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Issue 44, August 2014

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On the cover: Wilderness expeditions

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

2014 Outdoor UAE FZE

Issue 44 August 2014


The enemy of adventure

So you are the one who is doing all these adventures? That is a question I hear many
times when Im talking about work. The truth is unfortunately not as exciting and, like
most of us, I spend most of my time in front of a computer and sit in the office reading
and envying people about their adventures.
Just do it! Thats another statement I often hear from people who does these adventures. It sounds so simple, as if you can just make a decision and board the next plane to
your journey. Surprisingly for those people who are out and about all the time, it seems
so simple and they dont get why other hesitate and never follow the call of the great
outdoors. Believe it or not, I am more of the second type; having many travel plans and
dreams of adventures only to look back at the last 10 years and not really achieving any
of them. The longest trips or holidays I have been on was two weeks; usually it is more
of one-week trips or long weekend getaways.
Yes, but is my usual excuse. Yes, I would like to, but there is so much work. Who
would do all the things I usually do at the office? And so on. If you like to be in control,
it is very hard to let go. I think many of us believe that things would not work without us,
that we hold key positions or carry responsibilities which cannot be easily delegated to
others. This addiction to control is my biggest enemy in following the call of adventure,
especially long journeys. If you are an outdoor lover, you know you will need to share
responsibilities, delegate task and, more than anything, trust people since you know you
will be at the end of the world for days and even the most sophisticated gadgets will not
help you to communicate with the office.
I did it! It took 16 years since my last trip going beyond two weeks. And it required
a good, strong reason (and as well a demanding wife) to overcome all the stupid
thoughts of being irreplaceable and that the world (office) would stop working without
me. I have a great team I trust, so why worry? With one year delay, I finally embark on a
five-week trekking honeymoon adventure in South America with my wife. We will travel
four countries, never stay longer than five days in one place and will face temperatures
from minus degrees to tropical heat. All our belongings for the next weeks will be in
two backpacks. When you read this, Im already well into my journey and certainly have
forgotten about the daily worries which dominate our busy work lives.
You will certainly read more about the trip when I am back. I will also tell you if I have
changed to the group of the Just Doers.




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The information contained is for general use only.

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

Daniel Birkhofer
Founder and Editor in Chief


Jane Mesina

Glaiza Seguia-Godinez



All contents are under copyrights and may not be

reproduced in any kind without written permission.
2014 Outdoor UAE FZE
Reg. at Creative City Fujairah
P.O. Box 4422, Fujairah, U.A.E.

Linda Turcerova
Sales and Marketing

Kit Belen
Our fishing pro

John Basson
Moto/ATV and
all round adventure

Tori Leckie
Writer, runner,
and adventurer

Eulogy van Dyk

Outdoor loving
Qatar explorer

Sean James
and MTBing

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

Mike Nott
The 4x4 expert










14 KEYS 100 MILE












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, five free copies of the magazine
and the Advance Off-road book: Pavel Bafeel, Mike
Jobling and Simone Caprodossi. Well done!
To submit your entries, simply email us
with the subject Best Shots.


Pavel Bafeel

Cameron flying high.


Mike Jobling

Simone Caprodossi

Freediving through air.




Stay up-to-date with the latest events

GoYAS by Activelife

August 6, 6:00 to 9:00pm, Yas Marina Circuit

Ladies are welcome to walk, run and cycle Yas Marina Circuits F1 track or take part in group
fitness activities including boot camp, pilates, dance fit and yoga. Please note cycling and group
classes are only available for ladies 14+ years and must have adult supervision. All activities are supervised by an internationally certified female trainer. GoYAS by Activelife is a ladies-only initiative
and closed to the general public to ensure the privacy of participants. All staff are strictly female.
For more information and to register online, visit

Saris Summer Loopy Festival 2014

August 28, 9:00pm, Al Qudra Cycle Course

This is third event in the Saris Summer Night Rides series following the highly successful Saris
Summer Solstice Glow Ride and the Saris Summer Sticky Loop ride on August 7. There are four
distances to choose from: 250km (five loops); 200km (four Loops); 150km (three loops); 100km
(two loops). The ride through the night finishes at around 5:30-6:30am; and they alternate the
direction of each loop starting from clockwise first. A support vehicle will be in attendance and
breakfast will be served between 5:30am and 7:30am from Zads Caf. For more information,

Muscat Triathlon Club Hotel Series Race 1

August 28, 4:00pm, Juweira Boutique Hotel, Salalah, Oman

The inaugural Hotels Series event will take place in Salalah with the Juweria Boutique resort as the
central location and transition point, with the swim held at the protected water of the marina. As
with all Muscat Triathlon Club events, kayaks and large sighting buoys will be in use. The 20km
bike leg takes participants on an out and back course on fast flat roads. Transition is ideally placed
in the resort grounds, where a quick turnaround will see you head out of the resort for a very fast
out and back 5km. After the event, there will be a complimentary BBQ for all race competitors.
For more information, visit

Dubai Sports World

Until August 30, 8:00am, Dubai World Trade Centre

One of Middle Easts 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

FINA Swimming World Cup

August 31 to September 1, 10:00am to 5:00pm, Hamdan Sports Complex

Watch the best swimmers in the world compete for the highly coveted FINA Swimming World
Cup. This international series that has been running since 1988/1989. It is made up of a series of
short course swimming meets and open to all swimmers from FINA member countries. The FINA
Swimming World Cup spans over two days, with the preliminary rounds held in the morning, while
the finals are held during the evenings. The event is open to spectators for 20 AED.
For more information, visit or contact 04 2648717.






Keeping active indoors

Adventure HQ Adventure Zone

Location: Level 2, Dalma Mall Musaffah, ICAD
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

The Dubai-born outdoor adventure retailer has opened its Abu Dhabi branch early
this year and with it their new indoor adventure park, Adventure Zone. The
facility spans over 20,000sqft and features a skate park with different sections (skate,
large street, bowl and half pipe); an 88m long pump track for scooters and BMX;
trampoline area; 3.5m high boulder
wall with 50 routes; the cable climb
course with 11 challenges and a birds
eye view of the place; and The Lodge
designed like a rustic log cabin that
can be reserved for personal parties
or corporate events. Both kids and
adults will enjoy the experience.
+971 2 445 6995
+971 2 445 8903

Location: 32, 4B Street Al Quoz, Dubai
Theres no better way to show your summer glee than jumping around, and no better place to do that at the newly opened free-jumping park called Bounce, which
originated from Australia. The warehouse encloses 80 interconnected trampolines
that offers high-adrenaline fun with additional dodgeball courts, basketball hoops
and giant air bags.
Trampolining is not just childs play. This low-impact cardio workout can improve
bone density, muscle tone, balance and not to mention burn calories while having
the fun.
Bounces Doran Davies says, We have a capacity of 115 at any time, and prior
booking is essential. Not only do we
offer a great space to hang out in, we
also offer three party rooms, a caf
with cold drinks, sandwiches, snacks
and ice creams and we also have
specialised sessions for the little ones
(over the age of three) called Mini
Bounce and Junior Jumpers, to
ensure that all members of the family
get to enjoy it.

The Zoo Skatepark

Location: Warehouse number 1, Al Manara Street
You dont always need the streets to shred,
sometimes you can take the action indoors too.
Presented by Ignite Xtreme and powered by DC
Shoes, The Zoo skatepark is open to skateboarders, scooter riders and skate enthusiasts
to progress under the best possible conditions.
The air-conditioned facility enables riders to
avoid the heat while getting to ride quality
ramps and practice. Plus, free wifi access so
spectators can just hang out.
The inspiration behind The Zoo was to create a safe environment that promotes a healthy
active lifestyle and embodies the skate culture
of fun, creativity and community. The Zoo
skatepark offers a relaxed atmosphere where
skaters can hangout and express themselves
through skating, explained park manager
Jeremy Klynsmith. We have well experienced
skateboard instructors and offer one on one lessons for all skill levels, whether you are a beginner or intermediate skateboarder, you will see
progress in your abilities from the first lesson.
We are aiming to help put UAE skateboarding
on the map by hosting and promoting events
which are up to international standards.
The Zoo is open from 12:00-8:00pm Friday
and Saturday and 1:00pm7:00pm every other
day. The venue is also available for private hire
if you are looking for a unique venue for your
event or birthday party.
+971 4 456 2482

+971 4 321 1400

Al Bandar Dragons recruiting for the new season

Dragon boat racing is an ancient water
sport that has taken place in China for over
2,000 years. In modern races, dragon
teams of up to 20 paddlers battle it out in
festivals all over the world in distances of
200m to 3km. The sport is relatively new to
the UAE but has really taken off.
The Al Bandar Dragon Boat Team is a
thriving, mixed mens and ladies team
based at the Al Bandar Marina, Raha

Beach, Abu Dhabi. The team trains at

Raha Beach on Monday and Wednesday
evenings and on Friday mornings. Bandar
Dragons compete in races in Abu Dhabi,
Dubai and Ras al Khaimah during the racing season of October to April. The races
are very exciting and the team has had
some notable successes over the last five
Dragon boating is an excellent full body

work out. It requires equal measures of

strength, stamina and technical skill. Most
importantly it is great fun and an incredibly sociable sport it is the ultimate team
sport. And the Bandar Dragons are recruiting and welcoming newcomers to join one
of their taster sessions at the end of
August or start of September (exact dates
TBC). Get in touch to find out more:



Queens of the mountain

Ride like a girl Part 2
Words By: Sean James

Last month in mountain biking it

was motivation month; an attempt to
encourage more women to get out on
their bikes. We suggested a number
of women only groups in the UAE who
are out on their bikes, both road and
mountain and also suggested some
events that women could participate
in. Globally the summer is huge for
female bikers and initiatives. Australia
has She Riders, there is the Rapha
100, The Daisy Chain MTB Marathon
in the UK, The Macmillan Cycletta
in the UK, Diva Descent Downhill,
The Bluegrass Enduro in Ireland, The
Seattle Showdown in the US, Tour de
Ladies in Colorado and of course the
Ramadan Race in Dubai. All female
only events. So what did you do?
This month we are going to look at a
number of women living in the UAE who
are out there training, racing and having a
good time on their bikes. These ladies are
fantastic role models participating in hard
races where finishing is not guaranteed
and gaining a place on the podium gains
huge respect. The UAE scene is small and
friendly and you will undoubtedly bump
into them.


Nirjala in Malaysia competing

in the Asian MTB Championships

Nirjala Tamrakar Wright

Nirjala is from Nepal and 34. She lives in

Fujairah with her husband and is also an
artist. They have been here in the UAE
for two and a half years. When she was
a professional rider and racing in Nepal

and internationally, she used to ride daily

and did this for many years. Now she
claims I am a recreational rider so only
ride at the weekends with my husband
now and again. She also runs to keep fit,
anywhere between 5km and 21km. Nirjala
doesnt follow any special kind of diet but
stays away from deep fried food and alcohol. Her current ride is a Titanium Qoroz
Hardtail and her preferred ride style is XC.
In races she considered her strength to
be her determination and loved seeking
out the hardcore races. One of Nirjalas
favourite places to ride is the UK as she
loves the terrain and finds it easy and enjoyable to meet different groups of riders.
As a pioneering Nepali female, Nirjala
has many firsts to her name. Since starting
racing in 2001 she was national champion
for 11 years until 2012. Thats an incredible achievement. She has been the first
and only female Nepali to compete in
a World Cup MTB event, which was in
France as well as being the first Nepali
female to ride from Lhasa in Tibet to
Kathmandu in Nepal. That took 22 days.
She has also cycled the Annapurna Circuit
which most people do as a trekking route
and has a highest altitude of 5,416m. It
took her 10 days.
She has also competed
in these major games:
South Asian Games 2006, 2010 in Sri
Lanka and Bangladesh



Asian Championship 2008 to 2010

in Nepal, Malaysia, China
Asian Games 2011 in China
Finally her favourite race is the 10-day
Himachal Race in Northern India which
she has done four times. You will see Nirjala and her husband out and about in the
wadis of the UAE and Oman which helped
her place highly in the grueling four-day
TransHajar Race near Oman.

Mariana Marx

Mariana is a proud South African and

has been living in the UAE for the past
12 years. She currently juggles training
with being the Operations Manager at
Wild Wadi in Dubai. When training for a
race, she will ride at least three times a
week and also makes sure she gets out on
the surf ski. Following a structured plan
is important and she works closely with
triathlon coach Trace Rogers. Marianas
philosophy is just to get out and ride, explore different terrain and gain confidence
by time spent on the saddle. Her strength
in mountain biking is going uphill and she
loves endurance type races. Her current
bike is a Scott Spark Expert 29er and her
homeland around Cape Town is the perfect place for her because of the variety
of trails. Here in the UAE, you will find her
at Shawka or in Oman. Mariana has also
competed in the world class and grueling
TransHajar and Cape Epic mountain bike
events. You will always see her smiling
and she is a great example of how to
cope with a demanding job and the lure
of the great outdoors.

Barbara Ihrig

Barbara has been in the UAE for the past

10 years, works as a Life Coach and has
just opened a dedicated triathlon shop
in Dubai. She is a triathlete herself and
likes to ride her mountain bike at least
three times a week. She follows a dietary
regime known as Banting which is all
about cooking food from scratch and with
natural ingredients. It focuses on high fat,
medium protein and low carbohydrates.
Barbara and Mariana side by side in South Africa

Mariana smashing the beautiful trails at Cape Epic

Following this also helps with a number

of food intolerances. Her strength in
mountain biking is climbing which is useful as she has completed the Cape Epic in
South Africa, an eight-day event that covers over 900km and 15,000m of ascent.
She loves riding her Specialised Epic
29er and would advise mountain bikers to
go and explore the great trails and areas
we have here in the UAE. Have fun while
out there and stay safe, it does get very
One of her favourite places to ride is in
South Africa and especially on the single
track and XC style routes. In fact any ride
that is long and steady and you will bump
into Barbara. Here she frequents Shawka
and Al Qudra, although not on the tar.
Besides growing the triathlon shop in
the next few years, Barbara hopes to race
the TransHajar in Oman and maybe the
Cape Epic again as the organisation and
vibe amongst the riders was second to

Rachel Delaunay

The effervescent New Zealander, Rachel

is well-known in the adventure racing
scene in the UAE. When not indulging
her passion for travelling, climbing and

general adventure, she practices as a

physiotherapist. Initially Rachel was passing through the UAE on her way back to
New Zealand after working in the UK but
got lured in by the opportunities here.
That was six and a half years ago. Her list
of activities is long but includes running,
surfing, sailing, yoga, rock climbing,
mountaineering and triathlons.
Rachel has won the prestigious
TransHajar mountain bike race in Oman
and claims to only cycle two or three
times a week. She eats everything in
moderation and considers her strength to
be her endurance. If an event is coming
close, she might or might not come up
with a loose plan. Her philosophy get
out there and give it a go.
Rachel rides with the Velo Vixens and
Team SWR in Dubai. Her current mountain
bike is a Giant X Trance and for those
thinking of getting into mountain biking
she says there are plenty of bike shops
to hire from and a lots of options of trails.
There are even some off-road sand /
gravel tracks around Dubai. The mountain
bike community here is great with many
different groups and BBQs etc! Check
out the Facebook groups that always
welcome new riders and are good places
to connect with other riders.


