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Qatar’s underwater world
Dive Listings

Comprehensive list of the
best dive centres in the region

Travel + Adventure

Jebel Toubkal
Hiking for health

Getting outdoors in the UAE

Be Sport Bike Shop
brings Cube bikes to the UAE

WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

Issue 42, June 2014

MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

On the cover: Suunto, Conquer New Territory
Photo by: Jill Heinert
Managing Editor Daniel Birkhofer
Editor Glaiza Seguia
Administration Jane Mesina
Sales & Marketing (advertisement enquiries)
Linda Turcerova
Tel: 04-447 2030
Mobile: 055 9398915
linda@outdooruae.com
Published by
Outdoor UAE FZE
In cooperation with D32 Events
P.O. Box 215062
Dubai, U.A.E.
Tel. 04-447 2030
contact@outdooruae.com
www.outdooruae.com
Distributor
Tawzea, Abu Dhabi Media
Company
P.O. Box 40401,
Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.

JUNE 2014 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

Let the summer begin!
Long gone are the summers in Dubai when the city was yawning with emptiness and
the couch and DVD box set combos were the weekend staples. In a reverse, yet totally
understandable logic, summer used to be time to put on weight, not lose it to fit into
a bikini. Times are a-changing, and we admit we actually love the summer here. Firstly,
you never get out of the heat for long enough to escape it. Secondly, it actually doesn’t
feel any different from sweating in 35° and sweating in 45°. Thirdly, schools close in
June, roads clear out and the busy business city takes a notch or two down from its
manic pace and lets you breathe a little behind your desk. Now, it’s time to finish those
long-delayed projects, get creative and tweak the workflow here and there.
Sports have not gone to hibernation either. Push your timings a bit into the late afternoon or earlier in the mornings and the beach jogging, workouts, yoga and even open
water swimming is very enjoyable at these times. Kite Surfers Beach and other sand
patches in the region are getting makeovers, and we are very excited to see what they
are going to look like when finished towards September. Parks and suburban green areas are swamped with residents on the move. Or turn your body clock nocturnal to get
the best out of the last of spring — head to the desert for a midnight soiree with friends
and light food, stargazing and good company.

Printed at
Atlas Printing Press LLC
P.O. Box: 14833, Dubai, UAE

Last but not least, I personally will be making a few “extended weekend getaways” over
the summer months to the coast of Oman. Hot weather, always windy and perfect waves
to conquer on my board.

© 2014 Outdoor UAE FZE
Issue 42 June 2014

Linda

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BETWEEN THE LINES
Get to us on Facebook!

The information contained is for general use only.
While we have made every attempt to ensure that
the information contained in this magazine has been
obtained from reliable sources, however the publisher
is not responsible for any errors. All information in this
magazine is provided “as is”, with no guarantee of
completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results
obtained from the use of this information. In no event
will the publisher, its related affiliates or anyone else
be responsible for any decision made or action taken
in reliance on the information in this magazine.

Daniel Birkhofer
Founder and Editor in Chief
daniel@outdooruae.com

WHEN YOU’RE
DONE READING,
PLEASE RECYCLE!

Jane Mesina
Administration
jane@outdooruae.com

Glaiza Seguia
Editor
glaiza@outdooruae.com

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EXPERTS & CONTRIBUTORS

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

Linda Turcerova
Sales and Marketing
linda@outdooruae.com

Kit Belen
Our fishing pro

John Basson
Moto/ATV and
all round adventure
seeker

Tori Leckie
Writer, runner,
blogger
and adventurer

Eulogy van Dyk
Outdoor loving
Qatar explorer

Sean James
Mountaineering
and MTBing
expert

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

Mike Nott
The 4x4 expert

WANT TO CONTRIBUTE? CONTACT US! contact@outdooruae.com

OUTDOORUAE

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MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

JUNE 2014 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

CONTENTS
19 MTB RACE, QATAR

EVERY ISSUE

24 THE BIG 100 KM

05 BEST SHOTS
06 EVENTS CALENDAR
32 LIFESTYLE
44 PRODUCTS
54 PEOPLE
63 DIRECTORY

EVENT REVIEWS & REPORTS
08 EDA PHOTO COMPETITION
12 SURF & SKATE JAM 2014
14 PREPARING FOR K2
16 MOUNTAIN BIKING IN THE UAE

TRAVEL + ADVENTURE
26 JEBEL TOUBKAL IN 12 HOURS
30 TOURISM IN MALAYSIA
28 THE HONEY BADGER
50 QATAR EXPLORER

32 THE EXTREME LIWA

LIFESTYLE
35 HABITUALLY HEALTHY

OUR EXPERTS
48 MAGIC IN MOLWENI – TORI
53 PAVEL’S LUNCH BREAK- JOHN

TIPS + TRICKS
60 QUEENFISH – KIT BELEN
62 INJURIES – GORDON
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56 GET OUTDOORS IN THE UAE

MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

JUNE 2014 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

BEST SHOTS
WINNER!

Here are the best shots sent in by you for the
monthly “Want Fame?” photography competition!
Thank you for all your entries, they were all great
and it was hard selecting the best photos this month.
Congratulations to the top three winners, who will each
receive Buff headwear and five free copies of the magazine: Dean Seton, Joe Brady and Shoaib Ahmed Jan.
Well done!
To submit your entries, simply email us
at competitions@outdooruae.com
with the subject “Best Shots.”

WINNER!

Dean Seton

While diving in Oman, I managed to grab a photo with
the turtle before it vanished back into the blue.

WINNER!

Joe Brady

The safest part of the Stairway to Heaven that
we completed last month. Epic hike.

Shoaib Ahmed Jan

At last season’s endurance horse racing.

OUTDOORUAE

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MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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

Dubai Sports World 2014

June 11 to August 30, Dubai World Trade Centre
Take it inside! One of Middle East’s largest indoor sports events, the Dubai Sports World, transforms summer into the only season that matters for sports, with all your favourite sports in one
professional standard and air conditioned arena. Hosting football, rugby, basketball, badminton,
skateboarding, volleyball, table tennis and much more. Dubai Sports World is the training
ground for greatness and teamwork. For more information, visit www.dubaisportsworld.ae.

Dubai Desert Road Run
June 13, 6:00am, The Sevens Stadium

The Dubai Desert Road Run occurs several times a year to provide a safe enjoyable environment
where runners of all abilities can come together to enjoy keeping fit and aiming to beat their
own personal best. This race will feature two distances: 10km race (6:00am) and 3km Fun Run
(6:05am). Both distances will be timed and feature medals for all finishers. The 10km winners in
each age category will receive trophies, there will be awards for the first three male and female
finishers in the 3km Fun Run (no age categories for this distance). To register and for more information, visit www.premieronline.com.

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Proud2b
Spinning Middle East
June 14, 10:00am, The Room, Zayed Sports City

After four years of wonderful Spinning Marathons in Belgium, now Proud2b Spinning® Events
are in our region! Spinning Marathon is six-hours of non-stop spinning! Either as a solo rider or
as a team of 2-6 people, meaning individuals can register for the entire six hours of riding or
participate as a team and share a bike. There is only one rule: the team’s bike needs to be used
for the entire six hours to “officially” be called “finisher” of the event! Spinning marathons are
unique gatherings where people train, smile and share emotions. Your fitness level is not the key
aspect of this event. Six top quality spinning classes seamlessly linked together will be lead by
two international Master Instructors of the Spinning program, MI Rose O’Donovan (Ireland) and
PSMI Peter Pastijn (Belgium). For more information, visit www.theroom.ae.

Summer Solstice 100 mile Night Ride

June 20, 11:00pm, top car park (beside Trek Shop), Al Qudra Cycle Path
Ride 100 miles during the shortest night of the year and finish with a post ride breakfast and coffee
before the sun comes up. The course will be three laps of Al Qudra plus a bit extra. There will be
support vehicles and plenty of water stops. For more information, visit the www.facebook.com/
events/226507997544395 or contact Andy at andy265@gmail.com or 050 1057845.

Sunman for Rich
June 26 to 28

The challenge is to complete either a full Ironman distance (3.8 km swim, 180 km bike, 42.2
km run) or Half Ironman (1.9 km swim, 90 km bike, 21.1 km run) race over three days (26th to
28th June). The disciplines can be done in any order anywhere in the world as long as all three
disciplines have been completed in their entirety by midnight of 28th June. This event is based
on an honour system. All athletes (who do not yet have an account) would need to create an
account in www.strava.com and record their progress. The disciplines may be covered either
indoor or outdoor but as it is a “Sunman,” we would encourage athletes to be outdoors and
“feel challenged” whilst sparing a thought for Richards Holland’s struggle. For more information,
contact supertridubai@yahoo.co.uk or call 050 8731989.

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JUNE 2014 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

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MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

JUNE 2014 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

NEWS + COMMUNITY

ATM 2014 opens with updated
Tourism Vision 2020
Dubai’s goal of doubling the
10 million visitors welcomed in 2012
to 20 million by 2020 is the collective
responsibility of all industry stakeholders. This was the message shared
at the launch session of the ATM
2014 seminar series last month at
the Dubai International Convention &
Exhibition Centre.
The opportunities, challenges and early successes of the government initiative,
one year on from its official launch, were
addressed by four top tourism industry
leaders at a session entitled “Delivering the Tourism Vision for 2020 and how
Dubai is marketed to the world.”
Leading the panel discussion was HE
Helal Saeed Almarri, CEO and Director General, Dubai World Trade Centre
and Dubai Department of Tourism &
Commerce Marketing (DTCM), who
was joined by Ghaith al Ghaith, CEO,
flydubai; Thierry Antinori, Executive Vice
President and Chief Commercial Officer,
Emirates; and Neil Jones, Chief Sales
and Marketing Office MEA, Marriott
International.
Opening the session, HE Almarri said:
“Dubai’s position in the world, with what
we have to offer, is very promising. The
Expo 2020 win offers a clear message
that Dubai is seen as a tourism and
business hub for the region. We’re very
proud to have won the right to host the
event, but Dubai won’t stop; it will continue evolving up to, and beyond, 2020.”
DTCM has spent the last 12 months
working closely with its partners in the
tourism industry to implement the first
phases of the detailed strategy, with Al

Marri reporting that government departments and private sector companies
have fully embraced the vision as the
emirate fast tracks regulatory changes to
facilitate further sector development in
the remaining half of the decade.
Since ATM 2013, the Dubai government has already announced plans to
create a fully integrated e-Permit and
e-Ticketing system and shared details
of an exciting incentivisation initiative
that will enable hotel owners to bring
forward construction timelines for three
and four-star properties, with eligible
developments granted a concession on
the standard 10% Municipality Fee levied
on the room rate for each night of occupancy.
At the start of 2014, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of
Dubai and UAE Vice President and Prime
Minister issued a series of directives designed to enhance and streamline hotel
investment and development in the emirate, supported by ongoing infrastructure
expansion. At the same time, the newly
established DTCM affiliate, the Dubai
Corporation for Tourism and Commerce
Marketing (DCTCM) will focus on the
international marketing and promotion of
Dubai’s tourism and commerce credentials to a growing global audience.
Following the recent news that Dubai
International Airport pipped London’s
Heathrow as the busiest airport globally
for international passengers in Q1 2014,
and with the successful phase one launch
of the emirate’s second international
hub, Al Maktoum International, the role
of Emirates and flydubai in bringing the
world to Dubai was a key discussion
point.

At ATM from left to right, Thierry Antinori, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer,
Emirates, Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO, flydubai, His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, CEO, DWTC and
Director General, DTCM, Neil Jones, Chief Sales and Marketing Office, MEA, Marriot International

His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri CEO,
DWTC and Director General, DTCM

Commenting on the role of the emirate’s airline in driving inbound passenger
numbers, Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO, flydubai, said: “Dubai’s vision is why we’ve
been so successful. We set out to maintain the standard expected of Dubai,
which sets us apart from typical low cost
airlines because we’re innovative in introducing distinctive value added services.
“We now fly to 75 destinations, 48 not
already served from Dubai and these
are aligned to meet Dubai Expo 2020’s
growth plans.”
“The challenge for 2020 is to meet
the demand in services while developing the brand and have the best airlift in
the world, and continue to accelerate in
terms of quality,” added Thierry Antinori,
Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates.
The city has been named as a top
destination to visit during 2014 by both
the New York Times and the Trip Advisor
Traveller’s Choice Awards, and the need
to attract a broad visitor base, and position Dubai as a destination for budget
as well as luxury travellers, was also addressed by the panelists.
“Dubai is a fantastic attractive city for
tourists and business travellers and we
believe Marriott can have 10,000 rooms
in the city in 2020, up from 3,000 now.
This is a unique destination with architecture and a rich cultural history, but we
need help with partners such as airlines
and cruise lines to build demand; but
we’re bullish for the future,” said Neil
Jones, Chief Sales and Marketing Office
MEA, Marriott International.
Held under the patronage of His
Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid
Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime
Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, the
show has grown to become the largest
showcase of its kind in the region and
one of the biggest in the world.

OUTDOORUAE

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MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

JUNE 2014 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

DIGITAL ONLINE 2014

EDA’s Underwater Photography
and Film Competition
“We are honoured to have
the professional support given
to us by some of the top underwater photographers in the
UAE and in the world as part of
the Digital Online panel. With
this pillar, we are able to offer
our photographers and videographers expert and fair judgement. Each year we get to see
how the returning competition
participants grow within their
technique and this is something
to be very proud of. There is
much talent in the UAE and we
get to discover them together.
Within this discovery, there is
the development of growth and
learning, the one thing we are
drawn together to share. It is of
relevance to have Digital Online’s exhibition in collaboration
with The American University
in Dubai this year.” Mr. Essa Al
Ghurair – EDA Vice Chairman of
the Board

“We at AUD are exceedingly pleased
to have been chosen as the host space
for the 6th EDA Photography And Film
Competition. We’re pleased to continue to
build upon the strong foundation that has
been created between AUD and EDA and
find this to be a great avenue to foster that
relationship. We also look forward to the
wealth of enrichment this will provide the
students of AUD.”
Brad Moody – Associate Professor of
Digital Media, Department of Visual Communication
Emirates Diving Association (EDA) are
unveiling their 6th Digital Online – EDA’s
Underwater Photography and Film Competition’s Awards and Exhibition Opening
which is this year being hosted by the
American University in Dubai (AUD) in the
School of Architecture, Art and Design
Building (A), Rotunda Gallery.
Digital Online’s main objectives are:
• To discover new promising underwater
photographers in the UAE.

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• To develop the human interaction within
the underwater environment and highlight
the beauty of its flora and fauna.
• To gather information on the number
of underwater photographers in the UAE
(both professional and amateur).
Digital Online was realised in 2009 by
Marcelo Mariozi, a professional underwater
photographer who had previously been
involved in the organisation and set up of
underwater photography competitions in
his native country of Brazil. As there were
no underwater photography competitions
existing in the UAE at the time, Digital
Online was introduced by EDA for resident
photographers to develop a relationship
and human interaction with those unfamiliar with the underwater world and environment. The film category was introduced as
an extension to the competition in 2012
to share our underwater world in motion
pictures.
The event now in its sixth year, has seen
the steady growth of underwater photography participation, the enthusiasm and the
passion step up to another level. The event
has attained equal success within the nondivers who come to support the participants at the Awards and Exhibition night.
We would like to thank all our devoted
and new sponsors for all their wonderful prizes for 2014; BFC Travel Management, Tourism Malaysia, Kungkungan Bay
Resort, Desert Islands Resort & Spa by

Anantara and Al Mahara Diving Center,
Al Boom Diving, Al Marsa Musandam,
Nomad Ocean Adventures, Gulf Marine
Sports, OutdoorUAE, Millennium Hotel
Mussanah Oman and The Oman Sail Dive
Centre, Pavilion Dive Centre, Le Meridien
Al Aqah Beach Resort and Spa, MTM
Marine, Seychelles Tourism Office Middle
East, Freestyle Divers, The Dive Centre,
Sheesa Beach Travel & Tourism, Divers
Down and Dive Rite, Philippine Department of Tourism and Deep Blue Sea who
make these competitions possible. We
would like to thank our printing sponsor,
Print Works who provide the quality prints
for the Digital Online exhibitions and a big
thank you to The American University in
Dubai for hosting the Awards and Exhibition this year. We would also like to thank
Warren Baverstock, Jonathan Ali Khan,
Ali Bin Thalith and Nuno Sá for being
Digital Online’s asset guest judges. We are
privileged to have such amazing people
and photographers/film makers be a part
of this event.
The exhibition will be open to the public
at the American University in Dubai in the
School of Architecture, Art and Design
Building (A), Rotunda Gallery from the 29th
of May through to the 7th of June. The
gallery will be open from 9:00-17:00 on
weekdays and 14:00-17:00 on Fridays. Visitors will be asked to show their ID at the
main gate to get an entry pass.

MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

JUNE 2014 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

Awni Hafedh
Macro International
Compact First Place

Awni Hafedh
Marine Life Portrait International
Compact First Place

Christopher Combes
Macro UAE
Compact First Place

Lyad Suleyman
Wide Angle UAE
DSLR First Place

OUTDOORUAE

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MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

Juraj Roka
Marine Life Portrait UAE
Compact First Place

Jan Wenger
Macro UAE
DSLR First Place
Jan Wenger
Wide Angle International
DSLR First Place

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JUNE 2014 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

Juraj Roka
Wide Angle UAE
Compact First Place

JUNE 2014 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

Sijmon de Waal
Marine Life Portrait International
- DSLR First Place

David Robinson
Macro International
DSLR First Place

Juraj Roka
Wide Angle International
Compact First Place

Mohamed Abdulla
Marine Life Portrait Local
DSLR First Place

OUTDOORUAE

11

EVENT REPORT

Just Add Volcom,
Surf & Skate Jam 2014
Words By: Baxter Jackson
Photos By: Abdel Elecho

In the UAE’s rugged interior
lies the desert oasis of Al Ain.
There at the foot of Jebel
Hafeet, a giant monolith of rock
shooting up from a desolate
plain, is exactly what you would
never expect to find – surfing.
Not “sand surfing” either. Try
full on Polynesian wave riding
on a two-metre (6.75 foot) high
electric-blue swell of
chlorinated water breaking every
ninety seconds – left, right or
closeout – all in a specially designed wave pool replete with a
concrete beach.
This concrete beach on the edge of the
desert was transformed into Surf City, USA
on May 2nd 2014, thanks to host Wadi Adventure and event organisers Volcom and
Rage Skate Shop who rolled out the 2nd
annual Just Add Volcom Surf & Skate Jam.
Amidst the burkas and bikinis and punk
rock music blasting, skaters and surfers battled it out simultaneously for the top three
spots in a fun jam session with high fives
all around. With the surfers carving up the
waves in the pool and the skaters shredding the half-pipe and street obstacles on
the concrete beach, this was a surf and turf
classic, with a twist.

Thanks to the marvels of hydraulic
engineering and a nearby natural spring (Al
Ain actually translates into English as either
“spring” or “eye” depending on the context), mother nature’s cooperation was not
required to make this surf and skate combo
run like clockwork, sandstorms not included,
of course.
Lumped into four categories – Groms,
Juniors, Women’s and Men’s – the 43-odd
individual surfing contestants were judged
by a wisecracking panel of local surf celebs
on their consistency, style, manoeuvres and
overall shaka brah attitude. Each surfer was
allotted three perfect waves in three heats
to wow the judges – heat one, lefts; heat
two, rights and heat three, closeouts.
For those not in the know, lefts are waves
that break to your left as you ride them to
shore. Rights are just the opposite of lefts,
naturally, and closeouts are waves that
break on both sides and come together in
the middle, making them ideal for launching aerial manoeuvres inspired by skateboarding.
The inspiration was mutual on this day
as surfers such as Jeff Del Torre took to
the skies with aerial moves inspired by
skateboarding and skaters such as Omar Al
Abaar wowed the judges with his smooth

surf style on the mini-ramp. Both took home
1st place prizes for their hybrid stylings on
and off Tierra Firma.
The cultural interplay wasn’t limited to
the surf and skate tricks either. With the
waves crashing and Jebel Hafeet looming
in the background, a warm desert breeze
wafted in over the girls in bikinis, the ladies
in abayas, the boys in board shorts, the
men in khanduras. Mixing and mingling, the
distinct melodies of their Romance, Afroasiatic, Slavic and Indo-European languages
blended together beautifully in a cosmopolitan cocktail, available only in a handful
of places like the UAE.
When the sun finally set over this international surf and skate fest in the middle of
the desert, the pool lights flickered on and
the waves crashed in primary colors – blue,
green and red. The music mellowed out but
the surfing and skating only intensified with
the coming coolness of the night. When it
was all said and done, here’s how prizes for
the best rides and vibes got doled out:
Surfing Groms (12 and Under)
1st Place: Lucas Bay
2nd Place: Theodore Desclee
3rd Place: Noah Offord
Surfing Juniors (Under 18’s)
1st Place: Josh Pickering
2nd Place: Luke Baerschmidt
3rd Place: Peter Baershmidt
Surfing Men’s (18 & Over)
1st Place: Jeff Del Torre
2nd Place: Dave Richards
3rd Place: Luke Cunningham
Surfing Women’s
1stPlace: Nicole Miller
2nd Place: Donna Masing
3rd Place: Chantelle Hobson
Mini-Ramp
1st Place: Omar Al Abbar
2nd Place: Alex Medvedev
3rd Place: Andrew J. Hughes
S.K.A.T.E Winner: Tree Trunk

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ACTIVITY REPORT

Preparing for K2
The physical
Words By: Adrian Hayes

People often ask me “how’s the
training going?” and “how do you train
for K2?” The general answer to the
first is much like many of our school
reports from years yonder – good,
could do better. The answer to the
second is simple – train for what
you’re going to be doing.
That means mountain hiking, stair
running and rock climbing, in that order
of importance – even though there are a
number of vertical sections with technical climbing involved on the mountain.
Fitness is very sports specific and nothing
prepares your legs for mountaineering
like, surprise, mountain hiking.
And, although I’m often away from the
country, we are blessed with a fantastic
and extensive mountain range on the
UAE-Oman border to get fit for task. It
may only rise to a maximum of 3,000m,
with the majority less than 2,000m, and
there aren’t exactly many 60° ice and
snow sections to climb, but the rugged
and rock strewn landscape is second to
none for leg and core stability training.
I’ve thus had a full season hiking or
climbing in the mountains at weekends
when I’m here – and midweek too – with
a great group of friends accompanying

me on most occasions. For most hikes,
I am now using ankle weights and a
medium weight pack, rather than how
I used to with normal hiking shoes and
a heavy pack. Yes, hauling a bulky pack
up a mountain helps build strong quad
muscles, but I believe that simulating of
heavy double mountain boots is even
more important.
The special addition this year is sand
dune running – possibly the hardest training one can possibly imagine, it is brutal.
I have always cross trained for all round
fitness and have continued this pre-K2
with cycling, running, weights, and circuits
as supplementary training. Cycling builds
the quads, weight training is always in my

fitness training and the circuit training the
one thing I felt I needed more of in 2013
– lung capacity.
Whatever training one has done in the
year or six months prior to a challenge, it
is the 2-3 months prior that is the most important and where I step up the intensity,
whatever the challenge. And if one’s training hard enough, that intensity is indeed
difficult to keep up beyond three months.
I never taper, be it for Ironman, cycling,
running or expeditions – on the latter,
travelling to and admin time in destinations and, on mountains, treks are more
than enough taper.
I’ve also started sleeping in my oxygen
tent for a short pre-acclimatisation prior to
heading to Nepal at the end of the month
to climb 6,200m Lobuche East as a warm
up for K2. To me this is a vital component
– a two week continual hiking and climbing
period to get legs fully attuned, to acclimatise, to test equipment in challenging conditions and, although it is much like riding
a bike, to shake out ice climbing skills. But,
perhaps most of all, the critical need to get
into the essential mindset required for the
immense challenge in June and July. I will
additionally be using ankle weights on the
trek in for Lobuche.
And finally, I am going to be using a
hypoxic mask for training the next three
weeks, which forces the lungs to work
harder with less oxygen coming in.
In short, nothing is left untouched or to
chance on the physical side – and nutrition is so important on its own that I will
write a separate blog on this integral part
of physical preparation. My “good, could
do better” comment only represents what
many of us training for big physical goals
sometimes feel – that we can always do
better, longer, faster and harder. But in the
end, it’s simply about being in the best
possible condition we can be.

MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

JUNE 2014 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

ACTIVITY REPORT

A dhow cruise:

Your gateway
to Musandam
diving sites
A cruise is the best chance to reach and
explore the best diving sites of the peninsula
Words By: Nicola de Corato
Photos By: Sijmon de Waal, Neil Murphy

The Musandam Peninsula is an
exclave of Oman, separated from the
rest of the country by the United Arab
Emirates, with a stunning backdrop of quaint fishing villages (often
reachable only from the sea), white
sandy beaches and striking mountain
scenery; the Musandam’s mountainous fjords give it a truly unique natural
character. From the boat you can
easily see the geological conformation
of the peninsula, with horizontal and
vertical stratifications chasing each
other seamless.
Fjords, created by fragmented and
weathered rock formations stretch out into
the sea and massive overshadowing cliffs
tower above the beaches. Thousands of
years ago the entire area was under the
sea. It was suddenly (geologically speaking)
forced up when the rocky plates collided to
form the Zagros Mountains in Iran and the
Musandam cliffs on the other side of the
deepened Gulf. This happened long before
the volcanic formations of the Al Hajar
Mountains (once part of Iran), which after
serious geothermal events was separated
from the Zagros Mountains.
As the only access to the Persian Gulf,
the Strait of Hormuz touches the shores
of Musandam, carrying rich nutrient laden
waters from the Indian Ocean into the Gulf
and contributing to a rich biodiversity and
unique ecosystem: loads of beautiful wall
dives, coral gardens, turtles, rays, dolphins,
whales and many other species. Musandam
provides fine coral reef diving. Planktonrich waters attract over 900 species of fish,
ranging from tiny cleaner wrasse through to
whale sharks. The dive boats are often accompanied by dolphins, which like the calm
waters of Musandam’s fjords.
Visibility ranges up to 30m and water
temperature is between 21-30°C offering

excellent year round diving conditions.
There’s diving here for all levels and memories that will last a lifetime.
A dhow cruise or a private charter departing from Dibba port cruise and navigating
alongside the dramatic coastline of the
Musandam Peninsula are the best solutions
to reach diving sites. In order to discover
those places, I chose a shared cruise on a
triple deck dhow, together with my friend
Massimo owing to his experience as a diver
(he’s been a commercial diver and has more
than 3,000 thousand dives in his career) and
photographer. It was my first cruise, my first
time having so many dives in a short time
and I had the chance to enjoy and, at the
same time, dive with him and other experienced divers.
There are over 30 established popular
dive sites. As the region is remote, and
commercial fishing is not permitted, the
biodiversity of marine life is immediately
noticeable upon entering the water, and it
leaves a lasting impression on divers. The
dive sites themselves range in character
from walls to extensive coral gardens. They
deliver world-class adventurous diving to
experienced and inexperienced divers alike.
Due to the low diving impact in the area,
the reefs are healthy and marine life flourishes. Even in the shared cruise, you are able
to enjoy and explore diving sites according
to your qualification and experience.
I had chance to dive in lots of places in
two days, I saw my first sea turtle, lots of
angelfishes, beautiful corals and lionfishes.
Impossible to tell my preferred dive sites
among them, but the one I remember bet-

ter is Umm al Fayyarin (the mother of the
mouse), probably just because of the funny
name. This island (whose shape resembles
a big mouse) is 35 miles from Dibba port
of Oman, between Habellyn and Shaboos
bays. The most common seen around this
area are fusiliers, giant trevally, barracuda,
angel fish, bat fishes, turtle, stingray and
school of mini manta ray. Wall combination
of slopes nice corals on the wall and table
corals at five to 10m. One of the best dives
in the Musandam. However due to its location, it must be dived with an accompanying guide with local knowledge.
When you enjoy a dhow cruise, you cover
the major distances by dhow, which is going
to be your basecamp, then you often reach
the dive site with a speedboat. This give
you chance to enjoy and explore most of
the places all around Musandam; a pleasure
not only when you dive, but also when you
navigate on the speedboat, having the
chance to take pictures of the fjords around
you, or to see eagles, herons, seagulls and
other birds fishing, or when you enjoy the
evening light on the boat, waiting for the
dinner.
For more information do not hesitate to
contact me or to visit the website
www.sheesabeach.com.
Ready to cruise and dive,

Nico
We had chance to try the dhow cruise
thanks to the support of Sheesa Beach
Travel and Tourism. Born in 1994, it
was the first company in Dibba to
offer dhow cruises to tourists. In late
2010, Sheesa Beach Dive Center was
launched as a PADI Dive Center and
Resort.
Nico is a blogger, marathon runner and
triathlete, diver and heli rescue swimmer with Bergamo Scuba Angels. You can
read his blog at www.dubayblog.com or
email him at admin@dubaiblog.it for
information about Dubai and desert trips,
to schedule a desert run together, or just
to say hello.

OUTDOORUAE

15

ACTIVITY REPORT

Mountain biking in the UAE
Singletrack; how does it get there?
Words + Photos By: Sean James

Somewhere east of Dubai or
west of Fujairah, depending on where
you live, there are some of the wildest and gnarliest regions in the UAE.
These wild areas are crisscrossed
with narrow trails perfect for mountain
biking and provide the best playgrounds available.
For the uneducated, these trails would
pass as goat paths but to mountain bikers
they are known as single track. But have
you ever stopped and wondered how
these goat trails are so perfectly placed
with just the right amount of drop, climbs,
excitement and sweeping corners. Surely
the goats and their leathery, sun beaten
herders aren’t walking the Arabian Peninsula all day, moving rocks and preparing
paths for brightly coloured riders from the
sparkling cities.
Single track in mountain biking is defined
as a track that is the width of a bike. It can
be natural but more frequently it has been
doctored or adapted. It is often fast with
challenging, technical sections that those
who push their limits on these playgrounds
will bear testament through pictures of the
scrapes and bruises that they proudly show
to the world via the Internet.
One of the most well-known single
track areas in the UAE can be found at
Showka. Showka already possessed the
basic requirements for great single track.
It is accessible easily from Dubai and the

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OUTDOORUAE

cities. Parking is at the very start of the
trails. There are hills but they are small and
not big enough to scare the downhill boys
away with their monster full suspensions.
The area is hugely popular and at weekends there can be hundreds of vehicles.
Showkah is still sufficiently new that the desire to explore new areas has not attracted
the majority of people away yet.
If you do venture further afield looking
for new areas there are plenty. Frequently
I come across areas that I’m positive have
been subjected to the work of these trailbuilding gods. Many of these are equally if
not better than Showkha.
Cycling and in particular mountain biking tourism is growing around the world
and there is no doubting Showka and its
sculptured features are brilliant and built
by experienced mountain bikers. A visit to
the UAE should be on everyone’s bucket
list. If you have not it is about time that you
seek out these areas. There is no doubt the
UAE can be developed with similar hotspots akin to The Nevis Range in Scotland,
Coed-y-Brenin in Wales and with events
similar to the world prominent TransHajar
in Oman.

In the cooler winter months the fever
pitch of development and the excitement
amongst those who spend long days
under the Arabian sun is unmatched. At
the moment, the UAE is gold rush territory.
Groups of keen bikers, spend the weekend
camping, bringing with them heavy tools
and imagination. Let’s hope that facilities
and an infrastructure like Al Qudra can be
developed for the off-road bikers with the
support of the UAE government.
Be warned though, regular visits to
single track areas will definitely improve all
aspects of your riding, on and off road.

The trail builder

MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

ACTIVITY REPORT

Bintan Triathlon:

Celebrating 10 years
in sporting paradise
Words By: Helen McClure

There aren’t many triathlon
events you can go to where you
are welcomed by an elephant.
But that’s exactly what happens
on Bintan.
Bintan is a little Indonesian island
located just an hour’s ferry ride south east
of Singapore. I say little; that’s the impression you get when you arrive. It’s actually
much larger than Singapore, but where
the jewel at the end of the Malay Peninsula offers the highs of urban life, glitz
and glamour, on Bintan you’ll find a quiet
retreat from the hectic hassle and bustle
of city life. It’s the perfect antidote. You’ll
be able to feast your eyes on beautiful
tropical sandy beaches, calm coves and
sleepy villages nestled in the jungle.
The race itself is a highlight on the
Singapore fitness calendar. This year it
celebrates its 10th anniversary, with 1,300
competitors taking part in Olympic and
Sprint distances, with kids’ races too. It’s
a real family occasion, with a festival area
complete with face painting, children’s
activities and a huge foam bath to play in.
Triathlon is a relatively new and growing
sport. The mists of history suggest the
concept of “les trois sport” has its origins
dating back to 1920s France, but the first
modern competitive race was held in San
Diego in 1974.
The Bintan race attracts a lot of first
timers, this year as many as 40%, but this
isn’t to be confused with a fun run. The
terrain is undulating, or mountainous
if you’re used to training in Singapore.
It’s also very hot and humid, and heat
exhaustion can be a real problem even
if you’re acclimatised. It is a fantastic
race, however. The waters are warm, the
crowds supportive and the scenery inspiring. Coaching sessions are organised to
help get you familiarised with the course
and keep nerves in check.
There is nothing like the build up of
adrenaline and tension when you’re on
the start line counting down the seconds
before you dash off into the sea and
throw yourself into the churning sprawl of
competitors, each failing their arms with
all their might in an effort to inch ahead
into clear water. While you might have

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a friendly chat with the chap or chapess
standing next to you on the beach,
wishing each other well, joined by the
camaraderie of the event, as soon as the
klaxon sounds, everyone is your enemy.
With each person you pass you feel as little victory as you climb the rankings.
The bonhomie naturally returns as soon
as you cross the finish line. Stories are
shared and you’re forever joined by the
common experience of putting yourself
through the paces. It’s not the medals that
make triathlons memorable. It’s the connections and bonds you make.
This year’s competitors shared the start
line with sporting royalty. Two-time Ironman World Champion and professional
triathlete, Chris “Macca” McCormack
joined the throng of adrenaline pumped
triathletes.
This is the first time Macca has competed in the Bintan Triathlon, and he left a
legacy in his debut with a win - in both the
Sprint and Olympics races, proving he has
pace and stamina.
He watched his first triathlon at the age
of 18 and the same year he entered his
first race and won the junior category, a
sign of great things to come. He turned
professional in 1995, at the age of 21.
He said: “I’ll be doing this sport until I’m
70. I love it. My parents never forced me
into sport, in fact they wanted me to focus
on my studies. But I forced myself because
I had a dream. It became a way to socialise, and also a way to get rid of adrenaline
before studying in the evening.”

JUNE 2014 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

Macca, who grew up in southern Sydney, Australia, has two daughters and a
son of his own, aged 10, seven and three.
He added: “There’s no pressure from
me for them to do triathlons. I encourage
them to find their way and will support
their dream, but I’ll also hold them accountable to their grades!”
About triathlons
A triathlon is a multi-sport event that includes swimming, cycling and running, in
that order. There are different categories
and distances but the most common are:
Sprint: 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run.
This is a good introduction to the sport
but it’s no fun run. Your pace needs to be
quick to get ahead of the field.
Olympic: 1500m swim, 40km bike,
10km run. This event is more about endurance. You need to be able to last the
distance.
Half Ironman: 1.9km swim, 90km bike,
21.1km run. You may find that you excel
in one discipline over another, which gives
you the chance to gain ground, unlike
single discipline sports.
Ironman: 3.8km swim, 180.2km bike,
42.2km run. Could you run a full marathon
after a swim and a cycle?
And the winners are…
Olympic:
Chris McCormack (pro) 02:03:34
Assad Attamimi 02:09:17
Kathryn Marie Haesner 02:19:11
Relay: 144 Not Out 02:11:08
Sprint:
Chris McCormack (pro) 01:03:55
Bret Izzo 01:05:24
Vanessa Colless 01:14:51
Relay: 114 Not Out 01:15:32
Youth:
Kyle Izzo 00:44:47
Emma Middleditch 00:48:38
Kids:
Jackson Campbell 00:26:25
Caitlin Van Selm 00:35:05
Helen McClure is the journalist behind
www.expatexplorers.org, a travel and
expat website offering free independent
insights, ideas and inspiration. Follow
her on www.facebook.com/expatexplorers and www.twitter.com/expatexplorers.
Her travelling experiences have included
backpacking in South America and the
Far East, touring Europe in a camper
van, working in villages in Africa, travelling with the British Army in Kenya,
Oman and Northern Ireland, working in
Saudi Arabia, living in Kuwait, Chicago
and the United Arab Emirates. She is
known for being sport mad (all sports),
running long distances (just mad) and
being competitive (in everything).

MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

JUNE 2014 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

EVENT REPORT

Inland Sea Traverse
MTB Race, Qatar
Six sand dunes, the desert and the sea…
The push continues

Words By: Eulogy van Dyk
Photos By: Zdeněk Dostál

The Inland Sea Traverse is a
highlight every year on the mountain
bike calendar of Qatar. It was almost
cancelled this year, but due to popular
demand and riders coming together to
assist with the planning and preparation for the event, the Qatar Chain
Reaction Cycling Club (QCR) hosted
another successful event yet again
this year!
Six sand dunes, the desert and the sea
– this is a bit of a crazy race, but is that
not one of the big reasons why we just
love the sport of mountain biking? Always
on the look out to do something more
extreme, normal is just not good enough!
The race start is about one kilometre
of the Sealine Beach Resort on the south
east side of the country and takes you on
a 38km desert discovery of hard packed
desert highway, sandy patches and six
dunes to reach the finish line at the Inland
Sea (Khor Al Daid).
The race consisted of an open men (under 40 years of age), ladies and masters
category and 56 brave riders signed up
and participated in the event.
Riders were off on an early start at
6:30am to beat most of the heat. Red
flags were used as route markers and on
top of each dune two flags were placed
which served as check points that ensured
riders went right to the top of the dune
Riders approaching a sand dune

The start

and down again.
carrying their bike, where others
At the beginning of the
(and myself) decided taking a
race, riders were full of
stroll up whist trying to push
adrenaline and took off at
your bike through the thick
high speed on the hard
sand is better. At least you had
packed desert highway but as
a nice view on top of some of
Open Men winner
soon as we hit the first dune
the sand dunes! LOL.
we realised that it is almost
Victory came at last when
impossible to cycle, even a little bit, up
the Inland Sea’s water appeared before
one of them.
us after 38km and we knew we have conFresh cold water was waiting for us on
quered this one of a kind race in Qatar!
top of each dune provided by Rayyan
Big thanks go out to the organisers
Water and after the fourth dune it was
QCR, in particular Davy Muller the MTB
refreshing to be able to rinse off your face
representative, Saad Ferzam from Flash
with it!
Bike providing back up support to the
There were some die-hards out there
riders on route, Rayyan Water and all the
that were running up the dunes whilst
volunteers, family and friends that came
out to support us!
Race results were as follow:
OPEN MEN

LADIES

MASTERS

1. Jock Hughson

1. Louisa Lobigs

1. Kirk Pleasant

2. Jonathan Le Marchand

2. Eulogy van Dyk

2. Gil Gabriel

3. Les Brown

3. Kristyna Mikusikova

3.Andreas Goldau

Time to cool down with some water

OUTDOORUAE

19

EVENT REPORT

IRONMAN 70.3 Putrajaya
Words By: Nic Potter
Photos By: FinisherPix

Let me give you a little insight
and context first – as a cardio
sportsman, I’m weak at best.
Up until last year, I used my
strength and size in sports that
suited it; a lifetime weightlifter
and rugby player, which four
slipped discs had paid for. Doctor’s advice was simple – lose
weight or undergo surgery. The
choice was easy. (Dubai’s Friday
dining choices hadn’t helped and
I found myself tipping the scales
at 122kg!)

I decided on triathlon as I get bored
easily, and training for three sports seemed
better than one. Amusingly, I have done
two sprint triathlons in the UK before. I
hated them, I was terrible at them, came
dead last in the swims and, to the amusement of my friends, swore never to attempt
them again!
So at the end of last summer I changed
my diet, changed my priorities and set
some targets. Fitness would be mine
once again! Slowly but surely everything
improved, the weight fell off, distances and
times got better, I felt better and my goals
evolved. Things progressed so quickly that
within six months the goal changed from
completing an Olympic distance triathlon
to a 70.3 Half Ironman. A 70.3 (the mileage
total) consists of a 1.9k swim, 90k bike and
21.2k run. Full of confidence or stupidity, I
set a date and committed to the Malaysian
70.3 in April. Kuala Lumpur had always
been on the “to visit” list, so it was two for
the price of one!
Buoyed on by completing my first marathon in January, I jumped two feet into the
challenge of a big triathlon. A few mouse
clicks later and the flights were booked,
race paid for, and the understanding of
my goal started to dawn on me – I can’t
swim 2km! Relentless last minute training
is crammed in. I have quite literally never
done this much cardio training in my life,
but it doesn’t seem enough. Nervous
doesn’t begin to explain how I feel about
this. Seriously, what was I thinking? I swim
like an angry drowning gorilla. This will not
end well! And then I found TriDubai, a very
welcoming Dubai-based triathlon club,
who host training sessions for all, and even
beginners’ swim session for the likes of me!
A few weeks later and some confidence is
found. I still swim like a gorilla, but at least
not one that looks in fear of its life.
12th of April found me sat in my hotel
in Putrajaya, just outside Kuala Lumpur.
I’ve just checked into the race and picked

up my race number. First observation is
how alarmingly fit everyone looks, I could
immediately understand I was mixing with
some people in the top of their game. My
second observation is how alarmingly I do
not look fit, and right on queue the butterflies arrived in stomach and stayed there
until 5:00 the next morning!
Race morning!
I was in transition at 6:00am, preparing myself and my kit. In the lead up to this event
I did five or six triathlons. The race morning
set up had been well practised, organisation lessons learned, food and drink carefully chosen, so it didn’t take long to set up
and concentrate on psyching up.
Swim
After a painful half hour delay, we got
under way. First the pros, then the first
half of my age group, five minutes later I
dived in for a rather warm open water start
in a fresh water lake, I scoped the course
again whilst bobbing about in-between
the 50-odd other people in my age group.
Conclusion, I cannot swim that far! The
horn sounds and off we go, 350m later we
round the first buoy and field has really
opened up, the lead group has near disap-

MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

peared from view and I’ve found myself
in a nice open space to swim at my own
pace, just as I’d hoped. Several hundred
metres past and my rhythm is disturbed by
a dull ache setting into my cumbersome
shoulders, I’m getting tired already, I’ve
got a long way to go, but I’ve been here
before, too many times, so it’s time for the
secret “Finding Nemo” mantra sung inside
my head, “Just keep swimming, just keep
swimming.” And slowly that is what I did,
occasionally bobbing my head up to check
the progression, and course (never far
enough and always swimming in the wrong
direction). After what seems like an eternity
later I see the buoy that marks the end
of the long back leg, now it’s only about
500m left, I am genuinely happy! I go for
a big final push and a strong finish, but
that makes me horribly out of breath, so
I slow down again to make sure I actually
reach the shore. I am so happy to put that
behind me! 55 minutes, I had hoped for 45
minutes, but at least I made it.
Bike
Now for my favourite part! I quickly
whizzed through transition and I’m on the
bike. I actually enjoy the cycling part so I’m
happy to be pedaling away on the open
road. My target pace is 30km per hour,
which should take me three hours dead.
Thankfully my body has woken up, and I
quickly set into a nice rhythm on the clear
tarmac road. The cycle course is two laps

JUNE 2014 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

of main roads around the country’s administrative district, the roads are new and
clear. Cycling here is fun! There are some
long inclines breaking up the fast course,
but the road surface makes them a smooth
ride, so I concentrate on keeping my
average high as I pump my legs into any
oncoming challenge. At the halfway point
I’m a few minutes ahead of target and
ecstatic, the swim is a long distant memory.
85 minutes later, and 8 minutes ahead of
schedule I roll into a great reception at
transition, great noise and great support,
and as usual my wife’s support rings out
above them all.
Run
Another quick transition and I’m on the
road, listening to my wife’s support again
as I exit down the gangway to the lake side
run route. I settle into a comfortable stride
and lap up the atmosphere, the course
around the transition area is abuzz with
people and it really helps to put a smile on
my face ahead of the 21km run between
me and the end of the race.
Then it happens, 15 minutes into of the
run and all I can I think about is the heat.
It’s around midday, 35° and the humidity is
in the 70s. My head is pounding already,
my limbs, my head, everything is radiating heat, it’s all I can think about, this is
not good. This is really not good. I’ve
been running 30 minutes and so far I’ve
thought about quitting twice. The heat is
unbearable, I can’t let this stop me so far
into the race. I dig in 500m at a time, but
around me, people are dropping like flies,
either walking or sat head between legs in
shaded spots, every aid station has a casualty resting under the protection of a tent.
Then I find my savior – cups of ice down
the front of my tri suit, thanks to the tight-

ness of the suit I can position the ice over
my heart and its seems to gives almost immediate relief. So the rhythm is set, slower
than usual with my plodding interspersed
with ice stops at the many aid stations,
along with the obligatory cold water over
the head. I’m well aware that my pace is
slow, but there’s nothing I can do about
it, the heat is crippling me. Hitting the
halfway mark was torture, I ran within 10m
of the finish line, only to have to take the
left lane and the next 10km that came with
it. In the finishers enclosure I can see the
pros and super fit who have long finished.
This makes me very jealous, but happy that
I would be there myself in an hour. The last
hour took a lot longer in my head, even
longer when the aid stations ran out of ice,
no more in-suit cooling, and only warm water to drink. 70 minutes of plodding later,
the end is in sight. For the second time
today I go for the strong finish, I love to
finish a race with maximum effort, but for
the second time today it betrays me, the
push cripples me and by the time I cross
the finish line, I’m in bits. The commentator
achieved his desired outcome by making
me break out a huge smile by highlighting
the state of my unhappy face as I cross the
line.
I’m elated, it’s done, I’ve made it after six
hours and 18 minutes. All that hard work,
all the training, all worth it. Knackered,
mentally tortured, but over the moon.
Along the way I’ve found new depths,
met great people, achieved new goals and
it’s just the start.

Full Iron Man, you’re next.
OUTDOORUAE

21

ACTIVITY REPORT

The Zen and art of freediving
Words By: Alex Boulting, Freediving UAE

Freediving is one of the purest
sports on the planet. To freedive is to
enter a world of extraordinary
tranquillity and peacefulness. Diving
down below the surface, unencumbered by heavy scuba diving equipment, you are at one with the magical
aquatic realm beneath the waves.
Most people never have the opportunity to discover this place; most
people are too afraid to try diving into
the depths on one lungful of oxygen.
So why, when as a species we are
so dependent on oxygen, do some
crazy individuals regularly dive down
to extreme depths with nothing but a
facemask and some fins for fun?
An extraordinary sport
“If there is magic on this planet, it is
contained in water” – Loran Eisely, “The
Immense Journey,” 1957
There is no other sport quite like freediving. It tests the limits of our very existence
and takes us to places we have never
before visited. In the words of William
Trubridge, world record freediver:
“The fact we’re completely immersed in
liquid; a single breath, the weightlessness,
the absence of sounds, the dullness of the
colours… everything is subtracted. It’s a
completely different experience to life in
the air element. When I’m diving it feels
like I’m being accepted into the ocean.”
It takes tremendous focus and concentration to reach depths of 100m or more.
Some of the most exceptional freedivers in the sport today make such feats

of endurance look utterly effortless – a
good example being Natalia Molchanova,
inspirational Russian freediver and holder
of numerous world records.
A lot of people struggle to hold their
breath for more than 20 seconds without
training. The body’s natural response when
submerged in water is to send urgent messages to the brain telling it that you need
to breathe, immediately. At this point most
of us dive to the surface and fill our lungs
up with precious air. If we try and fight the
urge, it is not uncommon to feel as if we
are on the verge of blacking out.
Mind over matter
The mind is a powerful tool and freediving
is essentially mind over matter. You can
train your body to cope with extended
periods of oxygen deprivation, but if
your mind is not in the right place when
you dive, it is game over. Experienced
freedivers are able to achieve a state of
intense mental focus that allows them to
be completely absorbed in the activity of
freediving.
Jaques Mayol, the first freediver to
achieve 100m: “Freediving is about
silence… the silence that comes from
within.”
It is very hard to ignore the survival
instinct, but by practicing mediation and
relaxation techniques it is possible to train
the mind and body to bypass this perfectly
natural physiological response. Practicing
the art of Zen helps you to free your mind
from negative energies that sabotage your
ability to stay under the water for very
long.
Achieving a state of Zen in freediving
Zen is a school of Buddhism dating back
to 6th century China that placed great
emphasis on meditation and intuition as
opposed to the study of scriptures. We can
use the principles of Zen to break through
the wall that prevents us from staying
underwater for more than a short space of
time.
Many of the world’s best freedivers use
meditation and yoga to help them get into
the right mental state for freediving. Once

you have reached this state of quiet concentration and calm focus, you will enter
a blissful, happy place where time ceases
and the urge to breathe is no longer a
priority.
“To freedive is to return in some small
way to a unity between ourselves and
water. When you hold your breath and slip
below the surface, you invoke a magical
time of pure consciousness, safety and
freedom, released from everyday worries
and cares,” says Emma Farrel, a leading
freediving instructor from the UK.
A life without limits
Herbert Nitsch, known as the “deepest
man on earth,” sums up the allure of freediving when he says: “Each time I think I’ve
reached a limit… there is a door… it opens
… and the limit is gone.”
Freediving requires nothing but a good
pair of lungs and the ability to achieve a
Zen-like state of total relaxation and focus.
It isn’t easy to do, but if something is that
easy, where is the challenge, right?
For us, it’s all about achieving that
state of perfect flow, stepping into that
transcendental moment where time seems
to almost stop as you merge with the
world around you. We recently posted an
article on our blog (freedivinguae.com/
latest-news/) that you should read, it’s
called “Is Freediving Your Path To A State
Of Optimal Existence?” if you are curious
about the deeper mind-body connection
achieved through freediving. Scan the QRcode below with your smartphone to be
taken directly to the blog post.
Ready to get your feet wet? Our special
hands-on classes are designed to give you
everything you need to discover for yourself exactly what it feels like to reach your
full potential while enjoying a unique state
of peace few others will ever know. Visit
FreedivingUAE.com/
ouae for an exclusive
chance to try freediving absolutely free just
for being an OutdoorUAE subscriber!
Classes fill up fast so
sign up today.

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

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EVENT REPORT

100km adventure
On April 19th, Conrad
Bay and Tati CoCo SUP paddled 100km from Abu Dhabi to
Dubai. This adventure was set
with the purpose of raising money for Rashid Pediatric Hospital.
Conrad and Tati paddled for four
consecutive days, averaging at
seven hours a day to finish this
amazing adventure.

