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Sailing Arabia the Tour 2014

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Issue 39, March 2014



On the cover: Sailing Arabia the Tour Photo by: Oman Sail Managing Editor Daniel Birkhofer Editors Glaiza Seguia, Tara Atkinson Designer Oybek Daniyarov 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 Distributor Tawzea, Abu Dhabi Media Company P.O. Box 40401, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. Printed at Dubai Printing Press P.O. Box: 6820, Dubai, UAE Tel: 04-3370344 2014 Outdoor UAE FZE Issue 39 March 2014

Time sure flies fast. Another year has passed and comes in a new one. Winter is over and spring is here. After more than a month of slacking off and buffet eating, its time to get back on track and cut down those gained pounds. Warm weather is just around the corner and for outdoor enthusiasts like our readers, it is always the right season and reason to go out. Getting inspired is the first step to doing anything. Going on an adventure is not always easy, especially for us expats who have full-time day jobs. So doing something in between like picking up a good book or a magazine like OutdoorUAE or even researching travel reviews online are always helpful. Then after the inspiration, comes the action! Time to grab your favourite gear, outfit yourself, hit the open trail, be happy and get even more inspired. After OutdoorUAE participated in different exhibits and local outdoor community events, we received numerous questions and requests from people on how to contribute or how to get a copy in their locations as far as RAK, Fujairah and even outside the UAE like Qatar. Being in this company for some time now, witnessing the many changes that came along, I can say things are only getting better! As they say: In life, the first act is always exciting. The second act that is where the depth comes in.



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Linda Turcerova Sales and Marketing Oybek Daniyarov Graphics & Programming

Daniel Birkhofer Founder and Editor in Chief

Jane Mesina Administration

Get to us on Facebook!

Glaiza Seguia Editor

Tara Atkinson Travel Editor

The information contained is for general use only. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this magazine has been obtained from reliable sources, however the publisher is not responsible for any errors. All information in this magazine is provided as is, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information. In no event will the publisher, its related affiliates or anyone else be responsible for any decision made or action taken in reliance on the information in this magazine. All contents are under copyrights and may not be reproduced in any kind without written permission. 2014 Outdoor UAE FZE Reg. at Creative City Fujairah P.O. Box 4422, Fujairah, U.A.E.


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Gordon T Smith Desert Diver and wannabe Marine Biologist

Kit Belen Our fishing pro

Pete Aldwinckle Climber and all-round adventure seeker

Mike Nott The 4x4 expert

John Basson Moto/ATV and all round adventure seeker

Tori Leckie Writer, runner, blogger and adventurer.


Sandy Joy Rubin Pilates and yoga expert and general thrill seeking move-aholic

Darryl MacDonald Photographer, journalist, climbing and hiking junkie currently living in Oman.

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



















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 3 winners, who will each receive Buff headwear and five free copies of the magazine: David Swan, Jerry Damian and Sunil Bhalla. Well done! To submit your entries, simply email us at competitions@ with the subject Best Shots.

David Swan



Teamwork taken at Wadi adventure, Al Ain.

Jerry Damian

Sunil Bhalla

At the basecamp of Jebel Sumaini in Oman.




Stay up-to-date with the latest events

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OutdoorUAE and The Gramercy Beach Party March 14, 8:00pm, Dubai International Financial Centre Featured Event
Head down to The Gramercy for a different kind of beach party! Hang loose with like-minded water sports lovers and the local outdoor community for a laid-back beach-style indoor shindig every second Friday of the month until June. Dress down to your t-shirts and flip-flops and enjoy our fun photo booth, goodie bags, special promotion on beverages and Beach Boy and Beach Girl photo contest. Entrance is 50.00 AED only. For more information, visit

Emirates Palace Marina SUP Festival March 21, 10:00am, Emirates Palace Beach Featured Event
Paddles at the ready for a whole day of exciting SUP races and beach fun! Organised by the Abu Dhabi SUP club, Dive Mahara and Emirates Palace Marina, the event is composed of 6km (for elite paddlers), 3km (for recreational and junior paddlers) and 1km (for kids and first-timers) distances with additional Mini SUP Triathlon (200m swim, 500m run and 1km paddle) and Naish One Sprints (200m sprint heats). Awarding, free demos, BBQ, movie and music to follow. The race entry cost of 200 AED for adults and 100 AED for 16-year-olds and under will include t-shirt and dinner, but its free for spectators. For registration and more information, visit the Abu Dhabi Stand Up Paddle club website:
Organized by:
Abu Dhabi Stand Up Paddle Club Al Mahara Diving Emirates Palace Marina


Friday 21st March 2014


Registration from 9:00 am

Events (Adults, Juniors & Kids):

6km-3km-1km Distance Races Mini SUP Triathlon Naish One N1SCO 200m Sprint Races

Register Online:

For More Information:

Supported by:
Emirates Sup and Surf Committee



Ride for Roy

March 7, 7:30am, Atlantis, The Palm

Roy Nasr was a talented triathlete, but more importantly an inspirational, caring and kind man, who exuded positivity and had a huge love of life. This 65km bike ride is to honour the memory of the TriDubai co-founder and 100% of the registration fees will go into the Roy Nasr Memorial Fund. For more information on the event, visit

ASICS 8K & 4K Run Series Race 4 of 5

March 8, 7:00am, The Track Golf Clubhouse, Meydan
A great corporate and family event for all ages and abilities (4km and 8km) held inside the private closed off roads of Meydan. Enter this race series and stand a chance of winning an all-expense paid week long holiday in the French Alps with Adventures in the Alps. For more details, visit www. or contact Warren at

Saucony Dubai Autodrome 10km 2014

March 14, 7:00am, Dubai Autodrome Motor City
Pound the pavement at the Dubai Autodrome for 10km (over 16 years) or 2.5km (under 16) organised by the oldest running club in Dubai, the Dubai Road Runners. Register online at or email




Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series Finals 2014
March 14, 12:00pm, Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Arabian Ranches
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and set in the stunning surroundings of the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club at the Arabian Ranches, this event will present the worlds best polo teams and players who will battle it out for the grand prize. For tickets and more information,

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Abu Dhabi International Triathlon 2014 presented by Activelife

March 15, Abu Dhabi
Once again in 2014 our world famous course will be taking in the very best of Abu Dhabi. The race will be a sea swim from the beach, the bike course will weave through the unmistakable scenery of the city of Abu Dhabi, featuring tree-lined roads, landscaped parks and gardens and the sparkling waters of the Arabian Gulf, which surround the city, all under the safety of completely closed roads. To the east of the city the bike route passes over Saadiyat Island and on to another attraction sure to whet the appetite of the cyclist; Yas Island, the home of iconic attractions including Ferrari World and Yas Waterworld. Here athletes in the short and long course will cycle round the Yas Marina Circuit which hosts the penultimate race of the F1 season. For more information, visit

10th Dubai International Horse Fair

March 20 to 22, Dubai World Trade Centre
Now entering its 10th edition, DIHF, proudly under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Minister of Finance and Chairman of Dubai World Trade Centre has firmly established its reputation as the finest equestrian business event in the Middle East. DIHF continues to grow its international exhibitor profile, attracting over 200 companies from 35 countries. To register and for more information, visit

GO Sport Criterium Series

March 22, 7:00am, Nad Al Sheba Cycle Park
The GO Sport Criterium Series is made up of three short course timed races that culminate in an overall Series Winner. Each bike race is held on a short course and is run in laps of the designated course. Race length is determined by a number of laps or total time (commonly one hour). Once the hour is past and the front of the pack passes the start/finish line a bell will ring and everyone has to complete one full lap and race to the finish. For more information, visit or email

2XU Triathlon Championships Series Race 3 of 3

March 28, 7:00am, Mamzar Dubai
The calm waters in the Mamzar lagoon, closed roads and a designated running track will ensure a safe and speedy race for all. Three distances are on offer, the Super Sprint (300/375m swim, 24km bike and 5km run), Sprint (750m, 24km bike and 5km run) and Olympic (1.5km swim, 40km bike and 10km run). This event is open for all ages and abilities and relay teams of two and three people are welcome. This event is part of the Go Sports Super Series. For more information, visit

Dubai World Cup 2014

March 29, 4:30pm, Meydan Racecourse
The Dubai World Cup brings to an end the three-month long Dubai World Cup Carnival, a festival of high-class international horse racing over 11 race meetings. In addition to the racing, the Dubai World Cup, the UAEs biggest social and sporting event, offers ticket holders exclusive admission to the Dubai World Cup Opening Ceremony, which features a spectacular firework display as well as the post-race Dubai World Cup concert. For more information, visit
This is just a selection of the events taking place this month, for more upcoming events visit:





Something for the ladies

Ignite Surf School UAE offers a SUP class with a difference
Words By: Mari de Villiers Photos By: Abdel Elecho

Girls only SUP class launched in Dubai

With SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) taking the Emirates by storm, more and more people are trying this sport for the first time and loving it! As part of the natural progression of paddleboarding, more SUP programs are being launched to promote the sport here in the UAE. The newest class to hit Dubai is called SUP Sisters, an initiative from the team at Ignite Surf School UAE.
SUP Sisters is a ladies only class, which focuses on promoting the sport of SUP amongst women in the UAE. The class is aimed towards beginners and intermediates who want to learn SUP as a way to get fit, get healthy and enjoy the outdoors. Each session includes a combination of cardio and core exercises, as well as a focus on technique and how to paddle better. In the initial sessions, the coach focuses on ensuring the student is comfortable with their balance on the board. Once the ladies are standing and maintaining their balance, the focus is then on ensuring the paddling technique is correct, as picking up bad habits in the initial stages of SUP should inevitably be avoided. Sessions are different every time, and each class the coach includes tips on safety (how to handle yourself in emergency situations), the SUP and its set up (i.e. leash, fins and paddle) as well as other helpful tips to ensure each SUP Sister is getting the full benefit of paddleboarding. SUP Sisters classes can take up to 10 ladies for each session, so classes are manageable for the coach and enjoyable for the girls. Classes are offered through Ignite Surf School UAE every Tuesday and Thursday mornings at their location inside Riva Beach Club on the Palm Jumeirah. Each session is 1 hour from 9:00 10:00am and any first timers are recommended to come 15 mins earlier for a quick express lesson on the SUPs. These classes are for ladies only, from the age of 16 years and older and the basic requirement is that students must be able to swim. SUP Sisters sessions are 125 AED for a drop in class, or 100 AED for 10 sessions purchased upfront, and classes include all equipment hire. This is an excellent and innovative way to stay fit, and if youre an ocean lover, its the best way to do some exercise, meet other like-minded women and enjoy the calm waters of the Palm Jumeirah. The location of the Surf School inside Riva Beach Club is great as there are toilets/changing rooms available for the ladies as well as a small coffee shop and restaurant in case anyone wants to catch up for a coffee or nibble afterwards! SUP Sisters classes will continue to run until the summer months, with a weekend class opening up in March due to demand so get in touch with the crew at the Surf School for more details. For more information or to register for a session, please contact Ignite Surf School UAE on 055 601 0997, info@ or visit them online at and

How to paddle correctly is taught throughout the class to ensure correct technique.

Basic SUP technique is taught to first time SUP Sisters before getting onto the water.




Memorial bike ride to honour Roy Nasr

The Ride For Roy to honour the life of Arab triathlon champion, Roy Nasr, who was killed by a drunk driver whilst riding his bike near Safa Park last year, will take place on March 7th with as many as 1,000 cyclists expected to take part.
Organised by TriDubai, a triathlon club co-founded by Nasr not long before his accident, the 65 kilometre ride will start and finish at Atlantis, The Palm. It will follow the route of some of Nasrs favourite bike rides, crossing the bridge over Sheikh Zayed Road where the accident happened. Full details of the ride and the route can be found at www. The Ride For Roy is a bike ride and not a race, commented Ian Le Pelley, who cofounded TriDubai with Nasr and is leading the team organising the ride. It is intended to honour Roys memory and to raise funds to help pay for the education costs of his two children. Registration is already open and we encourage people to register as soon as possible. Registration can be done online at www. or by visiting Wolfis Bike Shop on Sheikh Zayed Road. It costs 300 AED to register for the ride with 100% of the registration fee going to the education fund. Every participant will receive a Castelli, special edition Remember Roy Nasr TriDubai cycling top, with a retail value of 350 AED, which they will wear for the ride.

The cycling tops are being provided by gold sponsors: Emirates Flight Catering; DP World; Choueiri Group; Jumeirah; and Gulf Financetogether with silver sponsors: Adventure HQ; Abela; Amana; Executive Expatriate Relocations; The National Investor; Dubai Physiotherapy Clinic; Jebel Ali Resorts & Hotels; Newton Running; SPADAMCO Holdings; and McCone Properties. Nasr was an enormously talented triathlete who represented his native country, Lebanon, in races all over the world including the 2006 Asian Games and the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Florida, 2010. He regularly found himself on the podium at races, claiming a bronze medal at the World Age Group Championships in China in 2011. When not training or racing, Nasr often visited schools and colleges in Dubai to promote a healthy lifestyle and to encourage children of all ages and nationalities to set themselves goals in life and to work hard to achieve their dreams, whatever they might be. Roys sporting achievements, as good as they were, dont compare to the impact that he had on so many of the people who came into contact with him, added Le Pelley. Its impossible to sum him up in words, but he was a huge physical and emotional force, whose love for sport and positive attitude to life was infectious. A fierce competitor when racing, he always had time for everyone no matter their station in life and this ride provides a perfect opportunity for people to honour his life.

2nd Wobbly Boat Race at Al Bandar Marina

ART Marine Marinas, the leading marina management company in the Middle East, recently hosted Wobbly Boat Race for the second year at Al Bandar Marina, Abu Dhabi.
A total of 12 teams, each team counting between four to six participants, registered to this event. The rules were simple and straightforward: each team received three sheets of plywood, five long wooden batons, ropes, duct tape, silicon glue, nails and screws, and they had to build a boat within three hours. No assistance from outside was allowed of course, but many viewers encouraged the teams throughout the event. Once the construction part was over, all boats were transferred to the water, ready for the race through Al Bandar Marina. They had to carry at least one person and be propelled by human or natural power. Building a boat was apparently not as easy as it looked and some of the boats sank or flipped over once the sailors launched the boats in the water; persistent team members paddled and pushed their boats all along the way through the marina and across the finish line. There were two winners for the Best

Decorated Boat contest and they received a dhow cruise with their family member courtesy of Hydro Marine Sports. In the Speedy Boat category two teams were announced winners when they reached the finish line and they were awarded with complimentary tickets for Yas Water World. Bruno Meier, General Manager of ART Marine Marinas, said, We are delighted to

see that our initiative appealed to so many individuals and companies. It was a fun day, a great community event for Al Bandar, and a chance for companies to practice their team-building skills. We aim at organising more events at Al Bandar Marina, and we look forward to welcoming even more participants to the third edition of the Wobbly Boat Race.




Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center awards champions in grand

closing ceremony of the

Fazza Championship for Falconry

Touted to be the most expensive falconry competition in the world, the Fazza Championship for Falconry came to a successful conclusion with two Emirati falconers being crowned Nokhbah (Elite Champions) amidst great jubilation and fanfare in Ruwayyah.
The Fazza Championship for Falconry was organised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and has witnessed some stiff competition over two months. Khalifa Bin Mijrin and his brother Hamdan Bin Mijrin were crowned Nokhbah winners in the final contest of the Horr Farakh (younger falcon) and Horr Jirnas (older falcon) categories of the Championship. Each received trophies with 500,000 AED and a Bentley. Khalifa Bin Mijrin, who also headed the

NAS (Nad Al Sheba) team comprising four falconers said: It is an honour to be crowned Nokhbah champion of the Fazza Championships. It has been six long months of hard work and ensuring that the falcons were healthy and ready to compete. These Championships have made professionals of the amateur falconers and the Hamdan Heritage Center has played a key role in reviving this traditional sport in the region. I look forward to returning to participate in my individual capacity and as a member of the Nad Al Sheba (NAS) team in the next edition of the Fazza Championships. Hamdan Bin Mijrin, who was a first time Nokhbah winner, was thrilled with the results. I have been practicing falconry for nearly 20 years now and it is great to win such a prestigious contest and stand alongside my brother. The falcons have performed spectacularly despite the unfavorable weather conditions this year and they will have sufficient time to rest over the moulting period between now and September.

Souad Darwish, Director of the Fazza Championship for Falconry, who has been overseeing the successful run of the championship, said the competition had witnessed a 55% increase in participation since its previous edition. She commented: Fazza initiated this Championship to revive the traditional sport of falconry and we overcame several obstacles to achieve this. We have also seen some exotic never seen before breeds of falcons competing with their falconers in this edition of the championship. The Hamdan Heritage Center is proud to have witnessed such a great contest of falconry and we would especially like to thank Dubai Police for their support in maintaining order at the event. The Fazza Championship for Falconry commenced in December 2013 in Ruwayyah and has since invited participation from nearly 3000 falconers from across the GCC region that have competed in categories, including Sheikhs, General Public, Juniours and Khaleejis.

Teams battled it out at the Dragon Boat Race and Festival at Yas Marina
Yas Marina played host to a special Dragon Boating Race and Festival from at Yas Marina on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. The event was a roaring success and brought the community together with an action-packed day.
Over 25 teams battled it out in a nail biting race for the title and in front of a dynamic mix of spectators who came down to show their support and enjoy the festivities. The winning team for the Womens Final was Dubai Marlins with Capital Divas and

On Friday 31st January 2014,

Shangri La Abu Dhabi as the runner ups. Herriot Watt University won first place in the Intermediate Mixed Final with Al Bandar in

second place and Capital Dragons in third. The winner of the Premier Mixed Final was Abu Dhabi MAR team with Dubai Flying Dragons and Steelcraft Dragons crossing the finish line shortly after. Alongside the race, Yas Marina offered the ideal spot for families and friends to enjoy dining, while children were fully entertained by playgrounds and interactive musical fountains with over 2,000 guests in attendance throughout the afternoon. The festival also staged many family-orientated activities centered on the Chinese New Year such as childrens dragon mask making and Chinese Lion Dancers.




Sailing Arabia the Tour 2014

Words By: Glaiza Seguia Photos Supplied By: Oman Sail

Action on the high seas

Unexpected fog rolled into Abu Dhabi, putting a slight delay to the days events. Movements from the docks pierced the stillness of that February 15th morning as sailors prepped their boats, chattered and breathlessly waited for the mist to lift and begin another day at the EFG Sailing Arabia the Tour (SATT) 2014.
When there was more visibility, professional skippers with their international crew started piling into the Farr 30 keelboats and the motors started churning the placid water. The boats of EFG Bank representing Monaco, Messe Frankfurt Sailing Team under the European Union flag, Team Delft Challenge TU Delft from Netherlands, and three teams from Oman, the Al-Thuraya Bank Muscat, Royal Navy of Oman and Team Renaissance easily cut through the surface. As the wind picked up, the white sails were hoisted and with a blow of a horn, the Abu Dhabi in-port race was on. The six teams arrived at the Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club during the early hours of Valentines Day after 159 miles of sailing from Doha, Qatar. During this leg, Team Delft skippered by 25-year-old Kay Heemskerk along

Fleet race to Abu Dhabi from Qatar

with other Dutch university students crossed the finish line first. But EFG Bank contested the two-minute lead due to an incident at a starboard mark. We came into the mark of the previous leg and the rules stipulate that the boat on the inside make room for the boat on the outside. But there is a zone that is defined around the three boat lengths and we thought we were in the zone, explained Koen de Smedt. We went around the mark as we thought we were in the zone and EFG thought we were not. The jury decided we were not in the zone so in that case we made a mistake. Delft was disqualified from the





Sheikh Khalifa in a meet and greet with the teams

Group picture with the skippers

Leg 2 with EFG Bank on the lead. I was very disappointed obviously, but on the other hand, thats sailing. We are a self-regulating sport; if two boats dont agree, we go to the jury room and they help us make a decision, said Smedt. The Dutch team was out for a comeback on the Leg 3, but fell short placing fourth, with AlThuraya on third, Messe Frankfurt on second and EFG Bank on top spot. This was the first podium finish for the all-ladies team. AlThuraya skipper Katherine Pettibone said this years competition is as tough despite fewer boats. We have a lot of returning teams and a lot of returning sailors, everyone had a year now to get better so it is definitely tight. Pettibone, 42, is proud to represent female sailors and looked forward to beating the boys. We actually have an extra person because were lighter, so we have an extra pair of hands. Its just a matter of experience on the water. Our goal is to make them better sailors and teach them the leadership skills that sailing provides so whatever they do, whether they stay with sailing or go to another industry, they can take these skills with them. There seem to be no hard feelings as EFG Banks skipper, the 41-year-old Olympian and Volvo Ocean Race winner Sidney Gavignet, also commended Delfts skills during the prize giving. Last years contenders, teams Abu Dhabi, BAE Systems and, the 2013 champ AISM skippered by Bertrand Pac, were notably absent this time. But an Abu Dhabi crew headed by Miguel Contreras joined the two-round race at the capital to represent the UAE. The races A big crowd gathered at the Amwaj Marina in Bahrain on February 9th to watch the opening ceremony of this long distance sailing spectacle staged by Oman Sail. Sheikh Khalifa

bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, President of Bahrain Sailing Federation, along with Sailing Arabia Director Issa Al Ismaili were also present for the hearty send off. Already on its fourth edition, SATT is a race from Manama, Bahrain to Muscat, Oman with stopovers at the marinas in Qatar and UAE. This means 760 nautical miles of tactical not to mention cold sailing across the Gulf coast for 15 days. Speaking ahead of the tournament, Oman Sail CEO David Graham expressed his excitement for this year. Each and every year the tour has set a new standard for the region and I expect the same of the 2014 race. Oman Sail has worked hard to bring nations together through sailing and create a sporting property that attracts global interest for potential competitors and sponsors. The continued commitment of a global sponsor like EFG International confirmed the premier status of the Tour. It provides a solid base for the staging of a bigger, better and even more exciting event with a high calibre entry of the sports best regional and international teams supported by the worlds most prestigious brands. He added: In just three years the event has established the Middle East as an exceptional international yacht racing destination with unbeatable sailing conditions, local talent grown from centuries of sailing heritage and the chance to experience a fascinating mix of ancient traditions and modern sophistication. Despite some delay due to final safety checks, the opening leg in Bahrain welcomed the sunny skies and the strengthening winds of 16 to 18kts from the north-west. Competition was tight as the fleet made their way to Doha with Messe Frankfurt keeping a close eye on the crowd favourite, the EFG Bank. The two leading boats have

Team Al-Thuraya Bank Muscat

run aground that afternoon, but it was EFG Bank who made it first to the finish line at around 6:00pm, then closely tailed by Messe Frankfurt and Delft. The first inshore battle on February 11th at the beautiful The Pearl marina in Qatar, who was celebrating its National Sports Day, saw Messe Frankfurt with a great start in the 0.08nm course. The shifty winds made it a challenge for the sailors, but Messe Frankfurt was ahead 21 seconds of EFG Bank in the first race. The 21-year-old German-born skipper of the Messe Frankfurt, Marcel Herrera, talked about their strategy for the first leg: We took the extra time we had
Team Messe Frankfurt and Team Renaissance at the opening leg

Yachts take in the iconic Dubai skyline during Leg 4





The winning team, EFG Bank (Monaco)

with the postponement to rest and re-analyse the weather routing. We expect the leg to be a fun downwind ride to Doha and so the start will be particularly important. On the second race, Messe Frankfurt emerged as the winner with a three-second lead against EFG Bank while Al-Thuraya finished third. The Al-Thuraya, who placed 7th in overall position last year, has five Omani crew on board this time. When asked about their preparation, skipper Pettibone said they havent done anything differently training-wise and just continued working hard. We only had two weeks of training with the new ladies before we set off, but theyre really keen. They are very athletic so I think they are just naturally good sailors. They are new so we had to teach them a lot but they are learning really fast. Meanwhile, Mohsin Mahfoodth Alzarafi stood in for skipper Abdul Aziz Al Hussaini of the Team Royal Navy of Oman for this race. Al Hussaini said before that he is optimistic especially with a crew composed of Royal Navy members who have the advantageous knowledge on local seas. I have three experts in the crew and some of the others are quite new but they have been training for a couple of months and I think they have become very good in their roles on the boat and in the race. They have learned fast and I can see they have improved a lot since last year. Faster reactions, better skills, better teamwork and better performance. There has been a lot of development so we are being quite ambitious. The Royal Navy team has been struggling on last place, but their enthusiasm and positive attitude was evident in their almost ritual singing and chanting before a sailing sequence starts. Leg 3 from Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club to Dubai a short leg of 43 nautical miles was another win for Gavignets team who took advantage of the windshift before the first mark that proved crucial for speed. Leg 4 from the Dubai Offshoring Club to the Al Hamra Marina Yacht Club in Ras Al Khamiah and Leg 5 from Ras Al Khaimah to