Rachel enjoying a ride in the big mountains

Her favourite place to ride is in Peru in

the Cordillera Blanca and Negra mountain range which was the most beautiful,
amazing remote mix of terrain and scenery. In the Middle East, she loves the hard
climb up Wadi Bih.
Rachel has also competed in a number of adventure multi-sport races. The
Wadi Bih Adventure Race held around
the Musandam Peninsula was one of her
favourites because of the spectacular
and dramatic landscape as well as the
fast pace. The camaraderie and evening
camping plus the endurance test of four
days racing also gave her fond memories
of the TransHajar in Oman.
The hardest mountain bike race she has
competed in was in Turkey as part of an
adventure race. There were some river
crossings as well as some steep and rocky
downhill sections.
Check out her impressive list of mountain
bike races:
Trans Hajar, Oman
2nd Female 2011
1st Female 2012
4th Female 2014
Wadi Bih Adventure Race
1st mixed team, 3rd overall 2011
1st mixed team and 2nd overall 2012
Abu Dhabi International Adventure Races
2009, 2010
2011, 2012
Future plans for Rachel include races
in South Africa and riding through the
vineyards as well as having a family.

Michelle Guerin

Michelle is involved with biking at all

levels in the UAE. The marketing manager
for DDE / Ride Bike Shop she has been
in the UAE for a touch under five years.
Originally from New Zealand she loves



any kind of sports and will be out as much

as possible on the trails over the winter.
In the hotter summer months, she sticks
mostly to the road biking to maintain
She is a proud member of Team RideGMS, the UAE National Team and Sky
Dive Dubai. She is really looking forward
to seeing the development of the UAE
National Womens Team this year and
hopes the team will be great role models
for female cycling and mountain biking
here in the Middle East.
Michelle says, I really enjoy biking with
other people from the perspective of motivating them and encouraging them to
ride. For my own personal development
I always try to seek out and train with
stronger riders. Mountain biking, I just
get out there and enjoy it. A useful app is
Strava. It is always fun being competitive
with yourself.
Working for a bike retailer puts her in
an enviable position regarding equipment and bikes. Her mountain bike last
year was a Giant Trance 27.5. Hopefully
for 2014/2015 Ill be riding one of the LIV
female specific bikes either the Lust or
the Intrigue (or both depending on the
event). Lucky lady!
What Michelle really likes about mountain biking are the demanding technical
and downhill sections. Like many of us
she says uphills are only there to get
me to what I enjoy. Her favourite rides
Michelle racing in the UAE


are of course in New Zealand around the

mountain bike parks west of Auckland
such as Woodhill Forest. From the early
1990s an amazing network of trails and
jumps have been developed with the
support and dedication of volunteers.
Michelle says she would love to explore
the areas around Queenstown which have
an amazing selection of trails most of
them need the chairlift to get to my
kind of riding.
Her race pedigree in the UAE is unsurpassed and she lists her mountain bike
race achievements for 2013/2014 simply
as: Every race, first. She also raced the
Powerhorse MTB Dirt Challenge in Qatar
coming second.
With such a record its no surprise that
Shawka and the single track is one of her
favourite areas in the UAE where there is
a great selection of trails for all abilities.
She picked out some of her favourite
moments last season as the Dante Torres
Enduro event that was run by the UAE
Mountain Biking Group and the Giant
Awafi Festival and MTB Race in Ras Al
Khaimah. These events are as much
about the passion for mountain biking
and the social interaction of a weekend
camping as the showcasing of new trails
and racing against each other.
Michelle takes her role as an ambassador for womens sport very seriously
and devotes a great deal of energy to
encouraging others. Im very passionate about being a role model for females
in the cycling industry. While I love to
challenge myself race wise, I want to see
more females get on a bike and ride
even if its around their local neighbourhood or compound, on the dedicated
cycling paths, with their kids or even at
Thanks to all of the ladies above for
sharing the information about themselves. They are just a small fraction of
the women riding, competing and doing
great things here in the UAE. Make sure
you get out there and join them.
Photo By: Jonnel Hernandez


Stand UP Paddle
boarding in the UAE
Words + Photos By: Tati Coco

What is SUP?

Stand Up Paddle boarding is a fun and

exciting way that enables surfers to travel
further into the ocean and explore new
things. There are different modalities
of SUP, the most common is standing
upright on a surfboard and using a paddle to move. There are also SUP racing
for those thrill-seekers who enjoy the
fast life, SUP yoga/fitness for those who
wish to improve their yoga skills and balance. SUP is a great sport for all kinds of
people, family, children and adults to can
enjoy the sea.

How do you think SUP

has progressed as a sport
in the Middle East?

I have been living in Dubai for two years.

I first started SUPing a couple of times
in New Caledonia were I learned that
I loved being out on the water. Then I

moved to Dubai were I found the opportunity to develop my SUP skills with
the Surf House, Live Love SUP and Red
Paddle Co Middle East. During these
two years I saw how it developed and
grew to what it is today. I have also seen
how there are many different communities within Dubai and Abu Dhabi for kids,
professionals and family who do SUP. Just
think of the massive community we have;
it is really nice to see all of them in the
water enjoying this new sport.

The local SUP community has

considerably grown in the last
years, what do you think should
be done to further its progress
and development?

I work a lot with kids and teenagers, and

I believe that they are the future and they
should get more support with races and
hopefully expand to a point where there
are even more teams for competitions.
The races should be organised so that
each skill level will have their own races.

It would only be fair, since some races are

really hard for some very young people.
It would be better if there were more
family-oriented activities for recreation
and a proper race.

As an instructor, what do you

want to teach people about SUP
and the active lifestyle?

When I teach people about SUP, I like to

teach them to have fun, how to be safe
and how it can keep you fit and healthy.
This is an amazing adventure, there is a
lot to explore and it becomes a nice day
at the beach. The horizon is the limit for
me and my adventures. I feel like UAE is a
great place to SUP. It is beautiful all year
round with the temperatures of the water.
It is amazing watching the pinks and the


oranges of the sunset while sitting on

your board with the cool waves lapping
around you just listening to the ocean
and the Burj Al Arab in front of you.

How can we encourage more

people to get into SUP?

SUP is a great sport and hobby, and it

is very easy to learn. In just a couple
of hours or less you are already standing and paddling. If you dont have the
equipment, you can rent it for example
at the surf house, so there is no excuse
to not have a go! Just try a few times in
a flat water at the beginning and you will
see how fast you will get addicted to this

What group/clubs can

we join for SUP?

The easiest public place to go for a paddle seven days a week, even if you dont
have your own board, is the Surf House in
Dubai. After your paddle you can enjoy
a shower and changing facilities and sit
back with one of the best cups of coffee
in the town.
Also in Abu Dhabi, Jen Scully and Nick
Yates run a group activity with the Abu


Dhabi Stand Up Paddlers in the marina

where you can improve your skills and
spend a good time with friends.

What are your recommendations

for a good SUP spot here
in the UAE?

I love adventure and I love to explore! Im

specialised in long distance and for me
the sea has no limit. I will paddle across
the sea, river, lake, whatever. Its not
about where you are but about living the
Here in the UAE, I keep a special
place in my heart for the Mangrove in
Abu Dhabi but I love everywhere here.
The water is so clean and blue. You have
sun 365 days of the year and when it is
summer, I like to paddle early morning or
late in the day to avoid the heat. If you

look at the pictures in this article you will

see many nice places with special Emirati
landmark for background. Just open your
eyes and listen to the sea, it will offer
more than you can expect. Depending on
the season, you can enjoy also waves and
practise Stand Up surf when waves are on
at Sunset Beach or just go to the wave
pool. Paddling is really easy and you have
all kinds of condition from extremely flat
to big wave days.
Tati is also preparing for the 600km
paddle this August from the coast of Italy,
to Spain and then Ibiza.




How long is this journey?

The Keys 100 Miler 2014

Words By: Gigi Tsang

Many people had asked me

why do I want to choose the
same race again? One of the
main reasons is the Race Director Bob Becker and his team.
They really put on a great event
and furthermore, the Florida
Keys is a unique and beautiful
Running the Keys 100 allows me the
opportunity to enjoy the journey once
again. Every hour spent on running Keys
is Happy Hour.As an ultra-runner, I have
to be mentally prepared to face the long
hard journey. This time around however
I stood on the start line struggling with
the potentially ruinous thought of will I
be able to make it? Early preparations at
the start of the season had gone well. The
Abu Dhabi Half Marathon, followed by the
Dubai Marathon, then a good Emirates
Hills 32km race were all training runs that
went really well. My time was good and I
got places for all those events. I felt I was
shaping up very nicely, both mentally and
physically; and ready for my first overseas
race: the Boston Marathon, many runners
dream race! Unfortunately, I had a fall just
two days before I was supposed to fly
to Boston and badly twisted my ankle. I
went to the physio immediately hoping
the swelling and bruised ankle would be
settled within seven days of the race (we
runners are a bit crazy; we talk ourselves



through a lot of things including having

magical physios). Of course, I was stubborn enough to go to the Boston start line
not wanting to miss the opportunity for a
great trip with my husband and friends,
but deep down I was worried. I told myself I would run this race as a training run
at a very disciplined and steady pace. If I
felt hurt then I would stop. I promised my
coach I would not let this race jeopardise
my 100 mile goal. Boston turned out to
be a great day. I ran every single step with
one of my long-time running buddies,
Marek. He thanked me for pacing him
nicely, but I also thanked him for running
so steadily with me that I didnt focus on
my worries or discomfort to my ankle.
Three and half weeks
to the Keys 100
After the Boston Marathon, I was back
on track and carried on my training when
another unusual/new pain came around
my knee. Again, I talked myself through it
hoping it might have been caused by high
mileages and a couple of easy days would
sort it out. Unfortunately the pain didnt
disappear. In fact after one week of training it grew worse and I started to panic as
I had only two weeks left. I called my long
time physiotherapist, Rosemary (I reckon
the best physio in Dubai for runners) who
had just recently relocated to Houston.
She thought my knee pain was related to
the injured ankle and I was compensating my running gait. So I decided to rest,
lower my mileage and even scheduled
physio treatments with Rosemary as my
travel route took me through Houston to
Miami and the Florida Keys.

One week before the Keys 100

Another incident after my fall, one of my
crew members, Mauricio, slipped a disc
in his back! The last thing he wanted to
do was jump in and out of a car for 20 or
so hours, so he was not seconding me!
Another stressful moment, although my
very dear husband John still held his head
up and was positive that we would be fine
even though he would be the one and
only crew member for 100 miles. However I wasnt convinced and at this point
depressed and worried, so I decided to
call Rosemary again, but this time not
about the treatment. I asked her to come
to Keys 100 as a crew member! It didnt
take her a minute to think and had said
yes. She obviously understood my concern and agreed to join us on this journey.
Traveling from Dubai to Houston, I met



up with Rosemary who spent three hours

treating me. With her Magic Hands the
knee pain seemed better, but the rubbing
feeling was still there. By this time I told
myself this would be as good as it gets.
I had to just rest my legs with two things
remaining: get to the start and get to the
Two days before the Keys 100
We were scheduled to leave Houston at
10:30am for a two-hour flight to Miami
when a tornado hung over Miami Airport.
After repeated delays on the tarmac and
circling in the air we ended up landing at Fort Myers airport to wait for the
weather in Miami to settle. I was tired;
my legs were stiff and aching and I just
kept thinking why was this journey getting
harder and harder! Finally we landed at
Miami at 9:00pm, picked up the rental
car and drove to Keys Largo to check into
the Hotel at 11:00pm. It had been a hell
of a long day! By then I calculated my
travel time from Dubai to Key Largo was
a total of 34 hours! The cut off time for
the Keys 100 was only 32 hours! I have to
admit that by this time my will power had
started to wear thin.
Rosemary arrived the next day without
further delay and we all went to the race
number pick up and briefing where we
were warmly greeted and welcomed by
Bob and the other runners and crews who
I met last year. I started to feel a bit more
relaxed and now excited, but of course,
very nervous too. Ready to face the challenge! Race Day and an early morning
breakfast at 4:00am for the 6:15 start. I
felt very honoured to have been given an
Elite start but felt even more nervous to
stand around with all those seriously hardcore runners including the USA National
24 Hour running team, Badwater placed
runners, etc. However everyone was so
friendly, wished each other the best and
we were off! There was no turning back.
The route and scenery was again spectacular, the clearness of the sky and colour
of the ocean were just breathtaking.
Although it was a hot day, the humidity
was not as high as the previous year and
we had a little tailwind for good measure.
I was feeling quite good! However I could
only enjoy this for about 50 miles (80km)

when the knee and hip flexor started to

act up. Rosemary decided to tape my hip
flexors to release the pain a little. Obviously John and Rosemary knew I hadnt
started the race in totally 100% healthy
form. They did their best to help me not
waste any time during the race. They carried my hydration and nutrition almost all
the way for me, running alongside when I
needed to change my running tops, prepare food, electrolytes, protein drinks and
of course prepare the night time running
gear for me. Throughout the race I was
kept up-to-date with all the great positive
words of encouragement from my running
friends in Dubai care of WhatsApp and
Facebook. With 25 miles (40km) left to
go I started to feel nauseous and running
out of steam. I couldnt keep any fluid or
solid food down, but John and Rosemary
still tried hard, they carried at least four
different types of food and drink and ran
alongside me, hoping that I could take a
sip or a bite. They tried everything, but
still I couldnt hold any fluid down. I ran
the last 25 miles (40km) on empty! Due to
their worries, they took turns and ran with
me all the time in the heat and the dark;
Rosemary ran total 45 miles (70km) and
John ran 40 miles (65km)! Again with the
great support and a bit of a determination
we did it. I crossed the finish line in 19
hour 27mins! 49 minutes faster than last
year. Got the first Masters Female and 4th
overall female.
I truly believe this 49 minutes PR is
not because I was in better shape nor
because I ran better, it was totally because
I had a great team, John and Rosemary,
who did a fabulous job in helping me
through this tough race.
During my injury, low and doubtful moments, I received some huge moral support from a few special running buddies:
Kerry, Nick, Monique, Samantha, and of
course John. They believed in me and encouraged me. In the face of the possibility
of failure I focused on the opportunity to
succeed. I was determined to overcome
these barriers rather than not try at all.
Another highlight of this journey this

time John did book the hotel and we all

had a very nice and comfortable night
after the race. The next morning John was
busy cleaning the car which was
properly trashed. I asked John for my
Garmin watch which had beeped me
every single mile of the journey. While he
assured me he had put it away safely, I insisted to have my watch because I wanted
to see my splits. It was not until we returned the rental car at Miami airport that
he told me that he had found a large rat
sitting in the glove compartment. It had
chewed up my watch. He had done his
best to try to remove it from the car but
he was not certain. I pulled out the rental
contract from the glove compartment to
find it had also been eaten into ribbons! I
guess I know what he is going to buy me
for my birthday now! Drama seems never
to stop in this journey.

As usual I can never offer enough

thanks to the following wonderful
people who are part of this journey:
To John and Rosemary: If you dont
believe in angels, its because you havent
met John and Rosemary yet. They were
truly my guardian angels on this journey.
To all my family: Their continuous understanding and moral support enabled me
to keep reaching for my dreams.
To all my running buddies: Kerry, Samantha, Julie, Monique, Lesley, Nick, Noel,
Marek, Jerry and Andrea. Their companionship helped me through my long, long,
long training, lots of miles and laughs
To my coach: Howard Nippert, his professional coaching prepared and again
guided me through a very good running
To Bob Becker and his team and all the
volunteers for the race: Just simply a
superb job!
Lastly, to all my friends in DCS and the
Dubai running community who sent me
so many words of encouragement. You all
have been so very supportive.