Day 1: Getting out of Abu Dhabi
On the first day, both of us felt very nervous,
but right from the start we felt like we had
luck on our side. We got to the hotel in Abu
Dhabi early in the evening before our adventure was due to begin. Shortly after arriving we received a bag with two t-shirts from
Live Love Sup wishing us all the very best
as well as giving us all their support. When
we looked at the time it was already 7:00pm
and we had to pump up my Red Paddle Co
inflatable board and carefully double check
all our equipment. We were fully-prepared
and had trained hard for the adventure.
Every night before going to bed we used
to look again over our stuff to make sure we
never forgot anything important. It became
our little routine. We had to check if we had
energy bars, drinks, GPS, phones, extra
paddle, leashes, CamelBak, GoPro, camera
and a torch for the night. During the trip, we
carried approximately 10kg extra.
Our alarms were set for 3:00am and we
woke up feeling apprehensive although we
were also very excited. The starting location
was just next to the hotel in the mangroves
of Abu Dhabi and Conrad’s very supportive and encouraging father, Thomas Bay,
drove us there. It was stressful as we had

was good, what went well and what we
could improve.We decided on having an
early night so we were fully recharged for
the following day.

never been there before and it was quite
dark. Our first hour was very tense and we
were paddling slowly because we were in
an unknown place and there were a lot of
strange animal noises. Suddenly, around the
6km, a big fish jumped on Conrad’s board,
we were so frightened but we found it so
funny at the same time! After that we began
relaxing and kept going. The first 20km
was really good but at around 8:00am we
already felt the sun starting to burn our skin.
The heat increased quickly during the morning meaning that the last 5km was quite
challenging. Every day we had to paddle
through an average temperature of 30-38°C
even during the night. Obviously, it was
more comfortable to paddle in the night
when it was cooler than in the scorching sun
(40°C).
We accomplished the first day of 25km
relatively easy, the water was perfectly flat
and there was no wind at all. Back to the
hotel, we went directly to shower, had some
food and a long nap. We chilled out in the
pool and then prepared again for next day.
Once again, all the equipment had to be
checked so we were ready for day two.
Meanwhile we discussed the first day – what

Day 2: Heading to Al Rabhia
It was a beautiful day; full of fun, exploring,
learning about currents and downwind.
This day was the fastest and the easiest
to complete. Once again we started off
paddling through the mangroves which
after Day 1 we felt comfortable doing so
we completed the first 8km within an hour.
After that we had planned a stop but felt so
strong we only paused for 10 minutes for
a quick munch on a cereal bar and to take
some time to pack our torches in the dry
bag.
The next 5km was interesting as we occasionally had to paddle on the nose of our
boards because the tide was low and our
fins were dragging in the sand.
The following 14km was really fun and
went by quickly as we neared land. We
sometimes had really strong current making
it much easier. Unfortunately we started a
little bit late so we had to paddle more in
the daytime sun, however, we found lot of
shade under the bridges and we stopped
every 4km for a break and cool down. The
last 3km was more difficult because we were
in the sea and our bodies were overheating
but we fought our way through. By the end
of the day, half of our challenge had been
completed and we were both extremely
happy!
Day 3: Heading Jebel Ali
The most emotional day of the challenge!
It was intensive, exasperating, frustrating
yet wonderful with lots of amazing surprises
along the way.
Another early start of 2:00am and our
immediate hurdle was to ensure we got into
the water before we were questioned by
the security guards. We then had to paddle
for three hours with very limited light due
to the fact that clouds covered the moon
so that it was not visible. The first 5km was
quite good with just a gentle breeze facing

MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

us when we exited the port. However, the
challenge was starting to take its toll on
us and although we were still covering the
distance at speed, our bodies felt tired.
Out of the canal the sea, the wind and
the night made us feel slightly isolated, we
were alone with only each other as support.
Nevertheless, we did not let it defeat us.
We dared the sea, the wind and night and
we didn’t stop paddling for three hours
neglecting to take breaks. At one point, I
(Tati) was very afraid that something had
happened to Conrad. We also had another
possible encounter with security guards as
we passed the navy base and were very
close to being stopped. We had to paddle
for 15km in the dark with huge waves and
with the offshore wind pushing us far out to
sea and far away from the shore. We were
tired and we wanted to stop but we worked
as a team and motivated each other and
told each other that when the sun rose it
would become a lot easier but this wasn’t
necessarily the case! On the route we had
planned, we had thought that there was a
bridge but instead it was a road. We had
no other choice and had to cross it while
carrying our boards to the other side. On
the plus side, all morning we had a big
turtle swimming by our side for additional
company.
After a short period of time, we took a

short 30-minute break as we were exhausted. We hadn’t eaten all morning and hadn’t
drunk as much as usual. This lead to us being low on energy but we were still happy
with what we achieved the first leg of Day 3.
For a few seconds, Conrad was paddling and sleeping on the board at the
same time, and it was hilarious to watch. It’s
amazing how the body and the brain can
sometimes do strange and wonderful stuff!
Unfortunately after a few strokes he fell
down, smashing the paddle into the board
in the process and as a result breaking the
tail of the board which as of that day has a
large hole in the top tail.
Initially when the sun rose we had calm
waves but they soon turned into a choppy
sea with wind picking up quickly. Unfortunately, we arrived late meaning that we
were more exposed to the heat and the
risk of getting heatstroke was a constant
nagging thought in our minds. Thomas
found us after a few kilometres from when
we passed the road. We were so happy to
see him and he asked us to stop. We didn’t
want to as the adrenaline was pumping
through us, however, Thomas insisted for
the sake of our own well being and health
we needed a break and a surprise was waiting us.
While resting on the beach, we discovered that the turtle was digging through the
night holes to put her eggs in. We found
lots of eggs and I also tried to dig and
found more! It was incredible! Throughout
our training we were used to seeing many
dolphins and turtles. After a long break and
playing on the beach with shells, corals and
turtles we went back to the water. There
were gale force winds blowing so it took
us a long time to finish but we still had
the company of the turtle. It was like she
wanted to encourage us, “Let’s go guys,
let’s do it!” We felt like she was our guardian
and protecting us on this difficult day as well
as pushing us further.
Finally, we returned sunburnt, with dry
eyes, thirsty, hungry, and utterly destroyed
but we were safe and we finished in Jebel
Ali. Thomas picked us up and drove us back
to Dubai. Once returned we had found that
Conrad’s mum had prepared a delicious
lunch for recovering energy. We slept immediately exhausted from our journey.

JUNE 2014 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

the constant traffic of boats and hatch coming in and out of the harbour and the worry
that they can’t hear us due to it being quite
dark. At first we got slightly lost; we paddled out of The Palm and were facing Jebel
Ali port. We didn’t realise this immediately
and it was only when the sun began to rise
that we picked up on our error. Quickly, we
tried to get inside The Palm and we had our
first break that morning in front of Atlantis.
We were safe! As I helped Conrad pull his
board out of water I thought it was heavy, it
was only then that we realised he had forgotten the plug and the board was filling up
with water! (No comment! Haha). Excitedly,
we embarked upon the final 15km to finish
our challenge and we felt as if nothing was
going to stop us. After a few kilometres,
Conrad’s father and Eric Terrien joined us.
What a great surprise! We had fun while we
paddled together. On the last 2km a boat
full of people shouted our names, we had
many friends supporting us. When we finally
arrived at Sunset Beach, lots of people were
there to welcome and congratulate us.
They presented us with a great trophy each
while taking lots of pictures and they gave
us a big round of applause. I think we only
realised when we finished that we achieved
a great adventure! We were ecstatic and so
proud of what we had accomplished and it
was hard to contain our euphoria.
Conclusion
Tati: “This was of my best SUP experiences.
I definitely wanted to keep paddling long
distances and exploring and discovering
other amazing places all around the world.
I can’t stop I am addicted! Every stroke is a
new story in my life.”
Conrad: “I discover that every stroke can
be a new adventure, you never know what
you will encounter next. This 100km has
inspired me for the rest of my life to keep
exploring and discovering the world. Tati
has kept me motivated and she is an inspiration. Throughout the challenge she taught
me how to cope with covering such a long
distance and all the factors we needed to
be aware of such as wind, currents, dangers,
hydration and energy levels.

Day 4: End of the 100km
Sunset Beach ,Dubai
On Day 4, we had the last 25km to paddle.
We were very motivated since we had already covered 75km but obviously we were
also very tired. We started at the Dubai Marina and it was always quite difficult due to

OUTDOORUAE

25

TRAVEL + ADVENTURE

Jebel Toubkal in 12 hours,
alone and wearing shorts
Words + Photos By: Mike Nott

Some years ago, when I
was fit, I had a week’s holiday
in early June so I headed to
Morocco and wanted to try and
pack in as much as possible.
This involved a couple of days
in Marrakech, Essaouira and a
desire to knock off Jebel Toubkal
(13,671ft/4,167m).
Marrakech and Essaouira were sublime, well worth visiting, full of their own
adventures but this is about Toubkal. I
was in Marrakech and needed to find my
way to a starting point for the ascent. A
quick consultation with my battered copy
of “Africa on a Shoestring” led me to the
bus station outside the city walls and a
thoroughly enjoyable journey through
the Atlas mountains to the village of Imlil.
Along the way we rested at several village bus stops for “comfort” breaks and
to give the villagers the opportunity to
sell the passengers mint tea and biscuits.
I didn’t have a map of the mountain,
or in fact a compass but put my trust in
the fact that Toubkal was the highest

mountain and there was bound to be a
path up it and all I needed to do was find
the right path and follow it until I couldn’t
go up anymore. A map would have been
useful though so I asked around at the
bus stops to see if anyone knew where to
get one. Despite several promises that
they did have a map, followed by a trip
to their house to get it, it turned out that
they didn’t and could I please pay for the
mint tea they had just given me.
So I arrived, mapless, at Imlil and
needed to find a place to stay for the
night. In no time at all, in fact as soon as
I stepped off the bus, I was approached
by a gaggle of people clamouring to
offer me accommodation. I chose a
very friendly looking chap who hovered
slightly back from the melee of other
providers, agreed a very reasonable price
with him and was taken to his mud brick
house on the slopes behind the village. I
was offered a small room with a thin mattress on the floor and an endless supply
of mint tea. We sat out on his veranda
watching village life and in my schoolboy
French I tried to elicit from him the route
that would take me up the mountain. He
knew it and pointed me in the right di-

rection, up the valley path and gave me
some rudimentary guidance tips, which I
hoped would be enough.
I set out the next morning at dawn, in
shorts, and headed southwards up the
ascending path that follows the valley;
my plan being to get up and down the
hill and back to the house before it got
dark. I was carrying my rucksack with all
that I’d been travelling with for the week,
much of which was superfluous to my
needs on the hill, except my mum’s ventile windproof she’d bought in Norway in
1954 (and which I used again for the Marathon Des Sables). I found myself passing several donkey trains and passing
through a small hamlet on the way. Route
finding proved to be easy and despite
one small point of hesitation at Shamhoroush, where the correct route takes
a 90° turn, I eventually found myself at a
large refuge hut at about 3,000m.
There seemed to be no one around
and I tried the door, which, thankfully,
opened. There was no one inside so I sat
down at one of the old wooden benches
and ate some of the food I’d brought
with me. The noise of me entering and
moving the bench to sit down must have
woken or disturbed the hut’s retainer
and he appeared; a benevolent looking
old man with a full greybeard, dressed
in warm, traditional clothing. He offered
me some mint tea, which I gratefully
accepted but for which he would take no
payment. Knowing that I’d be coming
back to the hut after the trip to the summit, I emptied my rucksack of all non essentials: towel, wash-kit, reading books,
SW radio, clean underwear, etc.
From the hut, the route turns eastwards

MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

up to the summit peak. Still in my t-shirt I left,
waved off by the hut’s retainer. I was expecting
the effects of altitude to have started by now but
whether it was my fitness or whether I was just
having one of those good mountain days, I don’t
know but I was moving quite fast and easily. The
route heads up a bit of a scree slope but then
ahead of me there was a large snow field below
the summit massif and the path disappeared
beneath it. I was wearing lightweight trekking
boots and didn’t have any crampons, a walking
axe or even a trekking pole. I also wasn’t sure
which way the path went; there were no obvious
signs or footprints in the snow. It looked to me
as if ascending the snow field on my right and
onto a ridgeline that appeared to lead to the
summit, would be the least hazardous way. The
snow was quite crisp underfoot and it wasn’t
scarily steep, and after committing to this route
I was glad to find the surface proved to be reasonably grippy.
As I ascended the snowfield, the temperature dropped remarkably and I pulled out my
mum’s windproof and put it on. I could see the
snowfield ended near the ridgeline and I could
finally feel the unwelcome effects of the altitude.
I reached the ridgeline safely and walked the
reasonably short distance to the summit and the
summit marker, feeling that telltale ache in my

head. I didn’t want to spend too long at the
summit but needed to take in the views, take
the obligatory summit shot and then take myself down again. Despite the clouds, the views
across the Atlas were far reaching, crystal clear
and spectacular, and well worth the headache
and chill I was now feeling. I packed up and
retraced my steps to the edge of the snow
field. From here I attempted a sort of glissade,
shuffle, stumble and hoped not to lose control
during my descent; not having the benefit of an
implement to help stop me if I did.
Not without a little luck, I safely reached the
bottom of the snowfield and headed to the
hut, to be greeted again by the retainer, who
asked if I’d done it, congratulated me when I
said that I had, gave me some more mint tea,
retrieved my bag of spare gear and waved me
off as I headed down. The descent from the
hut was quick, easy and accompanied by my
own euphoria and more donkey trains. Imlil
eventually came in sight and I began to bump
into others walking the path but all were local
Moroccans and none were tourists. I arrived at
the house weary but cheered to have made it
back in daylight. I know I had something to eat
and probably some more mint tea but I can’t
remember, I think I may have even changed my
shorts.

TRAVEL + ADVENTURE

The Honey Badger
Episode 2: Start with a bang
Destination: Mombasa, Kenya
Date: 21st April – 20th May 2014

James and Mira’s departure
from Dubai marked the start of
a year of adventure, exploring
and volunteer work in Eastern
and Southern Africa. After a
short flight they were greeted by
the unmistakable Kenyan clouds
covering the plains, and then a
beautiful sunset over Tsavo National Park with Mt Kilimanjaro’s
peak in the distance.
The Honey Badger was rather less fortunate and set off to Kenya 10 days later
than expected following delays with shipping agents and customs. However, there
are worse places to wait than Kenya’s east
coast with the beach, wildlife and
Haller Park

View of Shimba Hills

Diaries

exploring in and around Mombasa.
The first week at Nyali beach was spent
at the Backpacker’s Nirvana Hostel, recommended on Trip Advisor. It is a friendly
and relaxed place that was great for settling in to a budget of 50 USD per day, no
air conditioning and intermittent electricity. Whilst the budget has proven rather
harder to adjust to than the humidity, both
paled into insignificance following events
on our second day in Kenya.
Two simultaneous explosions detonated
in the early evening in Mombasa on 3rd
May. Apparently linked to the Al-Shabaab
terrorist group, the first attack targeted
the Reef Hotel, a five-minute walk from
the hostel, and the other was in the town
centre at the bus station. Despite 12 causalities, the Kenyans’ resilience has been
impressive and everything bounced back
to normal within a matter of hours.
Feeling relatively secure in a hostel on
the doorstep of an Army Barracks, it was
time to hire a motorbike (30 AED per day)
as a temporary substitute for the Honey
Badger and explore Mombasa. Haller Park
was the most interesting site, although
James was in for quite a shock whilst leaning into a reptile enclosure to photograph
a frog, only to come face to face with
an unimpressed puff adder. Jesus Fort
and the Old Town gave an interesting
perspective on life in Mombasa and the
prevalence of Islam in the region. The
Ferry across the river to Likoni was also
a worthwhile opportunity to get down to
the beach resort of Diani.
Diani is a beautiful, laid back coastal
town. The beaches are white, the ocean
is turquoise and the pace of life is rather
slower than Mombasa. As news arrived

Waterfall at Shimba Hills

of The Honey Badger’s additional delays,
and further threats from Al-Shabaab, a
quick decision was made to move to Diani. From South Coast Backpackers there
was easy access to Shimba Hills National
Reserve and several other attractions in
the area like the Sacred Forest, Wasini
Island, and the Forty Theives pub.
Two weeks on, The Honey Badger is
still at sea, and likely to delay a further 5-7
days. However, all is now set for the road
trip to start and Ethiopia is firmly in our
sights for next month.
If you are interested in supporting
James and Mira in achieving their target
and making a difference to African communities and wildlife, please spread the
word or donate using the following links.
To donate:
www.gofundme.com/thehoneybadgerdiaries
If you would like to follow our journey
through Africa:
Website:
www.thehoneybadgerdiaries.com
Facebook page:
www.facebook.com/pages/
Honey-BadgerDiaries/
716885161656060?ref=hl
Instagram:
@thehoneybadgerdiaries

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ACTIVITY+ REPORT
TRAVEL
ADVENTURE

Diving and adventure
tourism in Malaysia
Words By: Fei Chin Kaw

Following the success of 2013
Tourism Malaysia “Divers’ Appreciation
Night” event, BFC Management recently conducted a series of “Diving &
Adventure Tourism in Malaysia” events
on behalf of Tourism Malaysia showcasing the vast variety of opportunities
there are on offer for travellers to
Malaysia. The events coincided with
DMEX in Dubai on 6th March 2014
and then a follow up in Doha on 10th
March 2014.
At the event in Dubai, we had the honour
of having a few members of the board of
directors of the EDA, its executive director Mr Ibrahim Al Zu’bi, Consul General of
Malaysia to the UAE, Dato Ahmad Fadil
Shamsuddin, director of Tourism Malaysia
Dubai, Mr Mohd Taib Ibrahim and renowned Malaysian diving ambassador, Mr
Clement Lee.
Historically, EDA awarded its very first
lifetime membership to Clement Lee at
the event. Clement Lee was thrilled and

30

OUTDOORUAE

said that it is his honour to be recognised
in the Middle East by the EDA, an organisation that he is very proud of and has
often spoken about all around the world.
Clement Lee received his DEMA Reaching
Out Award in 2008 in Las Vegas and was
inducted into the International Scuba Diving
Hall of Fame on 2011 in the Cayman Island.
He was the first Asian to be receiving the
DEMA Reaching out Award and hence the
first Malaysian to have had this honour.
Clement also said, “Environment, particularly the oceans are our ‘silent’ partner, they
don’t speak, but they will react. When they
are not well, we are all going to be sick!”
EDA and Tourism Malaysia also exchanged tokens of appreciation for the
support rendered to each other over the
past decade.
These events highlighted the fact that
Malaysia is truly the ideal destination for
those seeking an unconventional travel
experience, be it a short romantic getaway
or an off-the-beaten-track adventure. Of
course, the country’s stable political and
excellent economic conditions make it an
irresistible venue for Incentive and Special
Interest organisers as well, as they know
there will always be something to suit all
participants, no matter where they are from.
Malaysia is also the ideal place for
Corporate CSR activities and student
programmes, for instance CAS, combining
adrenaline, physical activities, cultural elements and service aspects.
Of course diving is the mainstay of
the Malaysian tourism activities and with
hundreds of tropical islands; you’ll find an
incredible choice of dive sites and undiscovered beaches. It’s not surprising that
Malaysia is regarded as one of the world’s
top dive destinations. You can pick from a
variety of underwater landscapes - including
sloping reefs, pinnacles and coral gardens

– for deep, drift, wreck, cave and wall dives.
Get ready to meet an amazing array of
brilliant, exotic marine life beneath these
pristine waters – some of which are rarely
experienced anywhere else on earth.
Clement Lee spoke about the beauty
of diving in Malaysia. Apart from the well
known Sipadan island, about 40 minutes
away are the Tun Sekaran Marine Park
consisting of several heavenly islands and
standing out is the Bohey Dulang island –
the island which he described as Heaven
On Top and Paradise Underwater. “Here if
you are a super macro photographer, you
will love it as underneath is a real paradise
for nudibranches, flamboyant cuttlefish, frog
fish, leaf fish, and also the ‘orangutan crab.’
You will not be short of subject. You will
see occasional manta ray passing by, and
of course turtles too. Please do not forget
to hop on to another island ‘Si Amil’ where
you will be thrilled to see the schooling of
hundreds of resident Devil Rays, a must see
underwater unique life.”
Ms Fei Chin Kaw, director of BFC Travel
Management later said that away from
the diving, Malaysia is home to the tallest
mountain in South East Asia, Mt Kinabalu.
Kinabalu has many excellent trails to hike
and there are dozens of other hiking trails
(eg the pinnacles at Mulu National Park, Mt
Tahan in Pahang, Cameron Highlands trail,

MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

etc). These trails offer climbing challenges
to suit all level of abilities, ranging from the
strenuous exertion of a nine-day traverse
of Gunung Tahan to a relatively gentle trek
through the botanical gardens of Mount
Kinabalu.
Verified by Guinness World Records as
the highest via ferrata in the world, those
up for a challenge can try descending Mt.
Kinabalu via ferrata. One of the greatest
thrills a hiker can have is to walk or climb a
via ferrata, the “iron path.” Travelling on a
via ferrata is a different way of enjoying the
sheer magnificence of Kinabalu, providing
access to places normally reserved for rock
climbers and mountaineers. In this awesome mountain environment, you will be
stopped in your tracks by amazing views,
from a perspective that few have the opportunity to experience.
I’m sure some of you will be
asking what is a via ferrata?
A via ferrata, iron path in English, is quite
literally a route with fixed “protection” that
aids travellers in moving safely through
mountains. Protection found on a via ferrata
includes a combination of hardware affixed
directly to the climbing or walking surface,
most often the rock wall.
Elements include:
• cables made from heavy-gauge steel wire,
the most common element of a via ferrata
• metal bars or posts, drilled and cemented
into the rock, with eyelets on the end for
the cable to run through (like “rebar” used
to reinforce concrete buildings)
• rungs of metal, creating a virtual ladder
• stemples, or steps created from wood and
secured to the mountainside,
• ladders and bridges
Each component provides both a way to
aid travel and an element of safety, providing hand holds, assisting with balance, and
actually enabling you to attach yourself to
the rock. Go on give it a try!
Perhaps if you don’t fancy climbing up
you could try climbing down instead! Malaysia’s many limestone outcrops provide the
right ingredients for the formation of hundreds of interesting caves. Many have been
made accessible, offering impressive sights
and adventurous caving with crawling,

climbing and swimming through passages.
If all this physical exertion is too much for
you, how about watching the ultimate spectator sport? With Petronas as its flagship,
Malaysia is home to one of the important
races of the Formula One circuit. Arrange
your visit during the race week to experience the adrenaline of the racetrack as well
as the natural tracks of the country.
A slightly gentler and quieter, option is
cycling. With its scenic beauty and welldeveloped road network, Malaysia has no
shortage of road cycling events every year
so you can either go follow an event or
even take part.
Away from the mechanical tourism there
is a massive variety of wildlife available to
build a trip around. The tropical environment and the extensive rainforests have
led to a huge diversity of plant and animal
species. Surveys have identified more than
8,000 species of plants including 2,000
tree species, 800 types of orchid and 200
types of palm. Living amongst all of this lush
vegetation are more than 200 species of
mammals, 600 different bird varieties, 140
species of snakes, 80 types of lizard, 300
species of fresh water fishes and thousands
of insects who make their homes in the
rainforest.
A river cruise is the one of the best ways
to spot these ‘local residents’ - an adventure you’ll never forget! Conservation in
the Kinabatangan floodplain also fulfills
Malaysia’s pledge as a signatory to the Ramsar Convention to promote the wise use of
wetlands.
Keeping to the water theme, Malaysia
is blessed with many fine rivers, providing
many venues for white water rafting. Experiences range from the high adrenaline Class
5 rapids to the more tranquil family rides.
Some rivers are very remote, as they travel
through the Orang Asli (aborigines) settlements and ancient forests full of bird and
animal life, and some flow past limestone
caves and prehistoric archaeological sites.
White water rafting can be experienced on
day trips, or as part of a longer group trek.
If like me you love to get a few rounds of
golf in wherever you travel there are numerous courses to choose from in Malaysia.
Whether one chooses to tee-off in the cool

JUNE 2014 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

highlands, amidst lush greenery or by the
fringe of the South China Sea, one can
do so on superbly designed, international
standard golf courses. In addition, with each
course depicting a style or theme highlighting its natural surroundings, one can
indulge in challenging rounds enhanced by
Malaysia’s natural beauty.
Other options you can try are backpacking as a single traveller, celebrating your
honeymoon on top of the tallest mountain
in South East Asia (this has to be one of the
most romantic things you can do!), searching for Proboscis monkeys and learning
about bird watching with your family.
What else? Malaysia actively encourages
sustainable travel, so try staying at an eco
lodge as part of your agenda, look to learn
the etiquette of the national parks, wildlife
reserves, protected lakes, caves, UNESCO
Heritage sites, etc during your trips. There
are also opportunities to visit schools,
orphanages or old people’s homes either
as part of an organised CSR activity or as an
individual wanting to give something back
to society.
Last but not least why not experience a
culinary tour and sample the very varied
Malaysian food as part of your adventure.
Adventure means different things to
different people, it can be unusual experiences or it can be something bold involving
some risk taking with uncertain outcomes
and generally stepping out of your comfort
zone and unleashing your curiosity.
Subconsciously, many people live in a familiar environment bubble – a phenomenon
where they surround themselves in a similar
living environment when travelling abroad.
There is nothing wrong with it, but it is just
so much more fun when you step out of
your comfort zone and have an adventure.
So why not try something new on your next
trip (after you’ve done the diving of course!).
How many activities you can do really
depends on how long you have, so I recommend 2-3 activities per trip so you can
savour the experience and not to be too
exhausted. Malaysia has year-long tropical
weather so whatever time you go, you will
always find something adventurous to do.
Malaysia is a very affordable destination
and based on your budget, we can customise your itinerary. However, we do have
several fixed group trips available, please
feel free to get in touch to find out more.
You can reach BFC Travel Management at
info@bfctravels.com or 04 360 7177.

