GO Sport stores at Dubai Mall, Abu Dhabi Mall and Bawabat Al Sharq Mall in
the UAE; Villagio Mall and City Centre Doha in Qatar; and Muscat Grand Mall in Oman
Designed to have the maximum power for the minimum blade surface, the Helium’s smaller
blade shape, combined with the flexy carbon shaft, is designed for recreational racers and
surfers looking for power, without the risk of injury to joints and muscles from extended use.
You’re going to love this paddle.










T R &I E D





New display

WAECO CFX-35 against CF 35
The most powerful compressor cooler
WAECO is one of the leading
manufacturers of portable fridges
and freezers. We did a longer review
in last year’s October 2012 - page
44-45 (you can download the issue
free of charge from www.outdooruae.
com) issue about the Waeco cooling
box. The CF and CFX are the
smallest coolers in their line and the
ideal companions for short or long
weekend trips. The CFX-35 is the
latest version of the cool/freezer and
the successor of the CF 35.
So what’s new?
The CF 35 is
already a great
product so we were
not surprised that
the changes are
in the detail. First
of all, the design
changed and the
cool/freezer does
not only look
more rugged, it is
more rugged with re-enforced edges. The
handles are now spring loaded and can be
folded down to save some valuable space
in the trunk (about 7cm in depth). In last
year’s test, I actually removed the handles
to have more space in the trunk, so this is
not an obvious improvement, but in my
eyes a very practical one showing the attention to detail of WAECO in further developing and improving their products. As per
the product brochure a lot of customer
feedback influenced the redesign of the
CFX 35. The dimensions increased slightly
as well as the weight but therefore you have
3.5L more storage volume. The lid is now
more integrated in the body rather than setting on top and has a 10mm wide lid seal
gasket with air pocket for added insulation.
The hinges are also made of metal and will
detach automatically when opened too far
and clips back in easily. The control panel

Thicker insulation especially for
the lid (left CFX 35 right CF 35)

has now a user-friendly angle and a bright
display for good visibility in sunlight. One
completely new feature is the USB charging
port which nowadays one very useful plug
used to charge various gadgets like torches,
phone, GPS etc. The compressor is one of WAECO’s
genuine compressors built
and tested for Australian hot
conditions which find perfect application in the hot
environment of the Middle
East. The second generation
of Variable Motor Speed
Optimisation (VMSO)
provides an even softer start
for the compressor, and
takes the compressor turbo speed to higher
RPM than before until set temperature is
reached, after which the speed\ drops back
to economy mode. With VMSO and thicker
insulation compared to the CF 35 the cool/
freezer fulfills the energy efficiency standards for A++. One more small detail which
is very useful is the drain plug which makes
cleaning easy and convenient.
There are also some new accessories for
the CFX series which are the universal fixing
kit (belt system) and a wireless display.
And what are the common points?
The cool/freezer run either on 12V or 24V
on the route and can be plugged as well to
100-240V power supplies. The cool/freezer
can be set to any temperature from +10°C
to -18°C. If it is run through you car battery,
the cool/freezer has a guard which can be
set to three different levels to ensure the
car battery is not drained. As soon as the

New retractable handle with the
CFX series to save more space

charge of the battery is high enough the
cooler starts cooling again (eg you stop
for some hours and then continue driving
The WAECO cool/freezer is certainly one
of the best quality and performance
products in the market. Quality comes at
a price but if you buy a cheaper electrical
cooling box from discounters or hypermaket and have the chance to compare
to a WAECO product, you will certainly
be happy to spend a bit more and have a
working and lasting product. Many coolers
are only capable of cooling the inside of the
cooler 10°C below the ambient temperature, so you can now calculate yourself how
much this is with our summer temperatures
in the mid-40s.
Since there is nothing to compare the
CFX-35 with in the market, the only possible
comparison was against the earlier model
the CF35. Both are great products but with
the CFX series, WAECO address many
smaller issues to further improve the cool/
freezer. The only thing I can think they could
improve and certainly will is the everlasting challenge to make coolers and freezer
especially those you might be sourced by
batteries more energy efficient.
The CFX-35 is priced at 3,399 AED. The
CF35 still available and priced at around
2,759 AED. The CFX is definitely the better
choice but if you want to save a little bit of
money you also get an amazing product
with the CF35.
All Waeco range are available at ACE
Hardware, Adventure HQ and Jumbo



Diving and only!!! Gulf Marine Sports is a purpose-built, dive
shop in Abu Dhabi specialised in scuba diving and underwater products
established in 1998 and their mission is to deliver high quality products
and services to all the diving centers and scuba divers.
Polestar GPS Sports Watch

Starting from 195 AED

1,550 AED

• Trip info location/elevation/speed/trip odometer/time & date
• PC application software for Google Map
• Indicated location guiding
• Daily automatic synchronization times from satellite
• Upload photos to Flickr and Picasa
• Stop watch, 1/100s start/stop
• With 50m (5ATM) waterproof, PU resin strap and PMMA lens

AQUA-VU underwater live camera
Starting from 2,178 AED

• 3.5” LCD Screen
• Color Camera
• IR lights – auto light sensing
• 50’ Cable
• Rechargeable lithium-ion battery and charger

250 AED

• Matchbox style
• Fixed declination correction
• Luminous needle clinometer
• Mirror sighting
• Conversion tables

657 AED

• For Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4 or iPhone models
• Withstands up to 40m water depth
• Easy configuration
• 100% waterproof test



Beuchat Mundial Fibre

Starting from 1,560 AED

• Free diving fin composed of
a dual material foot pocket and
a removablefibre blade
• Length of the blade: 61cm

217 AED

• Light Output: 220 Lumens
• Casing Material: Aluminum alloy, anti-corrosive anodized
• Power Source: 2 AA Batteries -- Alkaline or NiMH
• Angle Of Light Beam: 8° narrow beam
• Burn Time: Up to 2hrs at full lumen output
• Maximum Depth: 100M tested

8,487 AED

TUSA Mask anti-fogfilm
53 AED

• It will keep your favorite mask
fog-free while diving underwater

• Light Output: 15,000 lumens
• Power Source: Li ion rechargeable batteyr pack
• Angle Of Light Beam: 160° extra wide beam
• Burn Time: I=10hrs, II=4hrs, III=2hrs, IV=1hr
• Maximum Depth: 100M tested
• Video Filters: Built-in red LEDs
• Weight: 2300g (including battery)

1,645 AED

• Light Output: 250-2500 lumens
• Power Source: 32650 Li ion Rechargeable battery pack
• Angle Of Light Beam: 10 degree narrow beam
• Burn Time: I mode=15hrs, IImode=6hrs,
• Maximum Depth: 100m tested

120 AED

• Super anti-fog treatment
• Cushion seal type face pad
• Available inprescription lenses left and right
• Negative Diopters: -1.0 to -10.0
• Positive Diopters: +1.0 to +6.0

BIG BLUE VL1800M u/w light photography
2470 AED

• Light Source: 3 X ultra-high intesnity LED
• Light Output: 450-1800 lumens
• Power Source: NiMH rechargeable battery pack
• Angle Of Light Beam: 120 degrees
• Burn Time: I mode=8hrs, II mode=3.6hrs, III mode=1.8hrs
• Video Filters: Red and Yellow

Telephone: +971 2 6710017
Facebook: Gulf Marine Sports
Instagram: Gulf_Marine_Sports




C ck
soul in Koh Samui
soothes the


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

Dubai is going from
strength to strength
and sending me no
end of work so after a
crazy start to the year, a
chance to recharge was
just what I needed. As
I’m sure many readers
identify, we’re sometimes excellent at
working hard, training
hard and playing hard
but when it comes to
downtime, quality rest
and relaxation, we score
an epic fail.
I know I’m not the only stereotypical Type A out there. The thing
is… abundant sleep, nutrientdense fuel and a break from high
impact training and our hectic
24/7 lives, really does bring us
improved performance in the long
run (no pun intended!). It certainly helps to reboot our systems,



improve our motivation levels and
create a surge in our overall health,
vitality and wellness levels.
I’ve just returned from one
of the most idyllic spots on the
planet, where I’ve been doing just
this. Tucked away in a beautifully
secluded spot in the southeast of
Koh Samui, Thailand, award-winning
wellness retreat and holistic sanctuary, Kamalaya, is the sort of place
that you dream about, you know,
when suffering in a long race and
you transport yourself far away to
utopia. This is Kamalaya!
Centered around a Buddhist
Monk’s Cave, the place is perched
on a hill, overlooking the ocean and
wrapped up in tropical vegetation,
streams, boulders, rocks and trees.
It’s a sanctuary where beyond the
stunning villas nestled amongst the
tress, beyond the incredible food,
beyond the hospitality and friendliness that redefines both, beyond
the perfect pools and idyllic beach,
is a world-class wellness centre
where you can immerse yourself in
complete and utter decadence to
soothe your body, mind and soul.
From Detox and Stress & Burnout

to Personal Yoga, Optimal Fitness,
Emotional Balance and Embracing Change, you’re truly spoilt for
Beyond your chosen programme,
there’s a weekly timetable of other
activities to dip in and out of as you
wish. Think group yoga, meditation,
Pilates, tai chi, cardio combat and
various wellness workshops. The
gym is fantastic too and the steam
and plunge pools, the perfect place
to chill out at the end of the day.
There’s a library, art gallery, regular
movie showings, cooking classes
and regular cultural events as well as
year round visiting practitioners, all
experts in their field, offering
various holistic healing and alternative medicine treatments.
It was in fact, a fellow ultra running friend who introduced me to
the place. I was here last September, fresh off the podium from
Indonesia’s Bromo Marathon and
this time, arrived, far from fresh
off the podium but certainly, as I
mentioned, following a crazy few
months. But again, within a day, I
felt totally renewed. It’s so peaceful,
so quiet, a little slice of paradise to
detach from our digitally driven lives
and give our bodies a well deserved
An integral feature at Kamalaya
is their astounding cuisine. The
entire menu has been designed to
be healing in function, refreshingly
wholesome, uniquely creative and
organic wherever possible. All foods


As we all know, junk in, junk out. Quality
in, quality out. We certainly can’t ever
expect to hit peak performance, in whatever activities we do, if we’re not paying
attention to our nutrition. The formula for
optimal performance full stop requires
regular physical activity, plentiful sleep and
food that promote health and wellness
and everything on the menu at Kamalaya
does just this.
I find myself recommending Kamalaya
to … well, pretty much everyone I know,
and for good reason. From Dubai, it’s so
easy. Less than six hours to Bangkok then
a short hop on Bangkok Airways to Samui
It really does take a visit to truly discover
the sense of calm and peace it invokes,
the inward reflection, the physical lightness, the nutritional wellness, the mental
clarity … I could go on. The very word
Kamalaya says it all, kamal meaning lotus
and alaya, realm, an ancient symbol for the

Photo: Darrell Wong Rider: Chuck Patterson

and juices are served as close to their
natural state as possible. No processing,
no additives, no artificial flavours. Fresh
herbs and spices are used abundantly and
every dish has been designed and created
to be low allergenic, low-inflammatory
and low glycemic. Everything on offer is
ridiculously healthy but somehow, you
spend ages pondering over the menu at
each meal because everything sounds so


growth and unfolding of the human spirit.
After fourteen heaven-sent days there, I
left feeling totally recharged albeit with a
heavy heart. And now, I write this en route
back to the desert, feeling excited about
getting home. Time to get back into some
training with Mauritius’s epic Dodo Trail,
just around the corner.
Till next month!