Three times
the challenge

UAE vet takes on Ironman Lake Tahoe

A spot of training whilst in Kitzbuhel, Austria for a wedding

Words By: Chris Shivelton Queen

There appears to be a truth

regarding triathlon here in the UAE
that dictates you will succumb to the
draw of iron distance races. I moved
out to Dubai in 2013 and had been
told that expats tend to either get fit
or get fat.
Triathlon, which I had some entry level
experience of in the UK, ensured that I trod
the former path and it wasnt long before
I was out training with fellow Tri Pirates,
Wacky Racers, Tri Dubai athletes and other
Another fantastic bike climb with breathtaking scenery

such fans of Lycra. It was also somewhat

inevitable that I was going to be seduced
into taking the plunge with an Ironman:
3.8km of swimming, 180km of cycling, and
then a nice, painful marathon to finish.
The truth is that that Id initially been
looking at testing the waters with a halfdistance race late in 2014, with the possibility of maybe going the full distance in a
year or two. Fast forward to the start of the
year and I was committed to Ironman (yes,
the full distance after all) in Lake Tahoe,
California. Reading the race reports after
handing over my credit card details might
not, in hindsight, have been the smartest
move as I soon discovered that the Tahoe
race is considered a particularly tough
one, staged at altitude and involving some
gnarly climbs on the bike. Oh, and last year
it was so cold that athletes were scraping
ice off their bikes! A great race to train for
in the furnace-cross-sauna that is the UAE
in summer.
Not content with simply signing up for
this test as a recreational activity, I decided
running for charity, specifically the Worldwide Veterinary Service (WVS), who do
Long desert cycle rides are a part of training

some incredibly important work globally,

would be noble and thus the stage had
been set for the Iron Vet challenge to commence. Yikes!

Coaching is key

The very first objective was to seek out and

sign up a coach. I had always told myself
that if I was going to head down the Ironman route then I wanted to actually compete as opposed to simply complete.
This essentially means that as much as
finishing the distance in any time under the
cut off would still be a huge achievement,
my sense of pride dictates that if anything
is worth doing then it should be done
properly. As self-motivated and capable to
research as I am, I also recognise certain
personal limitations that meant attempting to train myself for such a mammoth
feat was unwise. First of all, I know nothing
about training properly for an Iron distance
race. There are, of course, a glut of online
programmes available so sourcing one may
not have been an issue. The following factors then were more important: motivation,
accountability and personalisation.
In the end I signed up with Trace Rogers
of SuperTri, with my programme officially
kicking off on 1st January 2014. Given
the nature of my professional life as a vet,
with long, unpredictable hours and a lot
of time spent on my feet, rather than a
totally prescriptive do this at this time and
then do that at that time approach, Trace
sends me my training schedule a month in
advance, with the weeks sessions detailed
and it is then up to me to slot them into
my timetable. Having a training regime set


Cycling with the Wacky Racers at Al Qudra

by someone else really motivates me to

get on and get the training done whereas
I know that if I were simply relying on self
motivation alone then there would inevitably be times where I could convince myself
that missing, or cutting short, a session
would be ok. However, Trace puts it on the
programme and I do it. Simple. Needless
to say there is scope for common sense
and flexibility. For example, there may be
days when I am kept back late at work (a
not uncommon occurrence in my job), in
which case rescheduling training may be
necessary. Rest is also a vital element of
correct preparation for a big challenge
such as this, and as much as it might sometimes feel counter-intuitive to not train,
Trace knows the vital importance of rest for
athletic development.
The personalised approach to training
has also extended to consideration of
nutrition and the engagement with other
sporting professionals, such as the team
at OmLife, with whom I have undergone
sweat analysis to select the best electrolyte
replacement options, fitness testing and
hyperbaric oxygen chamber sessions. I am
also hoping to explore some options for
preparing for altitude via the hypobaric
services on offer at Talise Spa. In terms of
nutrition, that remains one of the ongoing challenges leading towards race day:
finding a feeding plan that works and offers
the right support on the bike and run whilst
avoiding the dreaded bonk.

Spoilt for choice

We are all perhaps somewhat blas about

the wealth of fantastic training and racing
options we have out here in the UAE, and
when I think about facilities such as the
Al Qudra and Nad al Sheba cycle tracks,
the pools at Hamdan, the parks with their
running-friendly surfaces, the mountains
and hills to the north and east, and so
many more world-class training settings I


Team SuperTri with Trace, after taking on Jabal Bil Ays

realise how fortunate I have been to get

to train here in the UAE. In addition to the
publicly available facilities on offer I have
been blessed with generosity and support
from friends, whether it be in joining me for
long nighttime cycle sessions or permitting me access to their apartment complex
pools, training has been a lot less of a
headache for their kindness. Then there is
the community of fellow triathletes, which
is vast, generous and hugely supportive.
From training sessions with Tri Dubai, to
cycling with the Wacky Racers, to racing in Tri Pirates colours, and completing
coached sessions with SuperTri, the wealth
of experience, encouragement, knowledge
and sheer motivation makes the UAE feel
like one of the best places in the world
to train. The only thing that lets us down
over the summer months is the relentless
and punishing heat and humidity, although
with fantastic resources such as the World
Trade Centre, which opens its doors free
of charge to athletes during the summer
months, it neednt halt training.
Race wise the truth is that we are spoiled
for choice and it would be so easy to
sign up to one or even two events every
week. So far this year, I have taken part
in everything from the Abu Dhabi Striders Half Marathon, Dubai Creek Striders
Half, RAK Half, where I smashed my PB
and came in under 90 minutes, which I
was stoked with, to the Urban Stinker race
in the mountains of RAK, the Abu Dhabi
International Triathlon a world-class event
and an epic weekend and so many more
that listing them all here would take up the
entire article by itself. The key message is
that we have so much choice, with more
races being added every season. For me,
the key races in preparation for September
were the half marathons, the Urban Stinker
race, which was the furthest I had run up to
that point and so represented an important mental benchmark, the Abu Dhabi
International Triathlon, which was tough,
and the Windsor Triathlon back in the UK,
which I returned to this year and posted
a significantly improved time. Training, it
would appear, does pay off!

blah blah), the training is entering the

really tough phase, which is unfortunately
coinciding nicely (or nastily, I guess) with
the really, really hot and sticky time of the
year. Although I might not be getting much
opportunity to engage in real altitude
training, the punishing climate in which my
training is taking place should, it is thought,
go some way to prepare my body for the
demands of altitude racing. I guess well
ultimately see on the day. This period is
also the time when final information starts
to hit the email inbox and I start to see just
how big a challenge I have set for myself.
To put it into context, the swim, which is to
be staged in the beautiful waters of Lake
Tahoe, sits at 6,300 feet above sea level,
which is roughly the height of Jabal Bil Ays.
The bike then sees us complete two loops
of an alpine course, involving climbs up to
7,200 feet, or twice the height of Jebel Hafeet, before the high altitude marathon. Put
it this way: I am under no illusions that I will
be in contention for a Kona (Hawaii) slot
and know that simply finishing this race, let
alone in a decent time, is going to be one
of the toughest feats I have ever engaged
in. You know what though.... bring it on!
To follow Chris as he trains and prepares
for his Iron Vet challenge, head to, where you can find
more information and links to both the
Facebook page and Just Giving donation
page, in aid of global veterinary charity
WVS (Worldwide Veterinary Service).

Countdown to race day

As the big day rapidly approaches and

thoughts start to turn to organisation
and logistics (flights, a place to stay, blah

Abu Dhabi international, where Olympic and World Champions, Alistair and
Jonny Brownlee were racing

At the finish line in the UK

with my sister and niece






A Victory in Stresa

Words + Photo By: Nicola de Corato

Victory Team Headquarters

was officially opened in November 2002 with the main focus
on manufacturing boats and
developing powerboat engineering capabilities.
Since the Victory Team took to the
racing waters of the Class One World
Powerboat Championship in 1992, the
blue boats from Dubai have become synonymous with the best in this exciting and
exhilarating sport.
Chairman of the Victory Team is Hamdan
bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,
also known as Fazza, the name under
which he publishes his poetry.
Fazza is also the name of the boat number three, running in the XCat World Series, a particular class of racing conceived
by Sid Bensalah of the Dubai International
Marine Club (DIMC). A separate class
having an appeal to a worldwide audience
while also making it a very approachable
and trustworthy brand of powerboat racing, one that would blend the high-octane
Class One and the more sedate Formula
The World Professional Powerboating
Association (WPPA), promoter of the series,
ensure that they take in some of the most
glamorous locations and venues on the
globe, giving viewers a unique and entertaining experience during the season.
Simply put, the XCAT boats are multihulls made of advanced carbon technology comprising of two outboard engines
with up to 6,000cc of horse power and the
minimum length allowed is 8.5 metres and
a maximum of 9.5 metres. There is also a
weight allowance with each boat enabled
to be 1,950kg. These boats are capable of
touching speeds of 120mph with their V6




Much attention has been paid in ensuring safety and security of the boats and
their crew during the course of a race. It is
deemed that the Local Organising Committee should be responsible for communicating with the world governing body UIM
to perform all safety functions and secure
all necessary safety facilities in accordance with the UIM Safety Procedures and
Guidelines Requirements. Safety in Stresa
and all the other competitions is ensured
by Bergamo Scuba Angels, a sports society
with the mission to perform water rescue
activities, in all their different and extreme
aspects and already introduced on our
pages some months ago.
After a massive fight, Arif Al Zaffain and
Nadir bin Hendi claim a fourth consecutive
win in Stresa. Fazza team was taken by surprise at the start when the T-Bone Station
combination of Luca Fendi and Giovanni
Carpitella stormed into the lead. But a tactical move after the fifth lap saw the Fazza
team taking their first of two mandatory
long laps and eventually restoring their
usual spot at the front of the pack, which
they then held onto until the finish.
In testing this morning we felt good,
but we were surprised by boat number 10
[T-Bone Station]. They had a very good
start, so we tried to push them. But after
five laps, I told my driver we have to do the
long lap because our radio man had told
us our lap times were quicker than theirs,
said Al Zaffain.
Our goal in the Victory Team is always to
take the Championship. After todays race
we really have a big points lead and I can
say Im 90% sure the 2014 Championship is
finished, added Al Zaffain, who together
with Bin Hendi has indeed all but secured
the overall series title.
We can just wait for the next powerboat
race, in Cascais, Portugal.
Ready to explore,


Arif Saif Al Zafeen, Driver

01/09/1974, Dubai
Arif Al Zafeen continues to enjoy a remarkable Class 1 career; he has won
the world title three times and has
an unprecedented win rate 21 wins
from 30 starts. He made a spectacular
start to his Class 1 career in 2007 winning on his debut in Athens, and
then in Arendal, Constanta and Qatar
to lift the Class 1 World and European
Championships in his rookie season.
He was sidelined through injury in
2008, but returned in 2009 to win the
World, Middle East and Edox Pole
Position Championships and then
added his third World title to his tally
in 2010 along with the European and
Middle East titles.
Recently appointed Executive
Director of the Victory Team organisation, Arif also lifted the Class Three
(Six Litre) World Championship in
2009 and 2011 thanks to three successive wins in Nettuno, Italy alongside regular racing partner Nadir Bin
Nadir Bin Hendi, Throttleman
15/12/1969, Dubai
Nadir Bin Hendi is one of an elite
group of racers to win three consecutive world titles and four Class
1 World titles in total. He made
his Class 1 driving debut in 2005,
switching to throttleman duties the
following year.
He won the World, Middle East
and Edox Pole Position Championships for the first time in 2008 with
veteran driver Mohammed Al Marri.
He successfully defended all three the
following year when he was joined
in the cockpit by Arif Al Zafeen and
together again in 2010, they secured
what was a third World title for both
of them, along with European and
Middle East titles. Up to the start
of the 2011 season he has won 21
Grand Prix races.
In 2009 and 2011, he also lifted the
Class Three (Six Litre) World Championship this time as driver to Arif Al
Zafeen on throttles in Fazza S3. He
competed in traditional wooden powerboat racing in the UAE throughout
the mid-nineties and also tasted
success with in the Aquabike World
Championships, lifting the world title
in 1995, 1996 and 2003.
Nico is a blogger, marathon runner and
triathlete, diver and heli rescue swimmerwith Bergamo Scuba Angels. You
can read his blog atwww.dubayblog.
comor email him for information about Dubai
and desert trips, to schedule a desert
run together, or just to say hello.


Kitesurfing in Masirah
Words By: Wendy Couch
Photos By:

The first freestyle event was

held on the windswept island
of Masirah, off the coast of
Oman.The onset of the seasonal
monsoon flow over the summer months bringing consistently strong S-SW winds to the
region; and the island is blessed
with pristine flat water spots on
the western side, making it a
perfect location for a kitesurfing

Competitors from all over the Gulf

travelled to the Island to take part in the
regions first event and battle it out on the
water. The region was lucky enough to
once again have the financial backing and
support of HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Hamdan
Al Nayan, head of Emirates Kiteboarding
The one-day event was held at the
islands permanentkitesurf camp, with
the event itselforganised byHH Sheikh

Ahmed Bin Hamdan Al Nayan and Kiteboarding Oman with technical support of The camp is located
on the central western side of the island
with a huge expanse of shallow, flat water
and conditions were looking great.
Competitors showed their skill, pulling off big airs, rotations and handle

passes providing great viewing from the

beach. On behalf of all the competitors
and beachside onlookers its safe tosay
welook forward to returning next year!
1st Thomas Pujo (France)
2nd Kacper Szczesny (Poland)
3rd Philip Esser (Germany)
4th Osama Shihab (Jordan)
5th Issa Salim Alaamri (Oman)


Fly Fishing:

Words By: Jakob Andersen
Photos By: Robert Selfors and Torgeir Srensen

Fly fishing remote and

desolate rivers is incredibly
exciting, and if you go exploring
in the right places, you stand
the chance of experiencing some
exceptionally good fishing. Here
are some tips on how to arrange
your very own fly-fishing expedition into the wilderness.
It is no coincidence that the further you
deviate from the beaten paths, the better
trout fishing youre likely to find. Trout are
shy and spooky fish that place high demands on water quality, oxidation, cover,
passage and food resources, and additionally it has a low tolerance level when
it comes to fishing pressure and human
activity in general. As a result, it thrives in
areas where human activity is minimal and
where natures rhythm is undisturbed.
Bringing your fly rod with you on exploratory trips into the unknown far away
from modern societys ant-like hustle and
bustle is to go deep into the scenes of a
bygone world. It is a world where you can
let yourself be overwhelmed by a stark
pioneer feeling and where a welcome

sense of solitude intrudes in a deafening manner. It is a world where ones

humanity is intensely urgent and where
the senses come back alive again. And
its a world where the trout rise fearlessly
and uncritically to the surface and ingests
insects, just like its ancestors have done
for thousands of years - with the greatest
of abandon and naivet.
and seductive for the sole reason that the
waters you fish, have found their vigorous passageways through pristine and
wild nature. The fact that the fishing can
be magical is not really that surprising. It
is almost self-explanatory. Venturing into
the wilderness, however, is not without its
challenges and pitfalls. Everything is on
natures terms, and those terms arent for
the fainthearted. It takes adventurousness,
planning skills, courage and good health
to go on an adventure into the wilderness
but the experience is great!