Oman Sail was on hand to present trophies to the top three teams

Dibba was no different with the EFG Bank still on overall lead. The race committee decided to divide the 139-nautical mile race from Dibba to Mussanah due to predicted light winds. The first part of Leg 6 was over a 30 nautical mile course where the fleet endured yet another tight fight. It came as no surprise that EFG Bank dominated this leg again, followed by Messe Frankfurt and Al-Thuraya. This was also a nice homecoming for some of Omani participants like Khalood Al Uraimi, who made her country proud with a podium finish in her turf. It is so great to have done so well on this leg of the course in particular because Oman is my home. It is really, really special to have sailed such a long distance and arrive here. I feel very proud, said Al Uraimi who was in charge of mast on Al-Thuraya boat.

wind increased, finishing first with a time of 15.04.50, narrowly dusting past EFG Bank and Messe Frankfurt. Unsurprisingly, the consistent impressive wins offshore and inshore earned EFG Bank the 2014 championship with a total of 12.00 overall points. On second was Messe Frankfurt and on third Team Delft Challenge. Thunderous applauses and congratulations met Gavignet and his six-man crew at the closing ceremony. It is a good job done. I am very happy for the crew and EFG, and for Monaco also because we were flying the Monaco Yacht Club colours. It is a great, great race with fantastic competition. Every leg we were fighting and we only ever won by a close margin, Gavignet said. Ghasi Humaid AL Hashmi, Deputy Director General of Tourism Promotion, Oman Ministry of Tourism lauded the success of the event: The travel from Mussanah to Muscat, the The Sailing Arabia-The Tour 2014 has defishortest leg at 41 nautical miles, proved to nitely helped in promoting the rich Arab heritbe a close match between the teams. There age, culture, and traditions of Oman. Sailing were light winds at the start that eventually enthusiasts from around the world came and picked up to 10knts. EFG Bank maintained participated in this major sporting event that its lead with Delft and Al-Thuraya fighting further bolstered the countrys tourism sector neck to neck. Delft gained momentum as the and highlighted its vast maritime potential. Overall results Position Team Name Points 1 2 3 4 5 6 EFG Bank (Monaco) Messe Frankfurt Sailing Team 12.00 18.50

Team Delft Challenge TU Delft 28.00 Al-Thuraya Bank Muscat Team Renaissance Royal Navy of Oman 31.25 39.25 49.50



Showka XC Race 2013

Words By: Paul Conde


Previously conceived three years ago by the UAE MTB/UAE Mountainbiking for its members and headed by its chairman Mr Jessie Cruz, this mountain bike event held last November 29th highlights the start of the winter riding/racing season in the UAE. With the help of the UAE Cycling Federation and Ride Bike Shop/Giant as its main sponsor, the annual XC Race is now open to every mountain bike enthusiast in the country.
The race is held in Showka, a popular mountain bike destination in the region which is an hours drive from Dubai. The 3.4km course consists of existing trails and fire roads that range from loose gravel to baby head size rock gardens, uphills, downhills with a couple of technical sections thrown in for good measure. At exactly 7:00am the race started ala Le Mans style where racers had to run 20m to get on to their bikes before the starting line. First off was the Masters with 10 gruelling laps. After 30 minutes of racing, it was now time for the ladies with four laps. Finally after waiting anxiously, the Experts category, one of the highlights of the race, where in all 118 racers charged side by side to get the holeshot, while spectators cheered them on. The scene was like watching a clip from a war movie. The trail course was packed causing long queues and traffic along the technical sections and racers need to push themselves lap after lap. Thanks to the race officials, marshals and medics, the race proceeded as planned

with only few suffering minor cuts and bruises. As the dust settled, it was Andy Whitaker coming out on top to win the Masters category, Ian Miller for the Experts category and Michelle Guerin of Team RBS/Giant for the womens category respectively. Medals, items and gift vouchers from main Sponsor RBS Ride Bike Shop/Giant, other sponsors like Cycle Hub, Beyond a Bike, Wolfis Bike Shop, Adventure HQ, Global Climbing and Decathlon were awarded to all the winners. A folding bike courtesy of Beyond A Bike was awarded to the first place of the Masters category. A Specialized Hardrock Bike courtesy of Cycle Hub was also given as the top prize for the raffle draw. Medals were awarded to all first five finishers and certificates to all the finishers. We would like to thank all the sponsors, media groups, teams, specially the volunteers and the mountain bike community for putting such a great effort to make this race a successful event. See you all on our next event. To see more of our ride schedules and events, please go to groups/uae.mtb.




The GCC Cycle Challenge

Words By: Jalal Bin Thaneya

I can remember the day I said that I would cycle across the GCC, an alliance of the six Gulf states. It was right before the start of Ramadan and I remember very clearly that I did not own a bicycle.
A few days later, I managed to salvage a friends aluminium framed bicycle and it was the real start of a journey that would change the way I looked at things for good. No one had cycled around the GCC before and being the first to attempt such a feat was going to carry a lot of weight on my shoulders. I was used to this since I had conducted other challenges in the past. After a few months, I found myself with two volunteers on the Nad Al Sheba cycling track, we were preparing to tackle the roads that connected Oman, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait. Lots of questions ran through my mind especially since I had never cycled such a long distance before in my life. My training sessions consisted of 60km per day and the feat I was attempting required 150km per day to be on the bike is I were to complete the journey in under 30 days. Finding a cause was challenging as I always have to find someone new to the field or is in need of more awareness. I found the Al Jalila Foundation and became aware of a cause perfect for the journey and they accepted my

offer when I paid them a visit to their office in Dubai Health Care City. The journey of cycling 5,000km around the GCC was to raise awareness for children with special needs and the Al Jalila Foundation supports the efforts of advancing this cause. The main challenge started on the first day while I was attempting to cycle on Omans highway which led up to the UAE. The police stopped us and said that we didnt have permission to continue. This came as the first in a series of challenges we would face on our way through the GCC. A few hours later the Omani authorities realised we had applied for permission months in advance and escorted us through the mountainous region that led up to the boarder. It was a tough two days wherein the first had us dealing with slow bureaucracies and the second dealing with the difficulty of elevated roads that also twisted and descended as I tackled hostile terrain. Entering the UAE, I cycled to Abu Dhabi I made a stop at the Zayed Grand Mosque. I had to cycle on the pavements in Al Ain to avoid the numerous roundabouts. The UAE authorities didnt provide us with a police escort like Oman had done previously. After

two days I reached the Ghuwaifat border; the desert highway was harsh, mixed with industrial bitterness and weather conditions which were certainly very moody and tough on the mind and body. Truck drivers were relentless sometimes falling asleep on the wheel; this was an issue as they would sometimes swing very close to me as I cycled on the highway towards the border. A day before we reached the KSA-UAE border a member of our team had given up and decided to return home. The dilemma that we had to face after this was due to the fact that the car that we had rented was under his name. Crossing through the border into Saudi Arabia, I felt the road break under me. Since my bike was made out of composite, you could feel a stone the size of a pebble. It was a neglected road which led to the Qatari boarder. The border at Qatar was congested when I arrived there after a day and a half. The road which is taken from Ghuwaifat (UAE) to Qatar is a tough and barren slab of cement in the middle of the difficult desert. I remember my father saying, Not everyone would be comfortable doing this. In Qatar, I cycled through interchanges and roundabouts that ran across roads to reach the corniche before finally meeting with UAE embassy officials. Then I pedaled to my friends, who operate a blind and deaf centre. A day later, I made my way out of Qatar but not before dealing with two flat tyres. The next destination would be Bahrain. It took me two days to reach Bahrain and I had to battle through an industrial area, with limited food as well as dealing with strange security officials who would visit us in the middle of the



desert to ask us strange questions. Crossing the bridge that leads into Bahrain which I would say was one of the more dramatic aspects of the journey we crossed the King Fahad causeway with a police escort into Bahrain and out the next day back into Saudi Arabia. There I would make my way to Kuwait 400km upwards. I had to handle another flat tyre in Kuwait as a police car that was escorting me and protecting my rear hit me by accident. Luckily, the frame was untouched but the tyre had to be replaced completely. These incidents during the journey worried me as I had limited replacement supplies for the bike and there were not a lot of specialised stores that deal with spares relating to my bike. After Kuwait, I made my way to the city of Riyadh a difficult place to navigate through as it is roughly the size of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah emirates put together. I remem-

ber the police stopping me on the outskirts of Riyadh and when I also tried to leave Riyadh toward Medina region, the police stopped us again, this time telling me that I had no permission to move. The UAE diplomatic mission in Riyadh quickly intervened and liaised with the Saudi ministry of interior to allow us to continue the journey. Sleeping on the road and camping along the desert highway allowed me to reflect on the harshness of what my people in the olden times have gone through before the discovery of oil in this place. There was always little or no luxury while I was cycling almost 8-12 hours a day, most of the time without access to running water. Mentally, the journey would sometimes be stressful as most of the time was spent in the dark, people would often ridicule me on the road but there were many times when people praised the feat, they were happy to see someone from the region doing some-

thing for a special cause. As my final days on the road approached I would make my way through the Medina region, climbing up through steep mountains, navigating through dark roads and avoiding cars that drove on this vast and open space. On the last day, I cycled 210km after eating a cereal bar and a handful of dates. I ended my journey of 5,000km at the heart of Jeddah city. I would like to thank the Al Jalila Foundation for allowing me to spread awareness for their Taalouf (which means harmony in Arabic) program which seems to empower parents with children who have special needs. DP World for providing me with logistics, Gulf News for my blog, Emirates Islamic Bank for funding my equipment, Watani for their social media effort to back the journey and all the great people who went on Instagram and Twitter to support me while I updated my journey in real time.





Kayaking around The Palm

Discover the Palm Jumeirah in a guided kayak tour
Words By: Nicola de Corato Photos By: Nicola de Corato and Gemma Biffi stunning views to the Atlantis again, Burj Al Arab and the Burj Khalifa. Every tour starts with a brief training session is a small, relain which you learn all the basics. Newcomtively narrow, human-powered craft ers are always welcome. But lets give a look primarily designed to be manually at the primary elements of a good forward stroke. The forward stroke is the first kayak propelled by means of a double stroke that paddlers should learn. Good bladed paddle. The traditional kayak technique and injury prevention start with a has a covered deck and one or more correct seating position. Good posture is the cockpits, each seating one padkey for an effective paddling: sit straight, relax your shoulders, open your chest for ease and dler. The kayak was first made and efficiency of breathing, dont lean against the used by the indigenous Ainu, Aleut, backrest. Inuit, and Yupik hunters in subarctic Adjust the foot pegs in order to have your regions of northeastern Asia, North feet against the foot pegs, your knees slightly America and Greenland. Some modbent and to be able to spread and press them against the inner gunwales for extra balance. ern boats vary considerably from a Keep in mind that power in paddling does not traditional design but still claim the come from the arms. It comes from trunk rotatitle kayak. tion matched with leg drive. Your shoulders and arms are only there to transmit power. Kayaking is differentiated from canoeing A paddle stroke is made of three phases: by the fact that kayakers use a double bladed the catch phase, the power phase and the paddle and sit in a seat on the bottom of the recovery phase. The catch phase is the part boat with their legs extended out in front of of the stroke that describes when the paddle them. Canoeists will either sit on an elevated enters the water. The power phase is the part bench seat or kneel directly on the bottom of of the stroke that actually pulls the canoe or the boat with two knees or one knee in the kayak through the water. The recovery phase high kneel posture. is the name for the section of the paddle cycle Recreational kayaks are designed for the between the exit and the next catch. casual paddler interested in fishing, photograA stroke on the right side begins with a phy, or a peaceful paddle on a lake, flatwater rotation of your torso counter-clockwise so stream or protected salt water away from that the right paddle blade is forward. strong ocean waves. For this tour we are using The stroke is driven by torso rotation with sealed-hull (unsinkable) sit-on-top kayaks, both arms staying relatively fixed in place crafts without the cockpit, where the paddler compared to a rotating torso. Try to generate is seating on top of the boat. more power at the beginning of the stroke, SeaYou, a company owned by a French less at the end. couple, native of Brittany (northwest of Place the forward paddle blade in the France), with a passion for the sea, offers lots water near the feet and toward the tip of of water activities, including a guided tour of the kayak. The blade should touch the water the Palm in kayak. The tour starts from Sofitel with little disturbance. The face of the blade The Palm on Palm Jumeirah - East Crescent should be perpendicular to the direction of towards west, passing close by The Atlantis. pull. After a short break on the beach with a view With the blade in the water, rotate the torso on Dubai Marina, the group comes back with so as to pull the blade through the water along side of the boat. During the power phase, the stroke side leg straightens (the off-side leg drawing up) so that it drives the stroke through rotation of the whole trunk. The power produced is applied to the boat through the feet. This leg drive and torso coordination provides the most powerful dynamic movement that can move the boat forward. The exit occurs just before the torso is fully rotated, when the blade is between mid thigh Kayaking close the Atlantis and pelvis. At the end of the stroke the blade

A kayak

is off to the side of the boat. The path of the blade in the water during the power phase of the stroke follows the wash line and is not parallel to the line of the boat. As soon as the stroke is over snap the blade out of the water. Your paddle should be setup for the next stroke on the left side of the boat. Continue the rotation of your torso to obtain the maximum reach on the left side of the boat and have a continuous and harmonious flow. Good rotation will result in the blade being almost parallel with the boat just prior to its descent for the next catch. The basis for all other kayak strokes is found in ones ability to be able to correctly do the kayaking forward stroke. If you are a beginner, we do suggest you to use this tour also to improve your skill with the basics of paddling, thanks to the instructor who are following you. The tour lasts two hours to two hours and 30 minutes (including time for briefing and a break on the beach). You will spend your tour paddling easily, slowly and quietly with minimal impact on the surrounding environment. This allows you to not only see the wildlife, but to get close and observe its behavior unaffected by human impacts. Experienced kayaker will have the chance to discover new places, meet new people with the same passion and get trained in the beautiful scenario of Palm Jumeirah. Dubai has an ancient maritime culture: pearl culture, maritime trade, etc. One of the objectives of SeaYous tours is to promote this maritime legacy, which forms part of the heritage of the Emirates. All the tours are in English; on demand, kayak tours can be arranged in Italian, French, Urdu, Russian, Spanish and German. For more information do not hesitate to contact me or to visit the website www. SeaYou is the only company authorised in Dubai to offer such a tour in Palm Jumeirah. The tour is duly authorised by Nakheel, NOC no H&R-01/PJ-711. Ready to paddle,

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






of mountain biking
Elbows and knees slightly bent will act as a natural suspension especially on rougher ground. Using the outside of the corner and the camber or raised section will help to steer the bike around as if on a rail.

The fundamentals

Words By: Sean James

These days it seems like anyone who owns a bike is also part of a cycling team. Since the relaxation of rules that govern the licensing of cycling teams in the UAE, the number of similarly clad team riders whether on road or off-road has appeared like a rash on the UAE landscape.
To help those who want to improve their riding and looking for an invite to a team, this article will look at techniques that can assist you whilst mountain biking. Improving your technique will allow you to explore new and potentially more adventurous places. It will also keep you safer on the trails and avoid coming home with the tell-tale signs of crashes and accidents. Three of the key areas that result in big improvements, saving time and energy are cornering, ascending and descending. This article will look at cornering. Corners Everybody is slightly nervous about taking a corner too fast. In the UAE, fast and flowing tracks are often covered in loose gravel. The worry that the wheels will slide from under you often leads to lost time going into the corner and increased energy to build up the speed again when you exit the corner. There are however some points to think about to improve your cornering skills. Anticipation Going into a corner you must be controlled, smooth and precise. As always with mountain

biking you should read the trail ahead and anticipate. Just looking at the immediate piece of dirt in front of your wheel will cause you to come upon obstacles too quickly and unprepared. Glance up into the distance occasionally so that you get a rough idea of the contour, what is coming and where to position your bike. Track position So you are racing down a track at 25kmph and have spotted a corner ahead. Maintaining momentum and speed through the corner is a more efficient way to ride. The use of what is called the racing line or the tangent e.g. the outside of the track as you enter will help you do this. The racing line widens your cornering arc and allows you to both enter and exit fast. This applies to both cornering on descents and ascents, commonly known as switchbacks. Taking a corner too tightly will result in a stopstart movement that requires more energy. It can also result in an increase in distance over the whole ride. Marathon experts have calculated that over a distance of 42.1km with an average of 64 corners, incorrect position at each corner will add an extra 1km to the total distance. If you want to give everybody else a 1km equivalent to a 3-4 minute start then continue to disregard your position through the corners.

Body position Body position on a mountain bike is constantly changing from back to front, left to right and up and down. Entering the corner, your body weight should be toward the front of the bike. Do this by bending your elbows to act as suspension and bringing your chest down toward the handle bars and stem. This also keeps your centre of gravity low on the bike and gives extra traction to the front wheel. It is estimated in professional motorcycle racing that 80% of the traction comes from the front wheel in high speed corners. Lean slightly into the corner and stop pedaling. Your outside foot should go to the bottom of the pedal stroke to avoid catching your inside pedal on the ground as the bike tilts to one side slightly. To assist the bike around the curve, the inside shoulder should drop and the inside knee widen and point slightly into the corner. The outside elbow should rise and your head and chest should move toward the handle bars. If you lift your bum off the seat slightly, it allows you to turn your hips in the direction you want to go. This feels very strange and unnatural at first, pointing your hips in the direction of the corner. However I find this one of the most helpful and confidence boosting tricks to getting the bike around the corner, preventing any unnecessary sharp movements. Eyes Your wheels will follow your eyes. When riding be alert and look towards where you are heading. Whilst initially practicing, over emphasise each point and each body movement. Slow and steady movements are best. Trying to turn the handlebars too sharply will result in crashes, especially with 29inch wheels and tight turns such as those at Showka. As you practice the above, the steps will become more natural and you will become more confident on corners. Watch others and also get others to watch you. Ask them if they notice anything about your style and how you can improve it. The more you practice the correct techniques, the more your mountain biking skills will become second nature and you will achieve that blissful state of unconscious competence and being at one with the bike.

Here you can see the rider setting up well ahead for the corner, using the outside line and with the inside pedal raised.





Half 2014:

Special depth, but what if...

Astonishing strength in depth of results but only after painfully slow starts, were the underlining features of the eighth RAK Half Marathon, with the victories of Ethiopias 2013 Boston Champion Lelisa Desisa in 59:36 and last years London Champion Priscah Jeptoo in 67:02, inevitably topping the early world rankings for the year.
Both received just the boost they need as the defence of their respective titles approached, but a blend of admiration and frustration was the toxic mix left for observers who realised not far in to the race, that an opportunity was being missed on this clear, still Friday morning in the UAE. The distinct feeling of What if...? was the result of the men covering their first 5km in a pedestrian 14:31, while the women relatively speaking, were even slower, reaching that mark in 17:14 - virtually training pace for many of them. Well before half way, both races livened up, but despite the front-running efforts of Bernard Koech (fourth in 56:43) and eventual winner Jeptoo, in the mens and womens races respectively, the chance for super fast times had already been lost. After that initial reluctance to attack the distance, things livened up remarkably in the mens race, with Koech, Desisa and eventual third placer Wilson Kiprop pushing the tempo, resulting in a 10km split of 28:30 after a 14:01 segment for the pack of ten. This was more like it and when the leaders reached 15km in 42:38 (14:08), with only Jacob Kendagor and Ibrahim Jeilan tailing off, a sub-60 minute clocking looked on the cards yet again. That middle 10km had taken a meagre

28:09, but there was no let-up as Koech, under the hour in his last four half marathons, continued to be the aggressor. Sadly for him, he did little to dent the form of several rivals however, the main beneficiaries being eventual winner Desisa and Eritreas late developer Nguse Amlosom. This pair cut loose with 3km to go, with initially the unheralded Amlosom, despite a modest best of 60:46, looking the better of the two. A kilometre later though, the marathon strength of Desisa enabled him to dig deeper and he won the critical gap of a few metres that he would eventually hold to the line. The pace from 15km to 20km (14:02) meant the 15km after the slow start, was covered in a vicious 42:11 (28:10 second 10km) with the final 1.1km taking Desisa just 2:56 - or about 2:40 for the final kilometre. But while the pair drew clear, there was little room for error; behind them the next six athletes battled on gamely and it was here that the results were special. Wilson Kiprops 59:45 garnered third but behind him, Koech was fourth just one second down, Bernard Kipyego was another second back, Micah Kogo

set a PB of 59:49 in sixth, Feyisa Lilesa was seventh in 59:51 and Paul Lonyangata set a fastest-ever eight place time of 59:54. Never before have eight men broken the hour in the same half marathon. By contrast, despite their similarly slow opening 5km, the womens race was blown apart by Priscah Jeptoo, who on this winning form looks to have picked up in 2014 where she left off in New York last November. Her acceleration over the 5km to 10km (32:41) meant a 15:27 split, with only Flomena Cheyech, Guteni Shone and Helah Kiprop able to stay within a few seconds of her notoriously flailing gait. What came next was mighty impressive: she covered the 5km segment between 10km and 15km in another


15:27, so 30:54 for that middle 10km and after that there was still little let-up. She hit 20km in 63:45 (15:37) and it was that split that really did the damage. Her lead as she headed in to the final 1.1km and the long home straight had reached a yawning 62 seconds and the race was all but over. Even then this quietly spoken 29-year-old mother and businesswoman pushed hard, covering the final 1.1km in 3:17 to win by a massive 71 seconds. Without doubt she could have gone a minute or more faster, and while well never know exactly what she could have run, to suggest that Mary Keitanys three-year-old world record of 65:50 would have been under serious threat, is likely no exaggeration. Behind her, the next eight athletes broke 70:00, with Guteni Shone in third broaching new ground (68:31) while Mare Dibaba, who tops the world marathon Top 10 results with 5km splits: Men 1 Lelisa Desisa 2 Nguse Amlosom 3 Wilson Kiprop 4 Bernard Koech 5 Bernard Kipyego 6 Micah Kogo 7 Feyisa Lilesa 8 Paul Lonyangata 9 Jacob Kendagor 10 Ibrahim Jeilan Women 1 Priscah Jeptoo 2 Flomena Cheyech 3 Guteni Shone 4 Helah Kiprop 5 Rita Jeptoo 6 Mare Dibaba 7 Feyse Tadese 8 Aberu Kebede 9 Worknesh Degefa 10 Caroline Kilel KEN KEN ETH KEN KEN ETH ETH ETH ETH KEN ETH ERI KEN KEN KEN KEN ETH KEN KEN ETH 5km 14:32 14:32 14:31 14:31 14:32 14:31 14:32 14:32 14:31 14:31 5km 17:14 17:14 17:14 17:14 17:14 17:14 17:14 17:14 17:15 17:14

rankings after her win in Xiamen on January 2nd (2:21:36), looked less than fully recovered from her Chinese exertions with a 68:56 clocking for sixth. Ultimately only Jeptoo came out of the womens race with added credit, her main rivals well beaten with namesake Rita a subdued fifth in 68:49. For the mens part, while any sub-60 performance has to be respected, bearing in mind the glorious conditions that prevailed, their slow start was disappointing. What if both races had gone out a little quicker - say 14:10 for the men and 16:00 for the women? What if there had been pacemakers instead of just a hope that the athletes would lay down their own good tempo, as last year? And what if the main protagonists were less focused upon their spring marathon effort and actually targeted this Half as an end in itself. There is undoubtedly a lot more to come from the RAK Half in years to come. 10km 15km 42:39:00 42:39:00 42:39:00 42:38:00 42:39:00 42:39:00 42:39:00 42:39:00 43:16:00 43:19:00 15km 48:08:00 48:41:00 48:48:00 48:46:00 48:59:00 49:06:00 49:24:00 49:08:00 49:07:00 49:58:00 20km 56:40:00 56:40:00 56:45:00 56:43:00 56:45:00 56:45:00 56:45:00 56:44:00 58:11:00 58:23:00 20km 01:03:43 01:04:45 01:05:03 01:05:07 01:05:10 01:05:20 01:05:53 01:05:53 01:05:54 01:06:53 Time 59:36 59:39 59:45 59:46 59:47 59:49 59:51 59:54 1:01:27 1:01:47 Time 01:07:02 1:08:13 01:08:31 1:08:36 1:08:49 01:08:56 1:09:19 01:09:22 01:09:43 01:10:33

28:31:00 28:30:00 28:30:00 28:30:00 28:31:00 28:30:00 28:31:00 28:31:00 28:30:00 28:31:00 10km 32:41:00 32:45:00 32:46:00 32:45:00 32:52:00 32:59:00 32:59:00 32:52:00 32:59:00 33:13:00





Tri-ed it. Loved it!