Love Tori x
Emirates, Dubai - Bangkok
Bangkok Airways, Bangkok - Samui
(one hour shuttle)
Kamalaya, Koh Samui

Naish MaNa series
Wide, stable shapes for learning,
progressing, cruising and catching

MaNa 10’0”

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Ocean Sports FZE: +971 (0) 55 935 2735 •


Travel to Qatar: Part 1
Make it more than a stopover
Words By: Eulogy van Dyk
Photos By: Erlanka Paquet

A country that only stretches
160km from north to south and 90km
from east to west, it could be quite
easy to miss Qatar on a map. A small
peninsula above Saudi Arabia, to the
east of Bahrain and west of Dubai.
Qatar doesn’t immediately jump to
most people’s minds as a tourist destination (I mean it is just a small country built
on a large rock right?) However, with Qatar having one of the world’s largest gas
reserves and massive economic growth in
recent years, it is truly developing into a
modern nation and a country that is worth
the stopover effort.
Doha, the capital of the country, is
home to the headquarters of major oil
and gas companies and serves as an
international hub for transit passengers.
This city is definitely where most of the
“action” takes place with quite a few
attractions for visitors to experience.
When travelling to Qatar it is best to base
yourself here, as it is also where the main
hotels are situated. Other cities include
Al Wakrah, Al Khor, Ras Laffan, Mesaieed,
Madinat Al-Shamal, Dukhan and Shahaniya.
Qatar is home to a series of worldclass
museums that boasts with some of the
world’s premium art collections. Home to
some extraordinary cultural landmarks,
some of which dating back thousands of
years, demonstrating Qatar’s rich cultural
Such a small country, but with so much
to offer! To get most of your visit it is best
to tap into the lifestyle of the resident
expats and locals. Below is a list of these
types of activities and places to visit to
discover and experience some of this nations’ culture.
A two to three day visit might all be that
you need, but beware, it will be a jampacked one!
Discover the culture
Doha Bus (the hop-on hop-off bus)
This might be the perfect place to start!
A new addition for travellers visiting the

country, it allows you to discover the
city at your own pace and time. With six
official stops at top sites in Doha (also
mentioned below), it really makes
exploring easy (


The Museum of Islamic Art
With many visitors commenting on the
resemblance the museum bears to an
Arabic woman wearing an abaya, this
monumental museum has become an icon
for art, culture and heritage of culture in
Doha. Designed by renowned architect IM
Pei (architect of the Louvre’s pyramid), it
displays minimal windows with a “virtual”
moat and shaped like a postmodern fortress. It houses precious works from more
than 200 years of Islamic civilisation (www.
For museum junkies, here are a few more
option to visit: Grand Mosque, Al Khor
Museum, Weaponry Museum, Sheikh
Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani Museum, Al
Wakrah Museum, Qatar National Museum
and Islamic Culture Center.
Doha Corniche
(and don’t forget the skyline)
The Corniche is a waterfront promenade
extending for several kilometres along
the Doha Bay. Hugging the water, this
horseshoe shaped promenade is a buzz
with activity especially during the milder
months from October to April. It offers
visitors to the city the perfect opportunity
for taking a stroll enjoying beautiful views
of the city skyline by day or by night.
Don’t miss out on a cruise in a traditional
boat known as dhow which you will find
located all along the Corniche.
The Pearl-Qatar
Located just outside the West Bay area,
this artificial island spans nearly four
million square metres and is one of the
Middle East’s most glamorous addresses.
Created of Italian, French, Spanish and
Arabic influences, it captures the charm


of the old world infused with modern
culture. A must visit for boutique shopping, fine dining or simply marveling at
the stunning scenery.
Souq Waqif
By far the number one tourist attraction
in Doha, history shows that this market
dates back at least a hundred years. It has
recently been restored to its former glory.
Quiet during the day it becomes alive
and vibrant during nighttime with people
from all over the world taking in the many
attractions it has to offer. From tacky souvenir shops, bulk food stores, spices, tobacco and a wide variety of world cuisine
on offer, no visitor leaves disappointed.
Grab a map at the information centre, located in the main thoroughfare and make
sure not to miss the local art galleries as
well as the gold and falcon souq.
Katara Cultural Village
With a very short history, Katara Cultural
Village is leading the way in highlighting
the importance of culture through theatre,
literature, music, visual art, conventions
and exhibitions. It offers art galleries, an

amphitheatre, opera house, drama and
concerts performances as well as restaurants and beach sports activities. A perfect day out for the whole family to enjoy
this unique village that embraces common
causes to promote a united humanity
Al Zubarah Fort
For a taste of the ancient civilisations that
once lived in Qatar, take a two-hour trip
from Doha to the 18th century Al Zubarah
Fort and Museum in the Northwest of the
country. This historical landmark is the
oldest archeological site renowned for




Markhiya, is another firm favourite with
families. (Opening Hours: 07:30 to 24:00)
Al Rumaila Park: This park runs parallel
to the Corniche adding beautiful scenery.
Don’t be surprised to see fitness enthusiasts taking part in bootcamp or similar
classes. (Opening Hours: 10:30 to 23:00)
Museum of Islamic Art Park: Take a stroll
along the crescent shaped walkway to
the park’s café where you can sit in front
of the sea and watch the Doha skyline
light up as the sun goes down. (Opening
Hours: 10:30 to 23:00)


unique part of Middle East culture and
beware you might feel yourself swept up
in the excitement!
Helpful websites to read more about the
country, activities and events taking place:, or

Camel Racing
If you are lucky enough to visit Qatar
during November to February you might
want to take a drive down to the camel
racetrack just north of Sheehaniya. A
30-minute drive from Doha, this purposebuilt racetrack offers the visitor a unique
opportunity to observe this traditional
sport. You will find locals enjoying this
its fort and it features many antiques that
exhibit the history of Doha.
Other forts to explore: Al Wajba Fort,
Barzan towers, Doha Fort (Al Koot), Umm
Salal Muhammad Fort
Visitors to this desert country are often
surprised by the well-maintained parks
that are located all over the city. Excellent
for picnic spots, walking with the kids or
afternoon run, the parks offer green oasis
for some peace and tranquility. The most
popular major parks are:
Aspire Park: With a long walking, running
and biking track, this is the most active
park in Doha. Expect busy afternoons with
lots of visitors. (Opening Hours: 8:00 to
Sheraton Park: While the kids swing on
the monkey bars and play in the sandpit,
you can relax on the grass nearby. (Opening Hours: 10:30 to 23:00)
Dahl Al Hammam Park: Located in

Qatar has a typical desert climate. Hot humid summers and cooler winters.
The best time to visit Qatar is between October and April, when the temperature dips. The coolest months are December, January and February. The hottest
months (touching 50°C) coupled with very high humidity are July and August,
restricting outdoor activities.
Local time:
3 hours + Greenwich Mean Time
Arabic is the official and main language, but English is widely spoken in every part
of the country.
How to get there:
By air:
Average direct flight price from the UAE +/- 1,000 – 1,200 QR (round trip)
Average traveling time +/- 1 hour (one way)
By car:
Driving from the UAE is not really recommended, as you need to cross the Saudi
Arabia border that has its own challenges with visa, insurance and residency issues.
Tourist visas are available on entry for citizens of 33 countries. The cost of visa for
a month is 100 QR per person, and an additional 50 QR per companion registered on your visa. Alternatively you can arrange one via Qatar Airways website.
(Visit: for more details).
How to get around:
Bus, taxi and limousine services (Karwa) are available through the national transport company Mowasalat. Taxis as mainly used and reliable. For a longer stay, car
rental services are also available.
Qatar’s official currency is the Qatari Riyal. Currencies from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia
and the UAE are easy to buy and sell at banks and money changers.
Dress modestly as a sign of respect to local customs and culture. Both women
and men should refrain from wearing clothes that go above their knees and
women should preferably cover their shoulders and upper arms. Visiting women
are not obligated to cover their hair. Swimsuits and beachwear are acceptable at
the hotel beaches.




Taking up the challenge
Part 1

Words By: Ian Ganderton
Photos By: Šárka Svobodová

This is proving a surprisingly difficult
article to write as it’s more about emotion and the feeling of “why” than the
cold hard facts of “where” or “how” that I
normally write. Bear with me as I set the
scene on the why and in other articles I’ll
move onto the easier subjects of how.

Ian Ganderton

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


First of all the “what” though!
While interviewing Patrick prior
to his participation in the 2014 Abu
Dhabi Desert Challenge, I felt my
switch click from “aspiration” to
“action.” When I covered the 2013
event I knew straight away I wanted
to participate “at some point.” When
I was talking to Patrick, I felt the distinct change flick over to “I’m going
to do the next one.” My New Year’s
resolution had been about actioning
my dreams so I had no choice!
So that’s what these series of articles will be about. How does a person who has never competed in an
event like the ADDC get from such
an incredibly low base point to actually starting (and hopefully finishing)
an internationally recognised event
that attracts the world’s best teams
and riders? So for those of you who
don’t know the event, the Abu Dhabi
Desert Challenge is a Dakar style raid
rally in which cars, buggies, quads
and bikes compete over six long days
(special stages are over 200km long)
mainly in the Liwa region of Abu


Dhabi in the most spectacular and
brutal sand dunes on the planet. It’s
part of the FIA and FIM World Raid
Rally series and has a reputation for
very tough terrain amongst its international following.
The event has a strong local following as well as international. In this
region we are very lucky in that we
have the kind of open space freedom
and terrain to drive/ride in recreationally that has drivers/riders from
other parts of the world sobbing into
their coffee. This home advantage
certainly helps but I know from talking to them that the terrain doesn’t
cut the locals any slack. Incidents
this year proved it and guys I spoke

to were visibly cooked at the end of
stages by the psychological pressures
with bodies or vehicles battered and
beaten into the ground by the huge
And yet when speaking to these
folks, you can see a bright light in
their eyes. They love it. They accept
the significant risks and financial
commitments of the independent
racer again and again. I wonder what
I’m letting myself in for, am I opening
a Pandora’s box and bringing upon
myself a whole world of trouble?! To
be honest, I know I probably am and
the reality is I’m excited for it.
Car, buggy, quad or bike? For me
there has only ever been one option,
it’s bike all the way. I used to ride
motorbikes on the road back in the
UK and I love the way it feels. The
rider is part of their bike and every
movement affects the bike in significant ways. I also love the complete
efficiency of a bike; it’s everything
stripped back to the bare essentials.
The bike choice brings with it
some advantages and disadvantages.
Firstly, it’s probably the cheapest option. There is just less of a bike than
any of the other vehicles, in simple
terms there is just two wheels and the
engines only have one cylinder. This
leads to simpler mechanical maintenance and ease of transport.
The major disadvantages are to
do with risk. Fact of the matter is

riders hit the ground more than drivers, and
hitting the floor can hurt. A lot. However risk
and acceptance of it is part of motorsport.
The trick is to manage it and try and keep it
within acceptable levels though the reality is
that this is easier said than done.
A major problem I have is that at the
point I made the decision to ride in the 2015
ADDC I hadn’t actually ridden a motorbike
on sand. My off-road biking experience was
limited to a few days on dirt roads in coastal
Kenya. Based on this fact, it could be argued
that I’m being a bit over ambitious. Perhaps
I am.
I needed to find out how hard it is to

ride a motorbike on the sand and evaluate
whether my ambition was realistic. After an
internet search I booked a two-hour lesson
with Gas Gas Tours. This was extremely
lucky and has turned into a hugely positive
thing. The company is run by James West,
a talented and fast rider of huge experience
including competing in many ADDCs (note
the use of “competing” not “participating!”)
and a Dakar rider. The guy who took me out
was Sam Smith who again is hugely talented,
experienced and fast as hell; he is also Sam
Sunderland’s training partner. Both are planning to compete in the 2015 ADDC. I’m very
conscious that connecting into this skills/
experience base has dramatically increased
my chances of achieving my goals.
The first ride in the sand with Smithy was
awesome! Anyone who knows me will vouch
for the fact that I’m now officially obsessed.
This is a good thing because to get to the
start line I need to ride, ride, ride. Building
my riding skills is crucial and there is nothing
better for that right now than time on the
So that’ where I’m up to right now. The
decision is made to participate in the 2015
Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge on a motorbike
and for the summer my plan is to ride as
much as possible including weekends as well
as before and after work.
From September onwards I will start to

look at modifying my bike, doing longer
rides, learning to read road books along with
preparing myself physically and mentally.
In this series of articles I hope to share
what it is to be a first time Raid Rally rider
and what is required to prepare man and
machine with a view to telling the story and
also helping those who may have similar




Top rider!

To say that I occasionally stress about things
would be an understatement! Those who know me
are probably commenting as they read this, “HUGE
understatement.” So let me enlighten those who
don’t know me very well what typically stresses me
I bought my first “high perfor-

John Basson

Moto/ATV and all round
adventure seeker

mance” bike in 2006, and of all
the exciting sports I have done,
nothing was as “addictive” and
“wow,” as riding my CR 250!
About a year later, as my riding
skills were improving, the addiction only grew stronger and that
was when I started stressing. “How
long will I be able to ride like
this? At what age will life sneak
up on me and steal my passion?”
Imagine that, only 36 and already
stressing about my age!

Mr Paul Tops, in “Top” condition and riding like a pro

To me, realistically, I thought
that by 60 I would have to hang
up my off-road gloves and buy
something that is more suited
for the “elderly” (like a GS1200).
Then earlier this year during
my riding in Morocco I met Mr
Claude. He rode and completed
the Dakar Rally at the age of
60! He was 61 when I met him
and still riding like a pro. This
was great news as I immediately
added five years before having to
hang up my gloves.
However Mr Claude’s Dakar
does not top Wyndham’s father,
Mr Paul Tops! It was already getting hot and the riding had to start
early when Wyndham called and
asked me to join them on a “Sweihan Ride.” He told me that his father was visiting and he managed
to get him a bike for the weekend.
I reminded Wyndham that we
had to start very early and asked
regarding his father’s experience.
I also reminded him that the ride
from Sweihan usually involves very
soft and bright white sand that
makes riding a two-wheeler very
difficult, especially for newbies.
Wyndham humbly told me that his
father should be “OK” and that if
needs be, he will ride in the back

Paul Tops, a true ambassador for life

with his father. As Wyndham is in
his mid-thirties surely, Mr Tops is in
his fifties. No problem as my best
riding buddy, Oliver, is still faster
than most riders, and he is in his
fifties. Wyndham’s father should
thus be OK.
We rendezvoused before sunrise
and whilst off loading, Wyndham
introduced me to his father. A tall,
soft-spoken gentleman, without a
gram of fat on his body and a solid
handshake was introduced to me.
Wyndham explained that his father
has lots of experience, but it has
been a while since he had ridden
in sand, and never in high dunes
like we were about to enter. Looking at his father I could see that he



59 years age difference between these two riders!