RESEARCH is a fundamental part

of journeying into the wilderness and in
particularly if the trip is allocated to an
area of which you have very little previous knowledge. If you want to make the
most of your journey into the wilderness,
it is important to invest time and energy
in the preceding research work. First and
foremost, it is important to select an area
and a body of water, where it is possible
to find some exceptional fishing. It may
be an area that has a reputation for providing good fishing, a river that produces
promising and persistent rumours, or a
body of water that is interesting because
of its remote and untouched character.
Once you have chosen your destination, it is important to seek all relevant
information about the place, transport,
season, terrain and weather conditions,
etc. In this context, the internet is an
indispensable tool. Particularly Google
Earth is worth spending time on, and
the same is online card services such as,
for instance, Norway Kart: kart.statkart.
no. Here you can get a good idea of the
terrain, the distances involved and more


specifically the topography of the river

or lake you plan to fish. This information
provides a good starting point in relation
to future planning in general, including
where to set up camp.
With regards to the internet, there are
also forums where you can seek assistance. There is always someone who has
intelligence, advice and tips in relation
to the water youre planning on fishing.
Either because they have fished there,
because they know someone who has, or
because they have been fishing equivalent waters. The more uncertainty you
tackle and deal with in advance and the
more detailed you can be in your final
planning stages, the more likely you are
to avoid unpleasant surprises and instead
have a fantastic experience.

TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS are available for almost all areas in the wilderness,
and they can be good to study in greater
detail in advance. They can be ordered
online, for example at or and they
rarely cost more than 30 to 40 EUR. If you
want to hike into a certain area, they are
indispensable; otherwise they provide a
good overview of what the alternative opportunities for fishing are once you have
reached your destination. For instance,
there might be some tributaries or lakes
that would be relevant to explore. Surprisingly, often these hold exciting surprises.
THE LOGISTICS involved when
travelling into the wilderness is a story in
and of itself. Especially in our time and

age where time is a scarce resource. A

general rule is to get to your final destination as quickly as possible, no matter the
means of transportation. The first part of
the journey is to a place that provides a
good entry-point in relation to the further
way into the wilderness. If, for instance,
youll be hiking, it is important to find
an entry point from which the hiking is
minimally strenuous, complicated and
time-consuming. The wilderness is largely
characterised by the absence of civilised
infrastructure, including viable roads and
trails, and as a result making the right
choices in terms of transportation is pivotal. Many places can be reached on foot,
while others are out of reach unless you
have motorised means of transportation
especially if you have limited amounts of
time available.
HIKING is an exciting and often
breathtakingly beautiful way to reach your
fishing grounds. In addition to a reasonable sense of organisation, a compass, or
a good GPS unit, and some basic sense of
direction, hiking also requires careful consideration in relation to ones shape and
walking speed, the terrain and distance. It
is important to be aware that hiking with
a heavy pack on uneven and often hilly
terrain requires good physical shape. If
you are not in good shape to begin with,
you should train with a backpack prior to
the trip, otherwise you should consider
another solution. With 30 kilos on your
back you shouldnt expect to walk more
than five kilometres per hour and generally it is probably better to count on three
or four kilometres (including breaks). Also,
you must be careful with planning on hiking for more than eight hours a day. That
amounts to somewhere between 25 and
If you dont have the time, condition or
patience to hike, there are, fortunately,
other alternatives. In areas with relatively
accessible terrain for instance the barren
regions of northern Norway, where the
Sami keep primitive trails you might
consider renting an ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) and drive out to the fishing grounds
on them. It usually costs around 130
EUR per day. They are incredibly sturdy,
versatile and, last but not least, fun! And
they can easily cross small streams, mountain ridges and swampy terrain with two
people on them. Furthermore, if you need
to carry large amounts of equipment, you
can rent a trailer.
Be sure to always check with local
authorities before you plan to make use of
an ATV to reach your ultimate goal or ask
the ATV rental service. Not all planning
can be based solely on studying topographic maps! Nature is capricious, and
a prolonged period of precipitation prior
to the trip, may for instance prevent an
otherwise realistic ATV route.
time-efficient way to transport you to


the fishing grounds, but it is also a very

costly affair. The flight can cost anywhere
from 1,000 to 2,000 EUR for a return fair
depending on how far the flight is. Its
obviously a lot of money, but with a flight
speed of somewhere between 200 and
230km/h a helicopter quickly carries one
far into the wilderness. And if youre a
group of people planning on flying out together for example, three or four good
friends you can, dramatically reduce the
cost per person. Somewhere between 300
and 500 EUR should be realistic.


wilderness fishing is a whole chapter
in itself. The same is the art of packing
so youre limited to all the necessities.
Regardless of how you intend to reach the
fishing grounds, it is extremely important
that your entire equipment setup is well
thought through. Especially if youre hiking! Here, you need to remember that
there are upper physical limits to what you
can carry.
First and foremost, when it comes to
hiking, its important to acquire some
good sweat transporting clothing, a pair
of durable trekking trousers, some durable hiking boots and not least a roomy
backpack with good adjustability and
comfort. Especially, if you plan on a long
hike, it is essential to have good equipment. Otherwise, youll risk getting repetitive strain injuries and break your neck
off the hike out. Secondly, it is important
to break in all the equipment before
heading into the wilderness. In this way,
youll get familiar with the adjustment options of your backpack, and your back will
get adjusted to the key load and strain
areas. Also, make sure that your boots
dont gnaw and cause blisters and that
your clothes dont wear the skin. Its too
late to find this out when you suddenly
find yourself standing out there in the
middle of nowhere with many kilometres
still to go. When it comes to hiking boots,
remember also that a few good, tight and
relatively thick hiking socks in wool are
important. Nothing generates blisters, like
a pair of socks that are a little too loose
and tend to fold. No pair of hiking boots
can compensate for that.





tions. It is important to be prepared for

this! Otherwise, the trip will be something
close to unbearable.

CAMP EQUIPMENT is essential

for comfort when not fishing. If youre a
group traveling together, a large mess
tent or lavo is great to bring along. Here
you can keep all the simple gear of practical value all the food items, powder
soups, pasta, rice, canning products, the
air-dried meats and spices. There is also
room for all cooking and camping equipment the water containers, the Trangia
stove, the pots, the rubbing alcohol,
the aluminum foil, dishes, somber, toilet
paper, field shovel and axe. Also, if sitting
outdoors should be hampered by rain or
heavy amounts of mosquitoes or knot,
you can find hiding in here. If you hike
into the wilderness and if youre in an
area with tree

growth you could even

consider bringing a tarpaulin and buckle it
up so you can sit together underneath it.
Just keep in mind that there are limits to
what you can physically carry with you.
When it comes to gear, a good lightweight tent with a warm and comfortable
sleeping bag and a cushioning sleeping
mat is absolutely essential. The common
denominator for all this equipment is that
it should weigh as little as possible and
take up as little space as possible when it
is packed away. On that note, you might
even consider sharing tents two and two
to reduce the total amount of equipment.
Also, when it comes to tents, make sure
you bring along tents that are easy to set
up, and that can withstand a lot of wear,
weather and winds.
Besides the camping equipment its
important to remember personal hygiene
products. Here, for example, a toothbrush
and some toothpaste are essential, and
the same goes for a towel and some mild
disinfection alcohol. A lip balm is also
great to bring for chapped and dry lips,
and in case the sun ends up beaming relentlessly from a cloudless sky, sunscreen
is important to have for exposed body
IN TERMS OF COMFORT a mosquito net and a good mosquito repellent
is often essential preferably with as much
Deet or PMD permitted. (US622 and
Mygga Natural have both been tested to
be among the very best mosquito repellents on the market).
By now there is also clothing made
out of insect repellent fabric for example
Scierras BuzzX clothing range, and these
may be worth looking into. Especially
mosquitoes and midges can be tremendously troublesome, and in the wilderness, they can occur in scary concentra-



SAFETY is an urgent matter when fishing in the wilderness, and here common
sense applies. First, one should always
inform the outside world about where exactly youre intending to go and how long
you plan on being away. Secondly, you
should never travel alone in the wilderness. In the event that you get into an accident or become ill, its essential to have
a partner who can come to the rescue or
ensure that the necessary assistance is
being summoned.
A first aid kit containing all the most
basic things for injury-related emergency
care is an essential part of the pack too.
They are available at the pharmacy, and
they usually also contain remedies for
treating non-life threatening injuries
such as wounds and blisters. Add some
Compeed patches to the mix and youre
good to go.
A GPS unit that you are comfortably
trained to use, is also a good precautionary pack item. It enables you to find your
way back to civilisation, no matter where
you happen to end up. In the same category is the satellite phone which typically
also includes a GPS unit. It is dispensable
for short trips into areas where there is
mobile coverage, but if youre heading
into an area that is totally cut off from
the outside world, and the way back is
lengthy and complicated, the satellite
phone is a necessary precaution. It retrieves signals from satellites and thus can
be used independently of ordinary masts.
The phones and talk times are quite costly
though. A satellite phone costs from 650
EUR and minute prices are about 1 EUR.
EQUIPMENT, the subtle art of limitation applies too. It is important to pack
the most necessary gear only, and this
requires a good overview. When it comes
to fly rods multi-section travel fly rods are
preferable and dont forget to bring a few
backup rods, in case of an accident. You
should also consider bringing a spare fly
reel with an extra fly line. It is an unbearable thought to have your wilderness
fishing ruined because you suddenly have
no functional gear left to fish with.
Typically, #4-6 fly rods are universally
applicable for wilderness fishing. Here,
imitational fishing with nymphs and dry
flies is the primary activity. Just dont
forget that a bushy streamer can be the

recipe for luring one of the monsters,

particularly in the late evening hours when
the shadows become long and diffuse.
Flies dont take up a lot of space, and
they hardly weigh a thing so you shouldnt
skimp on them when packing. The
hatches can be complex and versatile; the
fish selective. Therefore, it pays to have
fly boxes filled to the brim with different
imitations of the most abundant species
of aquatic insects in the wilderness: gammarus, mayflies, caddis flies, stoneflies
and a variety of different land insects such
as flying ants, beetles and crane flies.
Also remember that its good to have a
few samples of each fly, but its far more
important to have a wide selection. You
never know what kind of hatches youre
going to encounter. For the same reason,
it can be really good if your packing
space permits it to bring along some
universally applicable fly tying materials: a
fly tying vise, basic tools, hooks, dubbing,
foam and hackles. This way you can always compensate for unforeseen hatching
by tying some impromptu imitations.
Besides the basic fly fishing equipment
and all the flies, you should note the
following on your packing list: leaders,
tippet material (0.10 - 0.25mm), strike
indicators, fly floatant, clippers, pliers and
a landing net (there are several folding
In addition comes the fishing apparel:
the obligatory breathable waders, (a
pin hole repair kit) and a pair of wading
boots. Furthermore, sweat-transporting
underwear (for wading in cold water), a
lightweight rain or wading jacket, a fly
west, a cap and a pair of polaroid sunglasses are great to bring.
Also, dont forget to bring your camera.
Plenty of memorable, beautiful and
breath-taking experiences await you out
there and they are great to capture and
perpetuate. Moreover, it is always nice
to have a picture of that hard-fighting,
colourful and beautifully spotted trophy
trout you might end up catching.


Thailand off the

beaten track
Words + Photos By: Vanda Turcerova

Along came a trip

Together with other media

in the UAE and the region, we
have been invited by the Tourism
Authority of Thailand to experience The Kingdom of Thailand
from a different angle. The beaten tracks of Bangkok, Phuket
and Samui are well-documented
and its busy markets, dollar-amassage right on the beaches
and amazing bar with that associated love life are explored by
so many that they became, dare
I say, tedious.
The Tourism Board of Thailand has put
together a Fam trip that covered Middle East and Asia, bringing together 900
media representatives, 30 from each of
their 30 regional offices, to taste, feel and
live the amazing land of Siam where much
is yet to be discovered.

Tourist in Thailand

The western world discovered Thailand

for the purpose of tourism majorly in the
second half of last century. As soon as
Europe was back on its financial feet after
the devastating war times of its first half,
coupled with modernisation, boom of
air travel and travel in general, Thailand
fell into prominence as a chosen destination. It was hardly surprising because
the weather, exotic food, abundance of
variety in everything all made it into the
marvelous stories of travelled lands as the
cold set in around Atlantic shores months

later after summer. Then hippies followed,

flower-powering over to the rich land and
relatively unexplored locations where
many settled down. Thailand welcomed
them all and over the years and has been
welcoming many back again. The main
holiday spots are very well-known to the
world and a typical traveler would have
not only ticked this country on his travel
bucket list, he would have its name written down a few times as it is impossible to
experience its true beauty in one trip.
But what is it that makes people return?
What magic does the land, the climate, or
the food have that made travelers realise,
after a week or so into their trip, that they
have not explored enough and barely
touched the richness of its offerings?
How is it possible that after six days, four
flights, a four-hour trek, five shopping
trips, countless meals and massages, as I
recollected this trip, I am humbly admitting that I have merely opened the door,
but havent fully stepped into Thailands
wonders? There is too much to learn and
too little time to do so. That is one secret.
The other one? It starts with the people,
of course. Thai people are one of the
simplest, happiest and most non-confrontational nation you will encounter. Perhaps
it is because they have never experienced
servitude under anothers rule. Perhaps
it is because they are land people; in
abundance of natural resources, one does
not need to push its power over others, or
envy a neighbour. Whatever it is, it works.
Everyone you meet, you can engage into
a conversation. Thai people welcome
visitors with open arms; however, be
courteous and respectful, observe others
behaviour, learn a few phrases it will get
you a long way. A word on bargaining,
Made in Thailand products are already
dirt cheap, so dont be the obnoxious
tourist, pay your price and start haggling
when you consider buying over four of
the same or similar item. That works and
anything more you end up looking cheap

Bangkok, Chiang Mai and

off to the woods

We only had one night in Bangkok. After

a quick check-in at the uber-luxurious
LeBua City Tower near Silom Road, we explored its roof top bar The Dome, famous
for being the location of filming Hangover
II while gazing at the panorama of the
city. It is amazing, seeing the busy streets
filled with people, and so many of them.
Bangkok is roughly three times bigger in
square kilometres than Dubai. Relatively
flat and spreading over your horizon, river
floating through, humid, overcast, sticky,
wonderful and full of life. One night market shopping spree later, we hopped on a
plane the next day heading out to our real
destination, Chiang Mai province, and the
true purpose of our trip which is the Royal
Project excursion and the experience of
community-based tourism right in the rich
lands of northern Thailand.
Chiang Mai is the gateway to the
northern part of the country. Our arrival
was met with unusual hot afternoon that is
rare during rainy season in this part of the
country. However, we received our share
of blitz thunderstorm lasting well into the
night. Asian trading culture is ever-present: stalls with various knick-knacks

are spilling on every street corner, selling

mostly fabrics of any shape and kind,
souvenirs, surprisingly handy weapons
usable in your regular street fight, natural
products such as soaps, massage oils and
anything Muai Thai related. Thais are very
proud of their sport and sports clubs offer
round-the-clock training for anyone who
is up for it.
We were welcomed into our program
with a reception and explanation of what
the community-based tourism is all about.
In brief, we were about to experience
traditional ways of life deep in the forests
of Chiang Mai. This was not going to be a
sightseeing tour from a luxurious vehicle.
This was a serious program 20 years in
making; joining 65 communities aimed at
providing better life to the locals as well
as initiative to bring tourists face-to-face
and hand-to-hand with the real local life,
away from Pattayas fun city. Most of us
have not heard of the possibility to stay
a night with a local family, brew coffee in
rustic outdoor makeshift kitchen or tend
rice fields and we couldnt wait to get on
the way. Early morning, we boarded a bus
and headed out of the city en route to the
Doi Inthanon National Park.
As soon as we left the city, absolute
greenery enveloped us all the way for the
next two hours. We passed villages, fields
of vegetables, and the further we drove,
the more we learned about the land
from our guides. His Majesty the King of
Thailand has been and continues to be a
true king to his country and the people
through the constant involvement in every
aspect of the nations life. Building on
his forefathers political achievements,
Thailand is a proud land that has not
been under anothers rule throughout the
modern history. Sacrifices and current af-

fairs aside, it has enjoyed a relative peace

since becoming Thailand (free land) from
the great kingdom of Siam. And it is here
to stay.
Our one stop before the Royal Project
dock-off was at the highest peak situated right in the Doi Inthanon Park at
2,565 meters; we were geologically at
the foothills of the Himalayas. Exploring this sanctuary of Mother Nature, the
rare species of flora and fauna share this
stunning scenery, tumbling waterfalls and
dramatic landscapes. Just as we arrived,
we were greeted by a drizzle and an occasional rain on our scenic trail through the
rhododendrons, wild orchids, mosses and
lichens. The mist was pouring down from
the clouds impaled on the peaks around
us, adding to the mystery and almost
sacred enchantment of this ensemble
of nature. Then there are the elephant
statues marking the entrance to the trail,
as well as a memorial shrine built in 1915
and rebuilt in 1986, where the ashes of
Inthanon, the seventh ruling prince of
Chiang Mai, are laid.