Words By: Samantha Cadwallader


Look no further than the 2XU Triathlon Championships held at Al Mamzar to satisfy your search for local racing that offers an action-packed morning of competitive fun for the entire family.
The 2XU Triathlon Championships is a series of three races that are open to all, from juniors and adults to novices and professionals. Organised by Super Sports Events, the Championships offer triathlon enthusiasts in the Middle East various race options, including Super Sprint (200m swim, 8km cycle, 2.5km run or 375m swim, 8km cycle, 2.5km run), Sprint (750m swim, 24km cycle, 5km run) and Olympic (1.5km swim, 40km cycle, 10km run) distances. Participants were super excited about the follow-up event on Friday, 7th March, after the top spots were hotly contested in Race 1 by some seriously talented triathletes. Despite the chilly weather, Race 2 attracted over 300 athletes and even though it was a wetsuit legal swim, fewer people seemed to venture into the water for the usual pre-race warm-up, choosing rather to stay huddled together on the beach like a colony of penguins for added warmth.

With the briefing complete and the sound of the horn shattering any last-minute strategic race thinking, the race was on. The juniors were the first to brave the water followed quickly by the Olympic and Sprint competitors. A somewhat nippy swim ensured; the senses were stirred as swimmers clambered around the buoys and back to the beach before tackling the bike leg, which hugs the scenic shoreline before looping out and back and returning to the starting point. An unfortunate headwind on the day meant that participants had to dig deep while navigating their way over roundabouts, around a few technical turns and monster speed bumps. Keeping track of the number of laps you have completed can prove tricky (three for the Sprint and five for the Olympic), but it certainly makes the ride seem quicker as you mull over numerous calculations in your mind. Tired or not, drafting is not acceptable so do not get caught in the act or you will be penalised by some eagle-eyed marshals and volunteers who monitor this rule very closely. Ensuring a fair race for all, they also provide some much-needed support and encouragement as you pass them by great job guys and girls! Into transition, ditch the bike and don the trainers because it is run time. The soft track is a welcome sight, soothing any heavy and weary legs. What is great about this run is that you can set your sights on those ahead of you, using them as a homing beacon or to motivate yourself to work harder as you try and catch them. It also keeps you on your toes as you can see if you are being closely tailed, or not, at the turns. As runners pass each other on the course you can hear whispers of friendly banter and praise. A fun but competitive spirit out on the course means that the event is renowned for good sportsmanship and pushing people to their limits. Coming down the 2XU finishing shoot, crossing the finishing line and receiving the race bling (finishers medal) is awesome. Making it to the 2XU Triathlon Championships podium priceless. Go on, tri it!

Entries for Race 3 on 28th March 2013 are already open and will be limited to the first 500 entries received. For more information visit

Top 10 tri essentials 2XU trisuit Swim goggles Race belt Lock laces for your running shoes Nutrition: GU gels and Aqualyte fluid and electrolyte supplement Bike helmet and shoes Visor BodyGlide Sunscreen Entry fee per competitor per race date Adults (19 years and over) 300 AED; Juniors (18 years and under) 22 AED; Relay 175 AED. Your 2XU Triathlon Championships race entry fee includes an electronic timing tag, t-shirt, swim cap, finishers medal, Go Sport voucher and refreshments. Plus, you can download your achievement in the form of a certificate and share your results with friends via Facebook.




Getting disabled kids out on the water

Words By: Jennifer Hardie Photos By: DOSC

The access dinghies used by Sailability in Dubai.

When you have a disability, either physical or mental, taking part in regular sports can be a challenge. For the past five years, the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club (DOSC) has been trying to make sailing accessible for people with disabilities through its Sailability programme. Sailability is a worldwide, not-for profit, volunteer-based movement that facilitates sailing for everyone regardless of ability. At DOSC theyre helping children and young adults withdisabilities by giving them the opportunity to learn to sail through a structured sailing programme, which includes a number of special needs schools in Dubai.
The Sailability programme in Dubai focuses on training children and young adults to sail a boat, or feel comfortable in a sailing situation. The programme uses specially designed boats called access dinghies which are easy to get in and out of for people with limited mobility and virtually impossible to capsize. Students are also taught sailing theory and have the opportunity to try kayaking, which helps improve water confidence, in between their sailing and theory lessons. The goal for many students is to have them progress from basic sailing in access dinghies to independent sailing in small singled handed boats called Picos. Rachel Eglington, the lead coordinator for Sailability said, We have children with all types of disabilities who come down to DOSC and take part in Sailability. Some

From left to right: Rohit, Nazeer and James in their Laser Picos.

pick up sailing right away and are keen to progress as quickly as possible, while others are very physically disabled and simply enjoy the calming effect of sitting in a boat for a few minutes. Rachel talks about the enthusiasm all of the volunteers have for the programme, We recently had a severely autistic boy who could barely communicate. When he first started he was scared of the boat and didnt want to get in, but after a while his confidence grew and he agreed to get into the access dinghies. After a few sessions on the water, we saw a completely different child. Hed be full of smiles, splash his hand in the water and would wave to people while he was in the boat. You would never see this behaviour on land, as the boy had difficulty engaging with anyone. His mother told us that she saw a big change in him at home and his weekly sailing sessions were a big reason for this. When you see a transformation in a child like this you see how impor-

tant a programme like Sailabilty is to the local community. Three very recent success stories are that of Rohit, Nazeer and James, who have become accomplished sailors through the programme. The three boys have been invited to further develop their sailing skills by attending a sailing programme aboard a tall ship in Halifax, Canada from 4th to 10th August 2014. Sailability is hoping to be able to fulfill this dream for the three boys, as the fee is 17,000 AED per student for accommodation, flights and sailing. Each sailor also needs to be accompanied by an able-bodied helper, pushing the total cost to well over 100,000 AED. The Sailability team is currently fundraising. If youd like to help contribute to their trip or volunteer for Sailability, contact: Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club also runs a Sailability programme in Abu Dhabi. For more information contact: or 02 658 3333.





Sail Around The World

aged as young as seven years old circumnavigated The World islands independently in six hours and 30 minutes in Optimists and five hours in Lasers.
The sail was initially delayed by more than two hours, after thick fog engulfed all of Dubai on Saturday morning. The event was hosted by children from the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club (DOSC). They were also joined by 14 youth sailors from Al Hamriyah Sailing Club in Sharjah. The mixed group of Emirati and expat children from countries such as the UK, Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, Australia and New Zealand, regularly race against each other in the UAE Nationals, but joined together to promote youth sailing and have a fun day on the water. The World is a collection of 300 islands off

On 22nd February, fifty children

the coast of Dubai in the shape of a map of the globe. Its breakwater has a circumference of more than 27 kilometres. It was the young sailors longest ever voyage and more than 10 times the distance they cover in regular races. They had been expected to take up to eight hours to complete the circuit. I really enjoyed sailing with the kids from Hamriyah today. Normally we sail against them at the UAE Nationals, but we got to get

to know everyone today, said Peter Dalem, a 12-year-old sailor from Belgium. We also had some of our little kids from DOSC out sailing and it was great to help them along the way. It was a long hard sail, but an amazing experience. It was one of the best days that Ive ever had sailing. It was the longest time Ive ever sailed, from the morning until sunset. It was great to be with different friends from other clubs, and we all took experience from each other, said Abdullah Saeed, a 16-year-old Emirati from Al Hamriyah Sailing Club. The 10 girls and 40 boys in their small two-metre racing dinghies were shadowed by their coaches and parents in several safety boats. A big crowd cheered them in to the harbour as they returned to DOSC, just as the sun was setting. UAE Sailing Results February UAE Nationals, Round 4: 14th-15th February 2014 Optimist Junior (under 11 years) 1st Jentl Hanemaaijer, DOSC 2nd Matthew Hardie, DOSC 3rd Abdulla Nooh Alraeesi, AHCSC Optimist 1st Saif Al Mansourie, EHC 2nd Jentl Hanemaaijer, DOSC 3rd Marie Oldeman, DOSC Laser 4.7 1st Hamood Salem Al Zaidi, EHC 2nd Mohammed Gtat, EHC 3rd Saif Ibrahim Al Naimie, EHC

March-April Sailing Events

7th-8th March, Round 5, UAE National Championships, Abu Dhabi 11th-15th March, Mussanah Race Week, Oman 20th-22nd March, Airbus Regatta, DOSC, Dubai 3th-4th April, Abu Dhabi Offshore Race 10th-12th April, Bani Yas Rally: Dubai Sir Bani Yas Island 11th-12th April, Round 6, UAE National Championships, Al Hamra (RAK) 17th-19th April, Bani Yas Offshore Race 25th-26th April, Round 7, UAE National Championships, Mirfa (Abu Dhabi)

Laser Radial 1st Saeed Salem Al Zaidi, EHC 2nd Saif Ibrahim Ah Hamadi, EHC 3rd Fionn Conway, DOSC Laser Standard 3rd James Hopson, DOSC 2nd John Woolcock, DOSC 3rd Abdulla Saeed AL Hammadi, AHCSC




Review is kindly sponsored and supported by

Jinan CD
Age: 38 Photos By: Abdel Elecho Nationality: Indian Occupation: Sales Consultant in Liberty Kawasaki Race Number: 50 Bike Model: 2014 Kawasaki KX450F Class: MX-1
How did you get into motocross? I started riding in India when I was 18. I was the Indian National Champion from 2002 to 2005 and the official rider for TVS Motors. Then I came to Dubai in 2007 where I started working for Liberty Kawasaki in sales and, at the same time, raced for their team too. When I joined them that time I was the only rider. Whats your greatest racing achievement so far? I finished DMX last year in fourth place and the year before that at third place. Just being able to race is an achievement in itself. I just love to ride. I enjoy it because its thrilling, challenging and a lot of hard work. Is anyone else in your family into motocross? No, no, no [laughs]. My family is completely different. They never watch me ride because they know its a dangerous sport and they worry. Even back in India, my father and mother didnt like it. Nobody likes it except my brother. I want to inspire my kids to try it if they want to, but not now. I want to introduce it to them slowly. Whats your training like? I try to balance my schedule, so whenever I get free time, I go for practice. Its not regular, but its fine. I practice here and in the track in Sharjah. The DMX track is more technical, while the Umm Al Quwain is a little bit easier because its smaller, so its good to familiarise yourself with different tracks. Whats your race strategy? I want to go fast. I just try my best that day and the goal is always to finish. Concentration is very important. I want to finish all the races, do it surely and keep it steady. Is the competition tough between other riders and even between your teammates? Its definitely tough competition because there are plenty of impressive riders here, but whats great about the motocross clubs here is that at the end of the day were all friends. I like riding for Kawasaki, the machine is very strong and when you ride it you feel strong on it. Kawasaki is very supportive of its riders. Every Friday is like a get together. What do you love about this sport? A lot! It keeps me fit. Riding is good fitness training; its giving me good energy. Of course, I love bikes and when I have time I try to fix it myself like some body works. Have you had major injuries? I had a lot of crashes, but thankfully no major injuries, but I feel bad when my bike crashes though [laughs]. What can fans expect in this years series? Its going to be good, especially as we are nearing the finals. The series is definitely getting better every year. The track here in Jebel Ali is very good, permanent and very well-maintained with good space for spectators to watch. Whats your advice for those who want to get into this sport? There is no shortcut for this field. There is no easy way. You need to train hard and spend a lot of hours to practice and work on your skills. I promise 100%, the result will be evident.





125cc Position 1 2 3 MX1 Position 1 2 3 No. 83 1 12 Competitor Sam Sunderland Ross Runnalls Sean Gaugain Laps 12 12 12 Total time 21:10.260 21:33.870 22:15.624 No. 11 73 22 Competitor Erik Landgren Darren Berry Nicholas Kefford Laps 9 9 9 Total time 18:21.114 19:04.123 19:32.780

85cc Position 1 2 3 65cc Position 1 2 3 MX2 No. 1 2 12 Name Ross Runnalls Dale Jullien Sean Gaugain Laps 12 12 12 Total time 21:42.860 22:35.600 23:14.094 Position 1 2 3 Masters No. 19 2 Competitor Eugenio Barbaglia Keving Valenti Laps 7 7 7 Total time 15:10.009 15:10.835 15:44.357 Position 1 2 3 No. 13 310 25 Competitor Shannon O Connor Enrico Barbaglia Duncan Crerar Laps 10 10 10 Total time 20:23.183 20:47.000 20:56.808 No. 12 1 2 Competitor Sean Gaugain Ross Runnalls Dale Jullien Laps 13 13 13 Total time 22:24.910 22:47.246 22:50.889 No. 88 174 27 Competitor Alex Mortada Ahmed Al Nuaimi Will Burke Laps 7 6 6 Total time 15:46.055 15:10.404 15:42.423 No. 19 22 Competitor Eugenio Barbaglia Nick Kefford Laps 8 8 8 Total time 14:33.948 14:58.496 15:18.428

DMX Round 7 Results

2013-2014 race season
MX2 Position 1 2 3 85cc Position 1 2 3 65cc Position 1 2 3 No. 88 174 27 Competitor Alex Mortada Ahmed Al Nuaimi Will Burke Laps 6 6 5 Total time 15:45.091 17:08.467 15:35.681 High-octane action at the seventh round on February 21 at the Jebel Ali track.

174a Abdullah Al Nuaimi

174a Abdullah Al Nuaimi

Clubman Class Position 1 2 3 125cc Competitor Hamdan Al Tamimi Clinton Wyngard Richard Cornfield Laps 10 10 10 Total time 20:02.796 20:23.723 22:04.551 Position 1 2 3 MX1 No. 13 895 5 Competitor Shannon O Connor Brent Gregson Sean Holder Laps 10 10 10 Total time 20:04.059 20:33.615 20:40.591 Position 1 2 3 No. 1 83 12 Competitor Ross Runnalls Sam Sunderland Sean Gaugain Laps 13 13 13 Total time 20:59.085 21:05.601 22:29.508 No. 11 5 22 Competitor Erik Landgren Dean Jullien Nicholas Kefford Laps 11 11 11 Total time 19:43.875 20:33.012 20:33.476 No. 28 19 21 Competitor Hamdan Al Tamimi Clinton Wyngard John Watkinson Laps 10 10 10 Total time 20:32.104 20:49.537 21:59.492

Clubman Class Position 1 2 3 Masters Position 1 2 3 No. 28 19 79






Unraveling the secrets of the spearos

Words By: Eulogy Du Plessis

in Qatar

Qatar is fast becoming the sports capital of the world, hosting many world championships and international competition across a variety of sporting codes; however its outdoor activity lifestyle is not as well known.
Adventure sports and hobbies are on the rise, becoming more and more popular with locals and expats alike. And one of these has been a well-kept secret spearfishing. After the making of One Fish in 2010, a DVD featuring the adventures of one local Qatari diver Mohammed Jassim Al-Kuwari, the popularity of spearfishing soared in Qatar. Increasingly, spearfishing is being explored as a preferred past time in Qatar. Its all about an early start, making your way to that perfect diving spot, getting into the water and catching your fish of the day. The simple pleasure of enjoying it later with some friends over the BBQ is enough reward for most of the spearos in Qatar. There is no official body regulating these activities in Qatar and information can be hard to come by. But a few trips to the Souq Waqif (and of course getting some locals to share their secrets), you quickly come to understand the community and the need for some local assistance. It is imperative to connect with one of the Qatari experts, and this can be tricky like all true fishermen, they reluctantly give away their secret spot. Currently, there are no government regulations restricting these fishing activities, and the season is open all year round. It must

way to some of the man-made wrecks, providing some structure in the otherwise even ocean floor. This bit of structure provides an artificial habitat for fish, almost always promising a good catch! A popular spot for all diving activities is near Sealine Beach Resort in the south of Qatar called The Old Reef. An assortment of sunken buses, vehicles (and even the odd porcelain toilet!) is now home to wide variety of different species. Access via shore entry and the deep water starting not far from the shore makes this a fun and easy place to go. In the north of the country lies some spectacular off-shore spots for spearfishing, but you will need a speedboat and local diver with the GPS coordinates to get there. An incredible variety of fish species are found here. Expect to catch some barracuda, Spanish mackerel (also known as kingfish), amberjacks, groupers (which is locally known as hamour), sea pike, rabbitfish and trevally. And these are just to name a few! Most divers are caught by surprise by the abundance of fish found off the local shoreline. One of the local shops provide freediving courses and according to Khalid Al Hammadi, owner of State of Qatar, he has trained and accredited about 400 freedivers from Qatar and the GCC over the past five years. The two main shops where you can buy spearfishing equipment and source more local advise are both located close to each other at Souq Waqif: Al Kashat, Fishing and Hunting Equipment Contact details:; +974 667 24828 or +974 700 57489 State of Qatar (also known as QatarSub), free diving and spearfishing one stop shop Contact details:;, +974 443 1234 Most people expect only sand (and more sand) when they come to stay or visit in the Middle East. It is therefore a pleasant surprise when you experience the inviting waters of the Arabian Gulf, and start to unravel the secrets hidden beneath. Spearfishing off the shore of Qatar is a unique experience that leaves all divers that have had this pleasure breathless (pun intended).

be noted that the spearfishing community in Qatar is quite environmentally conscious, and keep to self-regulated quotas. The searing heat in the summer months make diving a little more difficult, and finding fish more challenging. Most local divers agree that April, May and June are the best time of the year for spearfishing. Visibility is usually good around these months, some divers reporting up to 15m on a perfect day. For a good day of spearfishing, you have two options: enjoy exploring the natural reefs, found all along the mostly shallow coastline, making it very accessible. But beware, strong natural currents can be deceiving. The alternative option is to find your





Keith Kennetz pleased to finish.


Stephen Turner takes a break before the ascent

Lou, two Robs and John Young relax at the end

Musandam Adventure Race

Words By: Mike Nott Photos By: Mike Nott, Hassan Itani and Stephen Turner

3rd Annual

Winners Gareth Gregory, Dieter Sticht and Brian Rowlings

With hand on heart I think I can safely say that this remains the toughest one-day race of this nature in the region. Numbers are gradually increasing as word of the spectacular venue and the physical challenge spreads.
This year eight teams took to the waters and mountains of the Musandam Peninsula ready to complete the 35km sea kayak, 21km mountain run and the 65km mountain bike route, either as a relay or doing the Full Monty. All the teams assembled in remarkably good time in Khor Najd on the Thursday evening despite the inevitable rush hour traffic going north, the chaos of the road works in RAK city and the immigration procedures at Ad Darah. The kayaking conditions were sublime; very light winds, a favourable tide and the most stunning phosphorescence as the kayakers and surf skiers left Khor Najd in the dark. With the arrival of daylight, the scenery really opens up and the seascape is inspirational. Two incidents of note were the loss off a surf ski foot pedal by team Manons AAA, which was repaired with help from Alf Wild and the dhow team in a perfect Heath Robinson manner, and the accompaniment of Lou and Rob Willingss double kayak by an enormous ray. The running route proved to be, arguably, the most arduous because of the heat in the confined canyon and the lack of a cooling breeze; everyone suffered and water supplies were running low (there is no re-supply en route, though John Young took advantage of a plunge into a goat water trough early on). This year the route up the rock faces was

John Young cools down Alf repairs Manons AAA surf ski

marked with a little more diligence in order to avoid the perilous drifting off-route which happened during previous races. I owe a special thanks to Lou Willings for spending three hours on the mountain helping me to mark the course and then doing the kayak and mountain run the next day! Though Im not being swayed for this being a reason to bump up her teams place! I also owe thanks to two helpers from Absolute Adventure, Neil Patterson and Pete Surtees, who trogged up and down with me and sat on the hill for over four hours ticking off runners as they passed by. Of course the cyclists would argue that their part of the race is the most arduous. Ascending from 350m to just over 1,600m in the course of 16km may be the reason for this but after that its almost all down hill, apart from the other climbs and the final sting in the tail, the ascent over the ridgeline to then drop down to the finish at Khor Najd and the fact that all except one of the teams finishes in the dark. Some sterling efforts were made this year and only the technical mishaps of bike mechanics prevented one team from finishing the route. Id like to thank the sponsors: Absolute Adventure, Global Climbing and Adventure HQ, for providing route clearance, helpers, gift prizes and publicity. As always, Id like to express my special thanks to Alf Wild for being the great support and help he is organising and running the dhow team. This will be the last year I organise the race and its hoped that Absolute Adventure will take it on for next year and beyond. Results Relay: 1st Trail Warriors: Brian Rowlings, Dieter Sticht and Gareth Gregory 10 hours 50 mins 2nd Shammal: Mark Rogers, Frances McNally and Ahmad Ramadan 12 hours 26 mins Full Monty: No finishers.