Paul and Wyndham Tops

was in excellent physical condition, but
not in his fifties. This was surely going
to be an interesting ride as we now had
the two extremes with us. John-John, my
son, on the one end of the age-scale and
Mr Tops on the other end.
The standard Sweihan trip we ride is a
total distance of +-120km and as mentioned the sand is very soft and by midmorning already the sun causes the sand
to be a “bright white” making riding very
difficult. We were seventeen riders, and
this caused the groups to stretch out
over several hundred meters. The faster
riders can thus gas-it and after about 10
minutes stop and wait for the other riders
to regroup. As the faster riders slowly
increase the gap in the front, the spacing
after 10 minutes is usually no more than
50-100m between riders. This means that
the slower riders, even though they are
far behind the front riders, have someone
“just in front” that they can follow. Combine this with clean dunes that only reflect our tracks, it makes managing larger
groups much easier than in Dubai. This
was my consolation for what I thought
was going to be a slow group.
Surprisingly, every time I stopped it
only took a minute or so for all the riders
to be accounted for. Both Mr Tops and
JJ were doing well. As a matter of fact,

neither of them were in the back! Mr
Tops was comfortably riding somewhere
in the middle of the group and not even
building a sweat! By the time we reached
the garage I was truly impressed with his
riding. The conditions were not easy and
his skill as an experienced rider was evident. I don’t want to spoil the story now
by revealing Mr Tops’ age, but to give
you a hint: the age difference on this ride
between our youngest rider and Mr Tops
was – are you ready for this – 59 years!
The ride back was not as easy and
several factors were now against us. The
sun was already high making visibility
very difficult. You just cannot see the
crest of the dunes and often would close
the throttle too early in fear of crossing
a dune at too high speed. If you do this,
you stop almost immediately and pulling
away whilst facing uphill is impossible. It
is then a huge physical battle to get the
bike facing downhill and re-attempting
the crossing. Combine the heat with
the physical effort, and then the lack of
airflow when you ride (tailwind) and it
does not take long for the average rider
to empty his hydration pack! I would say
about half the group was battling with
this and before we ran out of water a decision to exit the dunes was made. This
was also when one of the newbies learnt

the hard way to never open your overheated bike’s radiator cap, and look at
the cap as you unscrew it, whilst the bike
is still hot! The guy was very lucky that he
only obtained minor burns to his face.
We all made it back safely to the cars
on what I would certainly not describe as
an easy ride. Even for the experienced
desert riders we found the conditions
everything but pleasant. To Wyndham’s
father, Mr Paul Tops, who completed
this strenuous ride without a word of
complaint, I can only say: “Wow, well
done, and thank you for putting me at
ease regarding how many years of riding
I have left.” Hoping of course that I will
be in as good physical condition when I
reach his age.
Surely Mr Tops’ physical condition and
superior riding cannot be taken as an
average, but it just goes to show that if
you live a healthy life, and keep fit, even
at 70 years of age, you can still play in
the dunes!
Ride safe and go for gold,

PS: Mr Paul Tops did a solo ride on a
BMW R69S from Cape Town to Europe
47 years ago. He plans to “reverse” this
route on the 50th reunion of his expedition. His sons will join him and guess
what Mr Tops will be riding? The same
bike from 50 years ago! He still has it and
it runs well enough that he is confident
that it will be able to repeat the journey
50 years on. Surely Mr Tops has an above
average appetite for life!




Adam Kun

Occupation: Professional BMX Flatland Rider
Nationality: Hungarian
Age: 28

The World Champion BMX Flatland rider flew in from Amsterdam to
Dubai so the heat and lack of bicycles
on the roads were a change of scene
for him. But Adam was stoked for his
visit in the region, and to show some
of his tricks and meet fans at the new
The Zoo Skatepark.
How’s your first visit to Dubai?
Everything is new and the architecture
is amazing. I feel like I’m in the future or
something! We also went to the old part
of Dubai, which is very nice and it’s the
real Dubai. It was great to see both sides
of the city. It’s also very hot [laughs].
How did you get into BMX flatland?
I started riding 14 years ago. I’m a pro
since 10 years old and that’s hard to keep
on this level. I’m born in a very small city
and it’s like a village actually so we didn’t
have any skate parks. Back in the days,
there were only two flatland riders there
and when I saw them ride I wanted to do
that too, so I asked my parents to get me
a bike and I just started riding.
Back then, the BMX is not as popular.
There was no Internet so I didn’t even
know there were competitions for it. I just
knew that I wanted to do it because it’s
fun. In the beginning, my parents told me,
“If you enjoy it, do it.” Then they realised,
I wanted to do it professionally and they
said it’s going to be hard, but I didn’t care.
They always supported me and they’re
really proud of where I am today.
How has this sport progressed?
The flatland was included in the X Games
years ago, but people wants to see big

crashes, crazy stunts so they decided to
take it off. The sport has changed, but I
won’t say it went down because we still
have professional flatland riders and we
have so much international contests with
the big prize money, so the sport is still
going on and doing very well.
When I started, we were riding with
two brakes, front brakes and back brakes.
We were stopping the tyre with the leg
to get speed and these days we don’t
have any breaks on the bike. We don’t
scratch too much on the tyres. Even the
technique of the ride has changed. These
days we spin a lot, doing fast tricks and
What’s your training like?
I try to ride five or six days, depends on
how motivated I am. Since it is a freestyle
sport, we don’t have any coaches. On one
hand, it’s good because you can decide
how and when you want to practice. On
the other side, if you don’t have the motivation, you can get lazy.
My main motivation is the love of the
sport. I really like to do it and it’s the main
reason why I ride every day. Sometimes I
don’t ride very hard, but when I’m creating tricks and switches, I want to get it
right. When it’s not perfect, I just keep on
What’s the hardest trick you’ve got?
I have a trick that nobody else in the
world can do, but I’ve only pulled off for
a few times on video because it’s super
hard. I have to train for a week just to film
that trick. It’s called Monster Rip where
the bike is upside down and I do a tail
whip and landing.

What do you love most
about this sport?
Finding news switches and new links, then
you do it for the first time and pull it off in a
contest or for a video. I also enjoy it when
you do super hard tricks and the people
like it and they get inspired to try BMX too.
I really like travelling all over the world and
meeting people. I basically grew up with
my bike and because this is a solo sport, I
learned so much about patience and myself.
I met my best friends because of bikes and I
met my girlfriend also because of this sport.
Tell us more about the
My Reality video project.
Some people think BMX is only a hobby
because when we do tricks it looks so
easy. With this, we want to show to people that it’s a sport. We wanted to show
that apart from the physical aspect and it’s
about creativity too, repeating tricks and
mental preparation.
How have you developed
as an athlete?
I just do my best, travel the world and
show to the people that this is a great
sport and you can reach your goals if
you really like what you’re doing. That’s
the main thing, passion is my fuel and it
doesn’t matter that sometimes I get hurt.
What’s your advice to those who
want to get into the sport?
Follow their feelings and the best motivation you have is to like what you’re doing.
Keep progressing and you will reach your
goal. There’s no easy way. You have to
train hard as hell and it takes years and so
much work, but it’s all worth it.


Garreth Stockton
Occupation: Teacher
Nationality: British
Age: 44

The bouldering community is alive
and continuously growing in Qatar.
A local group composed of climbing
enthusiasts called The Doha Climbers
have now 1,000+ members who find
time to explore the country’s climbing spots and advance the sport. We
talk to Garreth Stockton, climber and
professional mountaineer, about what
he enjoys and how training and professional awards can come to the Middle
How did you get into climbing?
I first got in to climbing when I was put
through an instructor’s course in a previous
career. This interest developed two years
later, when I started climbing at a commercial wall in the UK, where I “learned the
When was the Doha Climbers
group formed?
Doha Climbers were set up by a friend of
mine Zenon Remi. As far as I understand it,
it is a sociable group loosely formed around
climbing and outdoor living. They are an
extremely helpful and supportive group,
who welcome all and can be found easily
through their Facebook page.
What’s your approach
to coaching climbers?
Coaching has now been completely formalised in the UK and it is receiving significant
funding from Sport England. “Mountain
Training” (as part of the British Mountaineering Council) took their successful FUNdamental’s courses, and then developed their
own coaching scheme which started this
year. This is like any other UK award, in that
coaches attend a training course (coaching
foundation, coaching development, coaching performance), then conduct a period
of personal consolidation before returning
for assessment. Coaching has developed
perhaps in connection with the explosion in
the number of young people entering the
sport, and the number of climbing centres

that have their own academy squads.
From a coaching perspective, being able
to question effectively and make good
observations is essential, and this comes
from an awareness of the FUNdamentals of
climbing and also the volume of movement
the coach has accumulated. Equally as
important is knowing the right time to give
a succinct explanation or when to just stay
quiet. Finally, reflection and evaluation of
the learning objectives and their appropriateness is essential for all participants.
Coaching and instructing are quite different,
but mutually compatible. I have worked with
adults and children, walking, climbing and
scrambling over the last four years in the UK
and Qatar. I am currently working towards
my Mountain Instructor Award (MIA), similar
to the Rock Guide scheme ran by AMGA.
The MIA is the UK qualification required to
instruct lead climbing outside, whether on
bolts or in a more traditional approach using
wires and cams.
What’s the best thing about this sport?
There are many aspects I enjoy: the locations – where I climb is often quite scenic;
the people are really important and should
not be underestimated; and the fact that
you can look at an amazing line in a rock
face (no matter what the grade) and think,
“Am I really going to climb that?!” Having played a number of competitive team
sports and not always won the fixture or
game, the decisions I make as a climber are
solely mine and there is never anyone else
to blame, they represent a combination of
three things: strength/endurance, strategy
and confidence.
What are your favourite climbing routes?
The UK is home to many different rock types
which all have their own unique styles of
climbing, each location being different in
character and in terms of its environment.
Some of my favourite locations would include the mountains of Snowdonia (Wales),
the gritstone edges of the Peak District
(England) and the limestone cliffs of Yorkshire and Derbyshire (England). As a keen
“boulderer” an annual visit to Fontainebleau, France is a necessity.
What are the most difficult
routes you have climbed?
The most difficult routes or boulders are not

always the most memorable, although you
do remember them! I find it’s often the experience you have on that day which is the
real memory – few can forget the first time
a fulmar chooses to share its stomach contents with you as you approach its coastal
cliff nest. I don’t climb particularly hard by
today’s standards, but I certainly remember
all the F8a routes I have led, and the Font 7c
boulder problems. However it’s the routes
where it has taken all of your mental and
physical strength to finish, which stay with
you the longest.
What are your top climbing tips especially for the hot summer months?
The climbing year is often split into seasons,
dictated by the weather which isn’t a bad
thing. This can help from a training perspective forcing you in to regular cycles of power
training and endurance. Here in Qatar when
the temperature gets really hot, you have little choice but to go inside. During the summer months I train on a finger board called
a “beastmaker,” which is basically a block of
wood, with pre-drilled pockets and edges of
various depths. During the winter, personally I spend time bouldering at Fuwairit and
Musfer, although the school I work at has a
brilliant 13m high wall.
What are the good climbing
spots in Qatar?
Social climbing at the weekend at Zeekreet
remains popular with the addition of a new
crag. However, this is only bottom roping (ie
the position of where the belayer stands),
and the rock is sandy and loose. At Musfer
Sink hole, routes have been added over the
last two years up to Font 7a+. The setting is
quite bizarre ( Since
October I have been developing the climbing at the beach at Fuwairit, where the rock
is cleaned by the sea. Although it doesn’t
offer much height, there are a number of
very good traverses, and one or two up
problems up to Font 7b. There are still many
unclimbed problems too ( There is little doubt that with over
1,000 members in the Doha Climbers FB
group there is certainly a lot of enthusiasm
for a national wall.
What do you think could be done to
improve this sport in the Middle East?
There is certainly a lot of enthusiasm for a
national wall. Getting more people involved
would mean building more commercial
walls. You only need to look at how successful these are commercially in Europe, North
America and South East Asia to recognise
the benefits in terms of lifestyle, health and




Get outdoors in the UAE
Hiking – A series of articles to help you start or progress your hiking in the UAE

Part 7

Words + Photos By: Sean James

Are you trying hard enough?
Following on from the discussion about fitness and hiking last
month, July will be about how hard you try when you are hiking or
participating in outdoor activities. Virtually all hiking in the UAE has
stopped now over the summer months and those who are
continuing are probably doing so for a particular reason or because
they have an objective in mind: pushing themselves to train for
longer or harder hikes abroad or because they are simply addicted
to the feeling of intense exercise.
So how do we make sure that we don’t
“overcook” the hiking or training and
burn out? In previous articles, we have

looked at tips that could be used to
enable survival in the outdoors such as
covering up, drinking enough water and

Pick a route that is exciting but suitable for the conditions

planning a suitable route. But when it
comes to the level of effort that we put
into our activity, is it enough to someone
who you see is struggling, “just take it
a bit easier” and what exactly does that
PE or perceived exertion in the athletic
community is a concept that can be used
across many aspects in both training,
racing and of course hiking. Many of us
now cannot train without technology or a
coach telling us at what speed we should
be going, for how long and at what pace.
Devices and straps attached to our bodies tell us how fast we are running, how
quickly our heart beats, which zone we
are in and how much power we are producing. When we get home and upload
the data, we know if we have had a good
session. But do we really want to enjoy
our beloved hiking in the wilderness with
all these accoutrements and make this
part of the hiking experience. After all,
one of the reasons we go hiking is for a
sense of freedom, risk and to declutter
our lives.
In the 1980s, Gunnar Borg, a Professor in Perception and Psychophysics at
Stockholm University suggested a scale
to estimate heart rate and therefore
effort. It is such a simple scale and one
that goes right back to basics. Of course
it is closely linked to the zones that you
would use with a heart rate monitor or
device that measures power but the
difference is that it relies on the decision
making and sensitivity of the human. I
frequently use a version when guiding
clients in the high mountains. It is a fact

The ability to judge your effort is essential in the mountains

that most people who suffer from altitude
sickness are young, fit males between 20
and 30. Why? Because they overestimate
their levels of fitness and approach even
a day hike at 4,000m in a similar fashion
as they do a sprint at maximum effort
on the stair trainer. At sea level, with a
good diet and healthy lifestyle they may
be able to squat massive weights and
run intervals up and down hills. At higher
altitudes with less oxygen available in
the air, things become more difficult. It is
frequently those who amble along, chatting, eating and taking a more relaxed
approach who have the most success in
the mountains.
So how does the scale work?
To start with, no technology is required.
It is subjective and scores will differ
between people. It is a linear scale and
starts with a value of six which has the
description “no feeling of exertion.” At
the top end is “very, very hard,” which

Overexertion can lead to problems

rates a 20. Moderate activities register
11 to 14 and have descriptions such as
“fairly light” to “somewhat hard.” You
can immediately see these values



Reading a book, watching TV

Very, very light


Tying shoes

Very light


Easy to breathe, feels like you can maintain for hours and
carry on a conversation. Tasks that take little effort.