The Royal Project

Departing from the quick trail adventure,

we arrived shortly at the Royal Project
main station for lunch before heading out
on a four-hour inspection of the Royal
Agricultural Station Inthanon, which is his
Majesty the Kings personal project for
eliminating opium growing. Established
in 1979, the station serves as a research
centre for a wide variety of temperate vegetables and fruits, including the
promotion of the highland sherries, in
order to develop the livelihood of the hill
tribe farmers. It also serves as a centre
to disseminate knowledge and innovation derived from the research of the
sustainable highland farming to the other
regions. The agricultural research area in
the station includes seven villages that the
station is responsible for, the hill tribes of
Hmong and Karen.
Prior to 1979, the highlands of Thailand
were a very different place to what they
have become today. Farmers, uneducated
and with limited resources, have taken up
opium as the main crop of choice and in
the process. Again through little knowledge, they proceeded to burn forests to
make room for more farmland, unfortunately finding out not a great fertile land
and destroying the nature while at it. This
was a huge problem because the produce
is illegal, export was easily facilitated
through natural border with Laos and
Cambodia and the slow but steady dimin-

ishing of Thailands forests. His Majesty

set up and financed this project to enforce
knowledge, strengthen the sustainable
agricultural industry and increase the
standard of life for hill tribes. It took 10
years for the first crops of decent value
to be packaged and ever since then, the
royal seal can be seen on such products
on the shelves of local supermarkets.
The stations research compound
comprises of numerous sections divided
by the nature of the subject. We were first
shown the fruits and vegetables section
along with the animal reservation and
research compounds. Imagine greenhouse-like rows of salad leaves, capsicum,
tomatoes and others neatly planted on
soil molds, table top high, to facilitate
close observation, sample study and
scientific monitoring. This is the natures
lab with human assistance and the professors we met all explained enthusiastically
about their majors on this project. Ever
since its establishment, the knowledge
was observed and trial-and-error tested
rather than read from a book and applied
to guarantee results. Notice boards with
useful hints and how-to instructions were
practically the manuals for the workers
here, further demonstrating the fact that
knowledge is hard earned for everyone
involved in this oasis of bearing. It was
like Mother Nature giving constant birth
to beautiful edible offsprings with full staff
of doctors acting as assistants witnessing
this miracle.
Atlantic sturgeons, nowhere near their
natural habitats, swam right at our feet
in made ponds, more of them in close
observatory tanks serving for breeding. Besides the obvious purpose, some
animals were here for preservation in
avoidance of extinction, such as certain
species of frogs and turtles. All of this
was nestled in the natural surroundings
of the Doi Inthanon National Park, a true
natural project. As we passed through the
various fresh produce farms, we got to


sample various fruits and picked our salad

ingredients for a cooking class scheduled
for later that day.
Besides the edible elements on display,
we had a peek at the cultivation station
of the beautiful roses and orchids among
others. Thailand is the worlds second
largest fresh cut flowers exporter in the
world, beaten only by Holland. At the
recent Arabian Travel Market, all of the
flowers for Thailands display were flown
in from here, each individual flower preserved with its own water capsule to reach
Dubai at its freshest possible. We learned
how to rate roses by the health and length
of the stem and the ones called Extra,
with over 70cm stem length, travel daily
to the royal palace to His Majesty the
King. Such is the love and respect for its
Overwhelmed and tired from the trip of
the day, we walked through a masterpiece
of botanical landscaping leading to the
main building of the station. Ponds with
curious swans, picturesque seating arrangements along the walkway and scenic
lookout spots led the way to our overnight accommodation that was a pleasant
surprise with its traditional arrangements
and modern technology WiFi, finally!
We managed to chop up a pretty
decent Thai-style salad under the instructions and demonstration of resident
Iron Chef while he was busy cooking a
traditional Thai curry to our tummies
much enjoyment. As the day bid farewell,
all I remember was the constant buzz of
crickets and the freshest air I breathed in
a long time before it knocked me out into
the next morning.

possibility actually happening. Such city

boys and girls we were! Nevertheless, we
suited up like the Avengers and set out
for a hike. The forest was humid and fresh,
easy trail to start off with flowers along
the way and mushrooms just popping
out from everywhere. Our hike started
easy enough, and as we were nearing
waterfalls by the sound of it, the slightly
difficult sections on our way were lined up
by bamboo rails and makeshift wooden
stairs in the rich a moist soil. A short walk
and out of the tall trees, a curtain of fresh
cool water rushing from the top of the
mountain greeted us, the Pha Dok Siew
Waterfall. The power of nature was very
present throughout our hours-long trek,
and our path mirrored that of the cascading river. Here and there we stopped and
waited for each other, offering helping
hand where needed as the wet conditions
were proving tricky for some with flipflops and slippery trainers. The occasional
drizzle was very enjoyable as we passed
through decades-old tall trees disturbed
only by a plenty of clearings overlooking
the scenic rice paddies stretching in front
of our eyes.
Four hours later, we have reached our
destination on the morning the Mae
Klang Luang village. It is a picturesque
place surrounded by spectacular rice
terraces often used in film sets. Although
clearly with elements of modern world
(WiFi, again), the village is very much
kept to itself. Its people originate from
Burma whose ancestors settled here
around 200 years ago. They are farmers
and often wear traditional attires handmade from scratch all around this region,
in bright red colours. Short and stocky
because of their work tending fields, they
were very friendly and let us, the tourists,
take photos and peek into their daily
We also got the chance to explore a
traditional hill village where home stay
is provided for. All houses stand on tall
pillars. It is so that farm animals such as
chicken and pigs along with dogs have
a place under the house, as well as a
kitchen and extended storage space
being available. Above the pillars stands
the actual house and thats all it is no
store room, no halls, no bed frames one
room serves as the main living room area
and another one is laid out with mat-


tresses which serves as sleeping quarters.

Tourists who chose home stay live with
the family and work during the day in the
fields, or doing chores such as preparing
food, coffee, and perhaps joining in crafts
and clothes making as per experience.
Overall, we were reminded of the humble
life and passing of it in this sleepy gem of
Short drive away we were shown an
upgraded version for the eco tourist
Phamon villages pink house. Overlooking
the serene rice fields, this was a modern
version of the rural home stay with slightly
more comfortable living quarters, pretty
finishes on the basic stone and cementclad house with terrace and hammockequipped patio. I fell asleep for a short
while right there, awaken by someone
pointing at the fattest, yellowest caterpillar I have ever seen, strolling on the tiles
next to me. Such is life here.
As afternoon set in, we departed from
Phamon village and headed back to town
to prepare to leave the next day. A muchneeded massage at the famous Oasis
Spa awaited us upon our arrival to Chiang
Mai before we boarded a plane back to
Bangkok and eventually to Dubai.


Disconnected from the modern world,

our short while in nature is the real inland
Thailand experience; where in you realise
you dont really need a bigger car, or the
fifth manicure of the month, or another
coffee morning in some caf on Jumeirah
road. All you need is to reset your brain
right here for a week and youll come
to discover a new you. Mind you, I may
have become slightly addicted to the
massages seemingly offered everywhere
in the main cities of Bangkok and Chiang
Mai but as I kept telling myself, I really,
really deserved it!

Community-based tourism

Bright and early the next day, we made

preparations to trek to the Mae Klang
Luang village along National Trail. As it
was pretty much raining from the moment
we set foot out of Chiang Mai, we were
given ridiculously looking high over-socks
as guards against possible leeches which
made some screech in horror of that




The Honey Badger

Episode 4: Africas final frontier
Lake Turkana into the Omo Valley


After a fairly straightforward

border crossing in Omorati we headed
east to Turmi. This is home to the
Hammer Tribe which is famous for
its bull-jumping wedding ceremonies.
There are a few camping options and
we started at Kasse which, despite an
impressive selection of mangoes, had
fairly unpleasant loos. We moved on to
Jurka lodge and paid 2.50 USD more
for much better facilities and a decent
Hungry after a long days drive we
decided to sample the local cuisine. The
injera wok is a large Ethiopian pancake
that is used as a plate similar in diametre
to a bicycle wheel, about 5mm thick and
sponge-like in texture. It comes with a variety of meat, vegetables and a boiled egg
and the unusual combination of spices and
colours was unlike anything we had ever
tried before. We quickly learnt that injera
is normally shared between two or three
people, and even James (a reputedly fussy
eater) enjoyed it.
After a thoroughly enjoyable convoy up
Lake Turkana, Frikkie and Fiona set off to
Konso without us the following morning
whilst we stayed to take a closer look at

the fascinating array of tribes in the region.

The National Geographic refers to this as
Africas Last Frontier. We started by exploring the Monday market in Turmi which
is hosted by the Hammer Tribe, a friendly
and fascinating people. We were initially
struck by their apparently red skin and hair.
A closer look showed that this was a layer
of clay which is used as a sort of makeup
which we had also seen amongst the tribes
around Lake Turkana. It also gives off an
earthy smell which seems to be typical of
the tribes around Turkana and the Omo
After politely declining a taste of the
local homebrew, but picking up some
bracelets for Mira which were made out
of 7.62mm AK47 rounds (worn by almost
all members of the tribe) we left Turmi for
Jinka. We stopped for lunch in a dry river

bed and before long a group of Hammer

women and children turned up to investigate. Once James had collected himself,
having seen more bare chested women in
one morning than the rest of his life put
together, we took the opportunity for a
few photos. Within a few minutes an older
lady arrived demanding Birr, the Ethiopian
currency, so we offered what we had and
moved on.


With the exception of a rather odd road

network, the only interesting thing about
Jinka is that it is the launch pad for trips
into the Omo Valley to meet the incredible
mix of diverse tribes in the area. Despite
being the low season for tourism, we were
lucky to arrive just before the Mursi Bodi
tribes selection of their new leader. James
was delighted to hear that the sole criterion
for selection as the tribal leader was to
be the fattest man in the village. So, after
some negotiation with the local guide, we
agreed on a two-day excursion to meet the
Mursi tribe then see the Bodi festival the
next day.
We arrived earlier than expected at one
of the furthest Mursi villages in the Mago
National Park. The Mursi are a particularly
unusual tribe because of the lip plates that
many of the women chose to wear. Starting
with a small cut to the lower lip when they
reach puberty, their lips are progressively
stretched by wooden plates reaching 10
in diametre. As a result their main interaction with westerners is on the sharp end
of flashing tourist camera lenses. This has
understandably made them fairly direct
and demanding of money for every shot.
In fact, 5 birr (about 0.30 USD) per person
per photo is the going rate. Most tourists
turn up, snap, get hassled, pay up, get annoyed/harassed and leave. Thankfully our
guide was keen to change the new stigma
surrounding the tribe and encouraged us
to take a different approach. Arriving early
and leaving the cameras in the car for the
first couple of hours meant that there were
no photos or cash involved when we met
everyone in the village. We were made
very welcome and managed some surprisingly detailed conversations through body
language and some amusing gesticulation.
They offered us an incredibly spicy coffee
which we tried to enjoy. Mira was encouraged to munch on some salt to help the
coffee/chilly combination go down. After
several grams she gave up. Having been
shown around the village, we finally got
our cameras and took photos of our new
friends. We gladly paid for each shot, and
although they were still vying to get in
every picture, we saw nothing of the brash
intimidation that we had heard of in Jinka.