The Barracuda:


Few fish spread fear and panic on the tropical flats like the barracuda, and a more cynical and calculating opponent on the fly rod is difficult to imagine.
Words By: Rasmus Ovesen Photos By: Rasmus Ovesen, Martin Ejler Olsen IN A LOT OF WAYS, the barracuda is the epitome of the ancient and blind evil that exists in so many different forms and shapes in nature - making us cringe with terror and fear. It is a form of evil that emanates from the abysmal depths of cold and soulless eyes, in cynical and calculating behaviour, and in an eerie ability to appear unsuspectingly. In the case of the barracuda it is an evil embodied by a perfectly camouflaged and streamlined frame, a shadow-like and ghostly presence, and grim jaws bursting with razor-sharp teeth. The barracuda is the merciless terrorist of the tropical flats and its unpredictable demeanour, fearless behaviour and indiscriminate cold-bloodedness makes it a challenge for even the most stoic and hardcore fly fisherman. It requires nerves of steel to fish for barracudas with a fly rod. They attack at the speed of an American underwater missile and they have a creepy ability to materialise out of nowhere like ghosts and massacre your fly in explosive and sudden collisions of water, foam and flickering scales. Barracuda fly fishing, in other words, isnt for the faint-hearted nerve wrecks but for the few staunch and dogged adventurers those who seek the slightly selftorturous, the horrifying and the shocking. IT IS ACTUALLY RATHER PARADOXICAL that I an incarnated dry fly fisherman should end up stalking the flats with trembling nerves, casting at ominous shadows. As a dry fly fisherman, Im used to seeing fish take my fly in slow motion, and even though this is nothing short of spectacularly nerve-racking, there is a complacent obviousness to it that in a way - provides peace of mind. Its quite the contrary with barracuda fishing on the flats. Here, things happen so fast that your mind simply overloads. In a split second out of nowhere your fly disappears; an apocalyptic pull propagates through the fly line; and a big silvery shape thrusts itself metre-high out of the water. Time suddenly stands still. You see the horrifying shape of a ghostly predator hanging in the air gills flaring, teeth exposed and eyes glistening. Then it takes the water again with its full weight making a big momen-

tary crater in the surface film. Loose line immediately starts flying around your ears as the fish takes off at a 100mph and disappears into the fading flicker of the flats monochromatic water. On its way, it breaches the surface again and again frothing with rage but you dont even register any this. In the sudden chaos of disappearing fly line, spindrifts, and violent blank convulsions you find yourself challenged to even hang onto the flyrod and keep your knuckles from being pounded to blood by the frantic back spin of the fly reels spool and handle. It isnt until the fly reels tormented dirge suddenly stops, the line slackens and the fly rods curve straightens that the state of shock leaves your body and by now its all too late. The barracuda has reached the coral reefs that shelter the big flat, the leader has been torn to pieces, and youre left with a slightly fossilized countenance. The whole episode slowly settles while you pick up and re-spool the lost amounts of red-hot backing. It is strewn out on the water

like some sort of approximate mapping of the fishs lightning-quick run, and youre surprised to see how much backing was ripped off the reel in so little time. Some hundred handlewinds later, youre now busy tying on yet another big, pulsating flash streamer in the end of a wire trace this time with shaking and impatient hands. Youre still rather stunned and your thoughts are chaotic. There is one thing, however, that you know for sure, and you feel the assurance with every fibre in your body: youre ready for more punishment! TO A LARGE EXTENT, my barracuda fly fishing expeditions have evolved around the Turneffe Island Resort flats in Belize in spite of the fact, that these flats are world-renowned for their sublime bonefish - and permit fishing. Here, youll find the barracudas in the wake of the massive schools of feeding bonefish that scour the back of the coral reefs or stir the mud on the flats. There are lots of barracudas in the five to 10 kilo ranges here too, and you regularly come across horrifying monsters between 15 and 20 kilos. Bonefish are nervous by nature, but nothing startles or scares them more than patrolling barracudas. They might be fast swimmers with quick reflexes but they never underestimate the barracuda. That would be foolish and fatal. The barracuda has a cold-blooded ability to creep up on the schools of bonefish, and if it comes close enough or manages to single out an individual - its strike usually results in a cloudy mess of blood and whirling scales. ESPECIALLY AT HIGH TIDE the ever-hungry barracudas move into the shallows to feed. At high tide they have a bit more water under their bellies, and the prey fish that usually find cover along the back rims of the sheltering coral reefs suddenly dont have the same options in terms of hiding. Now, the barracudas can typically be found patrolling back and forth along the depressions behind the coral reefs - patiently waiting to come in close proximity of some unsuspecting prey item. Here, they will cynically strike anything that looks edible. The really big barracudas, however, develop

days, this technique applies to the flats too. In both instances, however, the key factor is to cover a lot of water as effectively and quickly as possible. The barracuda might very well be constantly on the move, but it is more effective to search for them than waiting for them to suddenly come within casting range. CONTRARY TO BLIND FISHING, stalking barracudas involves a lot of partially inactive waiting time, but nonetheless it might very well be the most exciting way to fly fish for barracudas. When stalking barracudas, a good pair of Polaroid sunglasses, keen eyes and good stealth skills are crucial. Wading along the coral reefs will typically result in barracuda sightings, but from the vantage point of a flats skiff stern, you have much better chances of spotting the fish. Most often barracudas reveal themselves as discrete, elongated and blurry shadows, and once you spot one of these youll want to quickly place a cast 3-4 metres in front of its presumed trajectory. Then its all about tearing and ripping the fly back as fast as you can, because if there is one thing barracudas react violently to, it is a fleeing or panicky prey item. Consider using both hands while retrieving the fly by placing the fly rod in your armpit, and accelerate the fly as much as you can. This way, youll minimise the reaction time of the barracuda and hopefully trigger it into striking. If the fish is actively feeding it will react promptly and intuitively pursue the fly with flaring fins and a fixed gaze. But dont underestimate it. The barracuda is an aggressive and fearless predator, but it is far from reckless. And since it has very acute eyesight, it will often just follow the fly inquisitively and then ignore it. The barracuda is a rather sceptical fish, and so keeping a low profile and using credible imitations or surface flies such as poppers or gurglers that provoke the fish into striking is often the key to success. If the barracuda doesnt launch its attack within the first 2-3 casts, youll want to change the fly fast and try a new one. Nothing awakens scepticism in a barracuda like seeing the same fly at close range again and again.

a special taste for big silvery prey fish and not least bonefish. Whether it is because they taste particularly good or because they represent a suitable challenge isnt particularly clear, but barracudas can spend hours patiently stalking bonefish in the hopes of snatching one. As a result it makes perfect sense to look for the barracudas on flats that typically boast great numbers of bonefish and be there at high tide. Here, youll have optimal chances of catching a big barracuda. BARRACUDA FLY FISHING can be approached in two tactically different ways: you can either blindfish for them or you can stalk them. The first alternative usually involves fishing relatively deep water where spotting the fish is impossible or at least extremely difficult. With that said, it should be added, that even for those with trained eyes, the barracuda is quite difficult to see - and even in knee-deep water it has an eerie ability to fully camouflage itself. Because of this, it is not only along the offshore depth curves that blind fishing for barracuda can be practised. Especially on windy





especially when fishing relatively deep water. And when the barracuda is aggressively hunting, poppers and hot-coloured provocation flies retrieved at lightning speeds can make the barracuda lose its temper completely. Especially popper fishing can be great fun since youre guaranteed some spectacular strikes where the fly gets torn off the surface in furious explosions of foam and water. WHEN THE BARRACUDA STRIKES your reaction must be prompt. Immediately set the fly with a solid strip strike, hang on for dear life, and hope for the best. Even smaller barracudas between 35 kilos take off irresistibly in a panicky first run. Fish between five and 10 kilos will expose most of your backing in a matter of seconds, and the big fish between 15 and 20 kilos will fire away with imminent dangers of spooled reels, over-heated brakes, straightened hooks and torn leaders. The barracuda really invests everything it has in terms of brutal ferocity and break-neck speed during the fight, and this alone makes it a desirable target for us fly fishermen. It might very well have a tarnished reputation, but it is definitely among the most exciting and nerve-racking game fish in the tropics. And it deserves our attention to a much larger extent. The barracuda is distributed all across the tropical and subtropical parts of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Ocean ranges. There are several different sub species of which the biggest ones can reach in excess of two metres in length and weigh more than 40 kilos. Offshore, the smaller individuals usually gather in schools whereas the bigger fish typically prefer to roam and hunt on their own. The barracuda is capable of dramatic accelerations and impressive speeds up to 45 kilometres an hour. Furthermore, it can hunt prey fish close to its own size by ripping and tearing pieces of flesh of out these fish with its razor-sharp teeth.

Therefore it is a great idea to have several reserve flies mounted on wire traces or use a wire solution that enables quick fly changes. THE GEAR, which is most commonly used for barracuda fishing, is obviously in the heavier end of the spectrum. First of all, the flies that are being used are fairly voluminous. Secondly, most tropical flats are rather unprotected and therefore, they can be quite windy. Thirdly, powerful equipment is simply needed to tame the almost unproportional powers of the barracuda. A 9 #10 fly rod in combination with a solid fly reel that offers good breaking power is a good outfit for barracuda. In addition, a discrete floating WF fly line with a 5-6 metre long leader and a 0.50 0.60mm tippet is needed. Onto the tippet, either a steelwire, wolfram or titanium tippet of 40-50lbs is mounted. Dont fool yourself here! Ordinary fluorocarbon shock tippets or light pike wires wont do the job for this particular fishing. A big barracuda will tear and wreck anything that isnt 100% finetuned and tailor-made for the job. It is built for destruction! THE FLIES that are typically used for barracuda are big and pulsating, up to 20-25 centimetres in length and with a bulky yet

stream-lined profile. Mounted with an action disc it is possible to provide the flies with a winding and quivering movement pattern that will tease the barracuda into striking. At the same time, however, these action discs make the flies a bit inert and resistant on the retrieve, and the speed potentially lost while retrieving, sometimes speaks against using them. Some days the barracuda must have no deliberation time, while on others especially when they have a tendency to just follow or stalk the fly they need to be teased and lured. Here, all the tricks in the book apply including retrieve-stops, sudden accelerations and directional changes via roll casting. Silvery flies are usually great for titillating the barracudas hunting instincts, since a lot of its favoured prey items have flickering silvery flanks and scales. Ordinary flash flies usually work fairly well, but remember: the more key stimuli you are able to code into the flies, the better theyll fish. You might want to tie some silvery flies that not only glisten and glow but also have some volume. And tie them on ultra-sharp and heavy-wire hooks with Kevlar tying thread and ample amounts of UV or epoxy glue. Otherwise, they will be torn into smithereens when coming into contact with the barracudas terrifying jaws. White flies usually work quite well too





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the Arctic Circle

Words By: Rhys and Laura Jones


Rhyss story

Part 1

Anyone would have thought we were on our way to an epic expedition, as our twelve battered duffle bags poured over the edges of our baggage trolleys at Heathrow Airport. No, we were immigrating to Dubai, a long way from our favourite hills of the British Lake District and stunning alpine peaks of France and Switzerland.

As a mountaineer, Ive always been guilty of hoarding kit, and most will confess that mild gear obsession usually follows any serious hobby. For this reason, packing our possessions to move to Dubai was tricky for me. Should I take my down suit? 8,000m high altitude boots? Would I need my technical ice

axes? The answer to all of those questions was a resounding no. My parents loft and that of my in-laws and other friends were my saviour. But now, only a few months after arriving, I find our house filling up with skis, and new touring boots, Goretex salopettes. Time is repeating itself. Eight years ago I climbed Mount Everest. Id climbed the highest mountain on each of the worlds seven continents, and summited Everest on my 20th birthday. It was at the time a world record as the youngest person to climb the seven summits and ever since then I have repeatedly been asked whats next? Its a very difficult question to answer, and plagues every serious adventurer. I used to fall back on the its a surprise, cant say anything yet, just finalising sponsors. Its a great get-out-of-jail-free card. Truth is, for me, the big expeditions werent about ticking things off a list, it was about doing something that really inspired me. Enough to tolerate all of the freezing cold nights stuck in tents, enough to spend months raising money, and to cut myself off from friends and family for weeks on end. Id wanted to climb Everest ever since Id





heard a talk about it when I was 11 years old. My family werent climbers, in fact my father is scared of heights and my mother was technically born below sea level, in the Netherlands. Its fair to say it is not in my genes. But, fortunately, they supported me in every way they could. Told me I could do it. Let me miss exams from college. It was a leap of faith all around but it was that belief which instilled the confidence in me to even dare to dream about climbing such mountains. I started climbing at 14 with the Scouts, in Scotland, North Wales and the Lake District. It was literally a long slog to learn the right skills and get strong. When I was 16, I went with five friends to climb Mt McKinley, the highest peak in North America. After that I worked my way around the world, climbing the rest of the highest peaks, until three years later I successfully climbed Mount Everest. Once Id actually climbed it, the real challenge began. Id wanted it for so long, and whilst satisfied having done it, I also missed having that one single goal to strive towards every day. I tried sailing, and raced around Britain. Then I wanted to combine sailing and climbing, and sailed to Greenland, with a plan to ski 200km and climb the three highest peaks in the Arctic. I fell into a crevasse on the fifth day, when my sledge fell through a snow bridge and pulled me straight in behind it. When I landed, the first thing I heard my two teammates say was Do you think he made it? It was all pretty serious at the time, but I was largely unscathed with the exception of a fractured arm. It meant we couldnt climb the highest peaks, but as the yacht wasnt due back for another three weeks, we had a truly exploratory trip, mapping a remote coastal area. Ever since then Ive always wanted to go back, and after a gap of seven years, Im finally doing it. A lot happened in seven years though, and this time, my wife is joining the expedition. Lucky for me shes always been happy (at least on the surface) to spend all of our holiday in

the hills. Shes learnt rock climbing, ice climbing, winter mountaineering, and weve managed a few big days including Mount Toubkal in Morocco (4,167m). Our plan this year is quite ambitious and involves climbing the three highest peaks in the Arctic Circle, and additionally making a first ascent of an unclimbed peak, which well then name after our expedition sponsor. Part of the challenge of the trip is finding the sponsor, but Im hopeful that we will find good backing given the unique nature of the return were offering; literally putting a company on the map. Another key difference between this trip and the last is that well be approaching by ski plane onto the glacier. From there, well be ski mountaineering, hauling sledges behind with all of our provisions for the two week expedition. It is extremely physical work, and the cumulative height gain of climbing the four mountains back to back will be almost double that of Mount Everest, but in half of the time it takes to climb the worlds highest mountain. The entire trip will be on snow and ice, with 24-hour daylight and variable conditions.

Lauras story

Born and raised on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales, I had always thought of myself as an adventurous person, enjoying travelling, camping, surfing and just spending time outdoors. That was until I met Rhys. His stories of true adventure, determination and courage while climbing the Seven Summits immediately inspired me to want to do and see more. Since then, my life has definitely changed, spending whatever free time we have hanging off cliff faces and using all of my annual leave to trek up mountains. When Rhys proposed to me on top of a 30ft boulder, I knew getting married to him was only going to mean one thing a life time of exploring. Despite feeling like the apprentice, over the past few years Ive learned a lot about climbing and trekking with many days spent in the beautiful Lake District and North Wales. Im not going to paint a completely rose-tinted picture. Its been hard. There have been many occasions when weve been walking in torrential rain, chilling sleet and high winds when all Ive wanted is to be is anywhere else. However, the highs of being on top of a beautiful mountain completely out ways the lows. Even though I feel very privileged to have visited all the places Rhys and I have travelled to, there has always been this urge to do something big! I have nagged on numerous

occasions about doing a really exciting expedition together to really push myself and to get a sense of achievement. Over dinner one night in the Madinat, Rhys mentioned that he would like to do the Arctic Trilogy Expedition, and he would like me to come along. At first I was very excited at the idea and wanted to start planning straight away and then the panic set in oh my goodness, Im going to actually do this! Im going to be dropped off on a ski plane and left there?!All sorts of silly questions started coming into my head, even how am I going to cope not being able to wash my hair for over two weeks. Obviously the least of my worries, but a worry nonetheless. So here I am now, three months before the expedition and working every little muscle in my body to make sure I am fit enough for what lies ahead, as unlike my husband I have not climbed the Seven Summits but this is what makes the challenge so special to me. Im not your typical climber or explorer, actually quite the opposite! Exploring the unexplored together and being part of this challenge I feel should hopefully inspire ordinary women like myself that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Rhys and Laura work together at their office in Motor City, Dubai. Rhys is Regional Director of Camps International, and Co-Founder of RJ7 Expeditions. Camps and RJ7 exclusively provide all overseas expeditions for students at GEMS schools. Laura is Operations Manager for Camps International. If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities and naming the unclimbed peak, contact Rhys:


Saudi Arabian Odyssey

Part 1

Words By: Mike Nott Photos By: David Chambers, Manuel Schmidt, Kim Merritt and Mike Nott

I know a bloke, who knows a bloke, who knows another bloke that can get you a 30-day open visa to travel by vehicle from the UAE into Saudi Arabia and explore at will.
The bloke I know is David Streaky Chambers and to him I owe the completion of the best, rarest and most cherished off-road trip Ive ever done. To say that achieving entry into Saudi in this way is rare is like saying Dodo eggs are rare. The trip comprised four drivers: Streaky in his old Discovery, Manuel Schmidt in his short wheelbase Defender, Kim Merritt in his LR3 and me in my old G500. We had 16 days of holiday to play with and our plans were ambitious and based on Streakys extensive knowledge of the country, gained from over a decade of living there. In brief, we were to head from Dubai, through Riyadh and onto the volcanic area around the Wabar crater, calling on some ancient and historical villages, forts and dams en route, and then head via the outskirts of Medina, through Tabuk and up to Halat Ammar on the Saudi-Jordanian border. From there we were to follow the route of the old Hejaz Railway all the way to its finish in Medina. Any time we had left over would be spent in the south, near Yemen. It had been a life time aspiration of mine to follow the Hejaz Railway, born from slogging through TE Lawrences Seven Pillars of Wisdom, seeing

the epic film and having an unhealthy passion for narrow gauge steam railways. Of course, when Streaky was gauging interest in the trip from a group of potential fellow travellers, and his ideas for it, I signed up instantly. Once the group had been settled, there was much preparation to do, particularly vehicles and equipment. We were likely to do up 8,000km in the 16 days so everything had to be in tip-top condition. There followed a personal frenzy of servicing and checking my G500 and ensuring I had the right spare parts should any of the known faults occur. These included: starter motor, water pump, thermostat, crank position sensor, a full set of front wheel bearings, radiator and fuel hoses amongst much else. I also replaced my radiator and one of the centre prop CV joints beforehand. I then felt we were ready. The car was loaded with fridge/freezer, water, dry foods enough to last at least ten days, fuel cans and the ensemble of tools, fluids and recovery equipment to be able to deal with, hopefully, anything, and finally some bedding and some spare clothes. I managed to achieve my normal aim, of keeping everything below the level of the vehicle windows. We met at the Saudi Consulate in Dubai to go through the rigmarole of getting the visa. This is not as straightforward as wed expected (nothing like this usually is!). The consulate had the letter with our names but said the visa would take three days (wed already been delayed three days waiting for the letter in the first place) so Streaky exerted some personal influence and managed to

persuade them to issue the visas that day. Great, but we then had to go to Wafi Mall and the visa service company to get them. To the Saudi Consulates great credit we received fast-track service and had the visas by 4pm. We left the next day. From Dubai, the drive to the UAE-Saudi border, is the longest one you can do within the UAE. Its not the most exciting trip though, consisting mainly of following the interminable coast road through Abu Dhabi emirate. Crossing into Saudi proved to be our first challenge. There are hundreds of trucks at the border but almost no cars, which meant you can go straight to the gates but we were something of an oddity. We had to be processed, with finger prints and photos being required but there was nobody to man the equipment and the usual call for the Captain went out. After some help from his staff, we were eventually finished, stamped in and allowed to progress through customs (after what can only be called a cultural delay), buy our third party insurance (100 AED for a fortnight) and get on with the trip. Manuel works for a company in Dubai that has Nokia as a client and they had been so enamoured with the idea of our journey that they had given us all Nokia Lumia 1020 phone cameras to record the trip with. Thus, our first stop in Saudi was to get a Saudi SIM card for the phones and the second was to top up with petrol. Now, one of my colleagues had told me that the cost of living was noticeably cheaper in Saudi than the UAE. He wasnt wrong but the price of petrol was something

Crossing the lava fields to Streakys Crater

Inside Streakys Crater





Storm clouds brewing

Al Muwayah fort

Witches Hat water tower

of a shocker, though pleasantly so 0.6 Riyals per litre, thats basically 0.6 AED, or, for those in Imperial, thats about 45p per gallon. The prospect of doing 8,000km now didnt seem like it would be too big a burden on our wallets. First impressions of a person or a place can sometimes be deceiving or just plain wrong. Once through the border crossing and into Saudi proper, my first impressions of the local border town was one of decay and squalor and the roads were in a really poor state. Dismayingly, this first impression would be sustained for the duration of our trip. We turned off the main highway which headed towards Qatar and took the unbelievably straight truck road to Riyadh. Its a single carriage unfenced road but was not busy and it was the shortest route to Riyadh but Streaky was adamant that we should not travel on it in the dark, and rightly so because of the wayward camels. After several hundred kilometres and as dusk approached, we turned off into the dunes and had out first, noticeably chilly, camp. Our next stop was to be Al Kharj. Streakys steering column was looking a bit worn so we tried to locate a scrap yard, amongst the many, to find a replacement. But after touring a huge one we were to be unlucky. So, after an obligatory group photo by the witches hat water tower we headed on to Riyadh. Streaky had a very useful contact in Riyadh who had given us the coordinates of a Land Rover spare parts dealer but despite this help we were still out of luck. The next place to try was on the southern outskirts of Riyadh near Al Hair; this is scrap-yard city, miles and miles of them, stretching into the desert. We flagged down a taxi and told him to lead us, in our four vehicles, to the scrap yard, through the chaotic rush hour traffic. It was something of a rare achievement that we managed to stay together in our five-car convoy and made it, eventually, to a Land Rover graveyard. The part was available, bought and we headed out of Riyadh and pointed ourselves towards Makkah. From Riyadh the landscape changed and became more dramatic, with mountains, escarpments and ominous storm clouds in the distance.

We turned off the motorway and found ourselves a convenient gravelly plateau to camp for the night. The storm clouds loomed and the sheet lightning began and we thought we could relax and watch this remarkable celestial show as it passed us by to the north but that would have been too easy. The wind picked up and the storm headed our way. There was a comical moment as we dashed for our roof top tents to make sure all was secure and for me to quickly erect the rain cover, and dive in. The wind battered us and the vehicles rocked in the melee between wind, rain and tents. There is something quite calming and enjoyable about being in a good tent in a storm and knowing youll be dry and warm while the elements do their forlorn best to force their way in. Streaky had made an excellent plan to visit, what turned out to be some superb sights as we wended our way to Halat Ammar on the Jordanian border. We turned off the Makkah motorway at Muwayah and headed north. Our first target was the fort at old Al Muwayah; an ancient pilgrimage fort with an adjacent mud village. The fort had been recently renovated and looked immaculate behind the newly erected fence. Sadly no retainer was present and we had to satisfy ourselves with a tour of the mud village and look-out post and to take photographs of the fort from outside. The fort is on the edge of a once very active volcanic area where the plateaus are covered in lava and there are numerous classically, cone shaped, extinct volcanoes. Our next target was to be a volcanic cone that Streaky had spotted from Google Earth and we hoped to be the first to camp inside its caldera. Route finding was challenging, particularly through the lava fields. After an initially encouraging false start and with some
Deflating before the lava fields

help from a group of bedu we encountered repairing a flat tyre, we picked up a rough track heading our way. The scenery suddenly became startling; flat sand/sabkhah plains to our left and volcanoes to our right. Streaky led us further into the lava fields and with his keen sense of direction and the use of a maze of old tracks we eventually saw our target cone about 6km to our right and headed for it. The landscape is best described as prehistoric and unlike anything to be found in the UAE or Oman. We discovered a track up the side of the cone but it petered out before the rim, so we walked the short distance and peered down inside; a perfect crater appeared in front of us about 1km in diameter. Despite the use of our binoculars we could see no vehicle tracks inside and the potential descent from the rim looked like wed never get back out again. We traversed the bottom of the cone and looked for another way in. I had a go at another faint track that led up to the rim but like the previous route it petered out before the top had ever been reached. We instead camped in the lee of the cone and enjoyed a spectacular sunset and our first properly wild camp. (To be continued)
First wild camp view

+ a Climb for
Leading the first two Arab amputees and the Climb of Hope team to the summit of Kilimanjaro is a defining moment in my life as it is my way of paying back where I feel most at home: on the great mountains.