OUTDOORUAE

31

LIFESTYLE

Testing the
2014 FJ Xtreme in Liwa
Photos By: Marina Bruce, Markham Bromfield, Renaud Olivier and Siyun Liang

Marina Bruce

is The Desert Diva – read her
blog at www.thedesertdiva.com
Oasis Offroad is a free to
join offroad club based in Al
Ain offering family trips and
overland adventures in the
beautiful sand dunes of Al Ain
and beyond. Their website is
www.oasis-offroad.com
and their Facebook page is
www.facebook.com/
OasisOffroad

32

When an email arrived
offering me the chance to
test drive the 2014 FJ
Cruiser Xtreme it took
me a nanosecond to reply
“yes,” another nanosecond
to think “I’ll take it to Liwa”
and all of two minutes to
make some phonecalls
to persuade a couple of
friends to accompany me.
Toyota has commissioned Arctic
Trucks in Dubai to add some carefully selected modifications to the
standard FJ which will appeal to
the off-road buyer and the resulting vehicle is being packaged as
the Xtreme edition. Some of these
modifications are cosmetic, such

OUTDOORUAE

as the Bushwacker Fender Flares
which give the car a more rugged
appearance, smoked LED front turn
signal and tail lamps, as well as front
fog lamps and DRLs which add to
the FJ’s funky styling and increase
visibility.
My testing team – Mark and
Renaud driving with passengers
Siyun and Aisha – met very early
on a Friday morning at the White
Sands Café on the Abu DhabiHimeem road and we fuelled up at
the nearby ADNOC before heading
along a gatch track to reach an
open gateway into the desert.
Parts of the gatch were washboard-like with small hard rutsbut
thanks to the Fox Stage One
suspension the FJ Cruiser Xtreme
traversed them so smoothly I hardly
noticed the bumps (but my support
crew who were following in their
Patrol and Xterra unfortunately did),

Fox Shocks make a
big difference to ride
and handling

indeed the FJ Cruiser provided a
comfortable ride all day regardless
of the terrain encountered.
Once deflated and with the
traction control turned off, we hit
the sand and I was immediately
impressed at just how well the car
handled. The Fox suspension gives
it a 2” lift which helps greatly when
tackling technical dunes, particularly
when exiting bowls. The car has
good entry and exit angles though
I would be tempted to fit a bash
plate to give increased engine protection. It was easy to stay in control
when travelling down slipfaces
and there was no kick-out of the
rear due to the FJ Xtreme being a
long wheelbase car, despite being
considerably shorter than other
LWB off-road favourites such as the
Landcruiser, Patrol or Raptor.
The sand was extremely soft in
many places but the 270bhp lurking
under the bonnet ensured there was
plenty of power to tackle everything
in my path. The FJ is available in
the UAE with five speed automatic
transmission as standard; the gear
ratios are well suited to give plenty
of power to climb large dunes
effortlessly, yet with the flexibility
to tackle the journey home. When
struggling to climb or extricate oneself out of a sticky situation, simply
move the car into neutral, engage
4LOW and you’ll find enough

MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

JUNE 2014 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

In front of the lovely 5star Qasr Al Sarab

torque to conquer the softest of sand.
The FJ Xtreme model comes with a
hood scoop, which does reduce visibility
slightly for a short person like me, but with
the extra air cooling this outweighs this
disadvantage. During the test drive the
mercury hit 42°C at one point which necessitated the air conditioning to be on “full”
for most of the journey, yet there’s always
plenty of power and the engine thermostat
stayed down in the first quarter of the dial
at all times.
For off-roading, the BF Goodrich ATR
tyres mounted on classy 16” matt black
alloy wheels are a big improvement on
the standard Dunlops; they are a little bit
noisier on the highway but with music on
at even low volume you don’t really notice.
However once you get it into the sand you
will feel the benefits of the all-terrain tyres
straight away - deflated to 12.5psi they
grip beautifully ensuring a smooth and
controlled ride over the most technical of
obstacles.
One pet peeve of mine is a car overloaded with electronics; these often take
the fun and challenge out of dune bashing,
so I was pleased to see that the FJ Xtreme
has no hill descent control or the like. Importantly it does have traction control for
road driving, easily disabled when off-road,
and the most desirable of off-road features,
rear diff-locks which are handy to get out
of tricky situations in the sand.
We had up to eight hours to complete
our drive which was planned to take us
over varying terrain for 160km point to
point; our small convoy moved quickly
and thus we had plenty of time to deviate somewhat from the straight line, in
search of oryx, oilfield trucks and burnt out
wrecks. Testing the FJ in May meant we

didn’t encounter any other off-roaders but
in places we crossed some multiple tyre
tracks, now beginning to fade, a reminder
that the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge had
passed through this area only a few weeks
previously.
By mid-afternoon we had hit the blacktop near Himeem and it was time to relax
over a coffee at the wonderful five-star
Qasr Al Sarab. If you are driving in the east
of the Liwa area it’s a great place to have
a drink and a rest before you head home
or if time and budget allow, you could stay
the night in one of their sumptuous rooms
and wake up with the desert on your
doorstep.
Returning to the blacktop after 201km
off-road, my teammates had to fuel up
again, however, as the FJ Xtreme carries
159 litres of petrol in its dual tanks, I had
no need of the ADNOC in Himeem – my
fuel gauge was still showing half full! The
ability to travel up to 400km off-road
without carrying extra petrol cans is one of
a number of very good reasons to buy this
car, especially if you enjoy long-distance
overlanding and regular forays to Liwa and
I would expect a tank to take you around
700km on road.

Often when cars are modified the
manufacturer’s warranty is compromised,
however this FJ has a full Toyota warranty
which covers the Xtreme additions. In
some emirates, modified vehicles occasionally fail their annual registration test
but were these are part of the original
specifications they are generally allowed so
buyers won’t have to worry about having
to remove then replace the shocks annually
once the car is three years old.
On a side note, five years ago, I learned
to off-road in a 2008 FJ Xtreme and it
was interesting to see how the model has
evolved over the years. The ability to disable traction control from the dashboard,
improved interior lighting, grab handles
for the rear seats as well as an extra 32bhp
from the engine have made a noticeable
difference to both the comfort and performance.
Verdict: The Xtreme 2014 package takes
the standard FJ Cruiser to a whole new
level for the off-road enthusiast; it is good
on road, but in the sand it comes into
its own as it is an exceptionally capable
dune-basher. In a nutshell, the price tag of
149,900 AED buys you a lot of car with the
added bonus of Toyota reliability.

Lots of power at hand

OUTDOORUAE

33

Ways to ride on 70% of the world!
Water sports are adven-

along the surface of water, and is pulled
along by a high-speed powerboat with the
help of a ski cable or rope. On a
competitive basis, show water skiing and
slalom skiing are followed, along with
standard dual skiing. Water skiing has been
a part of all major water sports championships including the Olympics, World
Games, and World Championships.
Champion’s Choice: Jobe Sports

turous, fun-filled, action-packed and
exciting. Both, physical exertion and
mental stimulation can be attained
in water sports. They offer a visual
treat, motivation and an elated feeling.
Water sports can be played in, on, or
underwater.
UAE is one best places for water rides
and fun. Beaches and winds are in favour
for marine sports lovers. UAE Government,
RTA, the police, Marine authority also
encourage and invite all water sports lovers
to fulfill their dream in their own way.
But in all chunk of adventurous rides,
where you will enjoy extreme fun? You may
challenge yourself with the different activities below:

Wakeboarding
Imagine surfing while being towed along
by a high-speed boat. That’s wakeboarding
in a nutshell. The board here is a specifically designed board with fins and weights,
to allow the rider to manipulate it with his/
her feet. This sport is partially inspired by
snowboarding, and is often performed
in smaller water bodies like lakes. World
Wakeboard Championships are held for
wakeboarding, and it has been a part of
the X Games and World Games as well.
Champion’s Choice:
Jobe Sports & Yamaha

Kayaking
In this water sport, a small boat called
kayak is used to move across water. Kayaking can be done in whitewater, rivers, seas,
lakes and for different purposes, such as
recreation, expedition, touring, adventure,
or competitive purposes. Kayaking through
rapids and whitewater is dangerous and
needs years of practice to master. Across
UAE you will find special dedicated coast
for kayaking for real fun!
Champion’s Choice: Feel Free

34

OUTDOORUAE

Stand Up Paddling
Unfortunately for surfers, it’s not always big
waves and strong winds, it’s often too calm
in places to really get good surf. You can
do it on lake, rivers, etc. The idea is that
you stand up on a long surfboard and use
a paddle to push yourself around the water
in this relaxed sport. It’s a little difficult to
get started if your body is not properly
synchronized with board, but when you’ve
got a little speed up then it’s a lot easier
and very relaxing.
Champion’s Choice: Jobe Sports

Personal Water Craft Riding
PWC is basically racing over a body of
water on a one-man watercraft machine.
Fancy stunts and tricks, like flipping and
jumping over a ramp, can be done with
freestyle riding. In simple words, it’s a jet
on water.
UAE is the best place for PWC racers
and riders, and offers multiple events for
PWC competition throughout the year.
Champion’s Choice: Yamaha

Water skiing
Another water surface sport, water skiing
is basically skiing on water. An individual
uses two skis or a single ski to skim or glide

Inflatables/Towables
This is definitely something to try on holiday and there’s many different variations,
but you’re essentially being pulled along
behind a boat on an inflatable. This is fun
as the driver of the boat pulls every manoeuvre they can, to try and throw you off
the inflatable, while you lean into different
parts of it to help keep you onboard. You
can also do this with donuts and lie-down
inflatables with friends, taking it in turns to
see who can stay on the longest.
Champion’s Choice:
Yamaha and Jobe Sports
It is always recommended that you
should chose quality safety items
through the authorised dealers such as
Al Yousuf Motors where not only quality is good but also you can find their
price very competitive, above all, you
can find Al Yousuf Showrooms throughout UAE.
From training to provision of complete
water sports with world renowned safety
items, Al Yousuf Motors is always there
to assist you in your adventurous endeavors by only following one rule and
that is “customer’s satisfaction.”
Please contact any time for any water
sports assistance on below detail. It will
be our pleasure to assist you.
Email: aym-accessories@alyousuf.com
Contact number: +971 50 3790737

MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

JUNE 2014 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

LIFESTYLE

Habitually healthy
Mango & Orange Refresher
Words By: Chef Christopher Zerbe

So again it’s that time of year
when that delicious golden fruit called
mango is in season! Claimed to be
the world’s most popular fruit, the
Alphonso and the
Kesar mangoes are
also referred to the
“King and Queen” of
mangoes.
Grown principally
in western India in the
state of Maharashtra,
the majority of these
mangoes come from
the Ratnagiri District.
Devgad region is
said to grow the best
Alphonso mangoes in
the world! The mango
tree itself is depicted
as a symbol of love and
some even believe that
the tree grants your

wishes! During the Hindu New Year
Ponggol and Deepavali, the hanging of
fresh mango branches and leaves out the
front door is a way of giving blessing to
the house! The word mango is originally
derived from the Tamil word “mangkay”
and was adapted to mango when Portuguese traders arrived and settled in the
western region of India. Much of the Portuguese influence in India is still evident in
these parts of the country.
Catholic Cathedrals are
still prevalent, the Portuguese style of architecture is still in abundance
along with the traditional
pastel colours adorning
the seaside houses and
cottages. The Alphonso
mango was named after
Alfonso De Albuquerque. Alphonso was a
nobleman from Portugal
who was sent to India to
establish the Portuguese
empire there.
Now enough of the
history lesson! Let’s get
down to brass tacks as
we say. What are the

Blend all ingredients well in your blender till smooth! Enjoy!
500ml (ok, maybe just a touch more,to share with someone!)
Ice

5

cubes

If you don’t like it too cold, just skip the ice

Fresh Alphonso
mango flesh

100

grams

Don’t forget, it’s about 75 calories

Coconut milk

25

ml

Not only delicious, but will give a great texture

Fresh orange juice

100

ml

Use only fresh or even a half an orange with the
peel for the extra vitamin C boost

Raw or wild honey

1

tsp

Don’t go crazy! But it is great for the immune system.

Coconut water

250

ml

Great for hydration and tastes great too

Banana (optional)

½

each

I love using my overripe bananas in my smoothies!

health benefits of this magical fruit called
mango? Let’s start from the ground up.
The actual mango tree has great uses
as well the fruit! Hindus are known to
brush their teeth with the twigs on holy
days! The Leaves of the mango tree are
boiled and steeped overnight to make a
tea that helps to normalise insulin levels
in the blood as a diabetic homeopathic
remedy. Mango is also good for the eyesight! Due to it’s high levels of vitamin A,
mangoes can help with night blindness,
dry eyes, cornea softening and itchy
eyes. Very rich in dietary fibre as well,
the mango is great as a pre-digestive
and aids in lowering LDL cholesterol.
Mangoes are great for women who are
pregnant due to the high levels of iron.
Mango has even been said to help prevent cancers such as colon, breast and
prostate. Want to know a natural way to
help stop acne. Mango!
Isn’t mango super sweet and high in
sugar, you ask? Well as a matter of fact,
mangoes are a bit sweet but, they actually have a relatively low glycemic index.
Mangoes are high in calories though, so
be careful not to go mango crazy. Just
100g of Mango contains 75 calories.
Good for bulking up! Don’t forget all the
potassium, which is great for blood pressure and heart rate, as well the pectin
and vitamin C!
Come try one of our Mango & Orange
Refreshers here at The Cycle Bistro while
the mangoes are at their peak. If not,
well then here’s my actual recipe for you
to try at home.
The Cycle Bistro
GPS location:
Latitude:
N 25° 02.792
Longitude:
E 055° 14.384
04 425 6555
Phone:

2014
Listings
Dive

For the June issue of OutdoorUAE, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of diving
centres and shops based in the UAE and beyond for you to look at.

The Pavilion Dive Centre
Dive into the waters of
Dubai, Oman and beyond to
discover a whole other world
of sunken shipwrecks and
exotic sea creatures.
From snorkeling and scuba diving
for beginners, right the way through to
courses for professional dive instructors, The Pavilion Dive Centre at Jumeirah Beach Hotel has the expertise to

Sheesa Beach Dive Centre is your
marine expert in the Musandam. We
specialise in private and sharing day
and overnight diving and pleasure
safaris, PADI dive courses and all from
our fleet of eight dhows. Beat the heat
in summer on our air conditioned,
catered live aboards and relax in the
cooler months on our double deck
dhows. Our customised speedboats
will transport you to the furthest reaches of the Musandam as well as the
more local sites quickly and efficiently.
Dibba, Musandam Port, Oman
Tel: +971 50 3336046
www.sheesabeach.com

36

OUTDOORUAE

make sure your experience is everything
you hoped.
The Pavilion Dive Centre is the only
PADI (Professional Association of Diving
Instructors) five-star Career Development
Centre in the United Arab Emirates. PADI
certifications are recognised worldwide,
giving you access to diving adventures all
over the planet.
From entry-level and children’s
diving courses to training you as a professional dive instructor, we have over 30
PADI courses for you to choose from. To
make things even easier, our dedicated
Instructor Training is available in English,

Daily dive trips to Fujairah, Musandam, Dubai wrecks and World
Islands, Dubai Aquarium and
Underwater Zoo, and Atlantis Shark
Lagoon with centralised bookings
office. Four fully stocked dive shops
with equipment from AquaLung,
Apeks and much more. Dedicated
workshop catering to most wellknown brands. Four watersports
centers.
Tel: +971 4 3422993
Email: abdiving@emirates.net.ae
www.alboomdiving.com

German, French, Russian, Arabic, Chinese and more.
You’ll find our approach is amazingly flexible. With our PADI e-Learning
courses, you can develop your diving
knowledge wherever and whenever
suits you, before you take your certification dives.
Tel: +971 4 4068828
Email: divecentre@jumeirah.com

Musandam-based diving and cruises
specialist Al Marsa Travel is now
offering a host of services to help
guide visitors through some of
Oman’s most spectacular reefs and
rock formations to find a huge selection of marine life spread over more
than two dozen unique dive sites.
Located 120km away from Dubai,
Musandam is home to several exotic
marine species, including lionfish,
whale shark, pilot whales, lobsters,
hawksbill and green turtles.
Tel: (Oman) +968 26836550
www.almarsamusandam.com

2014
Listings
Dive
DIVE SHOP

Gulf Marine Sports is located
in Abu Dhabi, tourist club area,
10th street or Old Mazda St,
opposite Fayrouz super market.
Gulf Marine Sports distributes a wide
range of basic snorkeling equipment,
professional and pleasure diving gear.
Gulf Marine Sports has been established
since 1998 and offer an extensive range
of diving equipment and professional
services.  Gulf Marine Sports advise and
help its customers to decide what equipment is best for them. GMS offer a big
range of the most reputable and leading
diving equipment brand names, such as
Tusa, Beuchat, Bare, Underwater Kinetics,
Trident, Sea Pearl, Pro Blue Dive Accessories, Big Blue Lights, Stingray, Pelican,
and PADI.

Our facility includes:

• Hyrdo test for tanks
• Tank rental
• Tank filling
• Padi materials Supply
• Equipment service
• Scuba Gear sales
• Under water Spearfishing Products
• Diving Mask Prescriptions Lenses
Contact:
Gulf Marine Sports | Abu Dhabi Outlet
P.O. BOX 32945.
Tel: +971 2 6710017 
Mobile : +97150 4467956
Email: firas@gulfmarinesports.com
www.gulfmarinesports.com

Freestyle Divers are a PADI five-star
dive centre, based in Dibba, Fujairah, where we organise dive/snorkel
trips to Dibba and Khor Fakkan.
Our professional team of instructors
are on hand to teach the full range
of PADI courses. Freestyle Divers is
a family-run business and have been
keeping the fun alive since 2005.

Hidden destination, untouched dive
sites, boldly go where no one has
gone before! We are the only dive
centre in the whole area so lots of fish
and few divers! Enjoy the impressive
landscape of the fjords of Oman and
the heritage life of a fishermen’s village. Discover a new world! Enjoy the
freedom of gliding through the big
blue. Experience new adventures and
explore undiscovered worlds. The
Extra Divers Centre is fully equipped
and offers daily dive excursions on
speed boats as well as the full range
of dive courses.

Scubatec Diving Center L.L.C is a
five-star IDC Center Licensed by the
Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). We are well
known here in Dubai as one of the
friendliest and busiest dive center.
Our team of dedicated and professional instructors will ensure that you
gain all the knowledge and experience required to be safe scuba
divers. Scubatec prides itself on the
personal touch and prefer smaller
groups on a dive trip so the dive
master/instructor can dedicate more
time and attention to the individuals.

Tel: +971 9 2445756
Email: freestyle@eim.ae
www.freestyledivers.com

Tel: +968 267 30 501
Email: info@musandam-diving.com
www.musandam-diving.com

Tel: +971 4 3348988
Email: scubatec@emirates.net.ae
www.scubatecdiving.com

OUTDOORUAE

37

2014
Listings
Dive

Learn to freedive with FreedivingUAE. We offer high quality
all year round beginner to advanced AIDA freediving courses
and trips in Abu Dhabi, Dubai
and Fujariah.
FreedivingUAE was co-founded by Adel
Abu Haliqa (UAE National Freediving
Champion & AIDA Instructor) and Alex
Boulting (AIDA Instructor) in 2009, and is
the only company in the UAE specializing
in courses and training in Freediving. We
are a professional community of freedivers
who have a passion for passively exploring
the underwater world. We are working to
get Freediving recognized in the UAE and
creating Freediving as a popular activity.
We aim to put the UAE on the international Freediving map by organizing a national
team and running competitions locally.
We feel that the UAE is a natural home
of Freediving where pearl diving brought
wealth to the region before oil.
Course Location:
Abu Dhabi: AFOC ( Abu Dhabi Armed
Forces Officers Club) | Dubai: Jebel Ali
Beach Hotel for theory and Hamdan
Sports Complex for the pool session.

Freediving courses are run every month in
Dubai and Abu Dhabi. To find out more
logonto: www.facebook.com/breathholder
Contact:
Email: contactus@freedivinguae.com
www.freedivinguae.com

COMPETITION

WIN over 3,600 AED of freediving courses!
Learn how to explore the underwater world in the most liberating and calming way!
For your chance to win a course with FreedivingUAE, log onto: www.freedivinguae.
com/competition or scan the QR code here taking you directly to the competition
page. All you have to do is answer one question and fill in your details!

FreedivingUAE are giving away:
2 AIDA ** foundation freediving courses
4 AIDA * beginner freediving courses
8 Discover freediving courses
Terms and conditions apply, the competition closes on the 1st of July 2014
winners will be announced on the OutdoorUAE Facebook page on the
5th of July 2014 (www.facebook.com/outdooruae)

ONLINE DIVE SHOP

DIVE LOCATION

38

Al Jeer Marina offers the newest
scuba dive/snorkel location in the
UAE. Its unique location at the very
north of the country, is set against a
stunning backdrop, it enjoys crystal
clear waters that are not spoiled
by construction projects. Where
the mountains meet the sea. Sandy
beach camping with showers and
wet changing rooms. Fully licensed
clubhouse with BBQ, food, fish and
chips.

Arabian Divers and Sportfishing
Charters have over two decades of
experience on the Arabian Peninsula. We offer a “One Stop Shop”
with “On Site” facilities, and PADI
P.I.R.R.A Resort. We do daily Sightseeing Boat Charters, Big Game
Sportfishing, Scuba Diving and
Snorkeling Charters. Our marina
chandlery retails Scuba
Diving, Sportfishing and Boat
Equipment.

ScubaUAE.com is the UAE’s first
online scuba store offering equipment, courses and trips, all from one
website. Our mission is to offer the
biggest range of brands, combined
with excellent prices and first-rate
customer service. We supply items
by Mares, Cressi, Scuba Pro, Oceanic, Suunto, Sealife Cameras and
many more. Visit www.scubauae.com
for products and services.

Tel: +97150 4873185
www.aljeerport.ae

Tel : +97150 6146931
www.fishabudhabi.com

Tel: +97150 2053922
www.scubauae.com

OUTDOORUAE

2014
Listings
Dive

The Dive Center is located in Hilton
Fujairah. Fully air-conditioned with
a user friendly classroom facility for
students to make the most of the
diving knowledge. Our Marine Biologist dive instructor takes you well
beyond the normal learning curve.
Bathrooms with showers, changing rooms also located in the Dive
Center. Retail fully equipped dive
center with all major scuba brands
for resale. Different areas: complete
water sports facility with Jet Ski
rental, wakeboarding, waterskiing,
and all non motorized activities.
Tel: +971 7 2433800
www.arabiandiver.com

40

7Seas Divers has been established
since 1994 and is located in the
heart of Khorfakkan City, the East
Coast of the United Arab Emirates.
We aim to promote diving and
conservation of the pristine marine
life in the East Coast of UAE.
Tel: +971 9 2387400; 9 2387440
Email: bestdive@emirates.net.ae
www.7seasdivers.com

SCUBA 2000 is an unusual dive centre on the East Coast of the UAE.
Set on a peaceful fishing beach,
you can really get away from it all.
The centre is housed in a traditional
courtyard building, right at the
water’s edge, and just minutes walk
away from the historic Al Bidiya
mosque, the oldest mosque in the
Emirates. With only three rooms for
rent, it’s quiet and rustic. You’ll find
a friendly, family-type atmosphere,
which is why people come back
again and again. The centre is fully
equipped, and staffed by a qualified, competent team.
Tel:+971 9 2388477
Email: scubauae@emirates.net.ae
www.scuba-2000.com

Masaood Marine is a collective
of enthusiasts, able to deliver
fully trained support for the boat
builders, dealers and users. Being
Mariners ourselves, we understand
the requirements for hassle free time
on the sea. We aim to be your best
partner on the water. Our products
range is supported by innovative,
technologically advanced brands.
One brand per product group allows
us to advise the best possible solutions to the client.

Divers Down is a 5-Star PADI IDCResort established 2002, located
within Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort & Spa, Fujairah. Family-friendly
with a great club-like atmosphere,
our boutique dive-centre is 1st
choice on the UAE Located on the
East Coast; for expats and tourists.
Multilingual, experienced instructors
teach the full range of PADI courses
and specialties. We offer safety, fun,
flexibility. 3 dives and night dive,
every day - We visit 14 different dive
sites - Ranked #1 on TripAdvisor.

Nomad Ocean Adventure is a
respected family run diving centre and venture dedicated to the
environment and its preservation.
Nomad Ocean Adventures is a fully
equipped PADI resort Dive Center
and a TDI (Technical Diving International) dive center. We offer free
Nitrox to all qualified divers and
cater to Submatix rebreathers as
individuals or groups. We can even
provide 2 & 3 liter tanks for your
Submatix rebreathers. We have over
30 recorded dive sites throughout
the Musandam with a flora and
fauna that is as remarkable as in the
Red Sea.

Tel: +971 4 3468000
www.masaoodmarine.com

Tel:  +971 9 2370299
www.diversdown-uae.com

Tel: +968 26836069
www.discovernomad.com

OUTDOORUAE

Dive the
DAYMANIYAT
ISLANDS this summer!
Oman Dive and two nights package from Al Boom
Diving, Oman Sail and The Millennium Resort, Mussanah.

The Millenium Resort
Mussanah is located in the
South Batinah Region of Muscat
along the coastal beach of the
Gulf of Oman.
This luxurious Oman, Muscat hotel
is roughly a four-hour drive from Dubai
including an estimated time of an hour
spent at the Hatta border (please check
with your local consulate regarding visa
requirements for Oman). The Oman Sail
Dive Centre is based in the Millenium
Resort, just an hour by speed boat from

the best dive sites in Oman. Foremost
among these is the UNESCO recognised
Daymaniyat Islands Marine Nature Reserve and Kharãbah Island’s aptly named
“Aquarium.”
ROOM TYPE
PRICE (AED)
Superior Sea View Room 3,490
Deluxe Garden View Room 3,190
What’s included:
n Two nights half board for two people
(bed, buffet breakfast and buffet dinner
in the Meydan restaurant), inclusive of
taxes and service charges.
n In room WiFi

n Mineral water in rooms, replenished daily
n Tea/coffee making facilities
n Free parking
n Two days diving with two guided dives
per day for two people with tanks
and weights
n Marine reserve fees
Extras:
Full equipment rental 160 AED
per day per person
Booking and further information:
+971 4 3422993 or
abdiving@emirates.net.ae

OUTDOORUAE

41

Suunto was founded in 1936 by Tuomas Vohlonen, a Finnish
orienteer and inventor of the liquid-filled field compass. Since then Suunto
has been at the forefront of design and innovation for sports watches,
dive computers and instruments used by adventure seekers all over the
globe. From the highest mountains to the deepest oceans, Suunto physically and mentally equips outdoor adventurers to conquer new territory.
Locate your official Suunto dealer on
www.suunto.com/Dealer-Locator/
Suunto Zoop
1,205 AED

A great value, easy-to-operate dive computer
THE ALL-TIME FAVOURITE
Suunto Zoop is a great value, easy-to-use dive computer
for recreational divers. Though Suunto Zoop is a great
choice for your first dive computer, its full decompression
capabilities and nitrox mode mean it’s designed to give
you years of serious fun.
• Air and nitrox modes
• Super-bright phosphorescent LCD display
• Robust and durable
• Suunto RGBM

Suunto D4i Novo

2,645 AED

An easy-to-use dive computer with freedive mode and air integration
THE GREAT ALL-ROUNDER
The redesigned Suunto D4i comes in a range of fresh colours and
with an all-new soft, comfortable silicone strap for that perfect fit.
Lightweight and packed with handy features like freedive mode and
optional wireless air integration, it’s got everything you need – wherever your diving may take you.

42

OUTDOORUAE

• 4 modes including freediving
• Lightweight

• Optional wireless air integration
• Suunto RGBM

Suunto D6i

Suunto D9tx

Serious features and air integration
at a great price

The world’s first all-in-one wristop
trimix dive computer

SERIOUS FEATURES
AND GREAT LOOKS
Suunto D6i is the watch-sized dive
computer of choice for those who
take their diving seriously. With a new
tilt-compensated 3D digital compass
and wireless air integration, it’s a great
tool when other people rely on your
diving skills. Trusted by professional
divers, its good looks make it a great addition to your more
civilian wardrobe too.

AWARD-WINNING DESIGN FOR
DIVERS WHO DEMAND THE BEST
From its titanium frame to sapphire
glass, everything about Suunto D9tx
is designed to impress. We’ve taken
Suunto D9 and made it trimix compatible – with a 3D tilt-compensated
compass. You’ll have all your divecritical information on one unique
and stylish device.