On our way back to Jinka our guide,

Mamo, received a phone call about a Hammer Tribe jumping of the bull ceremony
that afternoon. This is the part of the wedding ceremony which follows the beating
of the wife-to-be. The woman is literally
flogged to demonstrate her loyalty to her
future husband. The scars where the flesh
have been torn on their backs are clearly
visible. We decided to head back to Turmi
for the bull jumping part (only) and we
had to rush out of the park through some
relatively deep rivers to get there.
Our journey was interrupted by a grinding bang, followed by the front wheels
locking up and bringing us to an abrupt
stop from about 100kph. After 20 minutes
of poking about the disc brakes, Mamo
managed to find a mechanic who pointed
out that the problem was with the front
differential. After unlocking the front wheels
we limped to his workshop in 2WD to
take a closer look. Five hours later, having
been introduced to an impressive selection
of homemade tools and literally putting
the front diff on a fire, we discovered that
the pinion and ring gears in the front had
been completely chewed up. Not a job for
homemade tools, we headed to the nearest Toyota dealer 600km away in Awassa.
Ten exhausting and frustrating hours
later, we arrived only to realise that they
were closed on Saturdays, and obviously
Sundays too. We decided to nurse our
emotional wounds in the fairly comfortable
Haile Resort for a few nights. A comfortable bed, shelter from the rain, and internet
access (albeit intermittent and very slow)
made a world of a difference.
On Monday, we discovered that the
only replacement parts in the country were
in Addis Ababa, so we booked in to the


Moenco (Toyota Dealer) headquarters for

Tuesday. A cool 1,000 USD later (literally for
two metal cogs) the repair was postponed
and we had to wait until Wednesday to get
into the workshop for the additional 800
USD in labour and ancillary parts.
To the initial annoyance of the foreman,
James insisted on being present for the
repair because all of our worldly belongings were in the car. The repair took a full
day and James now considers himself a
fully qualified mechanic, albeit only for front
diffs. However, everyone from car enthusiasts, bloggers and Toyota mechanics
has been baffled by the damage. Perhaps
water was sucked into the diff during the
river crossings? The breather was checked
and is working fine. Maybe not enough oil?
This was only changed two months before,
however, and the rear diff oil is still good.
Maybe a fault in the pinion gear from the
factory, which eventually broke off after the
rough driving up Lake Turkana? We have
no idea, but hope it doesnt happen again
and would be glad to hear your thoughts.
A key part of Mira and James trip is
fundraising and volunteer work. If you are
interested in helping them to achieve their
target and make a difference to African
communities and wildlife, please spread
the word or donate using the following
To donate:
If you would like to follow their journey
through Africa and see more photos,
recordings and videos:
Facebook page:
Instagram: @thehoneybadgerdiaries


Table Mountain

Kitesurfing at Blouberg Strand

Wolfberg Arch in the Cederberg

Travel to South Africa

Unique outdoor adventures in Cape Town and the Western Cape
Words By: Eulogy van Dyk
Photos Supplied By: Wesgro, Cape Town and Western Cape Tourism, Trade and Investment

Home of Africas most visited

city, Cape Town, and home of
one of the New7Wonders of Nature, Table Mountain, makes it
easy to agree why the Western
Cape in South Africa must be
on all travelers bucket list that
loves the outdoors.
The Western Cape is South Aricas
fourth-largest province and extends from
the Cape of Good Hope 400km north
and 500km east. It is best known for Cape
Town, South Africas Mother City, with
its beautiful beaches, majestic mountains
and green vegetation among many other
Table Mountain and Robben Island is
Cape Towns most famous landmarks.
Towering 1,086m above sea level a short
cable car trip takes you to the top of this
flat-topped mountain. It is the perfect
way to orientate yourself on your first
trip to the city. On a clear day at the top,
you should be able to see Robben Island
in Table Bay, the place where former

president Nelson Mandela was once held

prisoner. It is possible to visit both these
sites in one day.
But the magic and outdoors adventure
of the Western Cape does not stop here.
It is a diverse region and you need to give
yourself at least one week to explore,
however a two-week trip or longer is
definitely recommended. One can divide
the province into six different regions where
activities on land, mountains, water or air
can be experienced:
Cape West Coast: home to the West
Coast National Park, famous for birds and
spring flowers (in late August and September)
Cape Winelands: apart from being one
of the most scenic Winelands in the world
that will keep your taste buds happy for
days, the area also has a large selection of
adventure activities that will chase up the
heart rate.
Cape Overberg: an area of contrasts and
wonder, with splendid coastal vistas and
rugged mountain ranges. When it comes to
shark cage diving, this is the place to be!
Cape Garden Route and Klein Karoo:
where the scenic beauty and adventure

meets. From paragliding, scuba diving,

deep sea fishing, caving, mountain biking
and sand boarding this is just a few activities that adventure enthusiasts can sink
their teeth into.
Cape Karoo: an unspoiled landscape and
a perfect backdrop for adventure activities such as quad biking, 4 x 4 routes and
mountain biking.
Cape Town: for all your adventure needs!

Where to start and what to do?

With the region being quite big and with

so much to offer, we have handpicked a
few unique adventures activities in Cape
Town and the Western Cape, which we can
recommend when you plan your next travel

Abseil down Table Mountain

If you dare, step off the top at 1,086m

above sea level and abseil down the worlds
highest commercial abseil allowing you
awesome views of the city of Cape Town,
Chapmans Peak and the deep blue Atlantic
of the Camps Bay and Clifton coastline.
For more information:

Zipline adventures in Ceres

Crocodile cage diving in Oudtshoorn


Berg River Canoe Marathon

Underground City Centre tours

Wanting something unique to do, why not tour the

underground tunnels of Cape Towns City Centre for
a unique experience beneath the buzzing city. During
the early days of Little Amsterdam as Cape Town was
commonly known, canals and rivers instead of highways
and interchanges, acted as routes of travel. Today these
historic canals with their impressive architecture convey
the sweet waters of Table Mountain and some spring
water into the ocean. This is a thrilling experience and will
leave you feeling inspired and you will see Cape Town in a
new light as you go on this historic underground tour. For
more information:

Shark cage diving

Only a two-hour drive from Cape Town you will find the
Great White Shark Capital of the World. Shark cage diving
takes adventurous to a whole new level! The activity is
focused 12km out to sea on Dyer Island, and in particular
a narrow channel between this and Geyser rock known
as Shark Alley. Dyer Island supports a large population of
Cape Fur Seals, which attracts large numbers of sharks.
For more information:

Crocodile cage diving

Not only can you shark cage dive, but also crocodile cage
dive with Nile Crocodiles in Oudtshoorn, part of the Klein
Karoo region. Experience the ultimate close encounter
with an ancient predator at the Cango Wildlife Ranch.
The cages are specially built to withstand the incredible
pressure of these ancient reptiles and visitors who dare
have an up close and personal encounter in their natural
habitat. For more information:

Seal snorkelling

Snorkel with Cape Fur seals in their natural habitat in

Cape Town. Drop into the cool Atlantic Ocean and swim
with hundreds of playful seals that will surround you in an
instant. This half-day excursion will allow you to interact
with these friendly creatures and will definitely be one of
the highlights when visiting Cape Town and the Western
Cape. For more information:

Bungee jumping

Looking for the ultimate thrill? Then why not jump off
the worlds highest (commercial) bungee bridge, 216m
above the ground, at Bloukrans Bridge near to the coastal
town of Plettenberg Bay. A short walk along a specially
designed catwalk, which is suspended beneath the road
surface, leads you to the top of the arch where your final
countdown begins! For more information:
Need we say more? Come and visit the Rainbow Nation
of South Africa and explore the diverse region of the
Western Cape where the mountains meet the sea.
For more tourism information, visit:


Table Mountain

Average direct flight price from the UAE to Cape Town:
+/- 4,500-5,500 AED (round trip)
Average traveling time: +/- 9h35m (non stop, one way)
Summer: Mid October to mid February
Autumn: February to April
Winter: May to July
Spring: August to October
* Depending on what you are planning to do it is worth planning your
trip according to the season, which is the reverse of those in the northern hemisphere.
2 hours + Greenwich Mean Time
South Africa has 11 official languages, though most people can speak
English. Afrikaans and Xhosa are also widely spoken in Cape Town and
the Western Cape.
Depending on your nationality, and the purpose and duration of your
visit, you may not need a visa to visit South Africa. For more information,
visit the Department of Home Affairs website (
South Africa has a comprehensive road network that crosses kilometres
of beautiful countryside and makes driving a pleasure.
Car Rental: There are a number of car hire companies in Cape Town and
the Western Cape. Most companies are either represented at the main
airports including Cape Town International Airport and George Airport.
Taxis: Car taxis are generally the quickest and safest though most expensive way to travel around Cape Town.
Getting around by plane: Cape Town International airport is served
by direct flights from many countries, although some flights may first
touchdown in Johannesburg. Another airport for domestic travel in the
region is George Airport.
Bus: Greyhound, Intercape Mainliner and Translux are the three major
long haul bus companies in the Cape. On route they visit and stop at
most major towns in the Cape Province.
Sightseeing Bus: A topless bus that has pick up and drop off points
along Cape Towns most scenic attractions.
For more information visit:
LOCAL CURRENCY: South African Rand.




Words + Photos By: Will Pardoe

In three years of hitchhiking across the world, this is

perhaps my greatest adventure
of all. It was five days spent
hopping freight trains through
the Wild West; five days living
as the old-time American hobo;
five days survival in a post-apocalyptic world; five days escaping
from Nazi Germany. It was every
childs fantasy adventure; it was
beyond any fantasy I could have
dreamed as an adult.

The Vagabond

The zombie apocalypse team walks five

abreast along an empty, decrepit street on
the outskirts of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Houses lie overgrown, crumbling and forgotten. A dog barks in the distance. I have
found myself amongst a group of marauding train kids, living on the edge of society.
They have no taste for societys expectations, restrictions and monotony. Far away
from the hamster wheel of downtown, five
vagabonds tramp happily towards the rail
Walking beside me is Josh, the kingpin
of this apocalyptic posse he holds a book
that could have him arrested for treason;
a book that lays out the rail network in
explicit detail, transcribed by a rogue rail
engineer for the benefit of freight hoppers.
This ragged folder of photocopied sheets
can sell for a hundred dollars on the black

market. It is our ticket to Texas.

The sun sets as we crawl through a
fence and into the rail yard. Darkness is
our ally in this hostile place. The sickly
sweet smell of oil rises from the gravel as
we hunker down out of sight. The silence
of the yard is broken periodically by the
wrenching and clashing of metal. Huge
carriages are shunted about like tin cans
as they connect the trains. Get down!
bites Josh, as Brandon peers over the
parapet. We wait; darkness settles its
sinister cloak around us.
Suddenly, were running! Into the open,
under betraying floodlights, out across
the tracks and up to the looming mass of
locomotive. We climb the ladder, looking


Steve, Brandon, Emily and Josh

left and right for enemy eyes. This bucket

car is filled with scrap metal; it will have
to do. We find what comfortable spots
we can and lie low. Did they see us?
Again, we wait. Radio silence.
The train smells of iron. I can taste
it in my mouth like an old penny. The
industrial stench of old diesel sits in the
air. A fine layer of dust and soot covers
everything; hands are soon black.
The train yanks! An immense barrage,
the most powerful sound Ive ever heard,
blasts along the train as hundred tonne
cars are yanked into motion; a cascading
explosion of metal on metal and were
in it! A smile spreads across our faces.
Were moving!
Clunking, lurching and rattling, we roll
out of the yard and through a road-crossing. The bell chimes in the night, its red
light flashing across our faces.
It cant be that easy, comes Emilys
And with poetic tragedy, the brakes
scream and the train grinds slowly to
a hault. Have they seen us? The train
lurches again, back towards the yard. This
isnt good. We lay low.
Over the next hour we roll in and out of
the yard as more carriages are connected.
We are just bodies riding atop an unconscious beast, and we go wherever it goes.
Whether its even going where were
going is a mystery well know when we
get there.
Finally, we lurch into motion again. We
roll out of the yard, and keep rolling. This
is it! This is happening. The clunking and
clattering pick up pace. Energy is building; in this rugged machine and within
myself. I am now a part of the beast,
gathering speed. Wind whips around
us and the trees warp into a blur. As we
rumble along through the deserts of New
Mexico, I watch the stars. A shooting star
bursts from Orions sword. I reflect on the
most incredible day of my life.
Late in the night the rhythm slows as we
approach Belen. We lurch to a stop in the
middle of the Belen yard, twenty tracks
wide; the very heart of enemy territory. We
jump off the train, exposed like paratroopers landing into a foreign field. Lugging
our packs, we run over the rails and be-

tween stationary carriages, looking for patrols between each endless corridor before
darting to the next. If the trains move at
the wrong moment, we could end up under the wheels; between untold tonnes of
clamping metal. Finally we reach the other
side and duck behind an embankment. For
now, were safe behind enemy lines.
Guys, says Josh. Theres no more
water. He throws down the jug.
Wheres there any water around
here? I ask.
Only place is in the engine cars... Its
there for the engineers. Whos up for it?
Steve and I accept the mission. With
bandanas pulled up to our eyes, we jump
over the embankment and back into
hostile territory. We climb to the roof of a
carriage and look out across the yard. It
sprawls before us; endless trains dappled in an amber yellow light. We spot
the engines parked on the far side of the
yard, fully illuminated in floodlight. Like
commandos, we sneak between shadows,
evading the ATV patrols, until we see the
target ahead; orange locomotive engine
cars. Between us is an intimidating floodlit stretch of open ground.
Legging it back across no-mans-land,
we make it into the relative cover of the
parked trains. Steve and I split up. I make
towards the left cars, he takes the right.
As I draw close, I realise the ignition is on!
Is there someone inside? The windows
are too high to see through, and I cant
wait around out here in the floodlights.
Theres only one way to find out. I climb a
ladder, walk along a gangway and open
the heavy door.
Empty. No angry engineer who just
spilt his coffee, but no water either. Just
knobs, dials and paper clipboards. Slowly,
I make my way through the connecting
corridor into the next engine.
Nothing. To reach the next car I must
return to the floodlit gangway. There are
about twelve locomotives whirring away;
Steve is off searching the far engines...
Or has he been captured? I enter the
next car; a few bottles. I take a drink and
stash the rest. In car number five, I find
the motherload; a full case. So, we have
water! Now to rendezvous with Steve and
deliver the package.


Running and laughing, we make it

back into the relative cover of the parked
trains. There are still the patrols to get
past though. We jump between two carriages and are greeted by the sight of an
approaching ATV. Jumping through another train, were out of sight. He stops.
I can see his feet beneath the carriage.
Suddenly my legs are caught in his torch
beam run! We run along the rails making for the end of the yard where were
camped. Another ATV passes across the
tracks ahead of us, but in the darkness he
doesnt spot us. The water case collapses
and bottles spill everywhere. We scurry
to grab what we can. My bandana flies
off my face in the commotion. We run. A
pickup is approaching us in the distance.
We duck back over the embankment;
safe, we burst into laughter. What fun!
Thanksgiving morning greets us in our
sleeping bags. We make off towards town
for what Josh calls the best days busking of the year. Playing Wagon Wheel
outside Walmart, people present us with
plate-fulls of food, money and handfuls of
things I cant mention. Americans are in a
good mood on Thanksgiving. We return
to the yard well stocked and full bellied.
Josh flicks through the Crew Change
as we lay low in a ditch. To Amarillo, TX:
Take the second rails between 2:30 and
8:00pm. If it turns left, jump off youre
going to Phoenix it reads. We settle in
and wait... the group is soon asleep.
This is our train. Lets go! calls Josh in




the twilight. After hours of waiting, again

were running. This train is a high-priority
intermodal a high-speed inter-state
locomotive, hauling semi truck trailers.
We choose two that have wind guards we
can hide behind; Josh, Emily and I take
the front trailer, Steve and Brandon head
for a trailer two carriages behind.
An engineer passes, pressurising the
brakes of each car. The enemy! But he


doesnt see us. The train seems to prickle

with energy its about to leave, my body
knows it. I look at Josh; he knows it. We
share a grin - wanderlust has answered
our howls.
The train shunts forward. The rippling
shockwave is music to my ears; a climactic crescendo of iron and steel, biding our
departure. It cant be that easy, jokes
Emily. But it was, and we soon settled

in to the melodic, chaotic rhythm of the

journey. Chugging of the engine, wailing horns, shrieking wheels; a beautiful
orchestra playing as we rumble towards

Photo: Quincy Dein Rider: Kai Lenny

Photo: Quincy Dein Rider: Kai Lenny


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On holiday with my bike in Catalunya