Words By: Suzanne Al Houby Photos By: Rahhalah Explorers Few years ago, I was climbing Denali a beautiful mountain in Alaska when bad weather kicked in and the waiting game began. Long hours were spent trapped in our little camp and we tried to stay active by shoveling the snow from around our tents, fortifying the snow walls we built to protect ourselves against the wind, eating and staring at the ceiling of ones tent. There was little reading material and we ran out of ideas for new games, our batteries died and hence our iPods were useless so we waited and waited. I snapped out of my half-sleep, half-awake state by some loud noises and people speaking Spanish close by. Our neighbours camping close to us were outside their tents killing time as well and the smell of their strong coffee acted like a magnet pulling me out of my sleeping bag. With so much time to kill, I decided to go visit with them, the fact that I was also secretly hoping that I may be offered some coffee was a big driver as well! It was a big Colombian team, they were friendly and chatty, and that coffee smelt even better when I was standing with them. Although I wasnt offered coffee right then, that encounter not only gave me one of the best ideas of my life but it actually changed lives of others! After the usual pleasantries of small talk such as where we came from and our climbing backgrounds we were then joined by an approaching man. He moved swiftly, with an air of confidence and a big smile. But he was different: he was a double amputee. He was proudly showing his artificial legs and didnt attempt to cover them up. It turned out that the whole group was climbing to support him to climb this mountain. Meeting him both humbled and inspired me greatly. When I went back to my tent, I was deeply moved, it was an intense feeling knowing that I was sharing this mountain, its incredibly hard and unpredictable elements with this man. It made me appreciate not only what he was doing on a personal level but what his climb represented as well the impossible takes someone to make it possible! I drifted back to sleep with blowing winds and I woke up at 2:00am with an incredible idea in my head: to take Arab amputees to a summit of Kilimanjaro and thus the Climb of Hope project was born. Being from this part of the world, I always felt that we have fewer inspirational stories than we should. In the past few years, we were all faced with big changes happening around us: political unrest, economical chaos, alarmingly increasing humanitarian

You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want. - Zig Ziglar




crisis, and many people specially the youth were left hopeless of a better tomorrow. The despair sometimes left them thoughtless, moving on without direction, weaker and lacking imagination. This was critical; when you score low on imagination you score low on lots of stuff! We needed stories of big feats, strengths and achievements that can motivate and inspire people around us. We need hope although sometimes it is hard to find we just need to keep believing. If people were given a chance or the opportunity, they could achieve great things. But what about the ones whose needs were forgotten? Upon my return from Alaska, I needed to search for teens who could join me on this climb as I wanted younger climbers to represent this story of hope. During the search, I was reminded of the reality of thousands of children who were in need of medical care but had no access to it in conflict-torn areas. I realised that the search will be hard and that I couldnt do it alone. So I partnered with the Palestine Children Relief Fund (PCRF) as it was clear to me that they had solid operation on the ground and with their network of social workers spread across many regions, they were the perfect partners not only to search for candidates for the Climb of Hope but also to be the cause of why we will be doing this to raise awareness and support for the humanitarian medical relief work for sick and injured kids in the Middle East. PCRF locates, sponsors and runs volunteer medical missions to the Middle East in pediatrics, as well as sending injured and sick Arab children to the Americas, Europe and the Middle East for care that is not available to them locally. Since its inception in 1991, the PCRF has treated over 1,000 children to donated care abroad. The PCRF also helps improve the quality of medical care in the Middle East by sending medical equipment and supplies to the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as training local Palestinian medical personnel to improve the quality of care and services within the public sector. After a thorough selection process, Yasmeen al Najjar, Mutasem Abu Karsh and Mohammad Jammous were chosen. They are between 16 and 17 years old, they all have lost a limb, they all have lived in conflict areas in Palestine and Syria, and they all have been treated by PCRF who gave them a second chance. A big challenge was to ensure that they were trained for the mountain with the very limited resources they all had. But the commitment of these three was a driver to train in spite of lacking gyms, trainers and on the ground guidance. Two months before the climb, Mohammad Jammous unfortunately had to cancel due to family reasons. On January 17, we all met in Tanzania; Yas-


meen, Mutasem and 11 climbers who were all joining to support the cause and help raise fund to help more kids get the medical care they needed. The team consisted of individuals coming from different countries backgrounds, all sharing one common goal: to help Yasmeen and Mutasem make history and spread hope. I have been on Kilimanjaro many times, this is one of the times that she was moody. We saw very little sunshine and had to trek in rain, hail and blowing winds. Never ever did Yasmeen and Mutasem show signs of giving up. When Yasmeens prosthesis was giving her a hard time due to friction on her stump, she would stop, take it off, air it and bandage it again so that she was ready to continue again, and with a big smile on her face! The camaraderie and the bond, which developed over the days between all members of the team, was incredible. The team was taking care of not only Yasmeen and Mutasem but also of each other. Our summit day began in the pre-dawn hours on January 23. We woke up at 3:00am and began the frenzy preparation of getting ready. With our headlamps giving us some vision, we began our summit push under a gorgeous starlit sky. It was very cold, windy and high. Our mood improved when the sun rose as we felt warmer and we could see what we were doing. But it was long. Hour after hour of pushing through until we stopped counting the hours and focused on altitude. 5,200m, and the lack of oxygen was slowing everybody down but we kept moving with determination. 5,400m, and what seemed to be a short distance or a nearby goal was actually farther than expected. 5,600m, here breathing became laborious, this was close to Stella point, and it was really hard reaching it. Weather

started changing and we were surrounded with clouds. Past Stella was the final push to the summit, and although this section is not steep, we were forced to slow down even more as we were approaching 5,895m. Seeing Yasmeen and Mutasems faces taking the final steps to Uhuru Peak, the summit of Kilimanjaro was priceless. To see that look of knowing what they have achieved and to have realised their potential was our own reward as a team for what we endured all these days. I thought that the defining moment for me on this climb was the summit, until on the way down I had this conversation with Mutasem. He was having a bad stomach pain and I was giving him pills to help. Then from a face showing how much pain he was in, Mutasem said, I now have the answer. I asked, What answer? He said, The answer to the question that everybody keeps asking in Gaza. I said, What question? He replied, What have you done with your life? Now I have the answer, I have climbed Kilimanjaro. This became my defining moment on the Climb of Hope. These two brave kids are our ambassadors of hope. I stated earlier that if people were given the opportunity, they could achieve big things in life. What about the others who werent given the opportunity? We all can help. We all can give kids like Yasmeen and Mutasem a chance to live a better life by providing them with the medical care that they need to change their lives. For more information or donations go to www.pcrf. net/climbofhope. We would like to thank: Marmot, Adventure HQ, Keuhne Foundation, Zidan Management Group, SwissLeg, IOM.OIM, MASHLM, MASHOM and Rahhalah Explorers.

Where the mountains meet the sea

Barasti Sailing Club at Al Jeer Marina, Ras Al Khaimah is the latest and the coolest place to check out on the UAEs outdoor circuit.
At the most northerly point in the Emirates and only two hours drive from Dubai, Al Jeer Marina is a sublime destination with excellent facilities, making it the ultimate base for exploring the nearby wadis and mountains of Ras Al Khaimah, or to access the unique coastline of the Musandam. Situated on the Straits of Hormuz it makes the perfect launch point for sailors heading to the Musandam Peninsular or by road Al Jeer is ideally situated just before the Al Dara Border crossing with Oman, thus making an ideal stopover for that visa run and offering a short or extended break location. Port sea entrance: N26 02 56 E56 04 58. The fully licensed clubhouse features a relaxing veranda constructed from the wood of old ships. A simple and tasty menu offers BBQ and fish and chips. There are free bar games of pool, table football, table tennis, darts or board games and there is even an outdoor area to play a game of boule, cricket or badminton in these stunning surroundings. Free high-speed Wi-Fi, a business centre and a kids corner with games and videos make this a great familyfriendly facility. Overnight stays are free if pitching your own tent, or you can rent-atent for only 50 AED per person. The camping is awesome at Al Jeer as unlike desert camping, it is immaculately clean, very safe and has hygienic washrooms with hot showers. Firewood is available at a very reasonable price





The Marina is an accredited Royal Yachting Association (RYA) training centre and hosts RYA dinghy and powerboat courses. The boating courses are run by Coastal Safety School, who have taken up residency at Al Jeer. The marina has power and water to its berths, a well-stocked marina shop has all the necessary boat supplies of ice and alike, a full laundry service, fuel and boat cleaning services are also available. The crystal waters here are unpolluted by the many construction projects throughout other parts of the region making it an excellent spot for diving, sport fishing and wildlife viewing turtles are often seen swimming in the marina. Fishing rods are available for hire to have family fishing fun on the pontoons. Nearby Aside from the Musandam Fjords only 15 nautical miles to the north, Al Jeer makes an excellent adventure training base, as there are many attractive spots nearby: The local surfers beach is only five minutes walk, the famous Stairway to Heaven climb is 10 minutes drive away. There are no shortage of wadi and desert driving routes Did you know? In Arabic, Al Jeer means of the rock.

The port and surrounding breakwaters were constructed in 2008, using the local mountain rock. Barasti Sailing Club takes its name from the locally sourced date palm material, which adorns the clubhouse and terrace. Marina rates Our attractive berthing rates are: Day: AED 100 Monthly: AED 13 per foot Annually: AED 130 per foot Catamarans charged x 1.5 of rates Business opportunities For future additions, it offers an excellent business opportunity venture for scuba dive companies, sea fishing trips, dhow tours, party boats and further water sports. If you are the owner of any outdoor pursuits company then Al Jeer would make the ideal new location. There is ample warehousing and offices for any marine related businesses at extremely competitive rates. Al Jeer Port Motel leasing opportunity In addition to the well-appointed clubhouse facilities situated adjacent to the marina is a newly constructed motel style accommodation within Al Jeer Port. This offers an ideal business opportunity and awaits an outdoor pursuits-style company to take on this exciting new business venture. All serious offers will be considered for this potentially lucrative enterprise. The double storey 62-bedroom Marina Motel adjacent to the marina would make an excellence outdoor training base, as it provides simple but good quality accommodation. Electricity and water is connected, the property has ample land surrounding it and offers the below facilities. Ground Floor 2 x Lounge Areas 14 x Single Bedrooms 2 Double Bedrooms Shared Toilets/Shower Rooms 6 x Single ensuite Bedrooms 11 x Double ensuite Bedrooms 1st Floor 1 x Lounge Area 11 x Single Bedrooms Shared Toilets/Shower Rooms Cafeteria/Dining Area and Kitchen 7 x Single ensuite Bedrooms 11 x Double ensuite Bedrooms For all enquiries contact Tim Bomberg on 0504873185 or Check the website: or come and visit us on stand ESS 225 at Dubai International Boat Show under RAK Ports.
Port Manager Tim Bomberg says: Unlike other marinas in the region, what we offer are tranquil and natural surroundings, where you can truly get away from it all.



for sea lovers

Its a frisky Friday morning and the weak fog is slowly lifting over the city. I have left the deserted morning highway and left my car in the parking of Dubai Marina Mall.
One PQ coffee later, I walk outside and there I meet the crew the boys of Sea Riders Amr and Cow. My crew is slowly turning up, eyes still half-shut after last nights social engagement, yet jittery and excited in the view of things to come. We were promised some serious fun, and we are here to get it. Sea Riders established in the Dubai Marina and, as we explained while the boat glides quietly out of Marina, expanded recently with a station in Dubai Creek is the top-of-the-line wakeboarding, fishing and wakesurfing company operating since August 2013. The company part is hardly believable, mainly because we feel like we know these guys for ages. The passion for sea and the connection with water, movement and life is seeping through their cores, they radiate natural ease and interest as Amr explains to us how the idea for a company started to brew. He had a small group of friends who became partners; friends who share the same passion as he does, all is ticking as it should, and

Sea riding

ready for more. We feel very comfortable, coffees in our hands, breeze flowing around us, as we pass the opulent monuments of the Marina and head out, past Skydive Dubai, into the lagoon. There is something reassuring and serene about the whole crew, people who havent met each other sit side by side, sharing stories and jokes; we are welcomed into the Sea Riders club and get to chat about the boat, watersports, we check out the controls and feel the watersports equipment, take pictures and observe Amr and Cow at work in their natural element. The top-of-the-line is hardly unbelievable. We are not sitting on some dingy with old beaten up Yamaha engine that has seen better days probably decades ago; we are talking serious luxury here. The boat is compact and initially, didnt seem like it would fit a crew of four, my gang of six and all the equipment plus food and personal bags, towels and whatnot. As soon as we started loading, the water gear went into its respective slots, neat and tidy out of sight. The seating have internal

compartments to store anything you need, shoes and its deemed too flyable got tucked away together. The seats are all draped in pristine lacquer white leather and the boat is finished in an amazing flare red. This is as luxurious as it gets, and it carries throughout every aspect of operational controls throughout the water vehicle. While we didnt get the chance to look under the hood, I can tell you that the sound system was pleasantly beating the increasing noise of speed on water through spanking sound system, all waterproof, cleverly installed around the seating area and on the wakeboarding tower. This is what you want as a novice or an experienced Sea Rider, as we self-proclaimed - the safety and security of quality, the trust of known brands, the experience and expertise of the crew who selected and invested into your well-being. Short ride out, we are ready to go on the water. It is 8:30am now, sun has gloriously risen and dispersed the last of the morning fog, warming up the water for our clumsy feet. Amr laughs and assures us that everyone falls,



and proceeds to demonstrate just that. Quick clip-in into the board, he is off to taste the salt first. I suspect he is downplaying his skills; nevertheless, skids beautifully into the wave the boat creates, which is where the name wake comes from. Instantly, we are fighting over who is going to go next. Cow at the boats wheel is chuckling as he listens to our bickering. Finally we agree on some sort of an order and I get my impact vest on, essential to keep you afloat before take-off, in-between rides and for body protection. Now a little bit of theory: wake riding can be done in different ways and it really doesnt matter what your level of experience or the lack of is. Wakeboarding requires a board with bindings and the style uses a combination of water skiing, snowboarding and surfing technique. Wakesurfing requires a surf board and the main difference between both is in the freedom of your feet. Talking about feet, wakeboarding straps, wakesurfing frees. Both are equally challenging in their own ways and offer slightly different riding options and tricks possibilities. Both can be performed by novice and professionals alike with wakeboarding having the classic feel to it after all, it is an officially recognised sport originated in the 1980s, while wakesurfing is still in its infantry. Both styles offer equal pleasure on the water, it really only depends on what are you more comfortable with; your feet fixed (snowboardstyle) or free (skateboard-style), both of which are available onboard. I myself am going with the wakesurfing option. I cant wait to get into the water. But first the essential briefing. Amr takes over and explains the basics, with Cow adding important tips; start position is naturally important, on your back and resting with board ready at handle in hands; take-off will be smooth I am told, feel the gentle pull of the engines and respond in one smooth movement; feet positioning at boarding and what to do once I am up; how to pull in and hold on that little bit longer; the ultimate fall and painless landing so crucial to safe experience. In retrospect, I am grateful for the little things both pinpointed before the action and most importantly, the way they explained everything with ease, simple terms and patience. Listen carefully when they do so on your trip; it will save you

strained muscles, sore joints and your dignity. I jump into the water; the boys throw me a line to grab onto. Amr looks out for me and signals Cow to start moving. At this point, I am leisurely floating on my back, feet on the board, waiting for the gentle pull to get me up.The boat skillfully starts accelerating and gives me plenty of time, just as Amr briefed me before, to gracefully stand up on the board. The start into your ride is important; it sets your mood and mindset to the level awesome. I am exhilarated and my mates are cheering; silent envy no doubt at my effortlessly elegant start. I dont really know how to explain the feeling I am experiencing; seconds pass but feel like minutes, my whole body is engaged in keeping me onboard this flimsy board bashing through the wave. I am ecstatic beyond belief; like I have scaled the Mount Everest or discovered a treasure. Amr is signaling me to let go off the handle of the rope into the wake as it was clear that I was very comfortable surfing with the rope; I trust him unconditionally as I start pulling myself towards the end of the boat; trying to keep my body on the board through the growing waves, extending my hand to hi-five my friends to mark my passage into the Sea Riders community. I never make it though, water power showing me just where I belong, smack onto the surface. Man, even the fall was an achievement. Board flies off and impact vest pulls me up as soon as I go under. I am smiling like an idiot and all I think of is again, again, again. I grab the board and get myself ready, now knowing and not wasting time stressing about the pull up. I am hooked to this; up, stand, rope in, even flipping the board a little, daring for a baby surf trick. Naturally I dont care, and after 10 minutes I think my crew is ready to leave me when I landed just so that others can try. I crawl onboard and only then I realise how adrenaline-packed and high-intensity the experience has been. My body, not used to the smash all-around workout, is winding down on the boats deck, and my mind cannot stop racing, figuring out where I went wrong, how to do which part better next time. My view at this point is spectacular; I am lounging on this gorgeous boat, named appropriately The Beast, overpowered by the waves and soaking up the

sun, watching one of my mates, who has done wakeboarding before, take his first ride. He takes off effortlessly on the pull of the boat, huge smile across his face, and crosses from port to starboard like he was born to do it. At this point, we all just stare at his jumps, cheer him on and that is what each and every one of us want to do. Just ride the wake, as hard as you can, lift off into the air, feel the weightlessness of your own self, spin midair exchanging hands on the rope handle like its nothing, landing elegantly on the water, making the board and the surface of the sea one, not two separated elements. That is why we are here, that is what we strive to be, I know he couldnt wait to get out there. Well, after his turn, he couldnt wait to get back there again. The equipment, being superb and very reliable (that is precisely what you need), enabled him to slip right into it after nearly two years of wakeboarding hiatus. When he eventually crawled onboard, I couldnt get a word out of him; he was rushing and blabbing about the wake, boards and tight landings for nearly half an hour. My other friends went through the same experienceas I did and the feeling of happiness spreads through the boat, crew, even the other passing boats with passengers waving at us, cheering on, encouraging us to keep going. No one is left behind and we take turns well into our three-hour ride-out. Sun is peaking at 11:30am and we are exhausted, happy and beaten up by the power of the sea. I dont think we can take anymore. Amr and Cow take a last stroll over our landing strip and head back to the Marina, and we cook out a plan for next month; same boat, same crew, same team, and same serious fun. In a half day, all of us became sea-friends; the feeling of community and engagement solidified by sharing a small boat and a big bond together; our horizon of possibilities open wide. Sea Riders we became, and Sea Riders we remain. Catch Amr, Cow and crew down at Marina Mall dock. Check out their website or give them a shout on 055 5103739. Prices start from 275 AED for 30 minutes.



Crab Watermelon Sushi

Words By: Chef Christopher Zerbe

Habitually healthy
Ingredients: Amount 300g ea Ingredients Red watermelon (peeled, de-seeded) Fresh cooked crab meat (jumbo lump) Paleo mayonnaise (1 cup light olive oil, 1 egg, 2tbl lemon juice, pinch salt, tsp Dijon mustard shake it up!) Chopped fresh thyme Lemon (zested) (juiced use in the mayonnaise!) Lime (zested) (juiced use in the mayonnaise!) Pimenton (sweet smoked Spanish paprika) Sea salt Black pepper (crushed) Your favourite lettuces! (Organic please!) Avocado (halved and sliced) Orange ginger sesame dressing (3:1 light olive oil, orange Juice/splash of favourite vinegar, grated ginger, splash of sesame oil) Organic gardeners delight cherry tomatoes (halved) Organic cucumber (sliced) 120g 2tbsp


I find that this upcoming summer my diet will become a bit lighter, the timings of my meals and exercise will change as well.

Well now its spring time here in the UAE and the temperature is already warming up! The evenings and mornings are still a great time to cycle as its still a bit cool and nice. This is the time when I start planning my summer before it gets too hot.

1g 1ea 1ea 1 pinch 1 pinch 1 pinch 1 handful and an 85g portion of prawns has an average of 18g of protein. As always I highly recommend grass-fed pasture raised meats and poultry, and line caught wild seafood. When you consider the energy expended during an 84km ride out at Al Qudra Cycling Path on a Friday morning or racing in The Great Dubai Pulse Ride Offroad (March 28th), or competing in the six-week challenge down at Flywheel Dubai indoor cycling and FlyBarre studio or even just a workout at Reeboks Lifespark CrossFit gym, you need to fuel your body with the right combinations of proteins, fluids to keep you going. Heres a bit whimsical recipe of mine for Crab and Watermelon Sushi. I even like to add a bit of avocado, some blueberries and even a few slices of seared wild tuna. This is really fun to make and even more fun to eat and will impress your riding partners or even your lunch guests at home! Enjoy and stay healthy this spring and summer. 1ea 3tbsp

How should I change my plans to balance with the upcoming months weather changes you ask? I have always found that as we sweat more to cool our bodies down, we need to increase our fluid intake as well as eat foods naturally high in phytonutrients and antioxidants. These not only help to combat vitamin and mineral deficiencies but also help to prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes and more! After chatting with a few of the boys here at The Cycle Hub and some of our friends down at Flywheel Dubai, I find quite a few common items in each persons diet, including: blueberries, squash, melon, lettuces, avocadoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes and mangoes. All of these fresh ingredients make amazing salads! But what about proteins? What is good to consume pre-workout or post-workout? Here are a few fantastic proteins for summer: venison, yellow fin tuna and roasted chicken breast all come in around 34g of protein per serving. Just 4oz of stone crab has over 15g of protein

6ea ea

The Cycle Bistro GPS location: Latitude: N 25 02.792 Longitude: E 055 14.384 04 425 6555 Phone:





Life in snapshots
Words By: John Basson Photos By: John-John Basson

As much as I wanted to ride Round 4 of the UAE Baja I could not get either one of my quads ready. Circumstances just caused the two weeks between Round 3 and Round 4 (held on 14th February) to flash by.
It was however a perfect opportunity to take John-John for some more photography lessons. During Round 3 of the series, I entered the event on my bike and decided it was time to introduce John-John to action photography. I gave him an old Fuji camera that looks like a SLR, but without a detachable lens. It was surely not what one would recommend for the job, but he has to start at the bottom and work his way up. The camera was very good at the time for a digital camera, but slow to focus and thus not the perfect weapon for action shots. As I was riding the race, I was not able to assist him and only managed to give him as many guidelines on what and what not to do during the event. More concerned about his safety, I hammered the fact that he was to remain clear of the riders and also pointed out (before the event started) where he was allowed to stand and where not to. Every time I passed a lap I could see the excitement as he cheered me on and attempted to get some good photos of his dad. Well the results of my riding was (to me) just as pleasing as JJs photos. We managed to post more than 300 good shots on Facebook and the response he got was overwhelming. Convinced that he would be able to improve if I allowed him the use of one of my Nikons, I did not really mind not riding in the last round. My plan was to take JohnJohn out again, but this time we could be together and I could guide him as we went along. With the added weight of the Nikon, I bought an awesome monopod from Carrefour for only 90 AED! This was love at first use when JJ started snapping away. I could hear the excitement in his voice as he was constantly complimenting the Nikons performance and the wows did not stop. I suppose I should have taken his camera during the day and just viewed some of his shots, but it slipped my mind. I was constantly advising and reminding him regarding positioning and what to look for before pressing the shutter. After all the compliments and praises he received for his first attempt and the new awesome camera, I think he forgot the basics and was just snapping away like a runaway train. We did have a rather firm talk, even though there were great shots, his ratio of good shots dropped from 40-50% down to about 15-20% of usable shots. I suppose that is normal for an 11-year-old boy, but I am also sure that he will never forget the speech (repeated, and repeated) that I gave him as we looked at the photos on the PC. To again boost his shattered ego I took both our cameras with us on our last quad ride (weekend after the Baja Round 4). As we departed the ride from Skydive Dubais parking lot the plan was to take photos of the skydivers after the quad ride. This we were both looking forward to. Sadly, we were not allowed to move past the ground control personnel due to obvious safety reasons. This truly limited our ability to take good shots and also limited to those jumpers who landed on the nearest patch of grass. John-John however managed to recover most of the shatters from his ego as he got some awesome shot, especially considering our limited movement. My brother-in-law, AJ, told me once that life is like a video store: Every adventure, outing, fun event or exciting thing we do is an extra video in our store. The more things you do the more videos (memories) you will have one day when you are old. This was the best way I have ever heard life being put in simple terms. Taking photos and videos of these events is just my way to ensure that these memories can one day be viewed in HD! I hope that both my sons will take up the exciting world of photography so they can also record their memories in HD! Ride safe and go for gold,

John Basson





A round-up of quality products available right here in the UAE
Black Diamond Momentum SA Package
500 AED
Available at Go Sport The Dubai Mall and Bawabat Al Sharq Mall in Abu Dhabi, Adventure HQ in Times Square in Dubai. Qatar, Doha: Go Sport in Villaggio Mall and Doha City Center Featuring everything you need to get started climbing in the gym or out at the crags, the Momentum SA Package is a complete, convenient start-up kit for new climbers. Color: Steel/Lava Includes: Momentum SA harness ATC belay/rappel device RockLock Screwgate carabineer Black Diamond chalk bag Black Diamond White Gold chalk

Black Diamond Magnetron GridLock and Magnetron RockLock Carabiner

195 AED (Magnetron GridLock) 165 AED (Magnetron RockLock)

Available at Go Sport The Dubai Mall and Bawabat Al Sharq Mall in Abu Dhabi, Adventure HQ in Times Square in Dubai. Qatar, Doha: Go Sport in Villaggio Mall and Doha City Center The Black Diamond Magnetron RockLock locking carabiner uses the power of magnets to give you the security of a locking biner with incredible ease of use. Both magnetic arms must be individually depressed before the gate can open, to prevent accidental openings Once open, opposing magnetic fields repel the arms to ensure smooth and reliable gate operation Black Diamond Magnetron locking carabiner has a key lock nose that wont snag on pro, ropes or slings, making the carabiner simple to clip

FirstBIKE Balance Bike

550 AED (Basic model with no brake) 640 AED (Cross model with brake) 640 AED (Street model with brake) 795 AED (Limited edition)
Available at Adventure HQ Times Square The perfect training bike for your child from 2 to 5 years old and the first choice for parents worldwide. FirstBIKE supports the development of a childs balance and provides a no-stress method of learning to ride a bike. The award winning FirstBIKE balance bike has raised the bar for all balance bikes, push bikes and training bikes. Like others, the FirstBIKE helps develop balance and motor skills. What set them apart from other training bikes are their composition, quality, and ability to change. These balance bikes were designed in Germany and made with fibreglass polyamide and other light-weight and high-strength materials. Unlike training bikes made with wood or metal, these bikes will not swell, scratch, splinter, or rust and these bikes are extremely durable. Also unlike the other brands, FirstBike balance bike tyres are profile Trax tyres with tubes with Schrader valves. An extra safety feature is the Safety Stop Hand brake; which is adjustable to fit even the tiniest of hands.