4,995 AED

4,395 AED

• 5 modes including freediving
• Gas-switching between up to 3 gases
• 3D compass, optional wireless air integration
• Suunto RGBM

• 5 modes including freediving
• Titanium case with sapphire crystal glass
• Suunto Technical RGBM
• 3D compass, optional wireless air integration

Suunto DX Titanium
8,495 AED

The world’s first watch-sized rebreather-compatible dive computer
THE ULTIMATE INSTRUMENT FOR OPEN CIRCUIT AND REBREATHER DIVING
The Suunto DX, built on the award-winning Suunto D9tx, is the ultimate tool for open circuit and
rebreather divers. It’s the very first of its kind to feature CCR compatibility. The premium design and
materials, combined with the new superior Suunto Fused™ RGBM, make it the must-have instrument
for your dive missions and everyday adventures.
• For rebreather and open circuit diving including trimix
• Titanium case with sapphire crystal glass
• Suunto Fused™ RGBM
• 3D compass, optional wireless air integration

OUTDOORUAE

43

MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

JUNE 2014 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

PRODUCTS
A round-up of quality products available right here in the UAE
BionX SL350 HT XL
8,995.00 AED

Available at Adventure HQ (and soon at other quality bike stores)
Adding a BionX electric propulsion system to your bike is like having someone
giving you a push. It comes with throttle mode, four levels of pedal assist and
regenerative braking. It uses torque sensors built right into the hub motor making
it very intuitive and easy to install on the bike. Everything about this kit is beautifully engineered.
• 32 or 36 hole 135mm 350 watt hub motor allow lacing into the majority of bikes
(including road, mountain and fat bikes)
• Li-Ion 48volt 8.8amp hour battery, the strongest BionX makes
• Two battery designs allow mounting to down tube or use on a rear rack
• Proven computer system offers throttle mode, pedal assist or regen mode
• Lightweight giving a typical weight increase of only 6.1kg (13.4lb) over a
standard rear wheel setup
• Range is up to 105km (65 mi) depending on use of throttle mode vs pedal assist
and rider weight, terrain etc.
• Top Speed: 32km per hour electronically limited
• Charge Time: 3 hours
• Motor: 350 watt brushless, gearless rear hub motor
• Computer locks motor if removed and is password protected

Buff® Football Flags
85 AED

Available at: GO Sport stores at Dubai Mall, Abu Dhabi Mall and Bawabat Al Sharq Mall in the UAE; Villagio Mall and City
Centre Doha in Qatar; and Muscat Grand Mall in Oman.
Support your country and wear an Original Buff® Football flag for the coming up FIFA World Cup in Brazil next June.
This special made headwear collection includes the following countries: Spain, England, Germany, Portugal, Italy, France,
Brazil, Argentina and The Netherlands.

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Words + Photos By: Daniel Birkhofer

Drown your phone and smile
Testing the Optrix PhotoProX case for iPhone 5 at sea
We have already tested the
Optrix PhotoProX in the
February 2014 issue of OutdoorUAE magazine, so we will
not repeat any of the points
previously mentioned. If you are
keen to read the review, you can
find the February issue on
www.outdooruae.com/magazine,
as well as all older issues free of
charge.
In the last test, we focused on all the
functions and different lenses and their use
on land. Now we do the obvious step to
get wet and test the phone on and under
the water. The protection from water is
certainly the biggest selling point of any
protective phone case. Being waterproof
down to 10m almost allows you to use the
case for scuba diving. Since underwater
camera setups for scuba diving are in the
thousands of dirhams for two reasons extreme water pressure and what some
people forget, if you go deeper than 3-4m
you will need strobes for nice photos and
true colours since the colour spectrum of
lights changes with depth. For example
the red coloured light rays penetrate the
water only for a few metres so it would
anyhow be pointless to make a phone case
for depth surpassing 10m. I am sure, that
the least people will really use the phone
as underwater camera, the higher interest
will be to be able to use the camera/phone
on or close to the water without fearing
it can get wet. No matter if you kite, surf,
kayak, fish, swim, snorkel or just enjoy the
beach keeping your phone with you and

protected from water is a big thing living
with the sea at your doorstep.
Pros:
• You can use the phone almost without
limitation if it is in the case. The touchscreen as well as the menu button work
well. Only the silent ring button is not
accessible.
• Interchangeable lenses
• Waterproof down to 10m, shock resistant
up to 9m drops
• Own Optix app with many additional
features
• Video and photo capable
• Many different mounts

the water is too high. But I usually have
a small point and shoot camera with me
that is waterproof. The point of having no
phone with you is a big safety concern, I
know a least a handful of people who got
in trouble on the water without the possibility to call for help. The great thing on
the water, you usually have mobile network
coverage kilometres off the shore. So combining the two things together is great.
The image and video quality is also
great for the size of the camera/phone
and produces good results on and under
the water. The different options to mount
the camera are also great. There are only
two little downside – a waterproof remote
control would be super useful (there are remote controls you can use with the phone
but I am not aware of a waterproof remote
on the accessories market). The other one
is that the phone in the case is not
floating, so if you drop it, it is most likely
gone. The wrist float strap is certainly
a good thing but I would recommend buying the ankle float from
the optrix accessories to be sure
your phone will not drown.
This applies of course only
if you use it on the water
eg surfing, if you use it for
snorkeling, this disadvantage turns into an
advantage, that the phone has no lift.
So adding to our last positive review,
some more good reasons why you should
buy the Optrix PhotoProX if you are an
iPhone user.

Cons:
• A bit bulky for the pocket
• Voice and audio quality reduced
• Not floating
I usually don’t take a phone with me
when I go SUPing, kayaking or fishing,
since the risk of dropping the phone into

OUTDOORUAE

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MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

JUNE 2014 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

PRODUCTS
Cortez 100oz for SUP
375 AED

Available at Adventure HQ
New to Camelbak’s paddle collection, the Cortez™ allows you to secure your drinking
water firmly to your kayak. This deck mounted Antidote™ reservoir features our Quick
Link™ System, a grip strip on the back side to help it stay in place, a bungee overflow
to quickly secure a hat or clothing layer, and external access to the reservoir fill port. The
Cortez™ also comes with an insulated tube cover to keep your water cold, and a bite
valve cover to keep river or ocean water off of the drink interface.

Nova Rig

3,245 AED
Available at Adventure HQ Dalma Mall
The Nova Rig package is the ideal choice for “leisure” sailing on relatively
flat water. It has been designed with pure simplicity and durability in mind,
and is ideally suited with our Nova range of boards. It allows you to learn
and progress into the sport of windsurfing without worrying about your
equipment!
The sail has been designed on a fixed mast and boom length, so when you
get to the beach all you have to do is thread the mast up the sail, pull the
downhaul to the base of the mast, the outhaul to the clew of the boom, and
then go sailing! It’s made from tough Dacron, is well reinforced and super
hard wearing, great for intensive use. The mast is made with a durable composite construction, while the boom has a minimum number of moveable
parts making it easy to use, light weight and durable. This Nova package is
aimed at beginner to intermediate windsurfers who want to easily progress
in the sport. For clubs, it offers a tough, versatile rig package for intensive
use by learning windsurfers and funboarders.

Handirack Inflatable Roof Rack
300 AED (previously 420 AED)

Available at Al Yousuf Motors across UAE
This is one of those products with great execution and a
simple answer to a common problem. The HandiRack
Inflatable Roof Rack is ultra-convenient, and perfect for protecting the roof of your car from your paddleboard, surfboard,
kayak or snowboard. Simply remove the HandiRack from your
trunk, give it a few quick pumps from the included doubleaction Handy Pump, and fit it on your vehicle.
• Allow up to 80kg of weight
• Fits in all vehicles
• High Quality PVC Tubes for high strength

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Silverback Strela 3
Silverback is relatively a

young bicycle company that is now in
their 10th year of business and has
recently been introduced into the UAE
and GCC market through Sport In Life
Distribution.

handles when you sprint and I was actually blown away by how stiff the bottom
bracket of this bike is. Having a stiff bottom bracket means the more energy you
put into the sprint, the more your energy
gets used to propel the bike forward.

We decided to take their entry level
Strela 3 road bike out for a spin to see if
this really is the ultimate first time road
riders’ bike.
One of the first things I notice about
the Strela 3 is the attention to detail.
The rims decals match the frame decals,
which even match the saddle, which give
this bike a great, uniformed overall feel.

Frame
The frame technology has been filtered
down from its higher end carbon siblings,
which include taped head tube to make
the front end of the bike stiffer for climbing and sprinting, tri-formed tubing to
allow certain areas of the bike to be
stiffer or more flexible than others and
finally the smooth welding to really give
the frame joints a pleasing finish.

Ride and handling
While removing the bike from the bike
carrier one thing becomes apparent, the
Strela 3 is actually very light for an entrylevel road bike at just 9.2kg. This is great
news for anyone who would be
attempting a few hills as the lighter the
bike, the easier the climb.
After just a few minutes of riding you
notice how comfortable this bike is and
this is due to the thin rear seat stays,
which actually absorb the road vibrations.
I decided to see how the Strela 3

Equipment
The Strela 3 comes equipped with a full
Shimano Tiagra group set. Not many
brands on the market use full group
sets now days but this is one of the key
features of this bike. By using a group
set from the same range you get a super
smooth reliable shift every time. The
brakes on this bike are also Tiagra so
breaking is firm and I have confidence
in knowing that when I need to stop in a
hurry I can do this safely.
When it comes to attention to detail,

Silverback have included chain catchers
on all their road bikes to give riders that
extra confidence that they will not be
able to drop their chain during training
or racing.
Wheels
The wheels, which come on the Strela
3, are Alex Aero rims which help cut
through the wind making the ride easier.
They are also double walled rims that
help make them stiffer and tougher. The
rims are colour coded to the frame and
saddle, which give the bike a pleasing
overall feel.
Summary
The Silverback Strela 3 is a great bike
for a beginner who can use it just to get
fit or even to compete in events. The
bike really is reliable and hassle free and
just for that extra peace of mind it even
comes with a lifetime warranty.
The Silverback Strela 3 retails for 4,499
AED and is available from the following
retail outlets:
• Go Sports, Dubai Mall
• Go Sports,Al Wahda Mall, Abu Dhabi
• Go Sports, Abu Dhabi Mall
For further information on the brand
please visit: www.sportinlife.ae and
www.facebook.com/SilverbackUAE

OUTDOORUAE

47

OUR EXPERTS

e
r
u
t
n
e
v
i
Ch ck
Ad
eni
lw
finds magic in Mo
Photos By: Anthony Grote and Jacques Marais

Tori

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

This month, Adventure Chick’s adventures
continued in stunning
South Africa. As the heat
rises in the desert, Africa’s cooler climes have
kept me away but as I
type this, I am en route
back to the sandpit. I expect a sweaty welcome!
The race on my radar this
month was called the Molweni
Trail Run, the first edition of many

I expect because it was pretty,
completely, absolutely awesome
from start to finish. With hindsight
we have 20:20 vision and I realise
now, post race, exactly why we were
given a DVD called Why We Run in
our pre-race goody bags. You see,
this race, for me, epitomised with
perfection just why we run!
Presented by Ezemvelo KZN
Wildlife (EKW) in conjunction with
369 Communications and Salomon,
the home page on the website said:
“Our connection with nature is
immutable. No one can dispute the
incredible thrill of experiencing the
great outdoors and the wonderment
of Mother Nature.”
Other winning words followed,
with video and images to draw us
in, but to be honest, they had me at
the first sentence.
Held in the utterly breathtaking
Krantzkloof Nature Reserve, just a
stone’s thrown from Durban, Krantzkloof comprises a whopping 584
hectares of dense coastal forest and
grasslands above the deep gorges
carved out by the Molweni and
Nqutu Rivers. This is true African
trail where the views can’t fail to
wow you, especially when visiting
from the hot, flat desert. African
skies just seem higher, her sun
brighter, her nature greener.
On day one, post registration, we
ran a 6.5km time trial, a beautiful circular jaunt through the forest, some
technical descents swiftly followed by
some glorious ascents, the sort of terrain that we trail junkies dream about.

Day two was the main affair, a
32km solo adventure with 2,000m
vert. The terrain was tough and
technical. Community paths,
enchanted forests, open veld, river
crossings, bridges, slippery descents
and relentless ascents. The local
community was out in full force,
smiling, cheering and sharing the
sorts of smiles that can’t fail to be
motivating and contagious. At one
point, a little girl threw her arms
out to me. I picked her up, swung
her around and then suddenly had
another five or so, vying for the
same. “It’s only a few minutes,” I
thought… who cares about that
in a race, when you’re connecting
with these precious little people? It
reminded me of the village kids in
Nepal, where I have too many fond
memories to mention.
My own expectations were low
going into the race, after another
month of too much fun and too few
runs. But then again, perhaps it’s
these races that end up being the
most glorious. They ensure that our
perceived success and enjoyment
is limited to staying connected,
embracing the moment, taking all
that the trails throw at us with a
childlike curiosity instead of fixating
on some time, effort or finishing
position. I felt wonderful, from start
to finish, never once pushing myself
too much but rather, spreading
out my energy levels so that even
the final hill couldn’t break me. My
hydration was spot on (not always
my strong point), my nutrition same.
Ahhh, have I mentioned that this
race, reminded me with perfection,
“why we run?”I admit that I took a
wrong turn… on three occasions…
but then again, I can’t recall a race
when I haven’t got a little lost,
such is that far away place called
Tori-world that I lapse into. And
I had one face plant, thanks to a
giant tree root, which seemed to
appear from nowhere. But I got up,
dusted myself off and continued on
my merry way. Not even a broken
nail to spoil my mood. All in all, I

MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

felt strong, invincible, full of gratitude for
having the ability and the opportunity to
participate in such an event. We’re all so
damn lucky to spend our weekends fulfilling our passions and I hope never to take
this for granted.
Beyond the views and the vistas, grassy
gorges, flowing rivers, forest tracks and
twists and turns, this event had a greater

JUNE 2014 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

purpose, than to simply satisfy our trail fix.
The race brought extensive support to the
greater community by funding the reserve
and a local primary school. A number
of local athletes were also given free
entry, athletes whose lives can potentially
change forever, given the prize money
that was on offer. On the very race route,
walk dozens of kids every day, just to get

to school. Likewise, adults, to travel far to
study or to work. Big families housed in
tiny run-down houses with little more than
a single room.
The Molweni Trail Run also brought a
fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the
importance of protecting our ever-compromised environment, of preserving our
eco-system. Conservation, sustainability
and the need to be environmentally responsible – these concepts are all today’s
buzz words, but the harsh reality is that
they’re not fleeting trends to watch out for.
We must do what we can do, before it’s
too late.
Before sitting down to write this, I
revisited the words I wrote following a
tester run held earlier in the year, when
we hit the trails of a small section of the
course. “Make no mistake,” I wrote, “this
race will be no walk in the park. The terrain is tough, technical and will challenge
all who enter. But equally, it promises to
be a grand experience of ups and downs,
sweat and toil… and isn’t that what trail
running is all about? The chance to experience highs and lows, to discover your
“why,” to see firsthand that whilst the pain
may be temporary, the pride and reward
of crossing the finish line, will remain forever?” Re-reading these words made me
smile. Spot on Adventure Chick!
Visit: www.molwenitrailrun.co.za

Love, Tori x

photo: Stephen Whitesell

Introducing the
2014/15 NAISH KITE COLLECTION

RIDE

All-around Freeride
Sizes: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14
The Ride is for everyday kiteboarders
looking for ease and simplicity.

DRAFT

High Performance Freeride/Big Air/Race
Sizes: 7, 9, 10.5, 12, 14, 17
The Draft is a high performance
freeride kite that generates powerful
lift for boosting big airs and long
gliding jumps.

Ocean Sports FZE • enquiries@kitesurfsup.com • +971 (0) 55 935 2735

FLY

Light Wind Freeride
Size: 15
The Fly is an exceptionally
lightweight, freeride kite designed
specifically to provide a smooth yet
powerful ride in light to marginal
wind conditions.
> Naishkiteboarding

TRIP

Travel/Freeride/Wave
Sizes: 8, 10, 12
The Trip is a cutting-edge, strutless
kite that is ideal for intermediate-toadvanced riders who want a versatile
kite that surpasses expectations.

naishkites.com

QATAR EXPLORER

Sea turtles

From Pearl Diving
to Scuba Diving…
Discover Qatar underwater!

Butterfly fish

Words By: Eulogy van Dyk
Photos By: Khaled Zaki

If you look back into the history of
Qatar, dating back to the historic pearl
diving days, you will soon realise that
Qataris have a significant connection
with the sea. These days it would not
be strange to find a jet ski, boat, fishing rods or diving equipment as part of
many households in Doha.
Qatar is not listed under the top ten
scuba dive sites in the world and I think it
is fair to say that it is not the perfect scuba
diving destination, but this small country
definitely has many hidden underwater
treasures waiting to be discovered. One
must remember that the peninsula is surrounded by heavily saline waters of the
Arabian Gulf, which makes the marine life
and activity vary to some extent compared
to other countries that are directly connected to the Indian, Pacific or Atlantic
Ocean. But with that being said, Khaled
Zaki a Master Instructor and Marine
Consultant (that has been an active diving
expert in the country for 15 years) with 10
years Red Sea experience believes that

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OUTDOORUAE

Danish divers visiting Qatar for scuba diving

Qatar has definitely got the potential to
become a sought-after recreational diving
destination.
The sport is constantly growing in
the local community and one of the big
reasons for this is due to the great weather
conditions you enjoy here in Qatar. Sunny
skies, tranquil water with great temperatures and very little current ensure that the
reefs are easy accessible, which makes it
a truly “user friendly experience.” Qatar
is therefore a perfect location to start this
new hobby or do any advanced or specialty course.
Over the past six years with the increased amount of people now living in
Qatar and visiting the country on a daily
basis, you will find more and more people
changing from their “works suits” into their

“wetsuits” to get a taste of this adventurous sport!
The local course fees are at very affordable rates and there are numerous companies that provide scuba diving courses.
Qatar scuba diving sites are mainly manmade wrecks or shipwreck dives with some
natural reef in the inland sea and offshore
and the visibility can be poor compared to
other parts of the Middle East. However
the experts say diving is about what you
feel during the dive not only what you see.
If you are looking for some easy diving with
some great access to wrecks and all the
sea life associated with that, Qatar can provide some interesting sites for exploring.
The best time of year for scuba diving
is March, April and May. During the hot
summer months the rising water tempera-

MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

JUNE 2014 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

Angel Fish

Divers receiving training

tures attracts jellyfish, which doesn’t make
it ideal ideal but still possible to scuba.
From October to February many westerners come to visit Qatar for a scuba diving
experience to escape their cold winter
months back home.
There are a couple of dive sites located
mainly on the east side of the country,
below is a short summary of the five most
popular sites.
OLD CLUB REEF – known as “Man Made
Reef” (Latitude: 24° 52.148’ N; Longitude:
51° 31.823’ E)
Located by the golden beach Mesaieed,
the Old Club reef was formed in 1970 and
is a favourite dive spot amongst many local
people and features an artificial reef made
up of several vehicles, school buses, a
pickup truck and some small boats, as well
as several piles of pipes and water tanks.
Grouper are seen regularly, as are blue
angelfish, batfish and other small local fish.
ACCESS
Take the road towards Sealine Beach
Resort. Turn left onto a small paved access
road just after QChem gate on the left
hand side of the road. Access to the dive
site will be on the left hand where the road
ends at the beach about 100m south from
the rock jetty.
DIVE SITE CHARACTERISTICS
Entry Type: Shore
Average Depth: 12.2m / 40ft.
Max Depth: 15.2m / 49.9ft.
Visibility: Medium (5 - 10m)
DIVE SITE ACTIVITIES
First dive; dive training; photography;
wreck diving
MINIMUM CERTIFICATE LEVEL
Open Water Diver
NEW CLUB REEF (Latitude: 24° 50.701’

N; Longitude: 51° 30.481’ E) 
New Club Reef is an artificial reef, which
has lots of marine life and large fish; it has
pipes and metal parts as well as medium
sized shipwreck.
ACCESS
Take the road towards Sealine Beach
Resort. After the first sand dune after the
resort stop your car and swim to the red
buoy at about 200m from shore then start
your dive at about 17m depth. You can follow the ropes to explorer all the places
Take the road towards Sealine Beach
Resort.  Turn left onto a small paved access
road just after QChem gate on the left
hand side of the road. Access to the dive
site will be on the left hand where the road
ends at the beach about 100m south from
the rock jetty.
DIVE SITE CHARACTERISTICS
Entry Type: Shore
Average Depth: 10m / 32.8ft.
Max Depth: 20m / 65.6ft.
Current: Low - Medium
Visibility: Poor (3 - 5m)
DIVE SITE ACTIVITIES
Dive training 
MINIMUM CERTIFICATE LEVEL
Open Water Diver
THE INLAND SEA (Latitude: 24° 39.046’
N; Longitude: 51° 25.707’ E)
The Inland Sea is a great place for diving.
It is located at Khor Al Udeid; a sheltered
area with some small reefs, it is a prime
spot for an all-day outing. Lots of hard
coral can be found and supports an abundance of fish.
ACCESS
Accessible by four-wheel drive vehicles,
about 30 minutes drive through the dunes
from the Sealine Resort and in sight of the
Saudi Arabian coastline.

Sergeant fish

Angelfish

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51

MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

DIVE SITE CHARACTERISTICS
Entry Type: Shore
Average Depth: 10m / 32.8ft.
Max Depth: 14m / 45.9ft.
Current: Low
Visibility: Medium - Good (5 - 15m)
DIVE SITE ACTIVITIES
First dive; Dive training
MINIMUM CERTIFICATE LEVEL
Open Water Diver
M.O. WRECK (AL-ED AL SHARQI) (Latitude: 25° 33.167’ N; Longitude: 52°
37.667’ E)
M.O. Wreck is a sunken metal-built shipwreck. It is on a depth of 22m. Some spots
of the wreck are suitable for penetration.
Around the wreck, there are a lot of local
fish as well as the occasional grouper, jack
fish, rays, lionfish and clownfish.
ACCESS
M.O. Wreck is located approx. 100 kilometres from Doha, located near Halool Island
accessible by boat.
DIVE SITE CHARACTERISTICS
Entry Type: Boat
Average Depth: 15m / 49.2ft.
Max Depth: 25m / 82ft.
Current: Medium
Visibility: Good (10 - 20m)

Car wrecks at Old Club Reef

JUNE 2014 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

Crab

DIVE SITE ACTIVITIES
Wreck diving; photography; boat diving
MINIMUM CERTIFICATE LEVEL
Advanced Open Water Diver
PERICLES SHIPWRECK (AL-ED AL
GHARBI) (Latitude: 25°29.500’ N; Longitude: 52°04.421’ E)
Pericles is a large sunken metal-built shipwreck. Sunken on its side on a depth of
32m. Some spots of the wreck are suitable
for penetration. You will find a rich variety
of marine life with large sized fish here.
ACCESS
Pericles Shipwreck is located approximately 66 kilometres from Doha accessible
by boat.
DIVE SITE CHARACTERISTICS
Entry Type: Boat
Average Depth: 25m / 82ft.
Max Depth: 35m / 115ft.
Current: Medium
Visibility: Medium (6 - 15m)
DIVE SITE ACTIVITIES
Wreck diving; photography; boat diving;
drift diving

MINIMUM CERTIFICATE LEVEL
Advanced Open Water Diver
Scuba Diving is more than just a sport;
it has become a lifestyle for many Qataris
and expatriates living in Qatar. Families
have embraced the activity as children
can start to scuba dive at the age of eight
years and if you have good health on
your side you can continue until you are
80 years old. It’s a great activity to do for
relaxation and zone out from the every
day busy life!
So if you are curious to explore and
experience underwater life in the Arabian
Gulf why not visit Qatar and learn how to
be like a fish in the water with your scuba
gear or do that specialty diving course
that you have always wanted to do. Qatar
provides the perfect setting for you!
Below is a list of some local scuba
diving centres and equipment suppliers
in Qatar visit their websites for a complete list of courses and services they
provide.