Training in paradise
Words By: Sean James

I have a dream: clear skies

flecked with clouds, temperatures around 20C, quiet roads
lined by trees, B roads winding
through countryside, the smell
of olive, pines and cypresses,
never ending gradients of 5%
that twist and turn, surprise
vistas at the top of cols, ancient
villages rising out of the plains,
caf with strong coffee and
jamon baguettes. These are a
few of my favourite things. And
this is what I found on a recent
cycling holiday to Catalunya in
Northern Spain.
The area around Girona was made
infamous by Lance Armstrong and his training group. I hoped riding the same roads
for a week would also add a little extra to
my legs. If you think the hills in Hatta are
pretty good, the cycling in Catalunya is
paradise. An easy flight to Barcelona, direct
with Emirates and you are looking at the
sparkling Mediterranean with a backdrop of
green mountains.
Spain has always been a popular destination for the British. Good weather and plentiful entertainment and now it seems it also
has an enormous amount of quality biking
routes. The cycling holiday industry is not
small, about 3% of all tourists or 25million
people each year in Europe travel with the
purpose of cycling. Having said that, whilst
I was in Catalunya I only met four, so the
roads are pretty quiet here.
I was staying near Banyoles, about one

hour north of Barcelona in a restored Mas,

typical Spanish farmhouse. It was bought
by two expats in 2005 as a project and
lovingly restored with an eye to making a
living from training camps. Indeed many
big names regularly come here to prepare
including Karen Thibodeau, Pro Ironman
and Ashleigh Moolman Pasio, currently
10th in the UCI cycling rankings.
The dream of starting a cycle touring
company or a triathlon training camp is a
strong lure for many as a means to escaping modern life. Even before the impact of
the Olympics and Tour de France, couples
tired of the lack of stimulation in corporate
life had taken yoga, pilates or coaching
courses, bought derelict farmhouses in the
middle of the European countryside and
relocated their family.
The lifestyle is not for everyone. Total
strangers invading your home every week
is the least of your worries and to provide
a quality experience is hardwork from
demanding athletes, even harder. Having
to ride five hours every day with excitable
would-be superstars is equally demanding.
The area around Banyoles is a great base
and the population is sports mad. When I
was there the Tour de Catalan was in progress. Some Spanish villages can seem like
there is a permanent siesta but this place
has an energy. Only in places like Boulder,
Colorado have I felt more of a buzz for
training and outdoor activity. Everyone is
jogging, swimming, rowing or biking all day
long. The shops all stock healthy looking
vegetables, fruit and food. For those from
Dubai, there are also plenty of bike shops
in which to browse.
The list of strong Spanish cyclists and triathletes is long so there must be something
about this country that is good for training.
Maybe it is the high level of unemployment. 50% of its citizens between 19 to 45
years old do not have a job. A similar situation occurred in Sheffield in the UK back in
the 1980s when the mines closed. Looking
back, this was a blessing for Sheffield and
some of the most gifted, talented and
inspirational rock climbers were produced.
With the strength of Spanish athletes in
both triathlon and cycling it seems the
Spanish youth are taking every opportunity.
In a world where hyperbole is used way

too often, every ride I did in Catalunya

was the best ride ever. At breakfast in the
cavernous dining room, I would tell one of
the coaches and owners how far and what
type of ride I fancied that day. Other riders
from around the world shared where they
had been and what they had liked that
week. From across the table, Gareth or
Fiona, the owners and very highly qualified
coaches would email me a suitable .gps
file and that was it. The Garmin was ready
to go. The week that I was there I rode the
famous climb up to the Rocacorba. I rode
the most amazing coastal road I have ever
seen that twisted and turned through the
Parc Natural Cap De Creus past picture
perfect villages. I could never run out of
inspiration here.
Staying at a specialised base with qualified coaches and knowledge is a definite
benefit and you will get so much more out
of your time there. I managed nearly 700km
on the bike with a fair amount of running as
well, 70km. Returning each night to a spacious, comfortable HQ where I could have
a massage, a dip in the swimming pool or
an infrared sauna not only prepared me for
the next day but kept the body in top form.
I truly had a taste of what it is like to live the
life of a full time athlete.
I hope I can definitely return there. Both
the area and the welcome I received from
Mas Pelegri was amazing. Catalunya is so
cycle friendly and progressive in its outlook.
Look at the road signs that are everywhere.
Maybe the UAE could learn a few things. I
will definitely return sometime soon.
Details of Mas Pelegri, the coaches and
what they can provide can be found on
these links and




The long way to Adrpach

Highlining in the Czech Republic
Words + Photos By: Tara Atkinson

It was my turn next. I took a

minute to make sure my harness was
on properly before securing myself to
the safety line. Stepping down onto the
sandstone pillar which was anchoring the highline, I then cautiously
reached for the loosely tied leash with
the figure-eight knot. Once tied in, I
checked and double-checked the leash,
and with a few awkward shimmies I
ungracefully smeared my body onto
the 22m highline.
With one leg firmly pressing down on
the inch-thick webbing, I edged forward
with intention. It wasnt fear that spread
over my body the further I moved out
away from the rock, it was awareness, an
awareness that I was about to challenge
everything I believed to be possible...
Before I get ahead of myself, lets take a
step back a couple of weeks, previous to
the point I found myself uncouthly hanging
off a 60m highline in Czech Republic. The
day I met Christian.
I was longboarding through one of Berlins many parks and by chance I spotted
one of the longest lines I had ever seen.
Passing through the Czech border with Christian

Christian Krr on a 80m waterline; Havel River- Berlin

It had to be more than 85m long, with a

figure making their way gracefully across
a thin and precisely drawn stroke hovering above the ground. Arms above the
head, slowly swaying from side to side, still
hips, legs slightly bent, the deliberate and
almost dancelike motion was fascinating to
watch and no doubt well rehearsed. There
is a certain type of dedication to walking
a line as long as Christian did that day in
the park, or the days to follow on the lazy
river Havel when I met him for waterlining,
but when I found out about his most recent
highlining trip to Kjerag in Norway (800m
up and 85m long) I thought, there must be
more than dedication playing a part here.
I have to admit, I was not only fascinated
but also curious in the whole idea of walking a long line both on the ground and at
height. Having spent a fair bit of time on
one-inch thick 20m line, I found out very
quickly that everything I had learnt before

didnt count. A couple of assisted attempts

at standing up, or more so falling off the
85m park line, was enough to bruise both
my ego and shoulder. Though funnily
enough, my curiosity was still insatiable.
After meeting Christian and some of the
guys from the slackline Berlin community
there was talk about the Adrpach highline
meeting in Czech Republic. Easy to get
to from Berlin and Prague, Christian, like
most highliners would be hitchhiking to
Adrspach, and as far as firsts go I was
keen to follow him not only to the land of
the sandstone towers but also on a hitching adventure.
We started on the edge of Berlin at a
petrol station just after 1:00pm. Christian
had done this many times before, in fact he
estimated that he had acquired just shy of
100,000 hitchhiking kilometres. I had never
hitchhiked in my life, and although feeling
like a bit of a loose end (with only basic

Making our way up through the steep and beautiful pine forests of Adrpach to reach the lines.

German) it was clear to see that people are

always willing to help. Even if they had a
truck packed with removal debris, a car full
of people, bags or shopping, (being small
and able to lie across people also helps) no
matter who we hitched with, they all made
a conscious effort to fit us and also made
sure we were heading in the right direction. Hitchhiking is not only an amazing
way to travel but also a great way to meet
some incredible people. I have now become more open to picking up hitchhikers
and less scared of sticking out my thumb.
It took us around nine hours to get to
the campsite in Adrspach, and when we
arrived the atmosphere was lively; full of
slackliners, climbers, goulash and cheap
Czech beer, the perfect preamble to an
epic weekend.
Have you ever had the feeling of waking up in a new place not knowing what
it looks like? Adrpach didnt disappoint.
Everywhere we gazed there was rich green
pine forest, interwoven; a plethora of pep-

pery rock soaring up through the treetops.

Looking to the sky, you could spot the occasional silhouette floating on one of many
rigged lines, some of which were over 80m
long and hundreds of metres above the
Throughout the weekend at Adrpach
I have to admit I hid behind my camera;
following the acroyoga crowd around
and keeping my feet firmly on the lowest
line I could find. I was pretty sure no one
would notice a newbie liner, but then I kept
getting asked did you walk on a highline
yet? As it happens the slackline community is one of the most open and forthcoming groups of people I have ever met, and
despite my inexperience everyone encouraged me to try. I didnt have any goals
in mind when I arrived at Adrpach, just
a curiosity. However, as a photographer,
taking pictures of raw talent its very easy
to get inspired.
And so, I found myself with one leg over
the line, trying to find my centre,

connecting with my temporary horizon

flickering in the wind, checking the figureeight knot, the leash and my harness
several times. I had to make a conscious
decision to follow my fears rather than
fight them; I stopped worrying and started
to focus. The first sit on the line was the
hardest; wobbly and uncontrolled, and as
I edged away from the rock I slowly lifted
my right leg behind me to find the line.
With my left hand firmly gripping in front
and keeping my right arm out for balance,
I then focused on the heel of my right foot
as it fused with the line behind me. I was
now ready to bring my left foot up and
stand, but something felt like it was

Veronika Mangold mentored me on the 22m line when I had my first try.
Here she is finishing up on the 17m coming down into a sit start position.

There was also a great acroyoga

workshop run by Jakub and Janka.




holding me back and almost pulling me to

the ground.
At that moment the highline represented
a wall I had built up beneath me. The left
side: rational, and risk averse; the right:
brave and fearless. Each side was screaming to be heard, pulling me with equal and
opposing force. On this very thin path, so
high up I was trapped, unable to commit
or give up.
I then took a deep breath.
Suddenly everything stood still, and I
started to feel an awareness of the line
moving beneath my body. The wind, the
sun, the movement and the present all
came into focus. The experience became
less about my thoughts as I started to
feel instead of fight. Without realising it I
had shifted the weight onto my right heel.
From here balance and rehearsal is key,
and with that thought I pushed up and
hoped for the best.
The first step is getting out there, which
I managed, the second step is taking the
first step. Leash falls and bruises are part
of the game, and each time you get back
up on the line, confidence builds, and soon
enough walking happens. Its just a matter
of time.
Highlining for the first time has definitely
had a profound effect on me. It put things
in perspective, helped me understand
the connection between my body and my
mind, and challenged the reality in which
my fears exist. There is not only a freedom
of the moment but also a freedom of
movement, expression and flow, where
Luke McKenna taking a leash fall


Niklas Winter free soloing on the 33m line. What a great

moment to watch. He then did it four more times.

the mind has no choice but to calm and

focus. And when you really do start to feel
you are at one with the line, moving with
the wind, its just incredible. For Christian,
like many others who make this apart of
their lives, I can begin to understand why
they walk.
Its funny how a one-inch wide piece of
webbing can teach you so much about life,
and Im sure that if you ask any highliner
about their first try its something that they
will never forget. For me the highlining
journey has just started, and with my insatiable curiosity reaching new heights, I am
now on my next unforgettable adventure in
the Canadian Rockies.
Note: Highlining is a dangerous and
risky sport, which your mother would not
approve of. If you do decide to do it, I
cannot be responsible for the bruises, sore
muscles or its addictive nature.
Until next time.

A photographer who suffers form a serious
case of wanderlust. You can follow her
globetrotting adventures on

Alexander Schultz walking the 100m waterline during the highline meeting. The crowd went wild when he completed it.

Adrpach is a village in the Hradec
Krlov Region of the Czech Republic
close to the border of Poland.
Look up the Nature Park called Teplice nad Metuji - Skly stunning lakes
and beautiful scenery.
Endless amounts of hiking, walking,
climbing and mountain biking.
Local campsites/train station very
Its a protected area so there are
some rules for climbing and
Good to know:
The lines are only up for the week
when the highline meeting is on. If
you find yourself in Adrpach outside
of the highlining meeting make sure
toget in touch with the local
slacklining group.
Basic information and gear for
newbies at any highline meeting:
A good climbing harness
Ascender (ie. Jumar)
Descender (ie. Grigri)
Locking carabiners and sling.
High slide/ locking carabiner-handy
if you get tired.
Always get someone to check your
Learn how to get up and also spend
time moving on a line just on one leg
The most common name for the sit
start is Chongo.
Theres one rule: dont fall. If you
fall, try to catch the line under your
arm and wrap your leg around it.
There are lots of highlining events
happening in Europe during the year.
Google slackline festivals/events 2014
and you will find several resources
For beginners, one-inch thick, 1720m line is good place to start. (Also
is going to the Adrpach highlining

Exclusive Launch

Frederik Van Lierde

IRONMAN World Champion


Chosen by champions.

Polar V800 with integrated GPS is the ultimate choice for the most ambitious athletes.
It helps you reach your peak when you most need it.
Gives real-time guidance in every sport you do
Combines training load with 24/7 activity and shows true recovery status
Syncs training details to the Polar Flow app and service

That's Smart Coaching, since 1977.

GO Sport locations:


The Dubai Mall,

Level 2, Fashion Walk


Abu Dhabi Mall, 3rd Floor

Bawabat Al Sharq Mall, Level 1


Villaggio Mall, Entrance 4

City Centre Doha, 3rd Floor


Muscat Grand Mall, Level 1



of the
luxury safari sleep out
Words By: Rose Hipwood

The term luxury safaris has

changed so much in the last 10 years
although some emphasis is on the
quality of the lodge or safari camp
you will stay in, the main emphasis
now is on the experience. A big part
of any luxury safari experience now is
the star bed, otherwise known as the
sleep out. After your evening game
drive and before it gets dark you are
deposited out in the wilderness with
a mattress and a mosquito net. Yes,
I quite agree this sounds mad, so it
was with some trepidation that I set
off with my guide and a friend to put
myself through what I presumed would
be the terror of sleeping out in the
African night.
We all know night time is when Africa
comes alive, noises you cant fathom start
to sound, animals move through the bush
sounding 10 times their actual size, and the
stars twinkle mockingly down at you as it
dawns on you how vast and wild this place
really is. Garonga Private Game Reserve
near the Kruger is no exception it is wild
as wild can be with the big five and more
in situ. Having driven through Garonga for
what seemed like hours, we stopped I
got out slowly, trying to prolong my time
in the safety of the car. To my utter surprise
and delight just around the corner was a
tree-house, curiosity quickly over took fear

and my friend and I scampered up the

stairs to inspect our new humble abode.
It was fabulous. Built on raised decking
which was as high as the trees, overlooking a small water-hole, was our star deck.
Small lanterns were lit around the deck,
which had a secure gate at the bottom to
prevent any nosy wildlife from coming up,
and there was a comfy mattress complete
with mosquito net. The view was spectacular as the mountains grew purple in
the setting sun, and the wilderness spread
out beneath us. Of course we had a radio
and torches, and even had a flushing loo
attached by a small bridge to our bedroom.
As soon as the sun had set in a plethora
of colours before us, we settled in with
drinks provided in an ice cold box to listen
to the sounds of the night. Immediately the
long grass below us started to sway we
strained our ears and sat without breathing
for what felt like hours. What was that? It
sounded huge we whispered to each other.
It sounded close, and it sounded very,
very large. The torchlight showed nothing, but there it was again, swish, swish,
swish went the long grass. Elephant? Lion?
Buffalo? Leopard? Nervous giggles simmered under the surface as we manically
strained our ears and eyes. I tried the torch
again, and let out a shriek of pleasure our
huge hungry beast was in fact a porcupine
who looked rather annoyed to have been
After that we relaxed and ate a delicious
warm supper of chicken and rice, with
crme brulee for pudding the stars were
out in force and we regretted not having
studied our star books harder back at the
lodge. The comfy mattresses provided the
perfect spot from which to star gaze, and
a beautiful pattern is formed above your
head by the leaves of the old jackalberry
tree, which forms one wall of the sleep out
deck. Sleep came easily and we drifted off
deeply into a type of slumber, which only
happens when you sleep in the open clean

I nudged my friend excitedly. Wake

up theres a lion here. I soon established thats actually a very effective way
of waking someone up quickly, and we sat
enthralled as the unmistakable deep double calling of a male lion rumbled underneath us. It was so close that the ground
moved when it roared, and the hairs on the
back on my neck were standing upright. I
surprised myself to find I wasnt scared but
in awe of what we were experiencing. The
lion roared by our sleep out deck all night,
and the harmony of it was magical.
As is always the way in Africa we were
woken at sunrise on the dot by the cacophony of birds who like to announce the start
of their day with loud chirping the noise
is so happy and encouraging that even the
laziest person couldnt be offended by it,
and it of course wakes you in time to see
the sunrise, which is a wonderful way to
start the day, particularly in Africa where
the colours which greet you are nothing
short of mesmerising. To conclude, we can
understand why so many of the luxury safari properties are adding star beds to their
experience. The top star beds in Africa
are The Malori at Kalahari Tswalu (South
Africa), the sleep out at San Camp (Botswana), Ol Donyos rooftop rooms starbeds
(Kenya) and the Loisaba starbeds (Kenya).
Of course there are others too, and star
beds and sleep outs are an absolute
must on any luxury safari. Check for
different African luxury starbed options.