Fusion Technology JP Australia boards

6,600 AED Wood Sandwich Gloss 6, 000 AED Wood Sandwich 4,750 AED AST 995 AED cut to length 65% carbon paddle

Available at Adventure HQ and JP Australia Middle East Facebook group or contact Richard Howes 0529820988 These multi-purpose SUPs have a different shape concept and are slightly more wave oriented than the JP Allround boards. The bottom shapes of the 98 and 102 feature a single concave throughout running into a V towards the tail. Their noses create efficient lift and the rails produce good bite during turns. Quite a bit of nose rocker makes them fit well into the waves. The 108 x 34 is the widest board in the JP range. It has a slight single concave in the center of the board which runs into an increasing V towards the tail. The V in the tail helps to rail up this big and wide board when going down a wave. They work for any level of SUPer from beginners to flat water cruisers as well as for first time wave riders and wave experts. They all come with a thruster setup and FCS nose plugs for your Go Pro camera.





Garmin Virb Elite
1,699 AED
Available at Carrefour, Sharaf DG, Jumbo, Go Sport, Adventure HQ VIRB is a true HD 1080p action camera that combines Garmin-quality housing, enhanced HD video recording and intuitive features. The outdoor optimised, 1.4 Chroma color display lets you easily setup shots, playback video and adjust the camera settings once set, - simply move the oversized slide switch forward to start filming. Record at 1080p for over three hours on one battery charge. All this comes in a rugged design thats rated IPX7* (1m/30min) even before you put it in the optional dive case (to 50m). VIRB Elite adds features including WiFi, GPS, barometer and accelerometer to facilitate brand new features like action-triggered video recording. *IPX7 standards protects against water immersion for 30 minutes at a depth of 1metre.

Optrix XD5/XD5C/XD5S
650 AED
Available at Eaglerider Dubai, Virgin Mega Stores, iQ and Bikers JLT Turn your iPhone into an action camera! The iPhone is the most used camera in the world and Optrix knows that sometimes the best shots require you to get a little rough and dirty, a little banged up, and to obviously have the right lens. This is the Optrix XD5, the worlds first and only case to give your iPhone5 a 33ft waterproof, rugged up to 5G shocks and a 175 fisheye lens in a one compact solution. The case designs and quality standards are so difficult to manufacture that Optrix hired the company that builds ruggedised laptops according to the US military shock and vibration standards to build the XD5, dont get fooled with cheap imitations, its your iPhone at risk here and Optrix guarantees its safety. XD5 package includes: iPhone 5/5C/5S housing iPhone sled Fisheye lens Flat adapter to fit flat surfaces Curved adapter to fit curved surfaces like helmets Lens cover Leash

Jobe Sports Kneeboard Package

1,000 AED
Available at Al Yousuf Motors Showrooms Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Al Ain, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah Enjoy the UAE shores on your knee with the Jobe 2014 package that includes Justice Kneeboard Red, Universal Vest Red, Kneeboard combo and transport bag. Swallow-tail design helps to initiate turns and promote spins Beveled edge for a smooth, fluid and forgiving ride The unique base design creates more edge hold during carving Strong 2 neoprene padded webbing single locking strap The handle-hook allows beginning riders to get up easy and quickly and then automatically retracts flush with the deck when not in use Ergonomic seat pad with deep knee wells for added comfort






Life Line Leash

150 AED
Available at GO Sport Villaggio, City Centre Doha and The Dubai Mall. The Mocke Life Line is designed for open ocean paddling as well as leisure kayaking. We believe a craft leash is one of the most essential safety accessories. That is why we developed the Mocke Life Line with the following features: High performance stainless steel buckle specifically designed to eliminate gate failure; no spring or pins to break Simple press + connect mechanism Rip-release system for disconnecting in a hurry just pull the red Velcro tab Double swivel design prevents twisting and tangling Lightweight, compact design Extra strong construction to ensure ultimate reliability Tips: Rinse your Mocke Life Line with fresh water after every use to ensure continued optimal functionality. Always inspect your Life Line before paddling. Practice connecting and disconnecting the new press + connect buckle before use. The Mocke Life Line is not designed for surfing.

Mocke Deluxe Paddle Bag

350 AED
Available at GO Sport Villaggio, City Centre Doha and The Dubai Mall. The Mocke Deluxe Paddle Bag is the original all-purpose paddle bag. It has been designed to be the one bag every paddler will need for: training, travelling, racing or all of the above. Two spacious compartments to separate dry and wet kit Made entirely of waterproof ripstop fabric Adjustable backpack straps for easy, comfortable carrying Superior quality anti-corrosion zips on all compartments Padded split paddle compartment with blade separator Cell phone and key pouch inside the large compartment Fragile stickers integrated in surface design Tips: Never leave your wet gear in the bag overnight, it will stink in the morning! Wash your bag at least once a season, i.e. every three months




Bicycles starts from 4,000 AED

Available at Besport Bikeshop Abudhabi UAE,,, 02 445 5838 Matte colours. Sober. Classy. Unique. Sharp. Inevitable. Bikes definitely different. Sleek lines. With optimized geometries. Tested by us. Approved by our riders. No need for long sentences to make ourselves understood. Commencal keeps its roots. And tell them even more through each material. Every angle. Each component. Comfort, reliability, sincerity are felt in each of our models. Justify why we are getting even more high-end. And deepen our commitment to quality. With its new 650b format, the META AM1 offer high quality and is intended for both fierce competitors and avid all-mountain enthusiasts who love beautiful material. Its flawless components were carefully selected to provide you with the performance, comfort and fun to every run. Coming soon in the United Arab Emirates.


Helmets starts from 700 AED

Available at When POC entered the bike scene we wanted to use the experience we developed in making revolutionary ski helmets and transfer that knowledge and technology to bike helmets. The concepts, which we initially used for ski helmets, have been further developed and refined to meet all the demands of todays bike users, from downhill (DH), dirt, freeride and BMX. Our goal is simple to always provide better and improved protection. Coming soon in the United Arab Emirates.





Words By: Will Pardoe

Mocke Racer PFD

Designed by World Surfski Series champion Dawid Mocke, the Racer PFD is a well thought-out piece of kit obviously made with racing in mind. This approach has resulted in surprisingly clever features that will entice recreational and competitive paddlers alike. One such feature is the mesh body, which allows maximum airflow whether in the heat of battle, or just the heat. With the summer season approaching, no one wants to put on a PFD, so this feature might just save your life. A downside I see in the mesh is durability, especially in river environments where trees are known to attack innocent paddlers. On the ocean, this shouldnt be a problem. One of my favourite things about the Racer is its large back pouch, big enough to hold a water bladder. With the tube fed through the shoulders and tucked into an elastic strap at the front, youll have refreshment available without even missing a paddle stroke. The good-sized front pouch is suitable for your energy bars or sunscreen, secured by

a sturdy strip of Velcro. I would have more confidence in a zipper closure, but it has the advantage of being quick to access when every second counts. With bulkier loads the Velcro may become an issue with time. As for looks, its neon-orange mesh is a bit hard on the eye, but is certainly visible if you ever need it to be. This is boosted by six reflective strips on the tops and shoulders. My main issue with this buoyancy aid is the lack of an attachment point for a rescue knife or VHF radio. This limits its practicality for touring or river running, but then again thats not what it was designed with in mind. Along the racing theme, Mocke wanted to create a totally unobtrusive PFD. I certainly forgot it was there when I hit the rapids of Wadi Adventure! The open sides and cut shoulders allow a full range of movement, including fluid front crawl for when youve messed up and are swimming to safety. Overall, the Mocke Racer PFD is a good choice for competitors and recreational paddlers alike, who are looking for a light-weight buoyancy aid, good for day trips. It caters perfectly to what it was designed for, while

at the same time creating features that will be appreciated by all types of paddlers in the coming season. Available at Go Sport in the UAE at The Dubai Mall, Bawabat Al Sharq Mall Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Mall and in Qatar at Villaggio Mall and City Center Doha at 495 AED.

Mocke Paddle Shorts

These unisex paddling shorts are also designed with the racer in mind. When you slip them on, a sense of acceleration and speed comes over you; you feel aerodynamic and ready to win races! It has a unique double-layer construction; the outer fabric was chosen to be grippy, while the inner layer allows movement to reduce chafing. It is also a wicking material that will keep you cool and comfortable out on the water.

Now, where do they fall down? Hopefully never! But to be honest they dont leave much to the imagination anyway. Dignity comes from winning races. These paddle shorts were designed to be slick and swish, with an emphasis on anti-chafing. With soft seams and the gliding two layer fabric, these are a top pick for competitive paddlers. Available at Go Sport in the UAE at The Dubai Mall, Bawabat Al Sharq Mall Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Mall and in Qatar at Villaggio Mall and City Center Doha at 150 AED.





A two-wheeled tank taking on any obstacle

First contact with the Surly Moonlander Fat Bike aka the Desert Bike
Words By: Daniel Birkhofer Photos By: Daniel Birkhofer and Sean James

Nowadays, there are almost new daily inventions for the outdoor industry which promise more than they can actually keep, and some are even useless even before they leave the drawing board.
When a friend showed up at a beach event with his new Fat Bike, I was certainly one of the doubters. Yes, the bike looks pretty cool, mean and it catches attention wherever you go. So my first impression was that his toy is only something for showing off while cruising up and down the beach. Having road cycled for many years, I am familiar with the principal of keeping minimal footprint on the road, to reduce friction and increase speed or at least

the power you need to put into the pedals to gain momentum. These big, fat and almost flat tyres are certainly the opposite. But that is the whole idea of the invention. Anyone who took his car to the dunes is familiar with the principals of sand driving which are quite the opposite of road driving. To be able to manoeuvre through the dunes and soft sand, you need to increase the footprint of your tyres to a maximum which is done by releasing pressure off the tyres. The same

principal applies for the bike. A normal bike would still not have a big enough footprint to drive in soft sand, but the Fat Bike does. After observing my friend cruising along the beach, I was too curious not to ask for a test ride. Within the first few minutes, I changed from a doubter to a believer. I tried to prove to my friend that the bike is not working and made hard turns in the sand where in normal tyres would dig in and you would lose momentum or balance and fall off or stop. But on the flat sand on the beach, there was no way to be stopped. Another half year or so has passed until the Fat Bikes made it into the retail stores in the UAE and I had the chance to test it properly in the desert. My verdict didnt change - it works in almost any condition. This day, a love affair has started and I couldnt wait to get my own Fat Bike. The thing I like the most is that you can cycle away from roads and in complete remoteness and quietness. The horrific recent accidents with cyclists on the road keep me away from road cycling. The bike tracks like in Al Qudra in Dubai are great, but too limited for my taste and I get bored quickly. With the Fat Bike, you have an incredible and infinite playground outside your doorstep. It is not a race bike and you might be surprised about your average speed which might be less than 10km/h. Its the same thing if you go off-road





with your car, in technical terrain, you can only go slow. But with slow and steady movement you can go anywhere. Tyre pressure is of the essence and the softer the sand or the steeper the dunes, the lower you need to go with the pressure to maintain traction. How low you ride is a thing of personal preference. Also different to road cycling but known to mountain bikers is that you cannot stand up to get more leverage on the pedals, you need your weight on the back wheel to keep traction. The bad thing is the steeper it gets the more weight you would need on the back wheel, so no way of standing up. Suspension of the bike like a suspended fork is not required, since the bike tyres can buffer a lot and provide a smooth ride even on rocky terrains. Sometimes, it even feels like riding a two-wheeled tank, no matter what obstacle comes along your way, bushes, rocks and bumps, the Fat Bike just flattens them out. The workouts in some terrains are also good cardio training, no long inclines or flats, continuous up and down dunes, leaving little time to catch your breath. So far, I only had to push the bike once which was at Fossil Rock at the last steep incline. The whole slope was digged up by car tracks leaving only super soft sand on steep terrain that it was impossible to get enough traction. If you are not up for a workout, you can choose flat terrain with more compact sand which is great for group rides. Since you are far, far away from the roads, you will not need to worry about riding in a line next to each other. The peacefulness and quietness allow chats within the group at anytime. After long search, I finally found a sport I can easily do close to my home that is safe, fun and a great workout even alone. I will keep riding my beloved Fat Bike. I guess many would like to get into Fat Biking after reading this article. The entry is super easy: get a bike and go in the dunes. You will also find an open and friendly community exchanging knowledge, routes and sharing

rides. The bike price starts at 11,000 AED, but for a good reason. It is after all a small production bike (knowingly mass production makes stuff much cheaper). In essence, making a Fat Bike seems very simple. It looks like its just a case of making the spaces in the frame/forks bigger and put in the bigger rims and tyres. The problem is getting the chain line to work. With a conventional bike design and geometry, the tyre would get in the way of the gears changing. If you just want to ride on flat boring terrain one option is to just have very few gears. For a more versatile bike you need a conventional range of gears, nowadays this is 2 x 10 (two chain rings at the front and 10 cogs on the cassette at the back). The Moonlander is the only production bike currently available that runs conventional 2 x 10 gearing with its huge 100mm rims and 4.8 inch tyres. It achieves the correct chain line by using a series of very clever engineering solutions. First of, it uses a wide (100mm) bottom bracket (standard is 68 or 73mm) combined with the Surly OD crankset. The OD cranks move the chain rings out

even more, an extra one space in fact. The small chain ring is put in the place where a middle chain ring would normally be and the middle chain ring is put in the place of the outer chain ring or bash guard. Last is the really clever bit. When looking at the back of a Moonlander it suddenly becomes obvious that it has a very asymmetrical set up but still all lined up. Its also clever that it doesnt use a special extra huge hub in the rear wheel, it uses a commonly available, standard rear 135mm hug. Instead the asymmetrical shape of the frame shoves the hub and cassette of gears out to the side to give the chain line its correct space and alignment while using an offset laced (spokes all on one side) rear wheel. Its difficult to imagine; the engineers were definitely thinking out of the box when they came up with this ingenious solution. So if you get the chance, take a moment to study the back of one of these bikes to understand just how clever the solution is. The Moonlander Fat Bikes are available throughout the region. Stockists are Adventure HQ and Go Sports or they can be ordered through any good bike shop.



From stem to stern

Yousuf Industrial LLC - Yamaha boat factory is one of the leading manufacturers of the premium quality pleasure and commercial boats in the UAE. The factory produces more than 25 models ranging from 19 to 42ft boats. Al Yousuf Industrial LLC - Yamaha Boat Factory is the first and only Yamaha licensed boat factory in the Gulf region, boosting an experience of over 21 years.
We are committed to producing a perfectly satisfying product from design, to engineering, to manufacturing, to quality control, sales and distribution. As well as, professional repair services and maintenance covering all parts of the boat as per Yamaha high standards, we guarantee you a firstclass experience. Our services In addition to boat manufacturing, Al Yousuf

Experience YAMAHA
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The majestic Matterhorn

e r u t n e v i Ch ck Ad

in Italia
This month I spent time carving up the piste in picture perfect conditions in Cervinia, a wonderful little Italian ski resort, in the shadows of the mighty Matterhorn. I was due a little respite from the mountains I think you see, 2013 threw me a few curveballs on the mountains and trails.

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


On several occasions, they beat me down and showed me whos boss. First up, I never made it to a race in Nepal last March due to Maoist road-blocks causing havoc on the road to Pokhara. The following month, I ventured to lovely Lyon for my annual girls trip with the intention

All smiles at the end of a perfect day on the piste

of running the Beaujolais Village Trail, a gorgeous 65km through the rambling wine estates of the Beaujolais. The race turned out to be wonderful but a scary car accident en route to the race could have created a very different ending. Next up, end of May, I flew to Geneva with the intention of running the 80km Maxi Race in the mountains above Annecy, one of Frances most beautiful towns. On the eve before the race, even after registration, the entire event was cancelled due to snow and unsafe conditions. Needless to say, I was persuaded instead by my dear friends to drink grape till we dropped in a bijou wine bar and then attempt to hit the race route ourselves the following day. Think knee deep in snow and sliding all over! Finally, in November, the now iconic Skyrun in South Africa, the countrys toughest single stage event, was abandoned mid-race after a truly unforgettable humbling experience. As one runner, AJ Calitz, one of South Africas top ultra runners so aptly said, Humbled by the weather, our mountains and our maker. So my recent Italian adventure came as a perfect reminder of how truly marvelous the mountains are when they behave when obstacles dont rudely interrupt our plans and the weather doesnt cause havoc. Thankfully, I can now say that my faith in the magic of the mountains has been fully restored! Cervinia, sitting at 6,726ft / 2,050m is an easy resort to access from Dubai just a short(ish) hop to Milan and then two hours up the road. The ski area is enormous and the mountains truly majestic and utterly breathtaking. You can ski all the way to Zermatt in Switzerland but if having lunch on the other

side, you just need be aware of leaving enough time to catch the lifts up, to get back to Italy before they close. I learnt this many years ago, from bitter experience! Italians know how to live la dolce vita lunch was in chocolate-box chalets, all wood and chintz, three-course Italian feasts washed down by warming bottles of red. Evenings were spent sipping Prosecco and playing games by the fire after yet another feast of gastronomic proportions. The snow was perfect, as soft and fluffy as it gets with all around, 360-degree panoramic views of stunning snowcapped peaks. There was certainly no shortage of the white stuff, so if readers suddenly have an urge to fit in a week before the season ends, why not?! My days normally ended on such a high that no sooner had I returned to the hotel, did I swap my skis for my Yaktrax (crampons for running on ice) and head back out, this time to run on the snow. Its moments like this that you feel so incredibly alive treading where many do not and discovering pastures new, far away and up high. On one particular day, the theme for this months column suddenly came to me in a light bulb moment. My dad, who I was with, had a mighty wipeout. Off piste, the snow was so deep that his skis, scattered perhaps 30ft above where he lay, were nowhere to be seen at first. Dad, are you ok? Did you hurt yourself? I asked him. No, no, Victoria, Im fine. Just my dignity I immediately shot him down. Dont be silly, I said. Theres no shame in falling. If you dont fall, then youre not trying hard enough. And there it was the message for the month! In skiing as in life, if we dont fall every now and then, were not trying hard enough. And then of course, it occurred to me that skiing holds a few good metaphors for life. It epitomises the strength, courage and endurance that life requires. Life asks us to zigzag right and left around obstacles, as if were on a slalom course but all too often, we try to proceed fast and straight. Perhaps, its no wonder then that we so often plough headlong into problems!

Photo By: Il Gruppo Digitale




Ski conditions vary. There can be bright sunshine, clouds, rain, sleet, fog and sometimes, huge snowstorms. The wind can be howling or calm and the temps can range from sub-zero to spring skiing t-shirt weather. The slope surface can be frozen firm or feet on feet of soft powder. Sometimes the slopes are groomed to perfection whilst other times there are moguls galore. Similarly, life conditions vary. At times, all things are going well, like the perfect day on the slopes with the sunshine beaming down and the skis running true. Other times we have trouble and strife. Skiers however, have a way of finding joy on the slopes in spite of the conditions. The joy is heightened with good conditions but conquering the difficult conditions can become a joy in itself. And I think this is true of life too. Whatever the situations we encounter, there is always opportunity to find joy! The only way down is to ski down the hill. Once youre off the chairlift, the only way out is down! You have to just turn your skis down the hill and go. Theres a big element of trusting yourself and what youve practiced to instinctually do the right thing. Likewise, in life, sometimes we just need to put ourselves on the top of that hill and conquer any doubts it doesnt matter if were not always going at lightening speed or looking super suave and stylish. What matters, is that were moving in the right direction. Taking a fall is also a reflection of life because you never really see it coming. And when it happens, it is, at times, easy peasy to get back


Me and my dad who prompted the theme for this months Adventure Chick!

up again, or at others, not at all. You might have lost a ski halfway up the hill and feel your confidence battered. But in skiing and in life, you just need to take the time you need to put yourself back together again, without pressure from anyone else and most of all, from yourself. The final life lesson of skiing is to know your limits. Sure, we all like to talk of diving in and pushing our limits but we also need to evaluate the risk of a situation. If youre not a kick-a** skier, you dont want to find yourself

at the top of a lift where the only way down is on a double black diamond! So its important to plan ahead and raise the bar with new limits that are achievable and not going to end in disaster. On my last evening, the sunset on the Matterhorn left me speechless and I left with a heavy heart. I headed straight to bonnie Scotland for some downtime and now write this on EK27 en route back to the desert. Looking forward to touch down.

Love Tori x


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ONE 126








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Mohammed Hasan Al Murawwi

Occupation: Cyclist Nationality: Emirati

The first Dubai Tour heralds a new era of cycling in the Middle East and Mohammed is pumped to have been a part of this game changing event as a rider for the Skydive Dubai team and be able to compete in the same arena with his cycling idols.
How did you get into cycling? Having a bicycle in my age when I started in 2000 to 2001 was a dream. And the easy way to ride a bike was to register with any cycling team in my city, so I started with Emirates Club in RAK. I was happy with my first year of cycling, I landed sixth place in UAE Road Race championship and at the end of the session I was proud that national team choose me to be one of UAE cyclists. Ive participated in the Asian Cycling Championships, Tour of Sharjah and others. When did you join the Skydive Dubai Continental Team? The Skydive cycling team is a project from Al Ahli Club and then I moved from Emirates Club to Al Ahli Club in 2012-2013. We started the first continental team in the cycling history of UAE on January 1st 2014 . How did you prepare for the Dubai Tour 2014? We started our Skydive training camp in Fujairah (UAE) on 22nd January it was the first team camp and meet. Dubai Tour 2014 is a very good chance for me and Nawaf Al Balooshi to have an experience with pro

riders as we are with the continental team for the first time; also to learn a lot from our teammates who have plenty of race experiences. What keeps you focused during your training? These are the most motivational words said to me with regards to cycling trainings and racing, and its from my friend: Remember what you are fighting for and never give up, Marwi. Do you follow a special diet? Diet is the last thing I do. Its hard to choose what you eat after 200km of riding or racing, you will just eat everything you can [laughs]! Im joking,our coach Andreas Peterman always advice us on what to eat and whats also useful for the team. Its what you eat and when you can eat it. What was your mindset during the Dubai Tour 2014? Dubai Tour 2014 was the first big race in my pro cycling life. It was a just dream and now it became a reality. It was a time of learning and getting experience in order for our team to be ready and achieve our target to be in the top three of the Asian Category. Step by step we developed ourselves.