Company

Website

Go Sport

www.gosportme.com
+974 4463 1644
(website under construction) +974 4415 7463

gosport_customerservice@
almana.com

Equipment Sales

Poseidon Dive Centre

www.pdcqatar.com

+974 4442 8402

info@pdcqatar.com

Courses, Sales, Equipment Rental & Servicing

Qatar Marine

www.qatarmarine.net

+974 5531 9507

info@qatarmarine.net

Courses, Marine Consultancy and U/W Filmmaker

Qatar Scuba Centre

www.qatarscubacenter.com +974 4442 2234
+974 6666 2277

info@qatarscubacenter.com Courses, Sales, Equipment Rental & Servicing

Pearl Divers

www.pearl-divers.org

+974 4444 9553

techdiveintl@qatar.net.qa

Courses, Sales, Equipment Rental & Servicing

Q Dive

www.qdive.net

+974 5531 9507

info@qdive.net

Courses, Sales,
Consultancy

World Marine Centre

N/A

+974 5550 8177

wmarine@gmail.com

Courses & Sales

Al Fardan Marine Services www.alfardan.com.qa/
alfardan-marine-services/
(website currently under
construction)

+974 5528 0606
+974 4443 5626

jsawan5@hotmail.com

Courses & Sales

Qatar Divers

+974 4431 3331
+974 7731 3331

info@qatardivers.com

Courses

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OUTDOORUAE

www.qatardivers.com

Contact Number Email

Services

OUR EXPERTS

Pavel’s lunch break

It is not uncommon in the

UAE to hear about friends and
colleagues (or maybe even you?)
that work a six-day week. Some
are lucky and might work every
second weekend and the fortunate few, only work a five-day
week. But what do you do if you
work a seven-day week for seven
months of the year without any
off days?
John Basson

Moto/ATV and all round
adventure seeker

Due to the critical nature (falcon
breeding) of Pavel’s work it is
required that all the specialists are
present, every day, for the duration of the breeding season. This
lasting from mid-January till end
of July. The day is also broken up
into a morning shift, a three-hour
break, and then the afternoon
shift, totally eliminating the possibility of riding your bike for half
the year, or so you would think!
As there is no time to load the
bike, drive to the desert, ride
and come back, my good friend

Pavel made a plan. At the back of
the villas where he lives there is
a square section of what I would
guess to be no more than 1.5km
x 1.5km of flat “sabkha” like terrain. Pavel converted this into a
“lunch-break-track.” As he lives in
the same compound that he works
in, it literally takes him minutes to
reach home. He changes, gets on
his bike and braaaaaap!
I joined Pavel on one of these
“lunch breaks” and found the
compact gravel like texture of
the “track” made turning very
difficult. There is just no traction
in the turns and unless you are a
pro or accustomed to something
like “super-moto” riding, you battle with the turns. As the straight
sections are only 1.5km obviously
you have to do many turns in the
one and a half hours that he rides!
As Pavel tries to get the most out
of his “lunch break” he would
include figure eight patterns
midway on some of the straights,

just to really slow guys like myself
down!
There is also a flood water wall
that was built to keep possible
floods from the nearby mountains
in Oman away from the residential
area. This “wall” has got many
erosion ruts and Pavel included
these in his track. By now Pavel
manages to get ridiculously high
average speeds on this small track
of his as he has gained a lot of
experience with turning on loose
gravel. Combined with his already
impressive desert riding skills I
think the next challenge would
be for Pavel to start competing in
international championships.
This just goes to show that if
your passion or love for something
is strong enough, then you will find
means to enjoy it, no matter what
obstacles you face! (Something so
many of us can learn from.)
Ride safe and go for gold,

John

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53

PEOPLE

Heike Pirngruber

Occupation: Camera woman and photographer
Nationality: German
Age: 42

There are no barriers and
borders for Heike, just the determination to go and do. At an early age, she
already knew she wanted to see the
world, hence, this epic solo cycling
from Germany to Australia.
Follow her two-wheel traverse
on www.pushbikegirl.com.
What attracted you
to the great outdoors?
All my life I enjoyed being outdoor –
camping with a wonderful campfire,
silence, wildlife, stars and just enjoying the
fresh air and great smell in the morning
waking up in a beautiful forest or in a nice
setting in the mountains.
Why decide to cycle from
Germany to Australia?
I always dreamt about cycling around the
world. And finally after many years dreaming about it, it was the right time to start.
I chose Australia because I love it; it is my
favourite country and since I am a child
I wanted to explore it. I have been there
four times so far. In 2011, I crossed the
desert with my pushbike.
Before embarking on this
cycle trip, what were you doing?
I quit my job in 2011 before I flew to Australia cycling and hiking through Tasmania
and the desert. After AustraIia I spent time
cycling in Europe and South East Asia
before I finally started my trip “Let’s go
east.” Before 2011, I worked for German’s
biggest TV station ZDF as a freelance
camera woman. I am also a professional
photographer.
How did you prepare for such
an epic journey?
Well, to be honest I decided about six
weeks before I started that I am actually
heading off. I have done so many other
trips in my life, I had all my gear and I knew
where I want to go and what I will expect.
It might sound weird, but that’s how it was.
What were your main concerns
with this adventure?
Well, the biggest step was to say good
bye to family and friends not knowing
when I will return.

I was attacked by two motorbike riders
in Turkey, so afterwards each time I hear a
motorbike coming closer I turn around and
watch them carefully. But these worries are
over. I was also worried about Iran. Going
to Iran as a single woman, didn’t seem to
be the cleverest thing to do, but as most
people on this planet, I was totally wrong.
I met the friendliest people on the planet.
The planet is full of very nice people and
most of them want to help and protect
me. It is really unbelievable how much
they welcome me; it doesn’t matter where
I am going.
What bike are you using?
A simple mountain bike. Old and worn
out, but I still believe it is best for travelling. It doesn’t look so expensive anymore,
it is simple to fix and most of the parts I
can get somewhere on the way.
What are the best moments you had so
far in this cycle tour?
I stayed with locals in a yurt in Albania and
had a special “candle light dinner” in the
mountains, I camped in sight of the Grand
Canyon of Oman and had a wonderful
camp spot for myself, I had a lot of good
moments in Iran, which was on one side
the toughest country so far, because of
being the centre of attention all the time.
But on the other hand, I experienced
some special moments while they were
remembering a few deaths of some imams
and the “celebration” was something really special to see.
What are the worst?
To say good bye to my mum. The attack
in Turkey, kids threw stones at me in nearly
every small town in the Turkish part of
Kurdistan, the icy weather and the snow
in Armenia and Northern Iran. The wind
which blew quite a lot in the last two
months, of course, most of the time as a
headwind.

What do you think of the region
as a cycling destination?
Oman is superb as a cycling destination.
One of the best places I have cycled in.
What lessons have you learned
from this cycle tour?
I learned a lot about myself, cultures,
people and food. Lesson number one was
probably slow down for a bit, otherwise
you might not be able to enjoy it anymore, because it is all too much in one go.
And I learned the goodness of people,
when others warned me about all the
bad people out there and I always said
most people are very friendly, but they are
even more than that, they are gorgeous
everywhere.
Where is your next stop?
I am currently in Samarqand/Uzbekistan
and heading off to Kyrgyzstan soon. From
there I will either go to China or to Russia
and Mongolia it all depends on which visa
I can get.
When do you think you
will arrive in Australia?
Good question. I have no idea. There is so
much to see before arriving to Australia.
It could take at least another 1.5 years or
as long as three years. Open end. I can
also imagine extending the trip, but I will
decide this in a later stage.
What’s your advice to those
who are planning their long
distance cycle adventure?
Don’t worry. Don’t plan too much; things
you have planned half year ago will no
longer be relevant by the time you will
reach this place. Either not relevant anymore because your interest have changed
or the climate might be a barrier or even
the bureaucracy will kill your plans. Just go
and enjoy.

PEOPLE

Ernesto Gainza

Occupation: Operations Assistant Manager at Skydive Dubai
Nationality: Valenzuela
Age: 35

Even the fierce winds couldn’t
stop this daredevil skydiver from
creating history and making it to the
Guinness World Records for jumping
off 14,000ft and gliding down to earth
on the world’s smallest parachute on
April 5th.
Congrats on making
it to the World Records!
Thank you! It’s really a beautiful feeling.
I wake up in the morning and I go “oh
my God.” It still feels like I’m in a dream
and I’m also massively relieved. I’ve been
jumping every single day for 12 months,
so I am relieved it is over. I’m extremely
happy about the results and that all our
hard work paid off.
How’s the recovery?
Well, I’m exhausted and completely
drained. I never thought I will feel like this,
but now I’m completely relaxed and have
sort of shut down, but I feel good. But I’m
still at work right now, so it doesn’t matter
if you are world record holder, you still
have to work hard [laughs].
How did you get into the
sport of skydiving?
It was actually through a friend back in
Venezuela. He became a skydiver and he
told me I should try skydiving, because it’s
something that I am going to love. And I
said to him nothing was going to be better
than surfing. I left UK the following year, I
was back in Venezuela and I had a couple
of, I don’t know, 600 dollars left. I decided
to do the skydiving course and since then I
knew this is what I wanted to do. I wanted
to become a professional skydiver and be
an instructor.
The 35sqft parachute was specifically
designed for this jump?
The parachute was manufactured in New
Zealand, a company called Icarus Canopies by NZ Aerosport. Basically what they
did is they scaled down the model that
they already had for sale. They did a lot
of tests to see if the parachute will inflate
correctly, they measured the lines to make
sure they were even. They did a lot of

tests; however these tests are only done
on the ground. How the parachute flies
needs to be tested in the air, so I was the
first test pilot to jump it. As a test pilot,
every jump that you do, the parachute can
react in a way you cannot expect so we to
be super cautious and be careful for every
single jump.
This prototype was designed for me in
this size and a bigger one that I used for
training in past which was 39sqft parachute. For the Record, I try to keep myself
at 50kg, at the day of the event I weighed
myself and I was at 54.5 so I might have
been compulsively eating a little bit more
[laughs]. For me being a large person is a
massive advantage, it requires a lot of skill,
a lot of training. It’s not only about the
size, it’s about how to land that parachute
down and how you fly it.
What were the risks of jumping
with a small parachute?
It could from extreme G-forces, after the
opening there could be malfunction where
the parachute could twist and put you in
a violent spin. It could also collapse on
itself, obviously neck injuries being such
a small parachute it only takes a couple
of seconds to fully inflate. If I were to put
percentages, I would be 70-30; I would
have been at the disadvantage.
Aware of these risks, how did you prepare for this?

We trained for 12 months. I did everything that hurt [laugh] — I did running,
CrossFit, stand up paddle board, bike,
everything. They even put me in a small
room like in a freezer -101° for a small
injury. Aside from the normal physical
training, just normal jumps from 14,000ft
or 11,000ft.
It takes a lot of mental preparation to
do this. It’s about knowing that bad things
can happen and you have to be prepared
to react in every single one of them. For
example, for G-force we went to a G-force
trainer in Holland to experience all the
Gs and how to visual when something
is going wrong. It’s pretty much physical
training and mental preparation so it’s a
combination of everything.
Luigi Cani, the actual record holder before me, he passed onto me his parachute
to train. We really had a good relationship;
he’s a true gentleman. I started training
with the 37sqft which was the record by
then landed that one 10 times and then
we moved to the 35.
So Luigi wasn’t upset
you broke his record?
I don’t think so, Luigi was a true sportsman
and I think I would do the same if somebody in the future asked me for help, I will
also give it to him. The thing in skydiving
is you want the sport to grow. We want
people to take it one step further and I
would help whoever is trying to achieve
something bigger.
How did it feel when you finally landed?
It was amazing for me to have all this
support from the locals, tourists, family,
Skydive Dubai and my wife. It was wellorganised. To be honest I thought we
weren’t going to jump. When I was in the
plane I thought well what a shame that we
have to postpone the event. The ground
control guys told me as I was at 11,00ft
the winds were dropping. As we were
circling around the ground control gave
the green light, we have 80-90mi wind.
My wife is very supportive, of course she
was scared but now she’s super happy that
everything is over.

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LOCATIONS

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

Fitness and hiking
Did the chicken or the egg
come first? Always a difficult
question. Similarly ask yourself
do you hike to gain fitness or is
hiking a test of your level of fitness? Walking in the mountains
can be both a path to gaining
fitness and a way to set yourself
to increasingly difficult physical
challenges.

Having a good base level of fitness
will certainly open more opportunities to
your hiking and allow you to go further,
higher and to more remote areas. If your
aspirations are higher and you have
set your mind on high altitude peaks
or multiday treks then your training
approach should be similar to that of a
marathon runner or long distance triathlete. But how many of us actually set a
hiking specific program or go to the gym
and say to the instructor, I’d like to train
for this hike in Musandam. My guess is a
very low percentage.
Working as a guide for a number of
years, I have seen people invest time,
money, equipment and emotion into
getting to a mountain but fail to address
one of the most important contributors
to achieving their goals: a systematic

Yes that is a rock he is carrying.

Combining being in the outdoors
with a workout is proving very
popular in the UAE.

Part 6
approach to physical training. Take for
example a trip to Nepal; whether it is a
five-day trek over a number of passes
at 5,000m or a 60-day expedition to a
higher peak of 8,000m, both require
something more than a few outings up
the local hill in the month before you
leave. A marathon runner could tell you
exactly how long it takes to run a kilometre, their resting heart rate, the effect
of different foods or drink and a whole
number of other factors that would kill
the conversation at a dinner party. Hiking
can be many things. It can be a pleasant
outing on the occasional weekend with
family and friends but it can also provide
an outlet for those interested in pushing
their limits.

MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

This article will examine several approaches that have been adopted by the
outdoor community in very recent years.
Such is the level of interest in specific
training for hiking and mountaineering
today that the ground breaking American
super climber Steve House has distilled
his years of experience into a book
specifically about fitness for climbing and
trekking, Training for the New Alpinism:
A Manual for the Climber as Athlete.
Many of the principles he outlines are
taken from sports science and those who
have been in the athletic arena will recognise techniques such as periodisation,
strength training and nutrition.
In the past training specifically for being in the mountains has been shunned
and even ridiculed. Don Whillans, a
legendary British mountaineer from the
1980s with an equally legendary girth,
used to boast about his apparent lack of
preparation. He was vastly overweight,
drank and smoked heavily and eventually
died of a heart attack in his sleep. Once
during an approach hike to a mountain
as his team was walking through an Indian village, a young local boy pointed at
him and asked innocently, “Are you not
too fat to be a mountain climber?” Don
replied, “Perhaps I am too fat, but by the
end of the expedition I’ll be skinny and
the rest will be non-existent.” Although it
is true that certain physiological change
take place over the course of an expedition, in my experience your level of
fitness and strength drop rapidly. I would
warn against entering a potentially, dangerous environment in which factors such
as diet, altitude, hygiene and climate are
against you and expecting yourself to be
stronger at the end than at the start. Like
a marathon, your last drop of energy is

JUNE 2014 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

Man-made paths cling to the wadi side.

usually required to cross the finish line.
The words uttered by Don Whillans are
again a good lesson to avoid, “By the
time you get to the top you’ll be fit - or
dead!”
Modern climbers like Steve House
talks about “Base Fitness.” Like any
sport this is created by huge volumes
of moderate exertion. Whether training for trail running, steep hill hiking or
skiing, the majority of the time is spent
exercising around 70% of max Heart
Rate. To this should be added elements
such as strength training and flexibility to
provide the hiker with a “total” strength
and fitness package. On top of this,
consider even more specific mountaineering methods. Think of all the different
speeds, intensities and distances that

runners use to improve: tempo, interval,
recovery, long, progression, fartlek and
you get the idea.
Mark Twight was another American
mountaineer who redefined the approach to climbing mountains in the
1980s. He was renowned for extending
his own limits and committing himself
to particularly hard and fast Alpine
ascents. Typically he would head out by
himself for long periods with little if any
food and only loud punk music playing
on his headphones. When he stopped
climbing he set up a company, Mountain Mobility Group that now trains the
US Special Forces and many hundreds
of movie actors. Many considered him
reckless but he was able to do things
that were considered beyond regular

Beautiful villages are dotted over the plateau and connected by paths.

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57

MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

climbers because he subjected his body
to extreme workouts similar to the now
popular Crossfit prior to his climbs. His
attitude was always more about control
than putting himself in deliberate danger
and he felt that by pushing himself in
a training environment he could then
extend himself in the mountains. His gym
and website are still considered alternative and not for everyone. However it has
a philosophy based on 10 Basic Tenets
that are interesting to consider.
• The mind is primary
• Outcome-based training (train for an
objective)
• Functional training (high degree of
transferability)
• Movements not muscles (transferable
training does not isolate muscles)
• Power-to-weight ratio (you must carry
the engine)
• Train all energy systems (emphasize the
important but not at the expense of
others)
• Training is preparation for the real thing
(train for something)
• The mind is primary II (eat for an objective)
• Nutrition is the foundation (eat for an
objective)
• Recovery is more than 50% of the
process
This systematic approach to preparation has benefited the commercial expedition industry. In the past the primary
objective of most expedition companies was simply to provide services for
climbers when they got to the mountain.
Summit success and repeat business is
important and having realised that their
client demographic was changing, they
found it was a good idea to inform and
Quick Checklist Route planning

Google Earth Screen shot of the route
You can download the GPS files here: www.outdooruae.com/downloads/Julyhike2014.zip

prepare their members as fully as possible. This included loosely defining a level
of fitness for a client that is comparable
to the objective that they have signed up
for. If we look at running again, imagine
your target for a marathon is 3hr 30mins.
Part of your training would work towards
the ability to run comfortably each kilometre in around 4min 58sec. You would
also build in the capacity to run 42.2km.
A marathon training program would be
very different from that for a 10km race.
The larger mountain guiding companies
such as Adventure Consultants, Aventuras Patagonicas and Alpine Ascents
took this on board and now suggest full
training schedules prior to joining. The
intensity and content of the schedules
are tailored to suit the elevation and difficulty of the mountain. Climbers should
follow these as religiously as if they were
aiming for an Ironman triathlon or competing in a 92km bike race.

Start Point

25°42’59.52”N 56° 6’40.36”E

Off road driving required

Yes. It is possible to drive all the way to
the start in a two-wheel saloon but 4WD is
preferable.*

Distance & Time from Mirdiff to Start

125km 92min

Navigation on hike

Navigation required. Up and back. Can be
extended

Time required for hike

5hrs – 6hrs but can be extended

Distance

6.4km

Elevation gain on hike

600m

High Point

820m but can be extended

Grocery / water on hike

No

Possible to encounter a vehicle on trail

No

Suitable for all the family

This hike is very strenuous. Vague tracks,
man-made steps, height and exposure and
some loose rock. Not recommended for
small children.

Directions to the start
Enter the start point coordinates into your GPS device or follow the directions from
Google.
*Depending on your vehicle park where you are comfortable along the approach wadi
and start the hike from that location. With a 4WD and high clearance you can get all
the way.

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So before next hiking season starts,
examine what you want to do and how
you are going to achieve it. If you are a
technology geek who searches out the
latest trends there are many out there.
You will discover a world of oxygen
tents, breathing inhalers to increase the
strength of the lungs even allegations of
performance enhancing drugs.
Alternatively you could read this, say
to yourself that all the science and discipline is not for you. In that case, jump
straight to June’s hike at the bottom of
this article. Remember at the end of the
day it’s equally important to just go out
hiking, explore and enjoy yourself.
A hike for June
We are still being blessed with some
cooler mornings and evenings. It is also
still possible to hike at night especially
when there is a full moon. This quiet and
isolated hike is not a long distance but
climbs a beautiful wadi to a village at a
height of 1,000m. The pictures in this
article are from the hike. The plateau
looks out towards Musandam and a
stunning range of peaks. The wadi has
a real remoteness, being on the border
with Oman and you will be amazed by
the work that has been carried out on
maintaining the path and steps.
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.

MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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LOCATIONS

Inchcape 2

Dive sites in the UAE and Oman

How to get there:
This site is around a 25-minute trip on
speed boat from the Al Boom, Al Aqah
Dive Centre located at the Le Meridien
Hotel. The drive to Al Aqah from Dubai
normally takes 1.5-2 hours. Alternatively,
if you are not driving yourself to Fujairah,
you can also use the Al Boom bus transfers from Dubai. Meeting point is from the
dive centre in Al Wasl Rd. (Other pick-up
points are available, please contact the
call centre for more info)
Description:
This is an artificial reef that has been
created by sinking a decommissioned
American built boat that worked mostly in
and around Dubai transporting supplies
and crew. She was found to need extensive
repairs while being painted, and decommissioned as a result. After the success of
Inchcape 1 which was previously sunk in
deeper waters, the Inchcape team decided
to sink Inchcape 2 to create a similar dive
site, but in shallower water so it would be
accessible to more divers.
Inchcape 2 is located close to Martini
Rock at a depth of around 20-22m. She is
upright and her bow is facing east, with the
deck being shallow enough for Open Water divers to dive on. There is some debris
in the surrounding sand from when she was
sunk, where you can find some interesting
marine life.
There are various corals growing on her,
and if you investigate closely you may find

Name of the dive site:

Inchcape 2

Location:

Fujairah, UAE

Depth:

22 metres

Type of dive:

Wreck covered with soft and hard corals, surrounded by sand.

Level:

Open Water divers and up, and especially enjoyed
by macro-photographers.

some of the tiny and elusive frog-fish and
nudibranchs. You will also see rays, morays,
boxfish, fusiliers, barracuda, filefish, lionfish, and many more that call her home.
It is also possible to penetrate Inchcape
2, but it can be tight so make sure that you
don’t have any equipment dangling that
could get snagged.
In summer you can expect water temperatures of around 30°C, and in winter, an
average of around 20°C.
Divers can enter in many different ways,
and backward-roll and giant-stride are the
most common.
Visibility will vary between 5-15m, and
on a good day you can even get up to
20m vis! Even when the visibility isn’t that
great, you can still find lots of amazing marine life to get some great macro shots of;
make sure your buoyancy is up to scratch
for these days.
Be aware of the usual suspects on
the East Coast, such as lionfish, urchins,
scorpion fish, and occasionally jellyfish!
Hopefully you will get a chance of seeing a

whale shark close to the surface, or a zebra
shark on the sandy bottom.
OBSERVATION:
“As a young diver, I was worried that I
would not be able to dive on a wreck until
I was 15, but Inchcape 2 was perfect for
when I did my Junior Advanced Open
Water Diver course.” Tanner, Dubai
“Frogfish, frogfish, frogfish… oh, and some
nudibranchs! Definitely my highlight diving
on the East Coast.” Claire, Devon UK
Contact:
Al Boom Diving, Al Wasl Rd. Call Centre:
+971 4 342 2993 or
abdiving@emirates.net.ae
Al Boom Diving, Al Aqah, Fujairah:
+971 9 204 4925 or
andrew@alboomdiving.ae
Al Boom Diving, Atlantis, The Palm:
+971 4 263 3000 or
bietha@alboomdiving.ae

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TIPS & TRICKS

What to consider when
considering going long
Words By: Trace Rogers, Coach and Founder of SuperTRI

With the announcement of
two long-distance triathlons
on our doorstep at the end of
year, you may be thinking about
participating in one or even both
events. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
In the past two months, we have had
the announcement that the first Challenge event in the region – Challenge
Bahrain will take place on 6th December 2014 and the Dubai International
Triathlon will take place on 7th November
2014. Both of these consist of a 1.9km
swim, followed by a 90km bike ride, followed by a 21km road run. This is brilliant
news for the world of triathlon. The question is, are you up for it? Here are some
quick considerations and tips that will
make the answer clear:
What are your current abilities? At this
point, can you comfortably swim 1,600m,
cycle 40km and run 10km? If the answer is
yes – you have a good base to start from.
What training opportunities do you
have? Can you fit in 10 hours of training
a week building up to 18 towards your
peak training period? Are you travelling
over summer and if so, what training
opportunities will you realistically have?
If you can fit in the time and will be able

to train whilst away – go for it. As far as
travelling over the summer goes – you
may not be able to include cycling but
many vacation destinations have a body
of water to swim in and you can pretty
much run anywhere in the world. You
should be able to keep your training on
track if you can substitute the cycling with
more running and additional swim
sessions. There are always creative options – using staircases to run up, doing
continuous swims in hotel pools which
may not quite be 25-50m.
Are you efficient in one or two of your
disciplines but needing assistance in
the third one? You may want to consider
the assistance of a coach. Most people
needing help with technique require help
with their swim. An effective coach would
be able to assist with minor adjustments
that make major improvements. It’s well
worth considering professional assistance.
Does your gear serve you? I am a great
believer that it has far more to do with
the engine on the bike and in the running
shoes that determines speed and not

the gear. It is however worth considering
making adjustments to your current gear
if everything you have is set up towards
shorter races. Consider the necessity
of the following: Do you need additional water cages? Should you purchase
aerobars (in my personal opinion, if you
do not own a Tri-bike this is an essential
investment. Being able to improve your
aerodynamics will pay off enormously on
a 90km ride). Should I upgrade to a Time
Trial bike? Do I need to tweak my bikefit? All of these are worth giving some
thought to.
Are there any “acid test” challenges
or races to give me a feel for how I am
tracking? Absolutely – with the recent
announcement of the “Sunman for Rich,”
taking place from 26th – 28th June 2014,
you can now complete the entire distance
over three days to get a feel for your
target race. All details for this challenge as
well as the Dubai International Triathlon
can be found on www.premieronline.com
Now the question is, will we see you on
the start line(s)?

Useful knots #5
Gasket Coil

Coiling and unattached rope
Storing ropes properly is very important, no matter if for climbing marine
or any other outdoor use. If the rope is
not coiled up properly it might tangle
when you uncoil it. Almost all ropes
that you are likely to come across are
said to be “right hand laid.” So you
need to coil them clockwise to ensure
they don’t get tangled or twisted.
Start by leaving the end slightly
longer than the coil so it remains outside the coil. To make each turn form
a neat loop, twist the rope slightly as

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Coiling twist under

Next loop twist over

you lay it in your hand. To avoid introducing multiple twists, make alternate turns in
opposite directions. These alternate turns
lie “under” the line rather than “over” it.
Alternating over and under turns avoids
the accumulation of multiple twists in the
rope.

Once the coil is formed, leave about
1.5m to wrap around the coil about
three times, pulling a loop through the
gap above the wrappings and over the
top of the coil. When the loose end is
pulled, the coil keep its form and can
be stored away.

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TIPS & TRICKS

Queenfish

How and what to catch in the Middle East #5

Words By: Kit Belen

The Queenfish is one of the
prized fighters in the waters of
the Gulf. As a sport fish it is a
spectacular specimen at the end
of your line. Although edible, the
Queenfish is not really good table fare and are usually released
by anglers.
Locally known as Zelaa and Bassar the
Queenfish inhibits the Indo-Pacific Oceans
and are prolific in the Gulf. They grow
up to 120cm and can weigh up to 11kg
although normally caught at half that size;
bigger specimens are not uncommon in
the Gulf. As juvenile fish, they feed on
smaller fish and crustaceans in shallow
water and move to deeper water as they
mature. Their diet changes as they mature
and turn to larger baitfish for their main
food source.
Where to find
Queenfish can be found in both the
shallow and deeper areas of the Gulf. In
estuarine environments, they can be found
in moving water and sandy shallow flats
close to deep water. They hardly stray
away from reefs and similar structure. In
the gulf where bottom structure is sparse,
they can be found on or near drop offs
and around concentrations of baitfish close
to structure. Ever the prowling predator,
the Queenfish is constantly on the hunt
for their next meal, at times crashing bait
schools in shallow water. An almost fool
proof way of locating a feeding school
will be to look for feeding birds. If the bait
school is close to structure (such as a drop
off or a sea wall) the fish feeding on the
baitfish will most likely be Queenfish. They
can be caught year round, however, quality
fish are mostly caught towards the start of
the summer or just before winter.