Fairly light

11-12 Brisk walking or tasks that require moderate effort but don’t
make you out of breathe

Somewhat hard 13-14

Feels like you can exercise for hours. Breathing heavily but
can hold conversation



On the verge of becoming uncomfortable. Could be brisk
walking. Short of breathe. Can speak a sentence.

Very hard


Very difficult to maintain exercise intensity. Can barely
breathe and speak a single word.

Very, very hard


Max effort activity level. Feels almost possible to continue.
Completely out of breathe, unable to talk. This could be a
finishing sprint in a race.

connect directly to the zones that your
trainer is asking you to work at.
The image left shows the values and
also the feelings that you should experience within the scale. Alongside these is
the level of intensity of your exercise. Use
it so that when hiking you can monitor
your intensity and also that of your companions to make sure you’re working at a
pace that is challenging enough to help
you reach your goals, but not so hard that
you blow up mid-hike.
Once in a while ditch the technology.
Don’t think about how many kilometres
you’ve run, how fast or what zone you are
in. Pick a route and just hike. Judge your
efforts and make sure you are developing a feel for what is possible with what
you have and the level of fitness at the
point in time. Remember in these hot
summer months, you are likely to experience higher values on the PE scale for
routes that were much easier in the winter
months and had lower values.




Google Earth Screen shot of the route
You can download the GPS files here: www.

Fossil Rock is easily reached and can provide
both long (hard) and short (easier) efforts.

A hike for July
The months are super hot and humid
now. Daytime temperatures are constantly in the 40s. Care is needed whenever
exercising during the day. The mornings
are generally cooler than the evenings
and hiking is still possible. The morning
temperature on the outskirts of Dubai

is often in the low 20s if you wake at
02:30. Overnight temperatures in the
Hajar mountains for areas above 1,000m
still require a fire and sleeping bag. As
a result the hike for this month is much
shorter and definitely requires an early
morning or late evening start. It is best
to pick a day that is clearer as the views
of the sunset over Dubai are spectacular.
The route starts just off the E102, Sharjah

Quick Checklist Route planning
Start Point

25°10’2.88”N 55°50’28.88”E

Off road driving required

Yes. Park on the large gravel area
just off the highway.

Distance & Time from Mirdiff to Start

54km 35min

Navigation on hike

Very easy navigation.
Multiple options to extend.

Time required for hike

2hrs but can be extended



Elevation gain on hike


High Point


Grocery / water on hike


Possible to encounter a vehicle on trail


Suitable for all the family

This hike is very close to the road with spectacular views over the desert, Dubai and the
mountains. Depending on the route taken
to the high point there is a small amount of
exposure and small technical sections.




Kalba highway and is an introduction to
Fossil Rock. The route stays on the rocky
part and simply follows the ridgeline for a
short distance until dropping back down
to the edge of the desert. It is possible to
do a traverse of the first part on the sand
for a longer outing.
Directions to the start
Enter the start point coordinates into
your GPS device or follow the directions
from Google.
The author has
guided hikes, treks
and climbs all
other the world.
He gained his
qualifications from
the British Mountaineering Council,
a national representative body for
England and Wales that exists to
protect the freedoms and promote the
interests of climbers, hill walkers and
mountaineers. At present he lectures
in a college in the UAE. Before that
he worked for a private company that
trained the UAE military forces. He has
also appeared on TV programmes in
the UK and Brazil talking about outdoor activities.


Dive sites in the UAE and Oman

How to get there:
This site is around a 30-minute trip on the
speed boat from Al Boom, Al Aqah Dive
Centre, located at the Le Meridien Hotel.
The drive to Al Aqah from Dubai
normally takes 1.5-2 hours. Alternatively,
if you are not driving yourself to Fujairah,
you can also use the Al Boom bus transfers from Dubai. Meeting point is from the
dive centre in Al Wasl Rd. Other pick-up
points are available, please contact the
call centre for more info.
This is an amazing shallow site covered
with soft and hard corals, and plenty of
passages between the rocky outcrops
to explore. It is very close to Martini
Rock and Inchcape 2 along the shoreline
and slopes down to around 15m. The
swim-through (aka: Hole-in-the-Wall) is in
shallow water with a few entry and exit
points. The largest entrance is close to
2m wide, and the swim-through is close
to 10m long. You will find a large variety
of fish and lots of them, along with turtles,
rays, morays, and many more that call this
beautiful ecosystem home.
In summer, you can expect water temperatures of around 30°C, and in winter,
an average of around 20°C.


Fujairah, UAE


5-15 metres

Type of dive:

Rocky coral outcrops along the shoreline,
with a sandy passages and sandy bottom.


Open water divers and up, and especially
enjoyed by photographers.
*Please note: if you are planning on entering the
swim-through, please get sufficient over-head environment
training beforehand.

Divers can enter in many different ways,
and backward-roll and giant-stride are the
most common.
Visibility on average is around 10m, and
up to 20m on a good day. With all that
marine life be sure to take your camera.
Be aware of the usual suspects on
the East Coast, such as lionfish, urchins,
scorpionfish, and occasionally jellyfish!
Even though this is a great dive site for all
levels of certified divers, we highly recommend that you get overhead environment
training beforehand if you are planning on
entering the swim-through.
“This is a beautiful site full of marine life!
It is a great dive for young divers to see a

thriving underwater ecosystem, with lots
of juvenile species.” - Moh, Dubai, UAE
“On the right day with good vis, this is
one of the most interesting sites you
can dive on the East Coast!” - Andrew,
Bournemouth, UK
“Such a cool swim-through!” Ben, South
Carolina, USA
Al Boom Diving, Al Wasl Rd. Call Centre:
+971 4 342 2993 or abdiving@emirates.
Al Boom Diving, Al Aqah, Fujairah: +971
9 204 4925 or




What to consider
when competing
Words By: Trace Rogers, Coach and Founder of SuperTRI

I remember the days when
the triathlon season in the UAE
ended in April and resumed at
the beginning of November. In
between that, the odd swim,
bike or run happened but the
training season was definitely
over. This is no longer true.
Most of us now train throughout the year
in the hope of being so much better in the
new season. Even more of us view the end
of the local season as a reason to aim for a
race overseas. If you are planning on racing overseas this year, here are a few things
to consider.
Read the race briefing. This is the first
thing that you do. Races overseas may
differ in many ways. The race rules may be
different in that (unlike most races here)
they are draft – legal. If this is the case, TT
bikes will not be permitted on the course.
You need to ensure that you have the right
bike for the race.
The temperature might differ. You may
be able to get away with racing an entire
race wearing nothing but your tri suit in a
race out here however, races in other parts
of the world (despite it being summer) may
require that you layer up. Get the required

kit ahead of time and test it out.
Race day nutrition. Find out what nutrition is on offer and start practicing training
with this. Also, consider how temperature
changes would affect your nutritional
needs. Be prepared for this by taking additional or different nutrition to what you
use out here at this time of year.
Luggage allowance. Check the details
regarding all the airline carriers that you
will be using for your bike. Plan your travel
accordingly and arrive with your bike
alongside you.
It’s all about the bike. If you are planning
on having your bike serviced or professionally packed before the race, plan well
in advance. This way you can avoid any
last minute challenges; you can plan your
bike training around the service and make
adjustments to the bike if necessary.
Always check that everything that should
be in the bike box is packed. After having
her bike packed by a bike shop that will

remain unnamed, a client of mine arrived
at an overseas race to find that the front
wheel had been left in Dubai. True story.
This story would have had a catastrophic
ending had a kind soul not come to her
rescue and lent her a front wheel. Don’t let
this story repeat itself. Check and double
check. Also ensure that your wheels are
deflated for the flight.
Failing to plan is planning to fail. Take
the time to write out a checklist of everything that you will need for your race including the last days leading up to it. Pack
everything, using the checklist and then
get someone else (preferably a competitive triathlete) to double check both the
list (that everything that should be on it, is
on) and your packing (that everything that
should be packed is packed).
With all your training boxes ticked and
your travel needs addressed, all that will be
left to do is enjoy the adventure and the
challenge. Happy racing!

How to get rid of the plastic taste in hydration packs
Words By: Daniel Birkhofer

Most hydration pack
advertises that their packs are
tasteless and will not add any
flavour to the water if you use
them. I followed the instructions
with the hydration packs of several brands and washed them
before use, but with the same
result. The water always kept a
strange plastic taste.
My solution then was to use sweet
energy drinks to cover up the strange
taste. The downside, of course, is the sugary drink which is not ideal for hydration.



Not to mention the intense cleaning after
to get rid of all the sticky remains of the
drink in the pack. The other thing I was always questioning was how hygienic is the
pack after using it for some time, since
the inside is not easy to clean and usually
doesn’t dry out well. Both of my problems
found their solution when a friend (thanks,
Tom!) gave me the hint to add some
toothpaste in the pack fill it with water
over night and clean it with fresh water after. The whole trick worked well and I was
able to fill the bag with water and with
no bad after taste. Only a slight hint of
mint remained from the toothpaste for the
first fill. The other great advantage is that
toothpaste is antibacterial and therefore
great at preventing germs. If you are also
looking for a solution you will love it – it is
simple, cheap and it works.




How and what to catch in the Middle East #6

Picnic seabream
Words By: Kit Belen

The picnic seabream (Acanthopagrus berda) belongs to
the Sparidaey, or the seabream
family. Like most fish, the picnic
seabream has a few common
names, however, it is commonly
called is the yellowfin seabream,
a name that best describes the
bright yellow fins contrasting the
darkish body of this fish. Shaam
is its Arabic Name.

They grow up to good sizes
and are great table fare

Yellowfin seabream love softplastics

Leadhead jigs dressed with soft plastics
are my go to lures for yellowfin seabream

They are found in shallow temperate
and tropical waters and are bottomdwelling carnivores. Most species possess
grinding, molar-like teeth. Some of the
species, are over fished, however, the yellowfin seabream is marked as OK to fish
for according to
Where to find
The yellowfin seabream is a native of the
gulf and is probably one of the fish with
the widest distribution. It is commonly
found schooling in estuarine waters and
other sheltered areas such as docks and
jetties. It is a shallow water bottom-dwelling fish preferring structure and sandy
muddy bottoms.
How to catch
Although easy to find, you will discover
that they are often picky biters. As these
fish are often bait profiling, meaning, they
will only eat the bait or lure when it is the
same size of the fish or crustacean they are
foraging on in that particular day or week.
We do know for certain that they will not
bite big lures, which cut down on a lot of
guesswork. A few lures work on them, just

Estuaries that have a deep water drop
around it are prime areas for these fish

remember to cast your lure as close to
structure as possible.
Since the areas they inhibit are a challenge to bait fish in without snagging, a
lot of fishing for the yellowfin seabream
is done with lures and flies. If you find
yourself fishing for them with bait, the
standard up and down dropper rig works
well; use just enough weight to get your
baits down to the bottom. They will eat
pieces of shrimp, squid and if you can find
them, small crabs.
Small jigs dressed with soft plastic bodies of about three inches (7.5cm) work well
for them, the same size for any subsurface
lure works well. Poppers and stickbaits
work well in dawn, dusk and very cloudy
days. When this condition presents itself,
catching them on topwater lures makes for
some serious fun.