What is the most exciting and challenging thing about this sport? To be part of the Skydive Dubai team and the first edition of the Dubai Tour. To stay in love with your bike until the end of a session. To be patient and do your very best in every training and racing. What is your ultimate cycling goal? Asian Cycling Championship 2014 will be in May and my target to be in the top six in ITT race. What has cycling taught you? To organise myself, to be on time, to be patient and fight until the end of the finish line. The world of cycling has been rocked with doping issues, what are your thoughts on this? I was in UCI academy in 2010 and I read a few articles about that. I advice every rider to enter this online course made by the UCI: Cycling and mountain biking are gaining popularity here, how do you see the sport progressing in the next few years? Dubai Tour 2014 will do the big jump for cycling here in the Gulf. This sport will be one of the most popular sports in the UAE in a few years. Whats your advice for people aspiring to get into cycling whether competitively or as a hobby? Now in Dubai we have many cycling roads that anyone can train and ride safely. I advice everyone to choose a good bike and train with a group. Dont forget the helmet. What are your other passions besides cycling? Swimming, graphic designing and mountain adventure. What are your cycling plans after Dubai Tour? One of our teams targets is to be in Tour de France 2017. We have Qatar Tour, Portugal Tour, and also desert races in Morocco. Actually, we have more than 30 tours and competition for this year 2014 and were excited.




Obeid Salim Bin Shannah

Occupation: Falconer Nationality: Emirati Age: 76

He is one of the oldest falconers to compete in the Fazza Championship for Falconry, an initiative of the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center to keep the traditional Emirati sport alive. Obeid brings with him a wealth of knowledge of the ancient sport and has accompanied the falcon hunting parties of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice President of the UAE into the desert.
What inspired you to get into this sport? I have been actively involved in this sport in the past 50 years. I come from a family of falconers and falconry has always been a way of life for us. We have been on numerous hunting trips with falcons to Iran and Pakistan, apart from the GCC region. What is the first thing we should know about falconry? Falconry is an ancient sport and involves a falcon hunting live prey. Falconers train their birds so that they obey their masters. This comes down to the skill of the falconer. In most falconry competitions, a hungry falcon is released and it waits for the call of the dao (caller) at the end of the field, who has a piece of meat with which he lures the falcon towards him. As the bird makes its journey across, the time is kept and the quickest is the winner. Falcons are exotic birds and they need to be well fed and taken care of. The older ones tend to get sick if they are neglected because of the climate, so it is very important to make sure they are cared for. How do you train the falcon and yourself for competition? It takes several months depending on

where the falcons are from. Several falcons competing in these championships are exotic breeds that have been specially flown in from Europe. It takes about six to eight months to train a wild bird and lesser to train a bird bred and raised in captivity. What is the toughest part about this sport? The long hours of training with your bird and training them for specific competitions can be very time consuming. In the Fazza Championship for Falconry alone, there were several categories, some involving live prey (pigeons), separate categories for younger and older falcons. As a falconer, you have to be prepared to spend time training several birds so that they can compete in specialised categories. What do you enjoy most about this sport? What appeals most to me is that it is steeped in heritage and culture. I have inherited this sport from my grandparents and it is traditionally believed that hunting with falcons in the desert builds the character of a man. The falcon is a royal bird of prey and I respect what it stands for. It eats only live prey and hunting with it is an art. I also enjoy being in the company of the birds and I am so proud to see young Emiratis participating in this sport. The Fazza Championship for Falconry runs the Juniors category which sees boys as young as four years handling these exotic birds. I have 11 children, 7 boys and all of them are professional falconers. What qualities do you look for in a good falcon? The most important factor is the breed and the bird has to be young so that it can adapt to the weather. These days, most falconers use European falcons. It is crucial that the birds are young when they are imported from Europe so that they can adapt to the climate here. We are seeing a new trend of falcons being reared on farms here. The local market of falcons has been growing in recent time. What qualities should you have to become a good falconer? Patience and observation are the hallmarks of a good falconer. It is believed that falconry, if practised regularly and with diligence, will lead to great wisdom. In the Quran it is said: He who has wisdom, will receive great

bounty. Once the bird recognises its owner, it is calmer and obeys. You need to observe and understand behavior of the bird to make it more receptive to you. What is the most important lesson you have learned from this sport? The importance of preserving our heritage and culture. It makes me very proud to be Emirati. The Arabs have been known to be pioneers in the sport of falconry and the Fazza Championships for Falconry have been able to successfully revive the sport. Do you think theres need for todays generation to get more acquainted with the Emirati heritage? Yes, they need to. Falconry was practised by our forefathers and it is imperative that the younger generation is aware of this and keeps the tradition alive. The Fazza Championships have created the right platform by encouraging people from all demographics and from across the GCC and the UAE to participate. My advice to parents is to bring their children to the competitions. The Juniors category was introduced specifically for this purpose. If you enjoy being outdoors, the sport of falconry can be very rewarding. It is a noble sport born out of the necessity to hunt and like any other sport, demands the highest levels of commitment, dedication and skill. How do you see this sport progressing in the next few years? This used to be a very small competition, but today The Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center has done an exceptional job of reviving the sport. I believe these Championships will go places. The response and turnout this year has been phenomenal. Over 2500 falconers participated in the first edition of the Championships and several who could not participate since they were away over the hunting season (OctoberFebruary) have registered to participate in this months edition. Already, over 1000 falconers have participated in the ongoing second edition. Even technologically, the championships this year have used modern time keeping equipment that has yielded more accurate results. The size and quality of the Championships have evolved remarkably over the years and we are grateful to HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum for believing in the revival of Emirati heritage.




Get outdoors in the UAE

Hiking A series of articles to help you start or progress your hiking in the UAE
Words + Photos By: Sean James

Part 3
The next two issues will look at simple navigation techniques. This month we concentrate on GPS and the following month with a map and compass. There is always a mystery surrounding navigation and the complicated numbers and symbols. However it is an essential skill and once learnt and practiced, remains with you forever. The suggested hikes for the first two months have been easy to; either an out-and-back route along a simple wadi or a loop around a contained area. This month we will explain the basics of GPS navigation and how you can navigate by yourself on a more complex hike. Next month we will look at navigating with a paper map and compass. The suggested hikes will also be a bit longer and a bit more involved. All of the pictures for this month are from the suggested hike at the bottom of this page. Check the website link to download the .gps data file that can be loaded to your device. To further your skills, it is wise to spend time with an experienced or qualified instructor. Not only will they take you to places you wouldnt consider going by yourself but they can also introduce you to some of these navigation techniques whilst you are hiking for the day and also guide you through the electronic device that you have. What is GPS? To fully understand how GPS or Global Positioning Systems work, it is worthwhile re-reading Daniel Birkhofers article in OutdoorUAE February 2013 A short guide to a better understanding of GPS coordinates and their different formats. In this he explains the benefits and offers a more technical insight into aspects of GPS technology such as waypoints, tracks and how signals are acquired. The advanced guide book Off-Road Adventure Routes UAE and Oman written by Mike Nott is entirely based on GPS route files and also contains valuable advice on GPS technology. Electronic devices that have the capacity to operate with GPS are widely available nowadays. If you are within range of a telecom or satellite signal your smartphone will be more than likely capable of guiding you using a preloaded track such as those provided by OutdoorUAE. How does GPS and hiking work? Hiking with GPS is absolutely no different to driving with GPS. In its simplest form, your phone, Garmin, Tom Tom or whatever device you have will display the intended route on

Navigating with GPS

This is the third part in the hiking series that will help you get more from your outdoor life in the UAE, in particular hiking. In previous months we have looked at clothing and equipment and also what to consider when planning a route in the UAE countryside. Each month also has an example of a hike that you can follow with your friends or family as a newbie to hiking.

The ridge is steep and slightly exposed requiring good teamwork. It is easy to follow. Dont be tempted to stray to the bouldery slopes.




the screen plus your relative position. In an urban environment in a car, you will also see roads marked and your position shown by a car. Hopefully, most of the time your car will be on the road, so the picture of the car will sit neatly on top of the road. This is the same principle as hiking with a GPS. The only difference is there may be no roads. There will however be a line. This line represents the preloaded track. When you are hiking your position should match the line exactly. If you move off the line e.g., too far to the right, it is an indication that you have moved away from the correct path. Move back until your position and the line come together on the screen. This simple form of GPS navigating in the wilderness is sometimes called following a trail of breadcrumbs. Is it that simple? What else should I consider with GPS? As you may have worked out, your hike is predetermined when you load your route on to the phone at home. This is one of the disadvantages of GPS devices. The accuracy of the route you load also has major implications to the success of your hike. Always make sure the GPS file you use is from a reliable source and if you create your own, that you dont cut corners. You can of course, make decisions to change it whilst hiking but unless you also have loaded the electronic maps or have an


You can download the GPS files here:

app that shows you items such as Points of Interest, contours and other items, you will not have access to further data. Sometimes when hiking it is necessary to deliberately move off the line. Maybe the satellite accuracy is slightly weaker and your device is giving you a position that is inaccurate by a few metres. Until 2000, the

Starting to climb the shaded steps of the staircase from the wadi. The path looks improbable but winds carefully up to the ridge.

US government who controlled the satellite networks operated a policy called Selective Availability. For civilians this meant that the data your device received could be degraded and limited. You may also need to negotiate an obstacle that was not displayed when you planned the route at home, such as a newly formed lake, fence or in the UAE even a new road. The creator of the .gps file may take you up or down a steep slope that you dont feel comfortable with. Look further ahead and if you see an alternative detour that will take you around the obstruction and back to the track, you should make that call. In navigation this is called boxing and you should make efforts to move your position back towards the line on the screen as soon as possible. All of this may sound like you are hiking for hours constantly staring at your mobile. This should not be the case. As you become more experienced using both a map and a GPS device you will glance at it only occasionally to check that you are heading in the correct direction. For example the terrain will determine your level of attention to navigation. If you are on a wide, flat plateau and you know the next section you will walk is 1km without any turns or deviations, you can estimate the amount of time (see Part 2 for how to calculate walking times) and stroll along chatting for 15-20 minutes maybe checking your progress only occasionally. Homework for this month The more you start to use the functionality of your GPS device, the more comfortable you will feel with it. An enormous amount of information is available. Task 1 Get to know your device before going out Before you go out hiking, get to know the features of your GPS device. The key ones you should know where to find are the following: Time (Total and how to measure segments) Distance (Total and how much further to the next waypoint or end) Speed (Your current speed and your average minutes per kilometre)





After you have made the climb up the steps and ridge, you arrive at the plateau. The view behind you is into Wadi Bih.

Position (How to find the location you are. How to enter a location and GoTo it. How to mark a waypoint) Task 2 You, your GPS and the ground A good skill to acquire when hiking is to get a feel for distance and time. It is also a fun game. When you are hiking, look ahead. Ask someone to pick an obvious point in the distance such a building or tree. Everyone has a guess at how far and how long it will take to walk there. Vary the points as you hike, either on the flat, the top of a hill, down a steeper section etc. When you arrive at the point, check with the GPS. Overtime you will feel more comfortable at judging how far and fast you can hike. Quick checklist route planning Start point Off-road driving required Distance and time from Mirdiff to start Navigation on hike Time required for hike Distance Elevation gain on hike High point Grocery store on hike Possible to encounter a vehicle on trail Suitable for all the family

A third hike for March This months hike will take you a lot higher. The temperatures are rising so remember that you will need to go revisit your checklist and take more water and items to prevent heat illness. This hike starts from the bottom of a wadi near Ras Al Khaimah and will test your hiking ability much more than the previous ones. It is a fantastic hike, starting up a series of Bedouin steps, climbing a steep, narrow ridge before crossing a plateau to an area of high farmland and then descending a spectacular, winding gravel track. Views of Wadi Bih to the east and RAK to the west are to be expected. There is some off-road driving to reach the start but it is well graded and the track is only gravel. The hike is a loop so you will return to them from the opposite direction. This

hike will test the navigation at the start so pay close attention for the first 30minutes. The ridge to climb up to the plateau is often steep and narrow and it is good practice to stay close to less confident hikers. When ascending steep scree slopes, pick a path that zigzags back and forth. This reduces the angle of the slope that you are climbing and makes it easier and safer. We did this hike in a group of eight and averaged a speed of 21 minutes for every kilometre. The total length is around 9km. Directions to the start Enter the start point into your GPS device or follow the directions from Google. All of the driving is marked as a road (combination of blacktop and track) until the last 1.5km. This format of coordinate system is best used on Google to find the start point - 25.8252143,56.0634451. It will take you to within 1.5km of the hike start. From here take the gravel track to the left, heading towards the steep, winding track that you will walk down to finish. The parking is at 255033.83N 56 44.87E. 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.

255033.83N 56 44.87E (End of roads on Google 25.8252143,56.0634451) Possible without 4WD but a small amount of rough track involved 109km 80min Anticlockwise loop. Navigation required. 3hrs 4 hrs. 9.1km 610m 575m No Yes but only on the descent Yes but this hike is strenuous. Not recommended for small children. Yes. Recommended

Camping near route






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Sharm RockS, Fujairah

Dive sites in the UAE and Oman
Name of the dive site: Sharm Rocks Location: GPS coordinates: Depth: Type of dive: Level: Fujairah, Al Aqah, UAE Fujairah, Al Aqah, UAE 3m at shallow west pinnacle and up to 14m on the east deep pinnacle. Shallow rocky reef, surrounded by a sandy bottom. Beginners through to advanced (and good for snorkelers).

How to get there:

This site is a five-minute trip on our speed boat from our Al Boom, Al Aqah Dive Centre located at the Le Meridien Hotel. The drive to Al Aqah from Dubai normally takes 1.5 to 2 hours. Alternatively, if you are not driving yourself to Fujairah, you can also use our Al Boom bus transfers from Dubai. Meeting point is from our dive centre in Al Wasl Rd. (Other pick-up points are available, please call our call centre for more info)


Sharm Rocks is also known as 3 Rocks Pinnacles or 3 Sisters, which is quite apt as there are three small outcrops of rocks breaking the surface of the site. Water conditions are normally very calm here, and that combined with it being shallow makes it ideal for all levels of diver, especially beginners and even snorkelers. It is also popular for night dives! In summer you can expect water temperatures of around 30C, and in winter, an average of around 20C. Divers can enter in many different ways, and backward-roll and giant-stride are the most common. Underwater the rock pinnacles are covered in soft corals and anemones (with clownfish), and provide a home for an abundance of marine life. Divers can expect 5-20m visibility and to see turtles, filefish, boxfish, morays, pufferfish, barracuda, shrimps, yellow snappers, cuttlefish, pipefish and many more. Stingrays can also be spotted on the sandy outskirts of the dive

site, and if you are lucky, you may get to see blacktip reef sharks and/or whalesharks. Watch out for sea urchins, lionfish, stonefish and scorpionfish!


Al Boom Diving, Al Wasl Rd. Call Centre: +971 4 342 2993 or Al Boom Diving, Al Aqah, Fujairah: +971 9 204 4925 or Al Boom Diving, Atlantis, The Palm: +971 4 263 3000 or


We did our DSD dive on Sharm Rocks and saw loads of fish I dont even think I could name, and even got to see two turtles on the same dive! Dylan, from South Africa Sharm Rocks is one of those sites that can be enjoyed by all levels of divers, and you can find so much life on it. Chad, from Toronto




Conquering your sea swimming fears

Words By: Trace Rogers, Coach and Founder of SuperTRI

Many athletes are hesitant to give triathlon a try simply because the thought of thrashing and bashing around in open water with a crowd of other swimmers is absolutely terrifying.
Here are some tips on how to conquer those fears: Get some coaching. Often a swimmers inability to deal with openwater swimming is due to the fact that their swimming technique is weak. Unlike many other sporting disciplines, 90% of being a strong swimmer comes from having the correct technique. Investing in a few one-to-one swimming lessons can make a rapid and vast improvement in your ability to cope with the first discipline of triathlon. It can also find you some extra speed. Practice makes perfect. Get out into the sea and get used to doing this at your own time, pace and ability. Doing all your training in a pool and expecting to have similar outcomes in the sea is as unreasonable as practicing playing an air guitar and expecting to succeed as a rockstar.* Practice race specific technique. Practice sighting and directional changes by setting up a bouy and swimming up to it and around it. You can also practice sighting by following certain land based landmarks. Practice water entries and exits as well as drafting off others feet. This is best done in a group session.*

Practice worse case scenarios. Practice being swum over with a group of friends. When you are the one being swum over, relax and allow your body to go soft and submerge yourself without fighting the other swimmer. Once the person is clear of you re-imerge and continue swimming. My experience of this exercise is that swimmers actually have fun practicing it. Practice bilateral breathing. Favouring breathing to one side only could be very detrimental on race day if the chop is coming from that side. It will mean that you will most probably end up with a mouthful of water every time you try to take a breath.

Even if it is not your preferred method of swimming, being able to breathe to both sides will ensure that you are prepared for this scenario. Practice brick sessions. Often athletes put extra stress on themselves by thinking about the bike or run that has to follow the swim. By making a bike or runoff the swim part of your regular training routine, you will be ready for this transition on race day. *SuperTRI offers complimentary sea swim and run sessions every Saturday morning. For more information, please contact

Useful knots #2
Bowline Knot
The bowline knot is a very useful knot for boating and other applications. The knot makes a secure loop at the end of a rope. The loop can easily be thrown over a bitt or post to tie up the boat at the mooring. The knot can take a lot of stress slipping or binding. Under no load, the knot can easily be untied. Two bowlines can be linked together to join two ropes. Its principal shortcoming is that it cannot be tied, or untied, when

there is a load. It should therefore be avoided when, for example, a mooring line may have to be released under load.






How and what to catch in the Middle East #2

Words By: Kit Belen

The dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus) has quite a few names; two of the most commonly used are mahi-mahi and dorado.
The dolphinfish are surface-dwelling fish found in off-shore temperate, tropical and subtropical waters worldwide. They can grow up to 18 to 20 kilos; however, they seldom exceed 15 kilos, with an average weight of about 7 to 10 kilos. Dolphinfish are probably one of the worlds fastest growing fish and can live up to five years. Probably one of the most colorful off-shore fish you can catch, the pectoral fins of the mahi-mahi are iridescent blue. The flank is broad and golden. Three black diagonal stripes appear on each side of the fish as it swiftly darts after prey. Out of the water, the fish often change colour (giving rise to theirSpanishname,dorado, which means golden), going through several hues before finally fading to a muted yellow-grey upon death. Mature males (called bulls) have prominent foreheads protruding well above the body proper. Females have a rounded head. Females are also usually smaller than males. Humorous fishermen have even given names referring to the size of the fish smaller mahi-mahi are commonly referred to as peanuts while medium-sized ones are called chickens. The dolphinfishs local name is Anfalous. Although present in the Gulf, they are most commonly caught in the east coast, in the Indian Ocean. Where to find Largely offshore fish, they are one of the most curious of fish and usually hang out floating objects out in the middle of the sea. They especially love seaweed and waterlogged trees/branches. In Fujairah, where they are common, they are found around the anchored ships that dot the sea, just outside the harbour. How to catch They are perhaps one of the most loved and hated fish in the fishing world, curious and almost always willing biters, the dolphinfish will bite even marlin sized lures and have been known to beat bigger gamefish going after trolled lures. They respond to live bait the most; however, catching them with lures and flies
The good kind of bull Big dorado like this are common off Fujairah

Fish and squid shaped flies are effective for dorado - especially ones that have a nice fishy profile

Poppers and stickbaits in medium sizes will treat you to some very impressive strikes on top

Big dolphinfish are often caught while trolling skirted lures

are the most enjoyable. The list of lures, bait and flies that would catch dorado is almost endless, everything from soft plastic baits to heavy metal spoons and jigs, skirted trolling lures to natural bait such as different type of fish and squid will be struck. Oddly enough, I have also seen them take banana peel, gummy bears, chicken and a strip taken from a t-shirt. Before you think theyre the easiest fish to catch in the sea, I have to mention that they are also the most finicky and fickle at times. Especially in heavily pressured areas (such as Fujairah) and going home without a decent fish (which means the bigger and smarter ones) is not uncommon. The best way to catch the bigger ones, which often times are more solitary, is by trolling skirted trolling lures with strips of natural bait. If you are lucky enough to have your
The livebait rig for dorado could be as simple as a hook on your line - while plastics are best fished on leadhead jigs

own boat, try this technique when moving from fishing location to another. In the case of Fujairah, its when you move from one boat to the next, or when you are heading home. The most spectacular way of catching any fish is with a surface lure. Poppers and stickbaits for both fly and conventional fishing will treat you to some spectacular strikes, often very close to the boat. Flies such as Leftys deceivers, 3D minnows, DNA Bushpig, Seahabit or any fly designed to mimic squid and baitfish will be taken. Effective colours are pink, white, blue and green. Always remember to use a 15-30cm length of heavy monofilament to act as a bite leader. The dorado has small abrasive teeth that can rub through thin mono. When they are finicky, it is best to drift the boat around the ships and use live bait. Weve caught them with different baitfish, in Fujairah, they seem to like the small scad/ mackerel type bait that also populate the same boats the dorado hunt in. Just to make sure you do catch something, it would be best to catch and stock up on live bait before you head out. When the bite is on with the bait, you can then switch to lures or flies and have even more fun sight casting to them when they start to boil around the boat. Availability and conservation As mentioned previously, the dolphinfish can be found in the Gulf; however, they can be readily found and targeted off the coast of Fujairah in the east coast. As a pelagic fish and the lack of research on this specie, it is very difficult to determine the stock of the dolphinfish. However, we do know that there are already some states in the USA limiting the catch rates of this fish. There is also a recommendation to not buy fish from countries that use longlines as longlining increases the risk of catching bycatch while fishing for dolphinfish and other desirable fish.