A fly caught queenfish from the edge of the
sandy flats. Ambushing prey being washed
into deeper water, they lie in wait at the
ledge, making them a good target on an
outgoing tide

A good sized queenfish destined for the pot although not particularly good to eat, they are
an ingedient in some Asian dishes

GT Ice Cream - Don’t waste your time with other
lures, go to Ocean Active at the Dubai Garden
Center and get yourself some of these lures

How to catch
Queenfish can be caught in a variety of
different ways. The two most popular ways
of fishing for them are light spinning and
fly fishing.
A light spinning rod and reel loaded
with 6-8kg monofilament or braid would
be more than adequate for most Queenfish you will encounter. The more skilled
anglers will surely grab lighter gear for the
adrenalin rush.
A fast 7-9 weight fly rod is needed to
make the long casts needed to reach a
feeding school, coupled with a saltwater reel loaded with either floating or
intermediate line, and a lot of backing is
needed and will surely be put to good use
with these fish. Make sure your reel has a
smooth drag. If it’s your first time fishing
for them, start out with 10kg flouro carbon
tippet and catch a couple of them to get a
feel of how they fight, then switch over to a
lighter leader if you feel the need for it.
Although they can be hooked with live
or dead bait, the run and gun style of
chasing after the birds will make it difficult
to use such baits, so most of the fishing for
Queenfish is done best with lures.
When Queenfish are holding deep, jigging with small heavy vertical jigs is quite
effective.
There are a variety of lures that work,
heavy metal jigs are one of the best lures
to use for them when you can’t get close
to a feeding school, often times, when you
fish off a boat, the motor’s sound will make
them move away. Soft plastic lures are also
effective for them, as are small trolling lures
when you pull them behind a kayak.
On top of the heap of lures for Queenfish is a strange looking lure called a GT
Candy; if you are to fish with only one lure
for them – do yourself a favour and go
to the Ocean Active shop at the Dubai
Garden Centre and buy a few of these

killer lures. You are able to cast them a
long way and move like a fleeing baitfish
on the retrieve. The lures are rear weighted
can cast a mile – most especially if you are
using braided line.
For flies, the queen fish will take just
about any fly that simulates baitfish. Deceivers, Clouser Minnows, and surf candies
work well for them. Depending on the
pattern, flies tied on size 2 to size 1/0 will
work.
Queenfish are very acrobatic, once
hooked, they will spend as much time on
air as they do in the water. Spectacular
jumps and cartwheels are common; they
swim fast and pull hard and are fast – that’s
why you need a reel with a smooth drag.
When they’re biting wide open, you can
toss out almost any lure and they will grab
it. There are times when they will bite very
close to the boat and not even get frightened, such suicidal and vicious swipes at a
lure make them one of the most spectacular striking fish.
There are times when they get finicky
and would just not strike a lure or a fly,
often following them close to the boat,
then just turn away at the very last second.
In those times, it would be wise to look at
the baitfish they are feeding on and try to
match it as close as you can – often times
it works.
Conservation
The Queenfish is not commercially
important to the UAE and is not listed as
threatened in www.choosewisely.ae. If
you don’t plan on eating it, release it to
fight another day.

The GT Ice Cream is tops for queens
and a spin angler chasing after them
should not leave shore without one

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limb in a comfortable position. The difficulty
comes when the blood supply past the
point of the injury may be compromised.
This is the point where medics would give
the patient a substantial amount of pain
relief and realign the injured limb. Again,
not recommended without prior training
and knowledge.

TIPS & TRICKS

Injuries
In the last instalment, we
looked at the primary survey,
the initial approach to assessing
a casualty to find any lifethreatening issues.
In this article, we are now going to take
things a bit further and look at what we can
do when we reach the end of the primary
survey and have found no major problems.
It is important to remember that if someone
has broken an arm it will be painful however
it is not a life threatening injury.
The broken arm will not kill the patient;
a hidden chest injury which they may have
sustained at the same time could present
to be a major problem. With this in mind
we should always carry out a primary survey
before anything else on each and every
patient. DRCABCDE – The Primary Survey.
(Look back in the last issue if you missed it!)
It is often difficult to ignore the fact that
the patient is possibly in intense pain and
being increasing vocal and to carry out a
primary survey, but it is imperative that any
life threatening problems are ruled out first.
Hopefully, when we are dealing with a
casualty we will get to the end of our primary survey and have found no life threatening
problems. At this point we can now look at
any other problems or injuries that are causing pain and/or discomfort to the patient.
The easiest way to ascertain any injury that
a conscious patient may have sustained is
to ask the patient! It sounds simple but a
conscious patient can supply you with a
massive amount of information.
Things are a little bit trickier if your patient is unconscious; the easiest way to work
out what injuries they have is by carrying
out a Secondary Survey. In simple terms this
is a head to toe check of the patient, looking along the whole body for any unnatural
movement, deformity, tenderness, bleeding
etc. Anything that may not be normal.
So, what can we do and what are the
most common injuries found?
There is a wide range of injuries that we
could sustain whilst doing sport and if we
tie this in with the possibility of not having
medical care easily available then our treatment will be important.
The injuries we are going to look at are
sprains, strains, fractures, dislocations and
cuts.
Sprains – a stretching injury to ligaments.
Strains – a stretching injury to muscle or
tendons.
When in an environment with little or no
medical care available, sprains and strains
can be relatively well managed.
For the first 48-72 hours after the injury,
remember think “PAYING THE PRICE AND

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DO NO HARM.”
Protect – immobilise the effected limb
Rest – consider minimal movement
Ice – apply as soon as possible for 30
minutes
Compression – a bandage will aid the
reduction of swelling
Elevation – will limit and reduce
any swelling
Do NOT allow:
Heat – encourages blood flow therefore
should be avoided
Alcohol – increases swelling, bleeding and
prevents further healing
Running – may cause further damage
Massage – may increase further bleeding
and swelling

Fractures/Dislocations
If we are presented with a limb that may
be fractured or dislocated then we need to
think very carefully about how we are going
to help the patient.
The treatment of fractures and dislocations in a pre-hospital environment mainly
involves IMMOBILISATION/SPLINTING.
If a person has suffered dislocations in the
past then they are generally more prone to
having recurring dislocations in the future.
Some people will wish for their dislocations
to be relocated however this does carry
several risks and should be avoided unless
you are trained in how to carry out the
procedure.
Splinting is a method to keep a broken
bone, an injured limb, or a dislocated joint
completely still. This can be achieved
by simply holding/supporting the limb
with your hands or it can be made more
permanent by fixing a “splint” (something
rigid) to it.
There is a wide range of manufactured
splints available (eg SAM™) along with
improvised splints: wood, cardboard, foam
sleeping mat, tent poles, the uninjured
limb.
Why splint a limb?
A splint can reduce the risk of shock by controlling the pain and reducing bleeding of
a fracture or dislocation. It will prevent any
further damage to a broken bone, dislocated joint or injured limb by stopping any
movement. It will also prepare the casualty
for evacuation or other procedures.
If a patient has suffered an open fracture,
then we must remember never to put any
pressure onto the protruding bone. Any
bleeding has to be managed by padding
around the site and then immobilise the

Cuts and lacerations
Cuts and lacerations may come as standard
depending on the sport in which you are
participating. The faster you can treat your
wounds, and manage them effectively, the
more time you will have to carry on having
fun. This is especially important if you are
doing an ocean based sport where the
smallest cut can put a stop to your activity
due to the increased risk of infection.
• Irrigate the wound with fresh water and
ensure any pieces of debris are removed
from inside the wound. Don’t be afraid to
scrub the wound using gauze dipped in antiseptic as this helps to remove any foreign
bacteria.
• Apply antiseptic to the wound. The
antiseptic may sting but it is extremely important that any foreign bacteria are killed
before they have time to damage the tissue
within the wound.
• Keep the wound free of dirt and covered
as much as possible. Using appropriate
dressings for the type of wound.
• Re-dress wounds as required. Do not
leave dressings on for more than three days.
• Infection is indicated by yellow pus within
the wound site, and soreness/redness
surrounding the wound site. If infection
is present scrub the wound using gauze
dipped in antiseptic. Once all the yellow
pus is removed, re-apply antiseptic and
dress appropriately.
• If you are lucky enough to be on a boat
trip then many of the crew are trained in
suturing and gluing. This is great but if you
don’t know how then don’t be eager to try!
• It’s very easy for me to say but try not
to be tempted back into the water until
the wound has healed. Warm sea water
contains higher levels of bacteria and your
wound will worsen rapidly!
As I said in the previous article, we cannot
cover every eventuality and I urge you to
enrol onto a suitable course and gain the
knowledge you may need. I do hope you
never have to act on this information but if
you do it is always better to have the prior
knowledge.
Take care, stay safe,

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

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UAE DIRECTORY
General Sports
Equipment Megastores

Adventure HQ, Dubai Times Square Center,
Sheikh Zayed Rd, toll free: 800-ADVENTURE,
www.adventurehq.ae
Decathlon, Dubai, Mirdif City Centre,
+97142839392
Go Sport, The Dubai Mall: +97143253595;
Ibn Battuta Mall: +9714368 5344;
Mall of the Emirates: +9714341 3251;
Mirdif City Centre: +97142843034
InterSport, Dubai, Times Square Centre
and Dubai Festival City, +97142066587,
www.intersport.ae
Sun and Sand Sports, most shopping
centres, +97143504444,
www.sunandsandsports.com

Adventure tours and desert safaris

MMI Travel, Mezzanine Floor, Dnata Travel
Centre, Shk Zayed Road, Dubai,
+97144045888, www.mmitravel.ae
Alpha Tours, +97142949888,
www.alphatoursdubai.com
Bike and Hike Oman, PO Box 833, Ruwi,
Postal Code 112, Oman, +96824400873,
www.bikeandhikeoman.com
Cyclone Tours & Travels, Abu Dhabi,
Khalifa Street, +97126276275,
www.cyclonetours.com
Dadabhai Travel, Sama Bldg. next to Al Mulla
Plaza, Dubai-Sharjah Road, Dubai,
+97142209393,www.dadabhaitravel.ae
Desert Rangers, Dubai, +97143572200,
www.desertrangers.com
Desert Road Tourism, Al Khor Plaza – 503,
Dubai, +97142959429,
www.arabiantours.com
Dream Days, +97144329392,
www.dreamdays.ae
Dream Explorer LLC, Dubai,
+971433198801,
www.dreamexplorerdubai.com
Dubai Relax Travel, Dubai,
+97144221776, www.dubairelaxtours.com
Element Fitness, Dubai, +971502771317,
www.element-fitness.net
Explorer Tours, Umm Ramool, Dubai,
+97142861991, www.explorertours.ae,
Gulf for Good, Dubai, +97143680222,
www.gulf4good.org
Gulf Ventures, Dnata Travel Centre
+97144045880, www.gulfventures.com
Net Group, Dubai and Abu Dhabi,
+97126794656, www.netgroupauh.com
Oasis Palm Dubai, Dubai, +97142628889,
www.opdubai.com
Rahhalah, Dubai, +97144472166,

www.rahhalah.com
Relax Tours Travels, Dubai,
+97144221776, www.dubairelaxtours.com
Wild Guanabana, Dubai, +971567954954,
www.wildguanabana.com
Clubs
Abu Dhabi Fishing, Camping, Kayaking,
& Adventure Club, +971504920860,
mohammed.almahrouky@gmail.com

Air

Ballooning Adventures Emirates, Dubai,
+97142854949, www.ballooning.ae
Jazirah Aviation Club, Ras Al Khaimah,
+9716139859, www.jac-uae.net
Seawings, Dubai, www.seawings.com
Sky Dive Dubai, Dubai, +971501533222,
www.skydivedubai.ae

Boating & Sailing

Manufacturer
Al Fajer Marine, Dubai, Al Quoz,
+97143235181, www.alfajermarine.com
Al Shaali Marine, Ajman, +97167436443,
www.alshaalimarine.com
Alyousuf Industrial, LLC,
+97143474111, www.aym.ae,
yamboats@alyousuf.com
Gulf Craft, Ajman, +97167406060,
www.gulfcraftinc.com
Al Jeer Marina, RAK border Musandam,
+97172682333/+971504873185,
www.aljeerport.ae
Elite Pearl Charter, Saeed Tower 1 office
# 3102, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, UAE,
+971 4 3889666, www.elitepearlcharter.com
Distributors and Dealers
Art Marine, Dubai, +97143388955,
www.artmarine.net
Azure Marine, Dubai, +97143404343,
www.azuremarine.net
Leisure Marine Beach Street, Dubai,
The Walk JBR, +97144243191
Luxury Sea Boats, Dubai, +971505589319,
www.luxuryseaboats.com
Macky Marine LLC, Dubai, +971505518317,
www.mackymarine.com
Nautilus Yachts, Sharjah, +97165576818,
www.nautilusyachts.com
UAE Boats 4 Sale, Dubai Marina,
+97144471501, www.uaeboats4sale.com
Western Marine, Marina Yacht Club, Dubai,
+97143039744
The Boat House, Dubai, Al Quoz,
+97143405152, www.theboathouse.ae
Equipment
Ali Khalifah Moh Al Fuqaei, Deira, Dubai,
+97142263220
Al Masaood Marine, Sheikh Zayed Road,
Dubai, +97143468000,
www.masaoodmarine.com
Blue Waters Marine, Shop 11,
The Curve Bldg., Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai,
+97143808616/+971553899995,
info@bluewatersmarine.com,
www.bluewatersmarine.com
Extreme Marine, Dubai, +97143992995,
www.extrememarine-me.com
Japan Marine General Trading, Al Garhoud
Road, Liberty Building, Dubai,
+97155 9299111, +97142828255,
uday@japanmarine.jp, www.japanmarine.co
Rineh Emirates Trading LLC, Dubai, Al Quoz,
+97143391512, www.rinehemiratesme.com
Repairs and Maintenance
Extreme Marine, Dubai, Dubai Marina,
+97143992995, www.extrememarine-me.com
Rineh Emirates, Sheikha Sana Warehouse 1,
Al Quoz, +97143391512,
info@rinehemiratesme.com,
www.rinehemirates.com
SNS Marine, JAFZA Techno Park, Jebel Ali,
Dubai, +971501405058, info@snsmarine.ae,
www.snsmarine.ae
The Boat House, Dubai, Al Quoz,
+97143405152, www.theboathouse.ae
Cruise Operators
4 Yacht Arabia, Shop No. 5, Dubai Marina
Yacht Club, 800 92248, www.4yachtarabia.ae

Al Bateen Marina, Abu Dhabi,
+97126665491,
www.marinaalbateenresort.com
Al Marsa Travel & Tourism, Dibba,
Musandam, +96826836550, +97165441232
Leisure Marine Beach Street, TheWalk JBR,
Dubai, +97144243191
Bateaux Dubai, Dubai Creek opposite
the British Embassy, +97143994994
Bristol Middle East, Dubai Marina,
+97144309941, www.bristol-middleeast.com
Captain Tony’s, Yas Marina, Yas Island, Abu
Dhabi, +97126507175, www.captaintonys.ae
Delma Industrial Supply and Marine
Services, Al Bateen Jetty, Abu Dhabi,
+97126668153, www.delmamarine.net
Eden Yachting, Dubai Marina,
+971504586171, www.edenyachting.com
Emirates Yachting, Dubai, +97142826683
El Mundo, Dubai, +971505517406,
www.elmundodubai.com
Four Star Travel and Tourism, Dubai,
+9714 2737779, www.fourstartravels.net
Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa,
Al Aqah Beach, Fujairah,
+97192449888, www.rotana.com
Ghantoot Marina & Resort, Abu Dhabi,
+971529933153, www.ghantootmarina.com
Happy Days Sea Cruising LLC, Dubai,
+971558961276, +971503960202,
www.happydaysdubai.com
JPS Yachts and Charter, Room 225,
Emarat Atrium building, Sheikh Zayed Road,
Dubai, +97143437734, www.jpsyachts.com
Khasab Divers, Oman, +97156 7255889,
khasab.diver2@gmail.com
Khour Shem Tourism, Oman,
+96826731919, www.khourshemtours.com
LY Catamaran, Dubai, +971505869746,
+971566506683, www.lycatamaran.com
Marine Concept, Dubai, +971559603030,
www.marine-charter-concept.com
Nautica1992, Dubai, +971504262415,
www.nautica1992.ae
Noukhada Adventure Company, Villa 332/7,
Al Meena Street, Abu Dhabi, +97126503600,
www.noukhada.ae
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, www.sheesabeach.com
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-club.com
The Yellow Boats LLC, Dubai Marina Walk
– opposite Spinneys, Intercontinental Hotel
Marina, +8008044, www.theyellowboats.com
Khasab Musandam Travel & Tours,
PO Box 411, Khasab, Musandam,
+968 93350703, info@tourkhasab.com
Marinas
Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports
Club, Abu Dhabi, Breakwater, +97126815566,
www.adimsc.com
Abu Dhabi Marina, Abu Dhabi,
Tourist Club Area, +97126440300
Al Jeer Marina, RAK Border, Musandam
+97172682333 or +971504873185
www.aljeerport.ae
Al Mouj Marina, Muscat, Oman, +968 2453
4554, www.almoujmarina.com
Dubai Creek Marina, Deira, Dubai,
+97143801234, www.dubaigolf.com
Dubai International Marine Sports Club,
Dubai Marina, +97143995777, www.dimc.ae
Dubai Marina Yacht Club, Dubai,
+97143627900,
www.dubaimarinayachtclub.com
Dubai Maritime City Harbour Marina, Dubai,
+97143455545
Dubai Offshore Sailing Club, Dubai,
+97143941669, www.dosc.ae
Emirates Palace Marina, Abu Dhabi,

+97143388955
Four Seasons Marina, Doha, Qatar,
+97444948899, www.mourjanmarinas.com
Fujairah International Marine Club, Fujairah,
+97192221166, www.fimc.ae
Intercontinental Abu Dhabi Marina, Al
Bateen, Intercontinental Hotel, Abu Dhabi,
+97126666888, www.intercontinental.com
Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa Marina,
Jebel Ali, Dubai, +9714814 5555/5029,
www.jebelali-international.com
Lusail Marina, Lusail City, Qatar, +9745584
3282, www.mourjan-lusailmarina.com
Marina Bandar Al Rowdha, Muscat, Oman,
+96824737286 (ext 215),
www.marinaoman.net
Pavilion Marina, Dubai,
Jumeirah Beach Hotel, +97144068800
The Pearl–Qatar Marinas, Doha, Qatar,
+9744965801, www.ronauticame.com
Umm Al Quwaim Marine Sports Club,
Umm Al Quwaim, +97167666644,
www.uaqmarineclub.com
Dragon Boat Groups
Dubai Dawn Patrol Dragon Boating,
Dubai+971508795645 (Michael),
www.dubaidawnpatrol.org
Dubai Diggers, Jumeirah Beach Hotel,
pier next to 360, Dubai, +971501547175
(Nick Hando), www.dubai-diggers.com
UAE Dragon Boat Association,
+971507634008 (Jason),
www.dubaidragonboat.com

Camping & Hiking

Equipment
Blingmytruck.com, +971505548255,
www.blingmytruck.com
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, 2nd floor above ice rink,
The Dubai Mall, +97143398801
Gulf Camping, Dubai, U.A.E,
support@gulfcamping.com
Tour Operators
Arabia Outdoors, Dubai, +971559556209,
www.arabiaoutdoors.com
Absolute Adventure, Dubai, +97143459900,
www.adventure.ae
Libra, +971559228362, www.libra-uae.com
Mountain High Middle East, Dubai,
+97143480214, www.mountainhighme.com
Sheesa Beach, Musandam, Dibba,
+97150336046, www.sheesabeach.com
Desert Road Tourism, Al Khor Plaza – 503,
Dubai, +97142959428, www.arabiatours.com

OUTDOORUAE

63

MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

Caving

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

info@adventure.ae
Clubs
Abu Dhabi Tri Club,
www.abudhabitriclub.com
Cycle Safe Dubai, Dubai Autodrome
www.cyclechallenge.ae
Dubai Roadsters,
www.dubairoadsters.com

Climbing

Diving

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

Mountain Biking & Cycling

Equipment/Dealers
Cycle Sports, Shop No. 1, Al Waleed Bldg.,
Al Barsha 1, Dubai, +97143415415,
www.cyclesportsuae.com
Fun Ride Sports, 301, 3rd floor, Mushrif
Mall, Abu Dhabi, Rm. 4, Mezzanine floor,
C-13 Bldg., Khalifa City A, Abu Dhabi,
info@funridesports.com,
www.funridesports.com
Micah’s Bike Shop, Warehouse no.4 6th St.
Al Quoz 3, Dubai, +97143805228
Probike, Dubai, Al Barsha 1, +97143255705,
www.probike.ae
Rage Shop, Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates,
Dubai Festival City, +97143369007,
www.rage-shop.com
Ride Bike Shop, Dubai Mall, Festival City,
Oasis Centre, Mirdif City Centre,
Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +97143750231,
www.ridebikeshop.com
Revolution Cycles, Shop G05, Apex
Atrium, Motor City, Dubai, +97143697441,
www.rcdxb.com
Sportz Unlimited, Sheikh Zayed Road &
Jebel Ali, Dubai, + 97143388644
Tamreen Sports LLC, Khalifa Street,
Abu Dhabi, +97126222525,
www.tamreensports.com
The Cycle Hub, Motor City, Dubai,
+971505528872, www.thecyclehub.com
Trikke uPT, Dubai, +97145081202,
+971556096757, www.trikkeme.net,
info@trikkeme.net
Trek Bicycle Store, Seih Al Salam,
Al Qudra Road, Dubai, +97148327377,
www.trekbikes.ae
Fun Ride Sports, Rm no. 4, Mezzanine floor,
C-13 bldg. Khalifa A City, Abu Dhabi,
+97125566113, www.funridesports.com
Peak Performance, Mall of the Emirates,
Dubai Mall, Dubai,
+97143413056 / +97143308023
Wolfi’s Bike Shop, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed
Road, +97143394453, www.wbs.ae
Bikers JLT, Unit H6, Cluster H,
Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai, UAE,
+971526221888,
products@allbikers.net
Operator
Absolute Adventure, Dubai, +97143459900,
+971506259165,
www.adventure.ae,

Equipment
Al Boom Marine, Abu Dhabi and Dubai,
+97142894858, www.alboommarine.com
Al Masaood Marine, Sheikh Zayed Road,
+97143468000, Dubai
www.masaoodmarine.com
Al Yousuf Motors, Sheikh Zayed Road,
Dubai, +97143390621,
www.aym.ae/yamaha
Blue Waters Marine, +97142232189, Dubai,
www.bluewatersmarine.com
Gulf Marine Sports, Abu Dhabi,
+97126710017, www.gulfmarinesports.com
Premiers for Equipment, Abu Dhabi,
Sh. Zayed 1st. Road, +97126665226,
www.premiers-uae.com
Al Hamur Marine and Sports Equipment,
Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai,
+97143444468
Scuba 2000, Al Bidiya Beach, Fujairah,
+97192388477, www.scuba-2000.com
Scuba Dubai, Al Barsha, Al Khail Road,
Dubai, +97143414940,
info@scubadubai.com
Diving Centres
7 Seas Diving Center, Khorfakkan,
+97192387400, www.7seasdivers.com
Al Boom Diving (equipment),
Dubai, Al Wasl Rd, +97143422993,
www.alboomdiving.com
Al Jeer Marina, RAK Border, Musandam,
+97172682333, www.aljeerport.ae
Al Mahara Dive Center, near Muroor
St across from main bus terminal,
+97126437377, info@divemahara.com,
www.divemahara.com
Al Marsa Musandam, Dibba Harbour,
Musandam, Oman,
+96826836550,
www.almarsamusandam.com
Arabian Diver, Hilton Marine, Ras Al
Khaimah, +97172226628, +971502428128
www.arabiandiver.com
Arabian Divers and Sportfishing
Charters, Al Bateen Marina Resort,
Abu Dhabi, +971506146931,
www.fishabudhabi.com
Coastal Technical Divers,
glenn@coastaltechnicaldivers.com,
www.coastaltechnicaldivers.com
Deep Blue Sea Diving, Dubai, International
City, +97144308246,
www.diveindubai.com
Desert Islands, Sir Bani YAs Island,
Abu Dhabi, UAE, +97128015400,
www.divemahara.com
Divers Down, Fujairah, Rotana Al Aqah
Hotel Resort & Spa, +97192370299,
www.diversdown-uae.com
Emirates Divers Centre, Abu Dhabi,
near Meena Fish Market, +97126432444,
www.edc-ad.ae
Euro-Divers Oman, Muscat, Oman,
+96895035815, www.euro-divers.com
Extra Divers Ziggy Bay, Oman, Musandam,
+96826735555,
www.extradivers.info
Freediving UAE, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah,
contactus@freedivinguae.com,
www.freedivinguae.com
Freestyle Divers, Dubai, Al Wasl & Dibba,
Royal Beach Hotel, +97143944275,
www.freestyledivers.com
Fujairah Rotana Resort
& Spa - Al Aqah Beach,
Al Aqah Beach, Fujairah,
+97192449888,
www.rotana.com
Global Scuba Dive Center, Civil Aviation
Club, Oman, +96899317518,
www.global-scuba.com
Khasab Divers, Oman,
www.khasabdiver.com
Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort,
Dibba Road, Fujairah, +97192449000,
www.lemeridien-alaqah.com
Moonlight Dive Center,
Madinat Qaboos, Oman,

JUNE 2014 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

+96899317700, www.moonlightdive.com
Muscat Diving & Adventure Centre,
Oman, +971503289642,
www.holiday-in-oman.com
Neptune Diving, +971504347902,
www.neptunedivingcentre.com
Nomad Ocean Adventures,
www.discovernomad.com, +971508853238,
Dibba, Oman
Oman Dive Center, Muscat, Oman,
+96824284240, www.omadivecenter.com
Pavilion Dive Centre (equipment), Dubai,
+97144068828
Scuba 2000, Al Bidiya Beach, Fujairah,
+97192388477, www.scuba-2000.com
Scuba Oman, Oman, +96899558488,
www.scubaoman.com
Scuba UAE.com, +971502053922,
www.scubauae.com
Sharjah Wanderers Dive Club, Sharjah,
+97150784 0830, www.bsac406.com
Sheesa Beach, Dibba, Musandam,
+971503336046, www.sheesabeach.com
Sky &Sea Adventures, Dubai, Hilton,
Jumeirah Beach Road, +97143999005,
www.watersportsdubai.com
The Pavilion Dive Centre (equipment),
Dubai, +97144068828
The Dive Shop, 34G, European
Center, Green Community, Dubai, UAE,
+97148135474, www.thediveshopdubai.com
Clubs
Atlantis Underwater Photography Club,
Dubai, +97144263000
Desert Sports Diving Club, Dubai,
www.desertsportsdivingclub.net
Emirates Diving Association, Diving Village,
Al Shindagha, Dubai,
+97143939390, www.emiratesdiving.com
Filipino SCUBA Divers Club (FSDC),
Dubai, UAE, +971566952421,
www.thefilipinoscubadivers.com
Freediving UAE, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah,
contactus@freedivinguae.com,
www.freedivinguae.com
Sharjah Wanderers Dive Club, Sharjah,
+971507840830,
www.bsac406.com