Small plugs also work well for them when they
are a bit more agressive, make sure to cast
close to structure and work your lures slowly

Small stickbaits and poppers are effective
early in the morning or towards dusk

Flies such as this crazy charlie work so well on
bream when they are feeding on crustaceans

Because of the small lures and weights
and because they don’t really run long
distances when hooked, you can effectively catch them with light tackle. A long
rod will help you cast a good distance
and longer rods have sensitive tips that
help you detect them as they peck on the
lure. Lines of up to 12lbs (6kg) paired with
a reel of a 2000 to 4000 size (Shimano
or Penn Sizing) round up the ideal tackle
for them. Staying within this range gives
you an efficient and sporting outfit that
will make the fishing more exciting and
Availability and conservation
A thing to note about any seabream is the
fact that they are slow growing fish; good
specimens such as those pictured in this
article are about 10 years old. This means
it is very easy to do some damage on the
stock if you take out the breeders (the big
ones!). The main challenge with this fish is
also the fact that they are good table fare. have listed this fish in
the green and that it’s OK to harvest them.
I personally return most of the big ones I
catch because I know how slow they grow.
Just keep in mind that detail when you
catch a few of them. Leave some for our
children to enjoy so we can take them fishing for these great fish when they are old
enough to fish with us.

Bottom fishing rigs with multiple
hooks are effective when used
with shrimps and strips of squid






Apps for the outdoors
Words By: Glaiza Seguia-Godinez

Some frown upon the idea of tinkering with
gadgets while exploring the outdoors. This is
understandable, because why bother going for
a backbreaking hike just to play Temple Run on
SAS Survival Guide
Compatibility: iPhone, iPad and
iPod touch (iOS 3.0 or later);
Android devices; BlackBerry
File size: 243 MB
Price: 20.99 AED in App Store;
22.00 AED in Google Play; 14.66
AED BlackBerry World
Hopefully, you won’t need to go
“Man vs Wild” when venturing
outside. But if the situation calls
for it, you might find this app
helpful with text, images and
videos on how to build a fire,
find water, navigate using the
stars and signals for rescue. Optimised for mobile use, it contains
the full text of the bestselling
book of the same title authored
by former Special Air Service
(SAS) member, instructor and
survival handbook writer John
“Lofty” Wiseman. It also has a
Morse code signaling device, sun
compass and extreme climate
survival. The free Lite version
covers the essentials and survival
scenarios, but not as comprehensive as the full version.

This month, instead of a featured knot, we
recommend a useful smartphone app for all
your knot needs...

What Knot to Do

Developer: Columbia Sportswear Co
Compatibility: iPhone, iPad and iPod
touch (iOS 4.2 or later)
File size: 19.6 MB
Price: Free
Knowing how to tie knots is useful in any situation,
especially in the outdoors. This app serves as a
pocket guide to 70 kinds of knots in six categories
like bindings, hitches and loop. It contains knot
description, its different uses and step-by-step
instructions with coloured illustration. It also has
an introduction to knots, labeled illustration of the
parts of a rope and glossary for a quick search. Easy
to use and free.



your phone at the summit? But digital revolution
has provided us with advantages that even the
hardcore outdoorsman won’t feel too bad whipping
out his phone when needed. We downloaded some
mobile apps we think might be useful to your
Developer: AccuWeather
Compatibility: iPhone, iPad
and iPod touch (iOS 7.0 or
later); Android devices; BlackBerry
File size: 29.9 MB
Price: Free
So what’s the weather today?
Well, now you don’t have to
guesstimate, because you can
easily swipe through the app
for minute-by-minute weather
forecasts, RealFeel® temperature, UV index, humidity,
wind speed and direction, and
localised alerts for worldwide
locations. There’s a daily forecast for the week, sunrise and
sunset timings, map of your
location. The interface is really
fuss-free and, more importantly, accurate.
We would love to hear your recommendations
or alternative smartphone apps for the outdoors.


Stay hydrated this summer
Interview By: Glaiza Seguia-Godinez

Don’t let the rising temperature
keep you from your summer shape-up
and adventures. But before you start
slabbing on the sunscreen and chasing
the sun, it is important to know how
to properly hydrate during these hot
Dehydration is one of the most common concerns when exercising in the
heat. Perspiration or sweating is your
body’s way of regulating temperature
whether from the heat or strenuous exertion. The more you sweat, the more body
fluids you lose, and the more you need to
replenish them by drinking. OutdoorUAE
consulted Dr Mirey Karavetian, PhD – a
clinical dietitian at Genesis Clinic and assistant professor at Zayed University – to
learn more about alternative hydrators
and on how to avoid dehydration.
Symptoms of dehydration
Feeling thirsty means you are already
mildly dehydrated
Dry skin
Low urine output
Dark urine (see figure below)
Urine Chart



How to prevent dehydration
• Drink, drink, drink plain water
• Stay in cool places and wear light clothing
• When under the sun, add two cups
of water to your usual needs
• Use ice cubes to suck on
• Diluted fruit juices
• Eat watery fruits, not more than
three per day

• Eat plenty of salads, they keep you
hydrated and give you healthy nutrients
Hydration when working out
• Start with drinking plain water (1-2 cups)
before your workout
• Keep on sipping on water during exercise
• After you are done, again drink 1-2 cups
of water
Daily hydration
The usual eight cups of water (a cup =
240ml; a regular mug) per day is needed.
But here is an individualised calculation:
Body weight
Fluid requirement
Young: 15–30 years
Average: 25–55 years
Older: 55–65 years
Elderly: >65 years
Sports drinks,
salt tablets and other alternatives
According to Dr Mirey, energy drinks have
too much sugar and caffeine. Both of
which cause even more dehydration. They
can boost your energy, but not replenish
your body fluid levels. Salt tablets would
increase water retention in your body.
Since we all eat salt more than we need,
there is no need for extra tablets. But salt
tablets are good in cases when water is
not available, so they would keep the little water consumed inside the body.
Compared to coconut
water, plain water is the best
for hydration. If you do not
like the taste of water, you can
add fruit pieces in your water
bottle. Any other fluid will
give you extra calories that
you do not need.
Ingredients and components
to look for in other
hydration options
Ideally, a sport drink should
be 6-8% sugar and the rest

electrolytes. Most sports drinks in the
market have higher concentrations of
sugar which not only give you more sugar
than you need but also dehydrate you
and cause fatigue. You can either heavily
dilute your sports drinks or chose water
with electrolyte tablets. The addition of
electrolytes decreases risk of dehydration
and boosts your energy.
The scenario is different when you
finish the workout; for this, the diluted
sports drink or plain water would not be
enough. Here comes
the role of the regular
sports drink which has
a high level of sugar to
resume your energy.
Drink that on top a
protein rich snack and
you would have the
best results.
hydration options
Dr Mirey mentioned
earlier that plain water
is superior to coconut
water for regular hydration purposes.
After a workout, to maintain your energy
level, coconut water has the perfect blend
of low sugar level yet rich electrolyte concentration. One bottle has around 90kcal,
22g of sugar and 0g of fat. Moreover,
recent studies on animals have noted the
positive effect of coconut water on
general health. Its consumption has
been associated with reduced blood
pressure and cholesterol.
Summer hydration tips
• Drink water whenever you can
• Before you start the meal, drink
two cups of water.
• It will make you full, prevent you
from overeating and keep you hydrated during the day.
• Avoid salty foods; they will make
you feel thirsty during the day.






Words By: Gordon Ingram

Over the last couple of issues we have looked at both the
assessment of a patient and
also how to deal with any minor
injuries which they may have
sustained. In this article, we
will look at an incident which is
always possible with any water
sport and that is the risk of
With regards to surfing, I think that it
is true that each and every surfer has a
comfort level. For some, it may be that
they feel most at home bobbing around
in a 3-4ft beach break, for others they may
feel confident being towed behind a ski
with 25-30ft bombs surrounding them.
Whichever category you fall into the main
points are exactly the same – confidence
and comfort. I can put my hand on my
heart (as I am sure most surfers can) and
say that there have been several times
when I have felt out of my comfort zone,
usually because I have been coaxed out
there by some UK charger telling me that
it will all be ok! Thankfully, this has always
been true otherwise I wouldn’t be here
writing this article!
However, there have been instances
where surfers have ventured into the sea,
to take on waves well within their “comfort
levels” and unfortunately not returned.
Mark Foo, Hawaiian big-wave surfer, used
to being in the ocean surrounded by massive walls of water. He sadly passed away
surfing 20–25ft waves near San Francisco,
for the majority of us the sight of waves
breaking at 20-25ft would have us reaching for the cameras rather than choosing
which board will do the job, but for Mark
this should have been a walk in the park.
Interviews with friends afterwards stated he
was tired, jet-lagged at not feeling 100%.
Again, how many of us have been drawn
into the sea when not feeling 100%?
It would be stating the obvious to say
that you are taking more risk when surfing
larger waves, but there is also a risk when
surfing smaller “normal’ size waves, in fact
the risk may be higher than we think as we
become complacent and push ourselves
further. All it takes is one lapse in concentration, a hit to the head, surfing a shallow
reef and hitting the bottom, surfing a busy
beach-break and being involved in a collision, the list goes on.
So, what can we do? I am not saying we
should all give up water sports and head



to the gym (there is probably more risks
involved by doing that). What I am saying
is that we should all be aware of what
could happen.
So what is drowning?
Drowning itself is quick and silent,
although it may be preceded by distress
which is more visible. A person drowning
is unable to shout or call for help, or seek
attention, as they cannot obtain enough
air. The instinctive drowning response is
the final set of autonomic reactions in the
20–60 seconds before sinking underwater,
and to the untrained eye can look similar
to calm safe behaviour. Lifeguards and
other persons trained in rescue learn to
recognise drowning people by watching
for these instinctive movements.
Drowning is most often quick and
unspectacular. Its media depictions as a
loud, violent struggle have much more in
common with distressed non-swimmers
who may well drown but have not yet begun. In particular, an asphyxiating person is
seldom able to call for help. The instinctive drowning response covers many signs
or behaviours associated with drowning or
• Head low in the water, mouth at waterlevel
• Head tilted back with mouth open
• Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
• Eyes open, with fear evident on the face
• Hyperventilating or gasping
• Trying to swim in a particular direction
but not making headway
• Trying to roll over on the back to float
• Uncontrollable movement of arms and
legs, rarely out of the water.
Seawater is hypertonic to blood (more
salty). Osmosis will instead pull water from
the bloodstream into the lungs, thickening the blood. In animal experiments, the
thicker blood requires more work from
the heart leading to cardiac arrest in 8-10

So what can we do if someone drowns
where we are in the water?
Rescue involves bringing the person’s
mouth and nose above the water surface. A drowning person may cling to
the rescuer and try to pull himself out of
the water, submerging the rescuer in the
process. Thus it is advised that the rescuer
approach with a buoyant object, or from
behind, twisting the person’s arm on the
back to restrict movement. If the rescuer
does get pushed under water, they should
dive downwards to escape the victim.
Special care has to be taken for people
with suspected spinal injuries, and a back
board (spinal board/surfboard) may be
needed for the rescue. In water, CPR
(cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is ineffective, and the goal should be to bring the
casualty to a stable ground quickly and
then to start CPR. Once on ground CPR is
performed if the patient is not breathing.
Even in hot countries, treatment for hypothermia may also be necessary.
As with any medical assistance, the level
of care which you can provide will depend
on the training you have received and
the equipment you have available. I urge
everyone who participates in water sports
to partake in lifeguarding or pre-hospital
care course as the life you have saved may
be that of a friend or relative.
I hope that none of you have to act on
this information but it is always better to
be prepared!
Stay safe,

Gordon Ingram is a paramedic
with experience and knowledge of
pre-hospital care in remote areas. He
has been involved in surfing for over
15 years, being sponsored by Rusty
in his younger years; he was Senior
Instructor at both Harlyn Surf School
and with Saltwater Training in the UK.