A 100 gram jig is the first thing I toss out. I like using them more than live bait



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Boating & Sailing

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Manufacturer Al Fajer Marine, Dubai, Al Quoz, +97143235181, Al Shaali Marine, Ajman, +97167436443, Alyousuf Industrial, LLC, +97143474111, Gulf Craft, Ajman, +97167406060, Al Jeer Marina, RAK border Musandam, +97172682333/+971504873185, Distributors and Dealers Art Marine, Dubai, +97143388955, Azure Marine, Dubai, +97143404343, Leisure Marine Beach Street, Dubai, The Walk JBR, +97144243191 Luxury Sea Boats, Dubai, +971505589319, Macky Marine LLC, Dubai, +971505518317, Nautilus Yachts, Sharjah, +97165576818, UAE Boats 4 Sale, Dubai Marina, +97144471501, Western Marine, Marina Yacht Club, Dubai, +97143039744 The Boat House, Dubai, Al Quoz, +97143405152, Equipment Ali Khalifah Moh Al Fuqaei, Deira, Dubai, +97142263220 Al Masaood Marine, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, +97143468000, www.masaoodmarine. com Blue Waters Marine, Shop 11, The Curve Bldg., Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +97143808616/+971553899995, info@, Extreme Marine, Dubai, +97143992995, Japan Marine General Trading, Al Garhoud Road, Liberty Building, Dubai, +97155 9299111, +97142828255, uday@japanmarine. jp, Rineh Emirates Trading LLC, Dubai, Al Quoz, +97143391512, Repairs and Maintenance Extreme Marine, Dubai, Dubai Marina, +97143992995, Rineh Emirates, Sheikha Sana Warehouse 1, Al Quoz, +97143391512,, SNS Marine, JAFZA Techno Park, Jebel Ali, Dubai, +971501405058,, The Boat House, Dubai, Al Quoz, +97143405152, Cruise Operators 4 Yacht Arabia, Shop No. 5, Dubai Marina Yacht Club, 800 92248, Al Bateen Marina, Abu Dhabi, +97126665491, Al Marsa Travel & Tourism, Dibba, Musandam, +96826836550, +97165441232

Leisure Marine Beach Street, Dubai, TheWalk JBR, +97144243191 Bateaux Dubai, Dubai Creek opposite the British Embassy, +97143994994 Bristol Middle East, Dubai Marina, +97144309941, Captain Tonys, Yas Marina, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, +97126507175, Delma Industrial Supply and Marine Services, Al Bateen Jetty, Abu Dhabi, +97126668153, Eden Yachting, Dubai Marina, +971504586171, Emirates Yachting, Dubai, +97142826683 El Mundo, Dubai, +971505517406, Four Star Travel and Tourism, Dubai, +9714 2737779, Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa, Al Aqah Beach, Fujairah, +97192449888, Ghantoot Marina & Resort, Abu Dhabi, +971529933153, Happy Days Sea Cruising LLC, Dubai, +971558961276, +971503960202, JPS Yachts and Charter, Room 225, Emarat Atrium building, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +97143437734, Khasab Divers, Oman, +97156 7255889, Khour Shem Tourism, Oman, +96826731919, LY Catamaran, Dubai, +971505869746, +971566506683, Marine Concept, Dubai, +971559603030, Nautica1992, Dubai, +971504262415, Noukhada Adventure Company, Villa 332/7, Al Meena Street, Abu Dhabi, +97126503600, RAK Marine LLC, Ras Al Khaimah City Hilton Marina, +971504912696, +97172066410 Sea Hunters Passenger Yachts & Boats Rental, Dubai Marina, +97142951011 Sheesa Beach, Dibba, Musandam, +971503336046, Smoke Dragon Of London Yacht, Abu Dhabi International Marine & Sports Club, +971507011958/+971504546617 Summertime Marine Sports, Dubai, +97142573084 The Club, Abu Dhabi, +97126731111, www. The Yellow Boats LLC, Dubai Marina Walk opposite Spinneys, Intercontinental Hotel Marina, +8008044, Marinas Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club, Abu Dhabi, Breakwater, +97126815566, Abu Dhabi Marina, Abu Dhabi, Tourist Club Area, +97126440300 Al Jeer Marina, RAK Border, Musandam +971 7 2682333 or +971 50 4873185 Al Mouj Marina, Muscat, Oman, +968 2453 4554, Dubai Creek Marina, Deira, Dubai, +971 4 380 1234, Dubai International Marine Sports Club, Dubai Marina, +97143995777, Dubai Marina Yacht Club, Dubai, +97143627900, www.dubaimarinayachtclub. com Dubai Maritime City Harbour Marina, Dubai, +97143455545 Dubai Offshore Sailing Club, Dubai, +97143941669, Emirates Palace Marina, Abu Dhabi, +97143388955 Four Seasons Marina, Doha, Qatar, +97444948899, Fujairah International Marine Club, Fujairah, +97192221166, Intercontinental Abu Dhabi Marina, Al Bateen, Intercontinental Hotel, Abu Dhabi,

+97126666888, Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa Marina, Jebel Ali, Dubai, +9714814 5555/5029, Lusail Marina, Lusail City, Qatar, +9745584 3282, Marina Bandar Al Rowdha, Muscat, Oman, +96824737286 (ext 215), Pavilion Marina, Dubai, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, +97144068800 The PearlQatar Marinas, Doha, Qatar, +9744965801, Umm Al Quwaim Marine Sports Club, Umm Al Quwaim, +97167666644, Dragon Boat Groups Dubai Dawn Patrol Dragon Boating, Dubai+971508795645 (Michael), Dubai Diggers, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, pier next to 360, Dubai, +971501547175 (Nick Hando), UAE Dragon Boat Association, +971507634008 (Jason),

Camping & Hiking

Equipment, +971505548255, Jack Wolfskin Mirdif City Centre Dubai, +97142840228; Al Wahda Mall Abu Dhabi+97124437802 Picnico General Trading, near Sharaf DG Metro Station, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +97143951113 Tresspass, The Dubai Mall, 2nd floor above ice rink, +97143398801 Gulf Camping, Dubai, U.A.E, Tour Operators Arabia Outdoors, Dubai, +971559556209, Absolute Adventure, Dubai, +97143459900, Libra, +971559228362, Mountain High Middle East, Dubai, +97143480214, Sheesa Beach, Musandam, Dibba, +97150336046, Desert Road Tourism, Al Khor Plaza 503, Dubai, +97142959428,


Muscat Diving & Adventure Centre, Oman, +96824543002, Mountain High Middle East, Dubai, +97143480214, Oman World Tourism, Oman, +96899431333,






Equipment Global Climbing Trading LLC, Dubai Investment Park 1, Dubai, +97148829361, Adventure HQ, Dubai Times Square Center, Sheikh Zayed Rd, toll free: 800-ADVENTURE, Barracuda Fishing and Outdoor, Dubai, Street 13A 1, Al Safa 1, +97143466558, Jack Wolfskin Mirdif City Centre Dubai, +97142840228; Al Wahda Mall Abu Dhabi +97124437802 Services Absolute Adventure, Dubai, +97143459900, Adventure HQ, Dubai Times Square Center, Sheikh Zayed Rd, toll free: 800-ADVENTURE, Al Shaheen Adventure, Abu Dhabi, +97126429995, Arabia Outdoors, Dubai, +971559556209, Dorell Sports Management, Dubai World Trade Centre, +97143065061, E-Sports UAE, Dubai, +97142824540, The Club, Abu Dhabi, +97126731111, Information UAE Climbing, +971506456491,


Mountain Biking & Cycling

Equipment/Dealers Cycle Sports, Shop No. 1, Al Waleed Bldg., Al Barsha 1, Dubai, +97143415415, Fun Ride Sports, 301, 3rd floor, Mushrif Mall, Abu Dhabi, Rm. 4, Mezzanine floor, C-13 Bldg., Khalifa City A, Abu Dhabi, info@, Micahs Bike Shop, Warehouse no.4 6th st. Al Quoz 3, Dubai, +97143805228 Probike, Dubai, Al Barsha 1, +97143255705, Rage Shop, Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Festival City, +97143369007, Ride Bike Shop, Dubai Mall, Festival City, Oasis Centre, Mirdif City Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +97143750231, Revolution Cycles, Shop G05, Apex Atrium, Motor City, Dubai, +97143697441, Sportz Unlimited, Sheikh Zayed Road & Jebel Ali, Dubai, + 97143388644 Tamreen Sports LLC, Khalifa Street, Abu Dhabi, +97126222525, The Cycle Hub, Motor City, Dubai, +971505528872, Trikke uPT, Dubai, +971 4 508 1202, +971 55 609 6757,, Trek Bicycle Store, Seih Al Salam, Al Qudra Road, Dubai, +97148327377, Fun Ride Sports, Rm no. 4, Mezzanine flr, C-13 bldg. Khalifa A City, Abu Dhabi, +97125566113, Peak Performance, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Mall, Dubai, +97143413056/+97143308023 Wolfis Bike Shop, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, +97143394453, Bikers JLT, Unit H6, Cluster H, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai, UAE, 052 622 1888, Operator Absolute Adventure, Dubai, +97143459900, +971506259165,, Clubs Abu Dhabi Tri Club, Cycle Safe Dubai, Dubai Autodrome Dubai Roadsters,

Equipment Al Boom Marine, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, +97142894858, Al Masaood Marine, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, +97143468000, Al Yousuf Motors, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +97143390621, Blue Waters Marine, +97142232189, Dubai, Gulf Marine Sports, Abu Dhabi, +97126710017, Premiers for Equipment, Abu Dhabi, Sh. Zayed 1st. Road, +97126665226, Al Hamur Marine and Sports Equipment, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, +9714 3444468 Scuba 2000, Al Bidiya Beach, Fujairah, +97192388477, Scuba Dubai, Al Barsha, Al Khail Road, Dubai, +97143414940, Diving Centres 7 Seas Diving Center, Khorfakkan, +97192387400, Al Boom Diving (equipment), Dubai, Al Wasl Rd, + 97143422993, Al Jeer Marina, RAK Border, Musandam, +97172682333, Al Mahara Dive Center, near Muroor St across from main bus terminal, +97126437377,, Al Marsa Musandam, Dibba Harbour, Musandam, Oman, +968 26 836550, Arabian Diver, Hilton Marine, Ras Al Khaimah, +97172226628, +971502428128 Arabian Divers and Sportfishing Charters, Al Bateen Marina Resort, Abu Dhabi, +971506146931, Coastal Technical Divers,, Deep Blue Sea Diving, Dubai, International City, +97144308246, Desert Islands, Sir Bani YAs Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE, +97128015400, Divers Down, Fujairah, Rotana Al Aqah Hotel Resort & Spa, +97192370299, Emirates Divers Centre, Abu Dhabi, near Meena Fish Market, +97126432444, Euro-Divers Oman, Muscat, Oman, +96895035815, Extra Divers Ziggy Bay, Oman, Musandam, +96826735555, Freediving UAE, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah,, www. Freestyle Divers, Dubai, Al Wasl & Dibba, Royal Beach Hotel, +97143944275, Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa - Al Aqah Beach, Al Aqah Beach, Fujairah, +97192449888, Global Scuba Dive Center, Civil Aviation Club, Oman, +96899317518, Khasab Divers, Oman, Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, Dibba Road, Fujairah, +97192449000, Moonlight Dive Center, Madinat Qaboos, Oman, +968 99317700, Muscat Diving & Adventure Centre, Oman, +97150 3289642, Neptune Diving, +97150 4347902, Nomad Ocean Adventures,, +971508853238,

Dibba, Oman Oman Dive Center, Muscat, Oman, +96824284240, Pavilion Dive Centre (equipment), Dubai, +97144068828 Scuba 2000, Al Bidiya Beach, Fujairah, +97192388477, Scuba Oman, Oman, +96899558488, Scuba, +971502053922, Sharjah Wanderers Dive Club, Sharjah, +97150 784 0830, Sheesa Beach, Dibba, Musandam, +971503336046, Sky &Sea Adventures, Dubai, Hilton, Jumeirah Beach Road, +97143999005, The Pavilion Dive Centre (equipment), Dubai, +97144068828 The Dive Shop, 34G, European Center, Green Community, Dubai, UAE, +97148135474, Clubs Atlantis Underwater Photography Club, Dubai, +97144263000 Desert Sports Diving Club, Dubai, Emirates Diving Association, Diving Village, Al Shindagha, Dubai, +97143939390, Filipino SCUBA Divers Club (FSDC), Dubai, UAE, +971 56 6952421, Freediving UAE, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah,, www. Sharjah Wanderers Dive Club, Sharjah, +971507840830,

Fishing & Kayaking

Equipment Al Boom Marine, Abu Dhabi & Dubai, +97142894858, Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd, +97143390621, Al Hamur Marine and Sports Equipment, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, +9714 3444468 Arabian Divers and Sportfishing Charters, Al Bateen Marina Resort, Abu Dhabi, +971506146931, Blue Waters Marine, Shop 11, The Curve Bldg., Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +97143808616/+971553899995, info@, Al Masaood Marine, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, +97143468000, Barracuda Fishing and Outdoor, Dubai, Street 13A 1, Al Safa 1, +97143466558, Global Climbing Trading LLC, Dubai Investment Park 1, Dubai, +97148829361,

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Leisure Marine Beach Hut, Dubai, The Walk JBR, +97144243191, Ocean Active, Dubai, Garden Centre, +971502898713, Challenging Adventure, Wadi Al Bih - Ras Al Khaimah, 056 1060798, contactus@ Operators Al Boom Diving, Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, Fujairah, +97143422993 Absolute Adventure, Dubai, +97143459900, Al Hamra Marina and Yacht Club, Al Hamra, Ras Al Khaimah, +97172434540, Al Mahara Dive Center, Downtown Abu Dhabi, +971501118125, Al Shaheen Adventure, Abu Dhabi, +97126429995, Al Wasl Charter & Fishing (Al Wasl Passenger Yachts and Boats Rental LLC), Airport Road, Al Owais Building, Dubai, +97142394761, Arabian Divers and Sportfishing Charters, Al Bateen Marina Resort, +971506146931, Arabia Outdoors, Dubai, +971559556209, Barracuda Diving Centre, Fujairah International Marine Club, +9719222558 Belevari Marine, Abu Dhabi,+97126594144 Captain Tonys, Yas Marina, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, +97126507175, Fun Beach Water Sports, Dubai, +97153244550, Happy Days Sea Cruising LLC, Dubai, +971558961276, +971503960202, Hiltonia Beach Club, Hilton Abu Dhabi Hotel, Abu Dhabi, +97126811900 Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, Dibba Road, Fujairah, +97192449000, Nautica 1992, Dubai, +971504262415, Noukhada Adventure Company, Villa 332/7, Al Meena Street, Abu Dhabi, +97126503600, Ocean Active, Dubai, Garden Centre, +971502898713, Sheesa Beach, Dibba, Musandam, +971503336046, Summertime Marine Sports, Dubai, +97142573084, Soolyman Sports Fishing, Dubai, Umm Suqeim, +971508866227, Xclusive Yachts, Dubai, Dubai Marina, +97144327233, Clubs Abu Dhabi Camping, Fishing & Kayaking Club, Dubai Surfski & Kayak Club, Kitesurfers Beach, Umm Suqeim 1, Dubai, +971554986280,



General Sports Equipment Distributors

800 Sport, Al Quoz, Dubai +971 4 346 7751 Adventure HQ, Dubai Times Square Center, Sheikh Zayed Rd, Toll free: 800-ADVENTURE, Al Yousuf Motors, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +97143390621, Flip Flop Arabia,, Global Climbing Trading LLC, Dubai Investment Park 1, Dubai +97148829361, Goal Zero, +971509128353, Jack Wolfskin Mirdif City Centre Dubai, +97142840228; Al Wahda Mall Abu Dhabi +97144437802 Ocean Sports FZE, +971559352735, Sakeen General Trading, +97147094224, Sport in Life Distribution, Nad Al Hammar Rd., Ras Al Khor, Dubai, UAE, +97142896001, +97142896002,, Tresspass, The Dubai Mall 2nd floor above ice rink, +971 4 339 8801

Horse Riding

Equipment Al Asifa Horse Equestrian & Requisites Trading, Al Khawaneej 1, Dubai, +971554733110, Black Horse LLC, Abu Dhabi, +97126422237, Bonjour Equestrian Supplies, Nad Al Hammar Rd., Ras Al Kho, Dubai, UAE, +97142896001, +97142896002,, Cavalos Equine Care and Supplies, 16th Street, Al Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, +9172 2222433, Emirta Horse Requirement Centre, Sheik Zayed Rd, Dubai, +9714 3437475, Horse & Carriage Equestrian Equipment LLC, Dubai, +97142895069, Mirzan Equestrian Equipment, Dubai, +971 4 4472808, Equestrian Clubs/Centres Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, +97124455500, Al Ahli Riding School, Al Amman Street, Dubai-Sharjah Rd., +97142988408, Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Abu Dhabi, +97125568555, Al Jiyad Stables, Behind Dubai International Endurance City, Dubai, +971505995866,, Al Sahra Desert Resort Equestrian Centre,

Dubai, +97144274055, Dubai Polo Academy, Dubai, +971508879847, Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Dubai, Arabian Ranches, +97143618111, Desert Equestrian Club, Mirdif, Dubai, +971503099770, +971501978888 Desert Palm Riding School, Near Al Awir Road (going to Hatta-Oman), Dubai, +97143238010, www.desertpalm.peraquum. com Emirates Equestrian Centre, Dubai, +971505587656, Ghantoot Polo & Racing Club, Exit 399, Abu Dhabi/ Dubai Highway, Abu Dhabi, +97125629050, Golden Stables Equestrian Club, Al Khawaneej, Dubai, (Nouri) +971555528182, HoofbeatZ, located just inside the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Dubai, +971501810401, Mushrif Equestrian and Polo Club, Mushrif Park, Al Khawaneej Road, Dubai, +97142571256, Qudraland Community, info@qudraland. com, Rahal Ranch, Al Wathba Racing Area, Abu Dhabi, +971566127914, Riding for the Disabled, Dubai,,, Sharjah Equestrian & Racing Club, Sharjah, Al Dhaid Road, +97165311188, Racecourses Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, +97124455500, Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club, Exit 399, Abu Dhabi/ Dubai Highway, Abu Dhabi, +97125629050, Jebel Ali Racecourse, off the main Abu Dhabi - Dubai Highway (Sheikh Zayed road) beside the Emirates Golf Club, Dubai, +97143474914 Meydan Grandstand and Racecourse, Al Meydan Road, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai, +97143270000, Sharjah Racecourse, Al Dhaid Road, Sharjah, +97165311155, Equine Hospitals/Clinics Dubai Equine Hospital, behind World Trade Center, Zabeel 2, Dubai, +97143178888, Gulf Vetcare, Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi, +971508617590, Sharjah Equine Hospital, Bridge no. 6, Al Dhaid Road, next to Sharjah Equestrian & Racing Center, Sharjah, +97165311881, Central Veterinary Research Laboratory, next to Dubai Equestrian Hospital, Zabeel 2, Dubai, +97143375165,

Dubai-Hatta Road, +971507842020, Al Shaali Moto, Ras Al Khor, +97143200009, Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd, +97143390621, KTM, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, exit 42, +9714323151, Golden Desert Motorcycles Rental (Rental), Dubai-Hatta Road, Dubai, +971551532550, Polaris UAE (atvs), Ras Al Khor, Nad al Hamar Road, Al Ghandi Complex, Dubai, +97142896100, M4, Sector 13, 10th Street, Mussafah Industrial, Abu Dhabi, +97125555144, Liberty Kawasaki, Dubai, Interchange 4, Sheikh Zayed Road, 04-3419341, Sandstorm Motorcycles (Rental), Al Quoz, Dubai, +97143470270, Sebsports, Al Quoz Industrial Area 1 Dubai, +97143393399, Wild X Adventure Shop, Dubai, +97148321050, www. Equipment Desert Road Tourism, Al Khor Plaza 503, Dubai, +97142959429, 2XWheeler, Motorcity Dubai, +97144548388, Sandstorm Motorcycles (Rental), Al Quoz, Dubai, +97143470270, Sebsports, Dubai, Al Quoz Industrial Area 3, +97143393399, Wild X, Dubai, Um Al Ramoul Industrial Area, +97142852200, www.


Jet Ski

Dealers Al Masaood Marine, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, +97143468000, www.masaoodmarine. com Japan Marine General Trading, Al Garhoud Road, Liberty Building, Dubai, +97155 9299111, +97142828255, uday@japanmarine. jp, Liberty Kawasaki, Dubai, Interchange 4, Sheikh Zayed Road, +97143419341, Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd, +97143390621, Rentals Fun Beach Water Sports, Dubai, +971 5 3244 550, The Cove Rotana Resort, Ras Al Khaimah, +9717206000, Xventures, Dubai, +971555404500, Regal Promotions, Level 14,Boulevard Plaza Tower 1, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard. Downtown Dubai, P O Box 334036 Dubai, UAE, +971 4 4558570, info@

Distributors and Dealers Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd, Ducati, Mussafah 4, Street 10, Abu Dhabi, +97125535771,, Duseja Motorcycles, Dubai, Al Quoz, +97143476712, Harley-Davidson, Mussafah 4, Street 10, Abu Dhabi, +97125540667,, Liberty Kawasaki, Dubai, Interchange4, Sheikh Zayed Road, +97142822144, Polaris UAE, Al Ghandi Complex, Nad al Hamar Road, Ras Al Khor, +97142896100, Tristar Motorcycles, +97143330659, Workshops and Services 2xWheeler Adventures, Dubai, +97144548388, Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Abu Dhabi, +97125568555, Dubai Autodrome, Dubai, +97143678700 Emirates Motorplex, Umm Al Quwain, +97167681717 Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi,

Bling My Truck, +971503634839/+971505548255,, Icon Auto Garage, Dubai, +97143382744, Wild X Adventure Shop, Dubai-Hatta Road, Dubai, +97148321050, Yellow Hat, Nad Al Hamar, and Times Square Center, Dubai, +97142898060, Tour Operators Desert Road Tourism, Al Khor Plaza 503, Dubai, +97142959429, www.arabiantours. com Arabian Adventures, Dubai & Abu Dhabi, +97143034888, www.arabian-adventures. com Oasis Palm Dubai, Dubai, +97142628889, Clubs Abu Dhabi Off- Road Club, ALMOST 4x4 Off-Road Club, +971507665522, ME 4X4, JEEP Wrangler JK Fun Club, suffian.omar@, Dubai Offroaders, www.dubaioffroaders. com


Clubs ABRasAC, Dubai, Abu Dhabi Tri Club, Abu Dhabi,


Motocross & ATVs

Dealers Al Badayer Rental (Rental),

Dealers 4x4 Motors LLC, Shk. Zayed Rd, Dubai, +97143384866, Bling My Truck, +971503634839/+971505548255,, www.blingmytruck. com Liberty Automobiles, Dubai, 8005423789, Repairs and Services Off Road Zone, Dubai, Al Quoz, +97143392449, Icon Auto Garage, Dubai, +97143382744, Saluki Motorsport, Dubai, +97143476939 Equipment Advanced Expedition Vehicles, Dubai & Abu Dhabi, +97143307152, www. Al Yousuf Motors, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +97143390621,




Zayed Road, +97143468000, Picnico 04 3941653 Jumeirah Beach Road Opposite Sunset Mall, Dubai Pearl Water Crafts, Dubai Marina Yacht Club, +971553749398, Surf Dubai, Dubai, Umm Suqeim, +971505043020, Surf Shop Arabia, Building 1, Al Manara Road (East), Interchange 3, Dubai, +97143791998, UAE Kite Surfing, +971505626383, Iknic Brands, Suite 509 Dsseldorf Business Point Al Barsha Dubai, UAE +971 50 687 4178, Kitesurf Dubai, Kitesurf Beach, Umm Suqueim and Jumeirah 3 +971 50 558 6190,, www. Distributors Ocean Sports FZE, +971559352735, Kitepeople Kite & Surf Store, International City, Dubai, +971504559098, Operators Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Abu Dhabi, +97125568555, Dubai Kite Surf School, Dubai, Umm Suqeim Beach, +971 504965107, Duco Maritime, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah and Abu Dhabi, +971508703427, Dukite, Kitesurf Beach, Umm Suqeim, Dubai,+971507586992, Kite Fly, Dubai, +971502547440,


Water Parks Kitepro Abu Dhabi, Yas Island and Al Dabbayyah, Abu Dhabi, +971505441494,, Abu Dhabi, +971508133134, Nautica1992, Dubai, +971504262415, Shamal Kite Surfing, Umm Suqueim Dubai, +971507689226, astrid@shamalkitesurfing. com, Sky & Sea Adventures, Dubai, Hilton, Jumeirah Beach Road, +97143999005, Surf School UAE, Umm Suqeim Beach and Building 1, Al Manara Road (East), Interchange 3, Dubai,+971556010997, www.surfschooluae. com Watercooled, Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa, Dubai, +97148876771, Clubs Abu Dhabi Stand Up Paddle,, UAE SUP

Blokart Sailing, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai, +971556101841, Childrens City, Creek Park Gate No.1, Dubai, +97143340808, Dolphin Bay Atlantis Dubai, +97144260000, Dubai Dolphinarium Dubai, Creek Park Gate No. 1, +97143369773, iFly Dubai, Dubai, Mirdif City Centre, +97142316292, Sadiyaat Beach Club, Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, +97125578000, Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club, Sharjah, +97143999005, SkiDubai, Dubai, Mall of The Emirates, +97144094000, Spacewalk Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, +97124463653,

Health, Safety & Training

Al Ain Road Runners, Abu Dhabi, +971504188978, Mirdif Milers, Dubai, Abu Dhabi Striders,, Dubai Creek Striders

Stand up Paddling, Kite & Surng, Wakeboarding

Equipment Al Boom Marine, Abu Dhabi & Dubai, +97142894858, Al Masaood Marine, Dubai, Sheikh

Aquaventure Atlantis, Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, +97144260000, Dreamland Aqua Park, Umm Al Quwain, Emirates Road, +97167681888, Wadi Adventure, Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain, +97137818422, Wild Wadi Water Park, Dubai, +97143484444,

Other leisure activities

Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Abu Dhabi, + 97125588990, Al Tamimi Stables, Sharjah, +9716743 1122, +97144370505,

Safety Lessons Marine Concept Yacht Charter & Sea School, Rania Business Centre, Dubai, +971559603030, Safety & Leisure Training Middle East, Dusseldorf Business Point, Al Barsha 1, Dubai, +97144502418, Sport and Health Centres Bespoke Wellness, Dubai, +971553724670,, The Physio Center, Suite 405, Building 49, Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai, +97144370570, Original Fitness Co., C6 Tower Al Bateen Bainunah St, Abu Dhabi, +9712406 9404,, Orthosports, 5B Street, Jumeira Beach road, Dubai, +971 4 355060,

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