Fishing & Kayaking

Equipment
Al Boom Marine, Abu Dhabi & Dubai,
+97142894858, www.alboommarine.com
Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd,
+97143390621, www.aym.ae/yamaha
Al Hamur Marine and Sports Equipment,
Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai,
+97143444468
Arabian Divers and Sportfishing
Charters, Al Bateen Marina Resort,
Abu Dhabi, +971506146931,
www.fishabudhabi.com
Blue Waters Marine, Shop 11,
The Curve Bldg., Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai,
+97143808616 / +971553899995,
www.bluewatersmarine.com
Al Masaood Marine, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed
Road, +97143468000,

New rates for 2014
Single visit 80 aed
10 visit pass: 500
Summer Sizzler 1 May to 30 Sept
(5 months) 1,500
Courses starting in May for
beginners and intermediate
facebook.com.rock.republic.dubai
or info@globalclimbing.com
04 88 29 361

The Beach-JBR, Dubai | Dalma Mall, Abu Dhabi

RENT ADVENTURE GEAR | BIKE WORKSHOP | DELIVERY AVAILABLE | IN-STORE ADVENTURES

DUBAI
Times Square Center | Tel No.: +971 4 346 6824
The Beach, JBR | Tel No.: +971 4 430 4419
ABU DHABI
Dalma Mall | Tel No.: +971 2 445 6995
info@adventurehq.ae | www.adventurehq.ae

www.masaoodmarine.com
Barracuda Fishing and Outdoor, Dubai,
Street 13A 1, Al Safa 1, +97143466558,
www.barracudadubai.com
Global Climbing Trading LLC,
Dubai Investment Park 1, Dubai,
+97148829361, www.globalclimbing.com
Leisure Marine Beach Hut, The Walk JBR,
Dubai, +97144243191,
www.leisuremarine-me.com
Ocean Active, Dubai, Garden Centre,
+971502898713, www.oceanactive.com
Challenging Adventure, Wadi Al Bih Ras Al Khaimah, +971561060798,
contactus@challengingadventure.com
Al Kashat, Shop No. 14, Souq Waqif,
Doha, Qatar, +97444175950,
www.alkashatqatar.com
Operators
Al Boom Diving, Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach
Resort, Fujairah, +97143422993
Absolute Adventure, Dubai, +97143459900,
www.adventure.ae
Al Hamra Marina and Yacht Club, Al
Hamra, Ras Al Khaimah, +97172434540,
www.alhamramarina.com
Al Mahara Dive Center,
Downtown Abu Dhabi, +971501118125,
www.divemahara.com
Al Shaheen Adventure, Abu Dhabi,
+97126429995, www.alshaheenme.com
Al Wasl Charter & Fishing (Al Wasl
Passenger Yachts and Boats Rental LLC),
Airport Road, Al Owais Building, Dubai,
+97142394761, www.cruiseindubai.com
Arabian Divers and Sportfishing Charters,
Al Bateen Marina Resort, +971506146931,
www.fishabudhabi.com
Arabia Outdoors, Dubai, +971559556209,
www.arabiaoutdoors.com
Barracuda Diving Centre, Fujairah
International Marine Club, +9719222558
Belevari Marine, Abu Dhabi,+97126594144
Captain Tony’s, Yas Marina, Yas Island, Abu
Dhabi, +97126507175, www.captaintonys.ae
Fun Beach Water Sports, Dubai,
+97153244550, www.funbeachsports.com
Happy Days Sea Cruising LLC, Dubai,
+971558961276, +971503960202,
www.happydaysdubai.com
Hiltonia Beach Club, Hilton Abu Dhabi
Hotel, Abu Dhabi, +97126811900
Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort,
Dibba Road, Fujairah, +97192449000,
www.lemeridien-alaqah.com
Nautica 1992, Dubai, +971504262415,
www.nautica1992.ae
Noukhada Adventure Company,
Villa 332/7, Al Meena Street, Abu Dhabi,
+97126503600, www.noukhada.ae
Ocean Active, Dubai, Garden Centre,
+971502898713,
www.oceanactive.com
Sheesa Beach, Dibba, Musandam,
+971503336046, www.sheesabeach.com
Summertime Marine Sports, Dubai,
+97142573084,
www.summertimemarine.comz

MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
Soolyman Sports Fishing, Dubai,
Umm Suqeim, +971508866227,
www.soolymansportsfishing.com
Xclusive Yachts, Dubai, Dubai Marina,
+97144327233, www.xclusiveyachts.com
Clubs
Abu Dhabi Camping, Fishing & Kayaking
Club, mohamed.almahrouky@gmail.com
Dubai Surfski & Kayak Club, Kitesurfers’
Beach, Umm Suqeim 1, Dubai,
+971554986280, www.dskc.hu

General Sports Equipment
Distributors

800 Sport, Al Quoz, Dubai
+97143467751
www.800sport.ae
Adventure HQ, Dubai Times Square
Center, Sheikh Zayed Rd, Toll free:
800-ADVENTURE,
www.adventurehq.ae
Al Yousuf Motors, Sheikh Zayed Road,
Dubai, +97143390621, www.aym.ae/yamaha
Flip Flop Arabia, flipme@flipfloparabia.com,
www.flipfloparabia.com
Global Climbing Trading LLC,
Dubai Investment Park 1, Dubai
+97148829361,
www.globalclimbing.com
Goal Zero, +971509128353,
www.goalzero.ae
Jack Wolfskin Mirdif City Centre Dubai,
+97142840228; Al Wahda Mall Abu Dhabi
+97144437802
Ocean Sports FZE, +971559352735,
www.kitesurfsup.com
Sakeen General Trading, +97147094224,
www.sakeen.ae
Sport in Life Distribution, Nad Al
Hammar Rd., Ras Al Khor, Dubai, UAE,
+97142896001, +97142896002,
info@sportinlife.ae,
www.sportinlife.ae
Tresspass, The Dubai Mall
2nd floor above ice rink, +97143398801

Horse Riding

Equipment
Al Asifa Horse Equestrian & Requisites
Trading, Al Khawaneej 1, Dubai,
+971554733110, www.asifa.ae
Black Horse LLC, Abu Dhabi,
+97126422237, www.blackhorseuae.com
Bonjour Equestrian Supplies,
Nad Al Hammar Rd., Ras Al Kho, Dubai,
UAE, +97142896001, +97142896002,
info@bonjourequestrian.com,
www.bonjourequestrian.com
Cavalos Equine Care and Supplies,
16th Street, Al Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi,
+91722222433, www.cavalosuae.com
Emirta Horse Requirement Centre,
Sheik Zayed Rd, Dubai, +97143437475,
www.emirtahorse.com
Horse & Carriage Equestrian Equipment
LLC, Dubai, +97142895069,
www.horseandcarriageuae.com
Mirzan Equestrian Equipment, Dubai,
+97144472808, www.metdubaihorse.com
Equestrian Clubs/Centres
Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Al Mushrif,
Abu Dhabi, +97124455500,
www.adec-web.com
Al Ahli Riding School, Al Amman Street,
Dubai-Sharjah Rd., +97142988408,
www.alahliclub.info
Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Abu
Dhabi, +97125568555, www.alforsan.com
Al Jiyad Stables, Behind Dubai International
Endurance City, Dubai, +971505995866,
info@aljiyad.com, www.aljiyad.com
Al Sahra Desert Resort Equestrian Centre,
Dubai, +97144274055,
equestrian.centre@alsahra.com
Dubai Polo Academy, Dubai,
+971508879847,
www.dubaipoloacademy.com
Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Dubai,
Arabian Ranches, +97143618111,
www.poloclubdubai.com
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,

www.emiratesequestriancentre.com
Ghantoot Polo & Racing Club, Exit 399,
Abu Dhabi/ Dubai Highway, Abu Dhabi,
+97125629050, www.grpc.ae
Golden Stables Equestrian Club, Al
Khawaneej, Dubai, (Nouri) +971555528182,
www.goldenstables.ae
HoofbeatZ, located just inside the Dubai
Polo & Equestrian Club, Dubai,
+971501810401, www.hoofbeatz.com
Mushrif Equestrian and Polo Club, Mushrif
Park, Al Khawaneej Road, Dubai,
+97142571256, www.mushrifec.com
Qudraland Community,
info@qudraland.com, www.qudraland.com
Rahal Ranch, Al Wathba Racing Area,
Abu Dhabi, +971566127914,
www.rahalranch.com
Riding for the Disabled, Dubai,
lessons@rdad.ae, www.rdad.ae,
Sharjah Equestrian & Racing Club,
Sharjah, Al Dhaid Road,
+97165311188, www.serc.ae
Racecourses
Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Al Mushrif,
Abu Dhabi, +97124455500,
www.adec-web.com
Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club, Exit 399,
Abu Dhabi/ Dubai Highway, Abu Dhabi,
+97125629050, www.grpc.ae
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, www.meydan.ae
Sharjah Racecourse, Al Dhaid Road,
Sharjah, +97165311155, www.serc.ae
Equine Hospitals/Clinics
Dubai Equine Hospital, behind World Trade
Center, Zabeel 2, Dubai, +97143178888,
www.dubaiequine.ae
Gulf Vetcare, Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi,
+971508617590, www.gulfvetcare.com
Sharjah Equine Hospital, Bridge No. 6,
Al Dhaid Road, next to Sharjah Equestrian
& Racing Center, Sharjah, +97165311881,
www.seh.ae
Central Veterinary Research Laboratory,
next to Dubai Equestrian Hospital, Zabeel 2,
Dubai, +97143375165, www.cvrl.ae

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,
www.japanmarine.co
Liberty Kawasaki, Dubai, Interchange 4,
Sheikh Zayed Road, +97143419341,
www.libertykawasaki.com
Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd,
+97143390621, www.aym.ae/yamaha
Rentals
Fun Beach Water Sports, Dubai,
+971 5 3244 550, www.funbeachsports.com
The Cove Rotana Resort, Ras Al Khaimah,
+9717206000, www.rotana.com
Xventures, Dubai, +971555404500,
www.x-ventures.ae
Regal Promotions, Level 14,Boulevard
Plaza Tower 1, Sheikh Mohammed Bin
Rashid Boulevard. Downtown Dubai,
PO Box 334036 Dubai, UAE, +971 4 4558570,
info@regalproms.com

Motocross
& ATV’s

Dealers
Al Badayer Rental (Rental),
Dubai-Hatta Road, +971507842020,
www.albadayerrental.com
Al Shaali Moto, Ras Al Khor, +97143200009,
sales@alshaalimoto.com.
www.alshaalimoto.com
Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd,
+97143390621, www.aym.ae/yamaha
KTM, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, exit 42,
+9714323151, www.ktm.com
Golden Desert Motorcycles Rental
(Rental), Dubai-Hatta Road, Dubai,
+971551532550,
www.goldendesert-dubai.com

JUNE 2014 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

Polaris UAE (atv’s), Ras Al Khor, Nad al
Hamar Road, Al Ghandi Complex, Dubai,
+97142896100, M4, Sector 13,
10th Street, Mussafah Industrial, Abu Dhabi,
+97125555144, www.polarisuae.com
Liberty Kawasaki, Dubai, Interchange 4,
Sheikh Zayed Road, +97143419341,
www.libertykawasaki.com
Sandstorm Motorcycles (Rental), Al Quoz,
Dubai, +97143470270,
www.sandstorm-motorcycles.com
Sebsports, Al Quoz Industrial Area 1
Dubai, +97143393399, www.sebsports.com
Wild X Adventure Shop, Dubai,
+97148321050, www. wildx.ae
Equipment
Desert Road Tourism, Al Khor Plaza – 503,
Dubai, +97142959429,
www.arabiantours.com
2XWheeler, Motorcity Dubai,
+97144548388, www.2xwheeler.com
Sandstorm Motorcycles (Rental),
Al Quoz, Dubai, +97143470270,
www.sandstorm-motorcycles.com
Sebsports, Dubai, Al Quoz Industrial Area 3,
+97143393399, www.sebsports.com
Wild X, Dubai, Um Al Ramoul Industrial Area,
+97142852200, www. wildx.ae

Motorcycling

Distributors and Dealers
Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd,
www.aym.ae/yamaha
Ducati, Mussafah 4, Street 10, Abu Dhabi,
+97125535771, info2@ducati.ae,
www.ducati.ae
Duseja Motorcycles, Dubai, Al Quoz,
+97143476712, www.dusejamoto.com
Harley-Davidson, Mussafah 4, Street 10,
Abu Dhabi, +97125540667,
hd.auh@harley-davidson.ae,
www.harley-davidson-abu-dhabi.com
Liberty Kawasaki, Dubai, Interchange4,
Sheikh Zayed Road, +97142822144,
www.libertykawasaki.com
Polaris UAE, Al Ghandi Complex,
Nad al Hamar Road, Ras Al Khor,
+97142896100, www.polarisuae.com
Tristar Motorcycles, +97143330659,
www.tristaruae.com
Workshops and Services
2xWheeler Adventures, Dubai,
+97144548388, www.alainraceway.com
Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Abu
Dhabi, +97125568555, www.alforsan.com
Dubai Autodrome, Dubai, +97143678700
www.dubaiautodrome.com
Emirates Motorplex, Umm Al Quwain,
+97167681717
Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi,
www.yasmarinacircuit.com

Off-Road

Dealers
4x4 Motors LLC, Shk. Zayed Rd, Dubai,
+97143384866, www.4x4motors.com
Bling My Truck, +971503634839 /
+971505548255,
info@blingmytruck.com,
www.blingmytruck.com
Liberty Automobiles, Dubai, 8005423789,
www.libertyautos.com
Repairs and Services
Off Road Zone, Dubai, Al Quoz,
+97143392449,
www.offroad-zone.com
Icon Auto Garage, Dubai, +97143382744,
www.icon-auto.com
Saluki Motorsport, Dubai, +97143476939
www.salukimotorsport.com
Equipment
Advanced Expedition Vehicles,
Dubai & Abu Dhabi, +97143307152,
www.aev.ae
Al Yousuf Motors, Sheikh Zayed Road,
Dubai, +97143390621,
www.aym.ae/yamaha
Bling My Truck, +971503634839 /
+971505548255,
info@blingmytruck.com,
www.blingmytruck.com
Icon Auto Garage, Dubai, +97143382744,
www.icon-auto.com
Wild X Adventure Shop, Dubai-Hatta Road,
Dubai, +97148321050, www.wildx.ae
Yellow Hat, Nad Al Hamar, and Times
Square Center, Dubai, +97142898060,
www.yellowhat.ae

Heartland UAE, Al Mafraq Industrial,
Abu Dhabi, +971567231967,
www.heartlanduae.com
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,
www.opdubai.com
Clubs
Abu Dhabi Off- Road Club,
www.ad4x4.com
ALMOST 4x4 Off-Road Club,
+971507665522, www.almost4x4.com
ME 4X4, www.me4x4.com
JEEP Wrangler JK Fun Club,
suffian.omar@yahoo.com,
www.jk-funclub.com
Dubai Offroaders,
www.dubaioffroaders.com

Running

Clubs
ABRasAC, Dubai, www.abrasac.org
Abu Dhabi Tri Club, Abu Dhabi,
www.abudhabitriclub.org
Al Ain Road Runners, Abu Dhabi,
+971504188978,
alainroadrunners@yahoo.co.uk
Mirdif Milers, Dubai, www.mirdifmilers.info
Abu Dhabi Striders,
admin@abudhabistriders.com,
www.abudhabistriders.com
Dubai Creek Striders
www.dubaicreekstriders.org

Stand up Paddling, Kite & Surfing,
Wakeboarding
Equipment
Al Boom Marine, Abu Dhabi & Dubai,
+97142894858, www.alboommarine.com
Al Masaood Marine, Dubai,
Sheikh Zayed Road, +97143468000,
www.masaoodmarine.com
Picnico
+97143941653
Jumeirah Beach Road
Opposite Sunset Mall, Dubai
Pearl Water Crafts,
Dubai Marina Yacht Club, +971553749398,
www.pearl-watercrafts.com
Surf Dubai, Dubai, Umm Suqeim,
+971505043020,
www.surfingdubai.com
Surf Shop Arabia, Building 1,
Al Manara Road (East), Interchange 3,
Dubai, +97143791998,
www.surfshoparabia.com
UAE Kite Surfing, +971505626383,
www.ad-kitesurfing.net
Ikönic Brands, Suite 509 Düsseldorf
Business Point Al Barsha Dubai, UAE
+971506874178, info@ikonicbrands.com

OUTDOORUAE

65

MIDDLE EAST’S OUTDOOR, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
Kitesurf Dubai, Kitesurf Beach,
Umm Suqueim and Jumeirah 3
+971505586190, info@kitesurfdubai.ae,
www.kitesurfdubai.ae
Distributors
Ocean Sports FZE, +971559352735,
www.kitesurfsup.com
Kitepeople Kite & Surf Store,
International City, Dubai,
+971504559098, www.kitepeople.ae
Operators
Al Forsan International Sports Resort,
Abu Dhabi, +97125568555, www.alforsan.
com
Dubai Kite Surf School, Dubai,
Umm Suqeim Beach, +971504965107,
www.dubaikitesurfschool.com
Duco Maritime, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah
and Abu Dhabi, +971508703427,
www.ducomaritime.com
Dukite, Kitesurf Beach, Umm Suqeim,
Dubai,+971507586992, www.dukite.com
Kite Fly, Dubai, +971502547440,
www.kitesurf.ae
Kitepro Abu Dhabi, Yas Island
and Al Dabbayyah, Abu Dhabi,
+971505441494, www.kitepro.ae
Kite4fun.net, Abu Dhabi, +971508133134,
www.kite4fun.net

QATAR DIRECTORY
Adventure tours
and desert safaris

Arabian Adventures, Al Asmakh Street,
Doha, Qatar, +97444361461,
www.arabianadventureqatar.net
Gulf Adventures, 29 Aspire Zone Street,
Aspire Zone, AlRayyan City, Doha, Qatar,
+97444221888/1868,
www.gulf-adventures.com
Regency Travel & Tours, Suhaim Bin
Hamad Street, Doha, Qatar, +9744434
4503/4718, www.regencyholidays.com
Qatar International Adventures, Al
Rawabi Street, Al Muntazah, Doha, Qatar,
+97444553954, www.qia-qatar.com
Qatar Inbound Tours, Al Muaither, Al
Rayyan, Doha, Qatar, +97477451196,
www.inboundtoursqatar.com

General Sports
Equipment Megastores

Galaxy Sport, City Centre Mall, 3rd Floor,
Qatar: +97444822194; Villagio Mall,
Qatar: +97444569143; Ezdan Mall, Qatar:
+97444922827, www.galaxysportqatar.com

Nautica1992, Dubai, +971504262415,
www.nautica1992.ae
Shamal Kite Surfing, Umm Suqueim Dubai,
+971507689226, astrid@shamalkitesurfing.
com, www.shmalkitesurfing.com
Sky & Sea Adventures, Dubai, Hilton,
Jumeirah Beach Road, +97143999005,
www.watersportsdubai.com
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,
www.watercooleddubai.com
Water Cooled, Watercooled Sports Services
LLC, Hilton Beach Club, Abu Dhabi, UAE,
+97126395997, www.watercooleduae.com
Clubs
Abu Dhabi Stand Up Paddle,
www.abudhabisup.com,
abudhabisup@gmail.com
UAE SUP www.uaesup.com

Water Parks

Aquaventure Atlantis, Dubai, Palm Jumeirah,
+97144260000,
www.atlantisthepalm.ae
Dreamland Aqua Park, Umm Al Quwain,
Emirates Road, +97167681888,

GoSport, City Centre Mall, 3rd Floor,
Qatar: +97444631644; Villagio Mall, Qatar:
+97444517574
www.facebook.com/gosport.qatar
Sun & Sand Sports, City Centre Mall, Qatar:
+97444837007; Dar Al Salam Mall, Qatar:
+97444932973, www.sunandsandsports.com

Diving

Equipment
Extreme Adventure, Shop 3, 4 Ahmed Bin Ali
Steet, Doha, +974 44877884,
www.extreme.qa
GoSport, City Centre Mall, 3rd Floor,
Qatar: +97444631644; Villagio Mall, Qatar:
+97444517574,
www.facebook.com/gosport.qatar
Al Fardan Marine Services, Najma Street
(near Al Fardan Exchange), Doha, Qatar,
+97444435626
Pearl Divers, Al Mirqab Al Jadeed Street,
Doha, Qatar, +974 44449553,
www.pearl-divers.org
Poseidon, Ras Abu Abboud, Al Emadi Suites,
Showroom #2, Doha, Qatar, +97455510633,
www.pdcqatar.com
Qatar Scuba Centre, 187 Al Mansoura
Street, Al Mansoura Area, Doha, Qatar,
+97466662277 / +97444422234,

Add your free listing to the

ONLINE DIRECTORY
Do you have a business related to outdoor activities, sports,
lifestyle or travel? Or are you an active club or social group who
is looking for new members? Then list your businesses, clubs or
groups with us.
The listing should give all people interested with the outdoors
a good overview of what is offered in the UAE, easy access to
contact details and a reliable location map.
To ensure that all entries are genuine and complete, we review
any listing before it will be posted online. We also review all
entries on a quarterly basis, to keep the directory up to date.

JUNE 2014 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM

www.dreamlanduae.com
Wadi Adventure, Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain,
+97137818422, www.wadiadventure.ae
Wild Wadi Water Park, Dubai,
+97143484444,
www.wildwadi.com

Other leisure activities

Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Abu Dhabi,
+ 97125588990, www.adgolfclub.com
Al Tamimi Stables, Sharjah,
+97167431122 \ +97144370505,
www.tamimistables.com
Blokart Sailing, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai,
+971556101841, www.blokartme.com
Children’s City, Creek Park Gate No.1,
Dubai, +97143340808, www.childrencity.ae
Dolphin Bay Atlantis
Dubai, +97144260000,
www.atlantisthepalm.ae
Dubai Dolphinarium Dubai, Creek Park
Gate No. 1, +97143369773,
www.dubaidolphinarium.ae
iFly Dubai, Dubai, Mirdif City Centre,
+97142316292, www.iflyme.com
Sadiyaat Beach Club, Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat
Island, +97125578000, www.sbgolfclub.ae
Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club, Sharjah,
+97143999005, www.golfandshootingshj.com

www.qatarscubacenter.com
Q Dive, Souq Al Najada cnr of Grand Hamad
and Ali bin Abdulla Str.; Al-Odeid Aisle
numbers 129-132, +97455319507,
www.qdive.net
World Marine Centre, Old Salata Street,
near the Qatar National Museum, Doha,
Qatar, +97455508177
Dive Centres
Al Fardan Marine Services, Najma Street
(near Al Fardan Exchange), Doha, Qatar,
+97444435626 Pearl Divers, Al Mirqab Al
Jadeed Street, Doha, Qatar,
+974 4444 9553, www.pearl-divers.org
Poseidon, Ras Abu Abboud, Al Emadi
Suites, Showroom #2, Doha, Qatar, ‘
+97455510633, www.pdcqatar.com
Qatar Marine, +97455319507,
www.qatarmarine.net
Qatar Scuba Centre, 187 Al Mansoura
Street, Al Mansoura Area, Doha, Qatar,
+97466662277 / +97444422234,
www.qatarscubacenter.com
Qatar Divers, Marriott Hotel Marina, near old
airport, Ras Abu Aboud Area, Doha, Qatar,
+97444313331 / +97477313331,
www.qatardivers.com
Q Dive, Souq Al Najada cnr of Grand Hamad
and Ali bin Abdulla Str.;Al-Odeid Aisle

SkiDubai, Dubai, Mall of The Emirates,
+97144094000, www.skidxb.com
Spacewalk Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi,
+97124463653, www.spacewalk.ae

Health, Safety & Training

Safety Lessons
Marine Concept Yacht Charter & Sea
School, Rania Business Centre, Dubai,
+971559603030,
www.marine-charter-concept.com
Safety & Leisure Training Middle East,
Dusseldorf Business Point, Al Barsha 1,
Dubai, +97144502418, www.sltme.com
Sport and Health Centres
Bespoke Wellness, Dubai,
+971553724670,
info@bespoke-wellness.com,
www.bespoke-wellness.com
The Physio Center, Suite 405, Building
49, Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai,
+97144370570, www.physiocentre.ae
Original Fitness Co., C6 Tower Al Bateen
Bainunah St, Abu Dhabi, +9712406 9404,
info@originalfitnessco.com,
www.originalfitnessco.com
Orthosports, 5B Street,
Jumeira Beach road, Dubai, +9714355060,
www.orthosp.com

numbers 129-132, +97455319507,
www.qdive.net
World Marine Centre, Old Salata Street,
near the Qatar National Museum, Doha,
Qatar, +97455508177

Fishing & Kayaking

Spearfishing Shops
Equipment
Extreme Adventure, Shop 3,4 Ahmed Bin
Ali Steet, Doha, +97444877884,
www.extreme.qa
Al Kashat, Fishing and Hunting
Equipment, Souq Waqif,
next to the Falcon Souq,
+97466724828
State of Qatar (QatarSub), Souq Waqif,
next to the Falcon Souq, +9744431234,
www.stateofqatar.com

Stand Up Paddeling, Kite &
Surfing, Wakeboarding

Equipment, Operators
Fly-N-Ride, Al Muthaf Street, Doha, Qatar,
+9744498 2284, www.fly-n-ride.com
Flo Kite School, Westbay, Doha,
+97455041039, www.flokiteschool.com
Kitesurfing Qatar, +97430179108,
www.kitesurfingqatar.com

SCUBAPRO.
Unparalled performace.
Unimaginable experiences.

MK25/S600 Regulator
The preffered combo of professionals embarking
on long and deep dives and an excellent choice for
any demanding diver.

Equator
The Equator is extremely comfortable and fully
adjustable. It comes with an integrated weight
system and a wide range of great features. Its
compact and lightweight design make it an ideal
front-adjustable BC for diving at home or elsewhere.

Website: www.amitdubai.net Email: contact@amitdubai.net Tel: 4 229 1195

Synergy Twin Trufit
The new Synergy Twin mask uses exclusive
Trufit technology with a thicker, matte
silicone near the frame to offer extra rigidity
& support, while the thinner silicone
ribbing conforms comfortably to almost
any face.

Twin Jet
Twin Jet fins area a must for divers looking for a
split-hydrofoil shape to deliver more forward
motion with less effort and drag. Monoprene
construction makes these fins last for a
lifetime.

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