General Sports
Equipment Megastores

Adventure HQ, Dubai Times Square Center,
Sheikh Zayed Rd, toll free: 800-ADVENTURE,
+971 43466824; The Beach on JBR, Dubai:
+971 44304419; Dalma Mall, Abu Dhabi:
+971 24456995,
Decathlon, Dubai, Mirdif City Centre,
+971 42839392
Go Sport, The Dubai Mall: +971 43253595;
Abu Dhabi Mall: +971 26454595; Bawabat Al
Sharq Mall, Abu Dhabi: +971 25868240
InterSport, Dubai Times Square Centre:
+971 43418214 and Dubai Festival City:
+971 42066581,
Sun and Sand Sports, most shopping
centres, +971 43504444,

Adventure tours and desert safaris
Alpha Tours, Off #512, 5th Flr., Al Qwais
Bldg., Al Ittihad Road, Deira, Dubai,
+971 42949888,
Bike and Hike Oman, PO Box 833, Ruwi,
Postal Code 112, Oman, +968 24400873,
Dadabhai Travel, SR 1&2, GF, Gulf Towers,
Oud Metha Rd. Dubai, +971 43885566,
Desert Rangers, Dubai, +971 43572200,
Desert Road Tourism, Office 503, 5th Flr., Al
Khor Plaza, Dubai, +971 42959429,
Dreamdays, First Floor Rm. 107 Ibn Battuta
Gate (Offices) Sheikh Zayed Rd.,
+971 44329392,
Dream Explorer LLC, Shop no # 9, Plot #
312-504, Al Musalla Building , Mina Bazar,
Bur Dubai, +971 43544481,
Dubai Relax Travel, National Towers:
Churchill Tower Suite #614, Business Bay, Dubai,
+971 44221776,
Element Fitness, Dubai, +971 502771317,
Explorer Tours, Umm Ramool, Dubai,
+971 42861991,,
Gulf for Good, Dubai, +971 43680222,
Gulf Ventures, Dnata Travel Centre
+971 44045880,
MMI Travel, Mezzanine Floor, Dnata Travel
Centre, Shk Zayed Road, Dubai,
+971 43166579,
Net Group, Dubai and Abu Dhabi,
+971 26794656,
Oasis Palm Dubai, Dubai, +971 42628889,
Rahhalah, Dubai, +971 44472166,
Wild Guanabana, Dubai, +971 567954954,
Abu Dhabi Fishing, Camping, Kayaking,
& Adventure Club, +971504920860,


Ballooning Adventures Emirates, Dubai,
+971 42854949,
Dubai Paragliders,,
+971 552120155 or +971 552250193
Jazirah Aviation Club, Ras Al Khaimah,
+971 6139859,
Seawings, Dubai,
Sky Dive Dubai, Dubai, +971 501533222,

Boating & Sailing

Al Fajer Marine, Dubai, Al Quoz,
+971 43235181,
Al Jeer Marina, RAK border Musandam,
+971 72682333/+971 504873185,
Al Shaali Marine, Ajman, +971 67436443,
Alyousuf Industrial, LLC,
+971 43474111,,
Elite Pearl Charter, Saeed Tower 1 office
# 3102, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, UAE,
+971 43889666,
Gulf Craft, Ajman, +971 67406060,
Distributors and Dealers
Art Marine, Dubai, +971 43388955,
Azure Marine, Dubai, +971 43404343,
Luxury Sea Boats, Dubai, +971 505589319,
Macky Marine LLC, Dubai,
+971 505518317,
Nautilus Yachts, Sharjah, +971 65576818,
The Boat House, Dubai, Al Quoz,
+971 43405152,
UAE Boats 4 Sale, Dubai Marina,
+971 44471501,
Western Marine, Marina Yacht Club, Dubai,
+971 43039744
Ali Khalifah Moh Al Fuqaei, Deira, Dubai,
+971 42263220
Al Masaood Marine, Sheikh Zayed Road,
Dubai, +971 43468000,
Blue Waters Marine, Shop 11,
The Curve Bldg., Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai,
+971 43808616 / +971 553899995,,
Extreme Marine, Dubai, +971 43992995,
Japan Marine General Trading, Al Garhoud
Road, Liberty Building, Dubai,
+971 559299111, +971 42828255,,
Rineh Emirates Trading LLC, Dubai, Al Quoz,
+971 43391512,
Repairs and Maintenance
Extreme Marine, Dubai, Dubai Marina,
+971 43992995,
Rineh Emirates, Sheikha Sana Warehouse 1,
Al Quoz, +971 43391512,,
SNS Marine, JAFZA Techno Park, Jebel Ali,
Dubai, +971 501405058,,
The Boat House, Dubai, Al Quoz,
+971 43405152,
Cruise Operators
Al Bateen Marina, Abu Dhabi,
+971 26665491,

Al Marsa Travel & Tourism, Dibba,
Musandam, +968 26836550, +971 65441232
Bateaux Dubai, Dubai Creek opposite
the British Embassy, +971 43994994
Bristol Middle East, Dubai Marina,
+971 44309941,
Captain Tony’s, Yas Marina, Yas Island, Abu
Dhabi, +971 26507175,
Delma Industrial Supply and Marine
Services, Al Bateen Jetty, Abu Dhabi,
+971 26668153,
Eden Yachting, Dubai Marina,
+971 504586171,
Emirates Yachting, Dubai, +971 42826683
El Mundo, Dubai, +971 505517406,
Four Star Travel and Tourism, Dubai,
+971 42737779,
4 Yacht Arabia, Shop No. 5, Dubai Marina
Yacht Club, 800 92248,
Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa,
Al Aqah Beach, Fujairah,
+971 92449888,
Ghantoot Marina & Resort, Abu Dhabi,
+971 529933153,
Happy Days Sea Cruising LLC, Dubai,
+971 558961276, +971 503960202,
JPS Yachts and Charter, Room 225,
Emarat Atrium building, Sheikh Zayed Road,
Dubai, +971 43437734,
Khasab Divers, Oman, +971 567255889,
Khasab Musandam Travel & Tours,
PO Box 411, Khasab, Musandam,
+968 93350703,
Khour Shem Tourism, Oman,
+968 26731919,
LY Catamaran, Dubai, +971 505869746,
+971 566506683,
Marine Concept, Dubai, +971 559603030,
Nautica1992, Dubai, +971 504262415,
Noukhada Adventure Company, Villa 332/7,
Al Meena Street, Abu Dhabi, +971 26503600,
RAK Marine LLC, Ras Al Khaimah City Hilton
Marina, +971 504912696, +971 72066410
Sea Hunters Passenger Yachts & Boats
Rental, Dubai Marina, +971 42951011
Sheesa Beach, Dibba, Musandam,
+971 503336046,
Smoke Dragon Of London Yacht, Abu
Dhabi International Marine & Sports Club,
+971 507011958 / +971 504546617 
Summertime Marine Sports, Dubai,
+971 42573084
The Club, Abu Dhabi, +971 26731111,
The Yellow Boats LLC, Dubai Marina Walk
– opposite Spinneys, Intercontinental Hotel
Marina, +8008044,
Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports
Club, Abu Dhabi, Breakwater,
+971 26815566,
Abu Dhabi Marina, Abu Dhabi,
Tourist Club Area, +971 26440300
Al Jeer Marina, RAK Border, Musandam
+971 72682333 / +971 504873185
Al Mouj Marina, Muscat, Oman,
+968 24534554,
Dubai Creek Marina, Deira, Dubai,
+971 43801234,
Dubai International Marine Sports Club,
Dubai Marina, +971 43995777,
Dubai Marina Yacht Club, Dubai,
+971 43627900,
Dubai Maritime City Harbour Marina,
Dubai, +971 43455545
Dubai Offshore Sailing Club, Dubai,
+971 43941669,
Emirates Palace Marina, Abu Dhabi,
+971 43388955
Four Seasons Marina, Doha, Qatar,
+974 44948899,

Fujairah International Marine Club,
Fujairah, +971 92221166,
Intercontinental Abu Dhabi Marina, Al
Bateen, Intercontinental Hotel, Abu Dhabi,
+971 26666888,
Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa Marina,
Jebel Ali, Dubai, +971 48145555/5029,
Lusail Marina, Lusail City, Qatar,
+974 55843282,
Marina Bandar Al Rowdha, Muscat, Oman,
+968 24737286 (ext 215),
Pavilion Marina, Dubai,
Jumeirah Beach Hotel, +971 44068800
The Pearl–Qatar Marinas, Doha, Qatar,
+974 4965801,
Umm Al Quwaim Marine Sports Club,
Umm Al Quwaim, +971 67666644,
Dragon Boat Groups
Dubai Dawn Patrol Dragon Boating, Dubai
+971 508795645 (Michael),
Dubai Diggers, Jumeirah Beach Hotel,
pier next to 360, Dubai, +971 501547175
(Nick Hando),
UAE Dragon Boat Association,
+971 507634008,

Camping & Hiking

Equipment, +971 505548255,
Gulf Camping, Dubai, U.A.E,
Jack Wolfskin, Mirdif City Centre Dubai,
+971 42840228; Al Wahda Mall,
Abu Dhabi,
+971 24437802
Picnico General Trading, near Sharaf DG
Metro Station, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai,
+971 43951113
Tresspass, 2nd floor above ice rink,
The Dubai Mall, +971 43398801
Tour Operators
Arabia Outdoors, Dubai, +971 559556209,
Absolute Adventure, Dubai, +971 43459900,
Desert Road Tourism,
Al Khor Plaza – 503, Dubai, +971 42959428,
Libra, +971 559228362,
Mountain High Middle East, Dubai,
+971 43480214,
Sheesa Beach, Musandam, Dibba,
+971 50336046,


Mountain High Middle East, Dubai,
+971 43480214,



Muscat Diving & Adventure Centre,
Oman, +968 24543002,
Oman World Tourism, Oman,
+968 99431333,


Adventure HQ, Dubai Times Square
Center, Sheikh Zayed Rd, toll free:
Barracuda Fishing and Outdoor, Dubai,
Street 13A 1, Al Safa 1, +971 43466558,
Global Climbing Trading LLC,
Dubai Investment Park 1, Dubai,
+971 48829361,
Jack Wolfskin
Mirdif City Centre Dubai,
+971 42840228; Al Wahda Mall, Abu Dhabi
+971 24437802
Absolute Adventure, Dubai,
+971 43459900,
Adventure HQ, Dubai Times Square
Center, Sheikh Zayed Rd, toll free:
Al Shaheen Adventure, Abu Dhabi,
+971 26429995,
Arabia Outdoors, Dubai, +971 559556209,
Dorell Sports Management, Dubai World
Trade Centre, +971 43065061,
E-Sports UAE, Dubai, +971 42824540,
The Club, Abu Dhabi, +971 26731111,
UAE Climbing, +971 506456491,

Mountain Biking & Cycling

Bikers JLT, Unit H6, Cluster H,
Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai, UAE,
+971 526221888,
Cycle Sports, Shop No. 1, Al Waleed Bldg.,
Al Barsha 1, Dubai, +971 43415415,
Fun Ride Sports, 301, 3rd floor, Mushrif
Mall, Abu Dhabi, Rm. 4, Mezzanine floor,
C-13 Bldg., Khalifa City A, Abu Dhabi,,
Micah’s Bike Shop, Warehouse no.4
6th St. Al Quoz 3, Dubai, +971 43805228
Peak Performance, Mall of the Emirates,
Dubai Mall, Dubai,
+971 43413056 / +971 43308023
Probike, Dubai, Al Barsha 1,
+971 43255705,
Rage Shop, Dubai Mall, Mall of the
Emirates, Dubai Festival City,
+971 43369007,
Revolution Cycles, Shop G05, Apex
Atrium, Motor City, Dubai, +971 43697441,
Ride Bike Shop, Dubai Mall, Festival City,
Oasis Centre, Mirdif City Centre,
Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +971 43750231,
Sportz Unlimited, Sheikh Zayed Road &
Jebel Ali, Dubai, + 971 43388644
Tamreen Sports LLC, Khalifa Street,
Abu Dhabi, +971 26222525,
The Cycle Hub, Motor City, Dubai,
+971 505528872,
Trek Bicycle Store, Seih Al Salam,
Al Qudra Road, Dubai, +971 48327377,
Trikke uPT, Dubai, +971 45081202,
+971 556096757,
Wolfi’s Bike Shop, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed
Road, +971 43394453,
Absolute Adventure, Dubai,
+971 43459900, +971 506259165,,
Abu Dhabi Tri Club,
Cycle Safe Dubai, Dubai Autodrome
Dubai Roadsters,




Al Boom Marine, Abu Dhabi and Dubai,
+971 42894858,
Al Hamur Marine and Sports Equipment,
Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai,
+971 43444468
Al Masaood Marine, Sheikh Zayed Road,
+971 43468000, Dubai
Al Yousuf Motors, Sheikh Zayed Road,
Dubai, +971 43390621,
Blue Waters Marine, +971 42232189,
Gulf Marine Sports, Abu Dhabi,
+971 26710017,
Premiers for Equipment, Abu Dhabi,
Sh. Zayed 1st. Road, +971 26665226,
Scuba Dubai, Al Barsha, Al Khail Road,
Dubai, +97143414940,
Scuba 2000, Al Bidiya Beach, Fujairah,
+971 92388477,
Diving Centres
Al Boom Diving (equipment),
Dubai, Al Wasl Rd, +971 43422993,
Al Jeer Marina, RAK Border, Musandam,
+971 72682333,
Al Mahara Dive Center, near Muroor St
across from main bus terminal,
+971 26437377,,
Arabian Diver, Hilton Marine, Ras Al
Khaimah, +971 72226628, +971 502428128
Arabian Divers and Sportfishing
Charters, Al Bateen Marina Resort,
Abu Dhabi, +971 506146931,
Coastal Technical Divers,,
Deep Blue Sea Diving, International City,
Dubai, +971 44308246,
Desert Islands, Sir Bani YAs Island,
Abu Dhabi, UAE, +971 28015400,
Divers Down, Fujairah, Rotana Al Aqah
Hotel Resort & Spa, +971 92370299,
Emirates Divers Centre, Abu Dhabi,
near Meena Fish Market, +97126432444,
Euro-Divers Oman, Muscat, Oman,
+968 95035815,
Extra Divers Ziggy Bay, Oman,
Musandam, +968 26735555,
Freediving UAE, Dubai, Abu Dhabi,
Freestyle Divers, Dubai, Al Wasl & Dibba,
Royal Beach Hotel, +971 43944275,
Fujairah Rotana Resort
& Spa - Al Aqah Beach,
Al Aqah Beach, Fujairah,
+971 92449888,
Global Scuba Dive Center, Civil Aviation
Club, Oman, +968 99317518,
Khasab Divers, Oman,
Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort,
Dibba Road, Fujairah, +971 92449000,
Moonlight Dive Center,
Madinat Qaboos, Oman,
+968 99317700,
Muscat Diving & Adventure Centre,
Oman, +971 503289642,
Neptune Diving, +971 504347902,
Nomad Ocean Adventures,,
+971 508853238, Dibba, Oman
Oman Dive Center, Muscat, Oman,
+968 24284240,
Pavilion Dive Centre (equipment), Dubai,
+971 44068828
Scuba Oman, Oman, +968 99558488,
Scuba 2000, Al Bidiya Beach, Fujairah,


+971 92388477,
Scuba, +971 502053922,
7 Seas Diving Center, Khorfakkan,
+971 92387400,
Sharjah Wanderers Dive Club, Sharjah,
+971 50784 0830,
Sheesa Beach, Dibba, Musandam,
+971 503336046,
Sky &Sea Adventures, Dubai, Hilton,
Jumeirah Beach Road, +971 43999005,
The Dive Shop, 34G, European Center,
Green Community, Dubai, UAE,
+971 48135474,
Atlantis Underwater Photography Club,
Dubai, +971 44263000
Desert Sports Diving Club, Dubai,
Emirates Diving Association, Diving
Village, Al Shindagha, Dubai,
+971 43939390,
Filipino SCUBA Divers Club (FSDC),
Dubai, UAE, +971 566952421,
Freediving UAE, Dubai, Abu Dhabi,
Sharjah Wanderers Dive Club, Sharjah,
+971 507840830,

Fishing & Kayaking

Al Boom Marine, Abu Dhabi & Dubai,
+971 42894858,
Al Hamur Marine and Sports Equipment,
Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai,
+971 43444468
Al Kashat, Shop No. 14, Souq Waqif,
Doha, Qatar, +974 44175950,
Al Masaood Marine, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed
Road, +971 43468000,
Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed
Rd, +971 43390621,
Arabian Divers and Sportfishing
Charters, Al Bateen Marina Resort,
Abu Dhabi, +971 506146931,
Barracuda Fishing and Outdoor, Dubai,
Street 13A 1, Al Safa 1, +971 43466558,
Blue Waters Marine, Shop 11,
The Curve Bldg., Sheikh Zayed Road,
Dubai, +971 43808616 / +971 553899995,
Challenging Adventure, Wadi Al Bih Ras Al Khaimah, +971 561060798,
Global Climbing Trading LLC,
Dubai Investment Park 1, Dubai,
+971 48829361,
Ocean Active, Dubai, Garden Centre,
+971 502898713,

New rates for 2014
Single visit 80 aed
10 visit pass: 500
Summer Sizzler 1 May to 30 Sept
(5 months) 1,500
Courses starting in May for
beginners and intermediate
04 88 29 361

Absolute Adventure, Dubai,
+971 43459900,
Al Boom Diving, Le Meridien Al Aqah
Beach Resort, Fujairah, +971 43422993
Al Hamra Marina and Yacht Club, Al
Hamra, Ras Al Khaimah, +971 72434540,
Al Mahara Dive Center,
Downtown Abu Dhabi, +971 501118125,
Al Shaheen Adventure, Abu Dhabi,
+971 26429995,
Al Wasl Charter & Fishing (Al Wasl
Passenger Yachts and Boats Rental LLC),
Airport Road, Al Owais Building, Dubai,
+971 42394761,
Arabian Divers and Sportfishing
Charters, Al Bateen Marina Resort,
+971 506146931,
Arabia Outdoors, Dubai, +971 559556209,
Barracuda Diving Centre, Fujairah
International Marine Club, +971 9222558
Belevari Marine, Abu Dhabi,
+971 26594144
Captain Tony’s, Yas Marina, Yas Island,
Abu Dhabi, +971 26507175,
Fun Beach Water Sports, Dubai,
+971 53244550,
Happy Days Sea Cruising LLC, Dubai,
+971 558961276, +971 503960202,
Hiltonia Beach Club, Hilton Abu Dhabi
Hotel, Abu Dhabi, +971 26811900
Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort,
Dibba Road, Fujairah, +971 92449000,
Nautica 1992, Dubai, +971 504262415,
Noukhada Adventure Company,
Villa 332/7, Al Meena Street, Abu Dhabi,
+971 26503600,
Ocean Active, Dubai, Garden Centre,
+971 502898713,
Sheesa Beach, Dibba, Musandam,
+971 503336046,
Soolyman Sports Fishing, Dubai,
Umm Suqeim, +971 508866227,
Summertime Marine Sports, Dubai,
+971 42573084,
Xclusive Yachts, Dubai, Dubai Marina,
+971 44327233,
Abu Dhabi Camping, Fishing & Kayaking
Dubai Surfski & Kayak Club, Kitesurfers’
Beach, Umm Suqeim 1, Dubai,
+971 554986280,

General Sports Equipment

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

Al Yousuf Motors, Sheikh Zayed Road,
Dubai, +971 43390621,
800 Sport, Al Quoz, Dubai
+971 43467751,
Flip Flop Arabia,,
Global Climbing Trading LLC,
Dubai Investment Park 1, Dubai
+971 48829361,
Goal Zero, +971 509128353,
Jack Wolfskin Mirdif City Centre Dubai,
+971 42840228; Al Wahda Mall Abu Dhabi,
+971 44437802
Ocean Sports FZE, +971 559352735,
Sakeen General Trading, +971 47094224,
Sport in Life Distribution, Nad Al Hammar
Rd., Ras Al Khor, Dubai, UAE,
+971 42896001, +971 42896002,,
Tresspass, The Dubai Mall
2nd floor above ice rink, +971 43398801

Horse Riding

Al Asifa Horse Equestrian
& Requisites Trading, Al Khawaneej 1,
Dubai, +971 554733110,
Black Horse LLC, Abu Dhabi,
+971 26422237,
Bonjour Equestrian Supplies,
Nad Al Hammar Rd., Ras Al Kho, Dubai,
UAE, +971 42896001, +971 42896002,,
Cavalos Equine Care and Supplies,
16th Street, Al Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi,
+917 22222433,
Emirta Horse Requirement Centre,
Sheik Zayed Rd, Dubai, +971 43437475,
Horse & Carriage Equestrian
Equipment LLC, Dubai, +971 42895069,
Mirzan Equestrian Equipment, Dubai,
+971 44472808,
Equestrian Clubs/Centres
Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Al Mushrif,
Abu Dhabi, +971 24455500,
Al Ahli Riding School, Al Amman Street,
Dubai-Sharjah Rd., +971 42988408,
Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Abu
Dhabi, +971 25568555,
Al Jiyad Stables, Behind Dubai International
Endurance City, Dubai, +971 505995866,,
Al Sahra Desert Resort Equestrian Centre,
Dubai, +971 44274055,
Desert Equestrian Club, Mirdif, Dubai,
+971 503099770 / +971 501978888
Desert Palm Riding School, Near Al Awir
Road (going to Hatta-Oman),
Dubai, +971 43238010,
Dubai Polo Academy, Dubai,
+971 508879847,
Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Dubai,
Arabian Ranches, +971 43618111,
Emirates Equestrian Centre, Dubai,
+971 505587656,
Ghantoot Polo & Racing Club, Exit 399,
Abu Dhabi/ Dubai Highway, Abu Dhabi,
+971 25629050,
Golden Stables Equestrian Club, Al
Khawaneej, Dubai, (Nouri) +971 555528182,
HoofbeatZ, located just inside the Dubai
Polo & Equestrian Club, Dubai,
+971 501810401,
Mushrif Equestrian and Polo Club, Mushrif
Park, Al Khawaneej Road, Dubai,
+971 42571256,
Qudraland Community,,
Rahal Ranch, Al Wathba Racing Area,
Abu Dhabi, +971 566127914,
Riding for the Disabled, Dubai,,,
Sharjah Equestrian & Racing Club,

Sharjah, Al Dhaid Road,
+971 65311188,
Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Al Mushrif,
Abu Dhabi, +971 24455500,
Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club, Exit 399,
Abu Dhabi/ Dubai Highway, Abu Dhabi,
+971 25629050,
Jebel Ali Racecourse, off the main Abu
Dhabi - Dubai Highway (Sheikh Zayed road)
beside the Emirates Golf Club, Dubai,
+971 43474914
Meydan Grandstand and Racecourse, Al
Meydan Road, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai,
+971 43270000,
Sharjah Racecourse, Al Dhaid Road,
Sharjah, +971 65311155,
Equine Hospitals/Clinics
Central Veterinary Research Laboratory,
next to Dubai Equestrian Hospital, Zabeel 2,
Dubai, +971 43375165,
Dubai Equine Hospital, behind World Trade
Center, Zabeel 2, Dubai, +971 43178888,
Gulf Vetcare, Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi,
+971 508617590,
Sharjah Equine Hospital, Bridge No. 6,
Al Dhaid Road, Sharjah,
+971 65311881,

Jet Ski

Al Masaood Marine, Dubai,
Sheikh Zayed Road, +971 43468000,
Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd,
+971 43390621,
Japan Marine General Trading,
Al Garhoud Road, Liberty Building, Dubai,
+971 559299111 / +971 42828255,,
Liberty Kawasaki, Dubai, Interchange 4,
Sheikh Zayed Road, +971 43419341,
Fun Beach Water Sports, Dubai,
+971 53244550,
Regal Promotions, Level 14,Boulevard
Plaza Tower 1, Sheikh Mohammed Bin
Rashid Boulevard. Downtown Dubai,
PO Box 334036 Dubai, UAE,
+971 44558570,
The Cove Rotana Resort, Ras Al Khaimah,
+971 7206000,
Xventures, Dubai, +971 555404500,

& ATV’s

Al Badayer Rental (Rental),
Dubai-Hatta Road, +971 507842020,
Al Shaali Moto, Ras Al Khor,
+971 43200009,
Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd,
+971 43390621,
Golden Desert Motorcycles
Rental (Rental), Dubai-Hatta Road, Dubai,
+971 551532550,
KTM, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, exit 42,
+971 4323151,
Liberty Kawasaki, Dubai, Interchange 4,
Sheikh Zayed Road, +971 43419341,
Polaris UAE (atv’s), Ras Al Khor, Nad al
Hamar Road, Al Ghandi Complex, Dubai,
+971 42896100, M4, Sector 13,
10th Street, Mussafah Industrial, Abu Dhabi,
+971 25555144,
Sebsports, Al Quoz Industrial Area 1
Dubai, +971 43393399,
Wild X Adventure Shop, Dubai,
+971 48321050, www.
Desert Road Tourism, Al Khor Plaza – 503,
Dubai, +971 42959429,
Sandstorm Motorcycles (Rental),
Al Quoz, Dubai, +971 43470270,
Sebsports, Dubai, Al Quoz Industrial Area 3,
+971 43393399,
2XWheeler, Motorcity Dubai,
+971 44548388,
Wild X, Dubai, Um Al Ramoul Industrial


Area, +971 42852200, www.


Distributors and Dealers
Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd,
Ducati, Mussafah 4, Street 10, Abu Dhabi,
+971 25535771,,
Duseja Motorcycles, Dubai, Al Quoz,
+971 43476712,
Harley-Davidson, Mussafah 4, Street 10,
Abu Dhabi, +971 25540667,,
Liberty Kawasaki, Dubai, Interchange4,
Sheikh Zayed Road, +971 42822144,
Polaris UAE, Al Ghandi Complex,
Nad al Hamar Road, Ras Al Khor,
+971 42896100,
Tristar Motorcycles, +971 43330659,
Workshops and Services
Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Abu
Dhabi, +971 25568555,
Dubai Autodrome, Dubai, +971 43678700
Emirates Motorplex, Umm Al Quwain,
+971 67681717
2xWheeler Adventures, Dubai,
+971 44548388,
Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi,


Bling My Truck,
+971 503634839 / +971 505548255,,
4x4 Motors LLC, Shk. Zayed Rd, Dubai,
+971 43384866,
Liberty Automobiles, Dubai, 800 5423789,
Repairs and Services
Icon Auto Garage, Dubai, +971 43382744,
Off Road Zone, Dubai, Al Quoz,
+971 43392449,
Saluki Motorsport, Dubai, +971 43476939
Advanced Expedition Vehicles,
Dubai & Abu Dhabi, +971 43307152,
Al Yousuf Motors, Sheikh Zayed Road,
Dubai, +971 43390621,
Bling My Truck, +971 503634839 /
+971 505548255,,
Heartland UAE, Al Mafraq Industrial,
Abu Dhabi, +971 567231967,
Icon Auto Garage, Dubai, +971 43382744,
Wild X Adventure Shop, Dubai-Hatta Road,
Dubai, +971 48321050,
Yellow Hat, Nad Al Hamar, and Times
Square Center, Dubai, +971 42898060,
Tour Operators
Arabian Adventures, Dubai & Abu Dhabi,
+971 43034888,
Desert Road Tourism, Al Khor Plaza – 503,
Dubai, +971 42959429,
Oasis Palm Dubai, Dubai, +971 42628889,
Abu Dhabi Off- Road Club,
ALMOST 4x4 Off-Road Club,
+971 507665522,
Dubai Offroaders,
JEEP Wrangler JK Fun Club,,
ME 4X4,


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

Stand up Paddling, Kite & Surfing,
Al Boom Marine, Abu Dhabi & Dubai,
+971 42894858,
Al Masaood Marine, Dubai,
Sheikh Zayed Road, +971 43468000,
Ikönic Brands, Suite 509 Düsseldorf
Business Point Al Barsha Dubai, UAE
+971 506874178,
Kitesurf Dubai, Kitesurf Beach,
Umm Suqueim and Jumeirah 3
+971 505586190,
Pearl Water Crafts,
Dubai Marina Yacht Club, +971 553749398,
+971 43941653
Jumeirah Beach Road
Opposite Sunset Mall, Dubai
Surf Dubai, Dubai, Umm Suqeim,
+971 505043020,
Surf Shop Arabia, Building 1,
Al Manara Road (East), Interchange 3,
Dubai, +971 43791998,
UAE Kite Surfing, +971 505626383,
Kitepeople Kite & Surf Store,
International City, Dubai,
+971 504559098,
Ocean Sports FZE, +971 559352735,
Al Forsan International Sports Resort,
Abu Dhabi, +971 25568555,
Dubai Kite Surf School, Dubai,
Umm Suqeim Beach, +971 504965107,
Duco Maritime, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah
and Abu Dhabi, +971 508703427,
Dukite, Kitesurf Beach, Umm Suqeim,
Dubai,+971 507586992,
Kite Fly, Dubai, +971 502547440,, Abu Dhabi, +971 508133134,
Kitepro Abu Dhabi, Yas Island
and Al Dabbayyah, Abu Dhabi,
+971 505441494,
Nautica1992, Dubai, +971 504262415,



Shamal Kite Surfing, Umm Suqueim Dubai,
+971 507689226,,
Sky & Sea Adventures, Dubai, Hilton,
Jumeirah Beach Road, +971 43999005,
Surf School UAE, Umm Suqeim Beach
and Building 1, Al Manara Road (East),
Interchange 3, Dubai,+971 556010997,
Watercooled, Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa,
Dubai, +971 48876771,
Water Cooled, Watercooled Sports Services
LLC, Hilton Beach Club, Abu Dhabi, UAE,
+971 26395997,
Abu Dhabi Stand Up Paddle,,

Adventure tours
and desert safaris

Dolphin Qasab Tours, PO Box: 123, P.C.
811, Khasab City, Musandam, Oman,
+968 26730813,
Go Dive Oman, Capital Area Yacht Club
(CAYC), Sidab Muscat, +968 99289200,
Nomad Tours, PO Box: 583, Postal Code
100, Muscat, Oman, +968 95495240,
Oman Trekking Guides, PO Box: 917,
NIZWA, Oman, +968 95741441,


Al Marsa Musandam, PO Box: 44, Dibba,

Adventure tours
and desert safaris

Al Mulla Travels, PO Box: 4147, Doha, Qatar,
+974 44413488,
Alpha Tours, PO Box: 13530, Doha, Qatar,
+974 4837815,
Al QAYED Travel & Tours, Al Qayed Holding
Bldg., D-Ring Road, PO Box: 158, Doha,
Qatar, +974 44072244,
Arabian Adventures, Al Asmakh Street,
PO Box: 4476, Doha, Qatar, +974 44361461,
Black Pearls Tourism Services,
PO Box: 45677, Doha, Qatar
East Marine, West Bay, Doha, Qatar,
+974 55200078
E2E Qatar Travel and Tours,
PO Box: 23563, Doha, Qatar,
+974 44502521,
Falcon Travels, PO Box: 22031, Doha,
Qatar, +974 44354777,
Gulf Adventures, 29, Aspire Zone Street Aspire Zone Al Rayyan City, PO Box: 18180
Qatar, +974 44221888,
Net Tours Qatar, PO Box: 23080, Doha,
Qatar, +974 4310902,
Regency Travel & Tours, Suhaim Bin
Hamad Street, Doha, Qatar, +974 4434
Qatar Adventure, Al Matar Street, PO Box:
13915, Doha, Qatar, +974 55694561,
Qatar Desert Gate, Doha, PO Box: 18496
Ad Dawha, Qatar, +974 55594016,
Qatar Inbound Tours, Commercial Street,
Al Muaither, Al Rayyan, PO Box: 21153, +974
Qatar International Tours, PO Box: 55733

Blokart Sailing, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai,
+971 556101841,
Children’s City, Creek Park Gate No.1,
Dubai, +971 43340808,
Dolphin Bay Atlantis, Dubai,
+971 44260000,
Dubai Dolphinarium Dubai, Creek Park
Gate No. 1, +971 43369773,
iFly Dubai, Dubai, Mirdif City Centre,
+971 42316292,
Sadiyaat Beach Club, Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat
Island, +971 25578000,
Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club, Sharjah,
+971 43999005,
SkiDubai, Dubai, Mall of The Emirates,
+971 44094000,
Spacewalk Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi,
+971 24463653,

Health, Safety & Training

Sultanate of Oman, +968 26836550,
Al Sawadi Beach Resort, PO Box: 747,
Barka - Al Sawadi, Oman, +968 26795545,
Diving UAE & Oman,
Euro Divers CAYC Oman, Marina Bandar Al
Rhowda, PO Box: 940, Muscat, Oman, +968
Extra Divers Musandam, PO Box: 498,
PC 811 Khasab, Musandam, Oman,
+968 99877957,
Global Scuba LLC, +968 24692346,
Moon Light Dive Center, P.O. Box: 65,
Madinat Qaboos, Muscat Oman,
+968 99317700,
Oman Dive Center Resort, PO Box: 199,
Medinat Sultan Qaboos, Oman,
+968 24824240,
Omanta Scuba Diving Academy, Al Kharjiya

Street, Al Shati Area, Muscat, Oman, +968
Oxygen Diving and Adventures, PO Box:
1363 PC130 Alazaiba, Muscat, Oman,
Seaoman, PO Box: 2394, RUWI PC 112,
Oman, +968 24181400,
Sub Aqua Dive Center, Hilton Salalah
Resort, PO Box: 699, Salalah 211, Oman,
+968 99894031,

Camping & Hiking

Doha, Qatar, +974 44551141,
Qatar Ventures, Barwa Village Bulding No. 12,
Shop No. 33, Doha, Qatar, +974 55776679,
Doha Sailing Club, Doha Sailing Club,
PO Box: 4398 (9995), Doha, Qatar,
+974 44439840,

+974 44435626
Doha Sub Aqua Club, Doha Sub-Aqua
Club, PO Box: 5048, Doha, Qatar,
+974 66304061,
Extreme Adventure, PO Box: 33002, Shop
3, 4 Ahmed Bin Ali Street (Bin Omran), Doha,
Qatar, +974 44877884,
GoSport, City Centre Mall, 3rd Floor, Qatar:
+974 44631644; Villagio Mall, Qatar:
+974 44517574,
Pearl Divers, PO Box: 2489, Doha, Qatar,
+974 44449553,
Poseidon Dive Center, Ras Abu Abboud
Street, Al Emadi Suites, Showroom #2,
PO Box: 11538, Doha, Qatar,
+974 66084040,
Qatar Scuba Center, 187 Al Mansoura
Street, Al Mansoura Area, Doha, Qatar,
+974 66662277,
Q Dive, Souq Al Najada cnr of Grand Hamad
and Ali bin Abdulla Str.; Al-Odeid Aisle
numbers 129-132, +974 55319507,
World Marine Centre, PO Box: 6944,
Doha, Qatar, +974 44360989,
Dive Centres
Al Fardan Marine Services, Najma Street
(near Al Fardan Exchange), Doha, Qatar,
+97444435626 Pearl Divers, Al Mirqab Al
Jadeed Street, Doha, Qatar,
+974 4444 9553,
Poseidon Dive Center, Ras Abu Abboud
Street, Al Emadi Suites, Showroom #2,
PO Box: 11538, Doha, Qatar,
+974 66084040,
Qatar Divers, Marriott Hotel Marina Near
Old Airport, Ras Abu Aboud Area, Doha,
Qatar, +974 44313331,
Qatar Marine, Go Sport City Center
West Bay, PO Box: 16657, Doha,
+974 553199507,
Qatar Scuba Centre, 187 Al Mansoura
Street, Al Mansoura Area, Doha, Qatar,
+974 66662277 / +974 44422234,

Water Parks

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

Other leisure activities

Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Abu Dhabi,
+ 971 25588990,
Al Tamimi Stables, Sharjah,
+971 67431122 \ +971 44370505,

General Sports
Equipment Megastores

Galaxy Sport, City Centre Mall, 3rd Floor,
Qatar: +974 44822194; Villagio Mall, Qatar:
+974 44569143; Ezdan Mall, Qatar: +974
GoSport, City Centre Mall, 3rd Floor, Qatar:
+974 44631644; Villagio Mall, Qatar:
+974 44517574
Sun & Sand Sports, City Centre Mall, Qatar:
+974 44837007; Dar Al Salam Mall, Qatar:
+974 44932973,

Boating & Sailing

Regatta Sailing Academy, Al Isteqlal Road,
West Bay Lagoon, PO Box: 18104, Doha,
Qatar, +974 55507846,
Distributors and Dealers
Speed Marine, Speed Marine, Museum Road,
PO Box: 9145 Doha, Qatar, +974 44410109,

Horse Riding

Equestrian Clubs/Centres
Al Shaqab, PO Box: 90055, Doha, Qatar,
+974 44546320,
Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club, Racing and
Equestrian Club, PO Box: 7559, Doha, Qatar,
+974 44197664,


Al Fardan Marine Services, Najma Street
(near Al Fardan Exchange), Doha, Qatar,

Add your free listing to the



Stand Up Paddeling, Kite
& Surfing, Wakeboarding

Equipment, Operators
Kiteboarding Oman, Sawadi Beach,
PO Box: 133, PC 118, Muscat, Oman,
+968 96323524,
Oman’s Kite Center, +968 94006007,

Safety Lessons
Marine Concept Yacht Charter
& Sea School, Rania Business Centre,
Dubai, +971 559603030,
Safety & Leisure Training Middle East,
Dusseldorf Business Point, Al Barsha 1,
Dubai, +971 44502418,
Sport and Health Centres
Bespoke Wellness, Dubai,
+971 553724670,
Original Fitness Co., C6 Tower Al Bateen
Bainunah St, Abu Dhabi, +971 2406 9404,
Orthosports, 5B Street, Jumeira Beach
road, Dubai, +971 4355060,
The Physio Center, Suite 405, Building 49,
Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai,
+971 44370570,

Tour Operators
Safari Desert Camp,
PO Box: 117, Postal Code 421,
Bediyah, Ghabbi, Oman,
+968 99310108,

Fishing & Kayaking

Az’Zaha Tours, +968 99013424,
Water World Marine Oman,
PO Box: 76, Muscat, 113, Sultanate 
of Oman, +968 24737438,

Boating & Sailing

Saphire Marine, PO Box: 11, Post Code 118,
Muscat, Oman, +968 99877243,

Qdive Marine Center, PO Box: 16657,
Doha, Qatar, +974 44375065,
World Marine Centre, Old Salata Street,
near the Qatar National Museum, Doha,
Qatar, +974 55508177

Fishing & Kayaking

Al Mamzoore Marine Equipment,
PO Box: 6449,Old Salata, Doha, Qatar,
+974 44444238,
Fish World, PO Box: 1975, Doha, Qatar,
+974 44340754

& ATV’s

Qatar Adventures, Barwa Village, Building
# 9 Shop # 11, Doha, Qatar, +974 77700074

Fishing & Kayaking

Spearfishing Shops
Al Kashat, Fishing and Hunting
Equipment, Souq Waqif,
next to the Falcon Souq, +974 66724828
Extreme Adventure, Shop 3,4 Ahmed Bin
Ali Steet, Doha, +974 44877884,
State of Qatar (QatarSub), Souq Waqif,
next to the Falcon Souq, +974 4431234,

Stand Up Paddeling, Kite &
Surfing, Wakeboarding

Equipment, Operators
Fly-N-Ride, Al Muthaf Street, Doha, Qatar,
+974 4498 2284,
Flo Kite School, Westbay, Doha,
+974 55041039,
Kitesurfing Qatar, +97430179108,
QSUP, Qanat Quartier, Costa Malaz,
The Pearl-Qc, Doha, Qatar, +974 66602830,


Drivers can see runners who wear proper
visibility gear from 6x the distance than
those runners who don’t.

Visibility Essentials
Reflective Series

3M 360-degree retro-reflective materials for
the ultimate hi-viz experience

LED Collections

Fire & Ice Technology

Embed active LED technology in to running essentials
so you don’t have to rely on car headlights to light you up

Nathan Middle East


Double-wall insulated / hi-viz bottles and
handheld flasks allow you to glow with the flow


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