Sport taping:

Supporting movement
or holding you together?
Words By: Candice Howe

In recent years kinesiology tape has seen

an enormous resurgence, with a growth of
well-marketed, and more importantly, high
quality sport tape hitting the
market and its use and application being taken up by everyone
from golfers to tennis players,
rock climbers to CrossFitters, it
is worth
exploring the role of this product
in the support of human joints
and more importantly, human
Kinesiology tape is a thin, elasticated,
cotton strip with an adhesive back, which
allows it to be effectively applied to the
skin. Kinesiology tape closely replicates
human skin in terms of thickness and
elasticity, enabling full range of motion,
structural support without restricting or
irritating the skin or joints.
Kinesiology tape was originally developed in the 1970s and adopted initially by
the Japanese Olympic team and medical
professionals. Tape works in two ways;
initiating a proprioceptive response in the
skin to support desired movement patterns and also creating a bio-mechanic response, lifting the skin away from the soft
tissue below, allowing blood and nutrients
to travel easily to the area of application,
and accelerate healing or recovery in the
Kinesiology tape has a number of functions: joint, fascia, postural and movement
support, pain and swelling relief, performance improvement and skin protection.
Joint, fascia, postural
and movement support
Joint and movement support are the most
common applications of tape. Whether in
a clinical or sporting setting, tape can be
used to support an injured area, reinforce
a better movement pattern or act as a
proprioceptive support to an exposed
area, for example, reinforcing postural
manipulation after treatment or supporting a rugby players knee throughout a
match. Different taping processes provide
different types of support, drainage and

pain relief, and can also offer multiple

type of support in one application which
means that not only can a movement
patterns be reinforced or supported, but
movement-related inflammation can be
Pain and swelling relief
Kinesiology tape can also reduce swelling
and bruising far faster that simply leaving
the areas to heal unassisted, by facilitating
blood and nutrient flow to the taped area
through bio-mechanical lift on the skin.
Tape brand Rocktape have also found that
this process can be further accelerated
by lattice taping an area. This method
of taping can be used to help deal with
swelling from injuries, as well as deal with
leg or joint swelling in special populations
pregnant women, for example.
Performance improvements
The bio-mechanical lift and increased
blood flow to a taped area, also allows
more efficient flushing of lactic acid. This
means, that while taping is not a miracle
product for performance, it can support
an athlete, particularly in an endurance
setting, to go stronger, longer.
Skin protection
Tape can also be used simply as skin protection, for example, taping hands for pull
ups or other exercises that can cause tears
or blistering, or taping skins from protection when deadlifting or by extension,
taping any area that could be subject to
rubbing when participating in sport. The
great thing about kinesiology tape is that,
because is has similar elasticity properties to the human skin, it moves with the
athlete in their activity or sport.


The beauty of kinesiology tape is in its
simplicity. As the tape is made up of cotton and a little elastic with an adhesive
back, it generates very little reaction on
the skin. As such, kinesiology tape really
is for anyone. Originally used by top-level
athletes and medical professionals, you
will now see tape being used by everyone from fitness enthusiasts to pregnant
women and even children. Given the proprioceptive qualities of tape and its ability
to support, without restricting movement,
tape is a good option for many people,
with many different needs.
Tape has very few down sides. The ease
of application means that if a movement
is not being supported as intended, the
tape can be easily removed, and application reconsidered. In addition, as tape
has a supportive, rather than restrictive
function, less than ideal application is
rarely enough to undermine or overwork
an area sufficiently to cause a negative
The most common downside of taping
is excessive stretch in the application
process, which can cause irritation, in a
similar way to a rubbing shoe or piece of
clothing. As mentioned above, as soon as
the irritation is recognised the tape can
be easily removed, thereby removing the
irritant with minimal disruption.
Tape can be used for everything from
wrist support (in a classic taping fashion)
to full joint support. Once the correct
application of tape is taught, it really is
for anyone, be it a weekend warrior,
competitive athlete or structurally imbalanced rehab patient. Kinesiology tape
is a great compliment to human movement, acting as a reminder and support
to correct positioning, removing inflammation and aiding blood and nutrient
flow to, as Rocktape says, Go stronger,
Industry-leading kinesiology tape, Rocktape, is now available in Dubai.
Check out
for details





Bike and Airbag protection

Al Yousuf Accessories brings you top end technology for your style and maximum safety

Whenever you are cutting the air and

making your way ahead, there is always an
equal and opposite force (Newtons law)
which is invisible and can blow you off like
sticks in seconds! To fight against such
resistance and other accidents, motorcycle helmets are considered as one of best
devises to keep you save on road. But apart
from the motorcycle helmets, there are
several other motorcycle accessories and
apparel which are also crucial for safety
and riding comfort such as jackets, vests,
gloves, boots and more. But each of the
equipment and accessory has its weight
and it (sometimes) cause inconvenience to
the rider and thats a headache.
As far as the technology is concerned
there are various possibilities available in
the market such airbag-equipped bikers
lifejacket. Once you fall down from the
motorcycle, the jacket will be inflated in
less than half second. These jackets do not
only save you from various accidents and
weather condition, but also helps you to
remain protected as well as lightweight.
For example, the new rider life jacket
by Hit-Air MX-7 is made in Japan using
reflective material of high-visibility, strong
Lumidex mixed with highly-breathable
strong mesh and equipped with automatic
inflatable airbag. This specialised jacket
does not only save you from accidents but
its lightweight features help you get extra
As far as the safety and comfort is



concerned, helmets and jackets are the

key devises to protect you in case of an accident, collision, or even a normal fall due
to skidding or encountering an obstacle
on the road while riding. They also help
in protecting your head and upper torso
from airborne obstacles, such as dirt, flying
pieces of stones or glass, bugs, rain, snow
and sleet.
An important point to notice is that
helmets and jackets can protect your upper
body part whereas, but there is a safety
parameter and that is your feet! Usually the
riding boots are big and are heavier too,
therefore, most of the time we just keep
our self in our routine footwear while going on riding and thats dangerous! While
searching the airy options we do come
across to new TCX R-S2 racing boot, the
first motorcycle boots with an Air Fit System offering a precise fit every time. Featuring Precise Air Fit System (PARFS), air
tech breathable lining, torsion control area
and metatarsal control system. All these
features are collectively making it worthy
enough to get recommended around.
Depending on the kind of roads that you
ride, the average distance you ride every
day and the amount of traffic in the roads,
you should decide the amount of protection needed. You should always take

adequate safety equipment while riding

such as helmets, jackets, boots, gloves,
chest, etc. As far as the locations are concerned the Hit-Air life jacket and TCX Air
Precise boots can be ordered through their
websites and if you are in Emirates then
you are lucky because you can easily find
these products at any of the Al Yousuf Motors Outlets available throughout UAE.

Our showroom network: Dubai | Sharjah | Abu Dhabi | RAK | Al Ain | Fujairah | Ajman





Habitually healthy
Baked Frittata with Farm Fresh
Cherry Tomatoes and Avocado

Words By: Chef Christopher Zerbe

Well ladies and gents, Ramadan

has come and gone. All those amazing iftar dinners filled with beautiful
mezze, rice dishes, meats and cold
salads. Mmmm!
Now for quite a few UAE residents, its
time to get back onto your regular
morning training regimens, complete with
a hearty breakfast. There is always a large
debate whether or not breakfast is the
most important meal of the day. Personally, breakfast is my favourite meal of the
day, however its also the meal I eat the
least. I have always preferred to train on
an empty stomach, but nowadays many
athletes prefer to fuel up before their
workouts. For some, its merely a bulletproof coffee, laced with grass-fed butter
and or coconut milk for that caffeine kick
plus the sustainable energy that comes
from fats. For others, its carbohydrates
coming in the form of grain-based dishes,
and for some its heavily protein based
for those long workouts over 40 minutes.
I have found over the years that no two

Feeds: 6 people
Cook time: 30 minutes approximately



Free range eggs




1 small




Veal or turkey bacon


Sea salt


Black pepper


Sunflower oil

As needed

people are truly alike or need exactly

the same thing. We each have our own
metabolism and we should feed it as we
need it. For those that enjoy a hearty
egg based breakfast complete with meat
or vegetables, I put here my recipe for
my breakfast frittata. These are fantastic
and easy to make! You can even swap
out the baking dish for muffin trays and
make smaller ones to take with you. Give
it a shot and lets see how your breakfast
cravings change when you see this frittata
light at the end of your sleep tunnel.

Cherry tomato salsa




Cherry tomatoes

1 dozen

Cut into


Red onion




Sea salt and pepper



2 whole

Extra virgin olive oil

As needed

Diced (stone

1. Crack a dozen fresh free range eggs from
your favourite farm (ours happens to be
Greenheart Organic Farms) and beat vigorously. Set aside.
2. Preheat your oven to 177Celcius. Top and
bottom heat. Place your baking dish inside
the oven while preheating to speed up the
whole process. Put 4tbl of your favourite oil in
the bottom.
3. On the stove top, saut your onion, garlic
and bacon (works great to substitute veggies
too like broccoli, peppers, spinach). Set aside.
4. While working carefully so not to burn
yourself, use a dry cloth to remove your
hot baking dish from the oven, turn out the
cooked bacon mixture (or veggies!) into your
baking dish. Pour the beaten eggs over top
and place back in the oven in the middle rack
5. Now that the frittata is in the oven baking, you have about 20-25 minutes until its
cooked. This is the time to do a quick clean
up and set up the plates with the accompaniments.
6. To make the Cherry Tomato and Avocado
Salad, first wash everything! Cut about one
dozen cherry tomatoes into halves. Add 1tbl
of minced onion. Dice up two whole avocadoes. Place all into a mixing bowl gently and
add a few dashes of raspberry vinegar, a twist
of sea salt and black pepper and just a drizzle
of extra virgin olive oil. Thats it!
7. Once the frittata is cooked through (just jiggle the pan and see if the egg has set) allow
it to rest for 5 minutes. Place a small bed of
fresh baby spinach on the plate, top with the
tomato and avocado salsa, and cut a nice 4in
square of the frittata and there you have it. A
power packed classic breakfast!

The Cycle Bistro

GPS location:
N 25 02.792
E 055 14.384
04 425 6555



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

Xlite Brave Helmet Gold X802r

2,000 AED (previously 2,600 AED)

Available at Al Yousuf Motors Across UAE

The X802R offers a more complete and efficient ventilation system ever designed for a
helmet. In addition to the Adjustable Stability Device, the innovative rear spoiler that
integrates permanent extraction of hot air from X802R is characterised by:
High flow air intake with defogging function
Front protection with integrated aerodynamic vent
Exhaust air extractor side
Direct entry front air intake
Upper air intake with widespread input

Hyperkewl Ultra Sports Cooling Vest

310 AED

Available at Adventure HQ
Pull over with mesh ventilation, scoop neck and side zipper.
Ideal for motocross riders, runners, equestrians and cyclists
Can provide five to 10 hours of cooling relief per soaking
Lightweight, easy to activate and durable
Comfortable quilted nylon outer with HyperKewl fabric inner,
water repellent nylon liner and black poly-cotton trim
Activated by simply submerging in water

Hyperkewl KewlShirt - Tank Top

335 AED

Available at Adventure HQ
Traditional tank top styling, made with Spandex, HyperKewl fabric
and waterproof nylon.
Designed to be worn against the skin for maximum cooling effect,
with ventilation vents built into back and front panels
Best worn underneath a breathable sports jersey or on its own
Lightweight, easy to activate and durable





Endura MTB Singletrack Helmet
565 AED

Available at all good bike stores

Lightweight cycle helmet with visor
Super lightweight in-mould cycle helmet with removable visor (230g based
on size S/M excluding visor)
Certified to CE standard EN1078:2012
Extended rear-wrap design for extra protection of lower head
ClearThru air vents maximise air flow with minimal vent narrowing
Internal HeadStream air flow channels direct air through the helmet
One-hand micro-adjustment and three position vertical adjustment
for personalised fit
Compact chin strap with twin strap dividers
Antibacterial, fast wicking, removable padding (spare set provided)
Available sizes: S-M, M-L, L-XL
Available colours: Black, Kelly Green, Orange, Ultramarine

BUFF new flag designs

85 AED

Available at many stores including Go Sport and Adventure

The original multifunctional headwear is made of seamless microfiber fabric, which is breathable and wicks moisture. When
washed, BUFF is colorfast, dries in minutes, and retains its
Polygiene treatment ensures it has a long-lasting, yet natural
anti-bacterial effect.
BUFF is a great versatile piece of equipment which belongs
to many outdoor and sport enthusiasts. It can be worn in 12+
different ways to protect you from the sun, keep hair out the
way, absorb sweat or as a helmet liner.



Polar V800 with integrated GPS gives demanding

athletes a true picture of their recovery status

Polar unveiled the worlds

smartest and most advanced
training computer, now available
in the Middle East. Designed
for professional athletes and
demanding amateurs for whom
sport is a way of life, the new
Polar V800 with integrated GPS
helps you reach peak performance just when you need it. It
combines your workout training
load with data on day-to-day
activities, so you have a true
picture of your required recovery
time before getting out there
again. Its technology youll want
on your wrist 24/7.

The Polar V800 encompasses the best

of Polars design and technology and is
used by top athletes such as Ironman
world champion, Frederik Van Lierde. It
features an integrated GPS and supports
multiple sports, from running, cycling and
swimming to skiing and triathlon. Not
only does each sport benefit from its own
customisable profile, but the Polar V800
also seamlessly changes between sports,
recording your full performance, including transition times between each sport.
Most importantly, the Polar V800 helps
serious athletes gain an edge by training,
and recovering smart. It offers:
Smart and accurate monitoring of
training sessions as well as the smallest
activities in your everyday life, thanks
to an integrated activity tracker. Now
every movement is registered, from your
toughest workout, to a walk up the stairs.
The Polar V800 tracks every activity, even
when you are not training, and it will
automatically adjust your recovery status



to give a true account of how much rest

you get in between hard sessions.
Instant analysis and in-depth insights
into all your training and recovery on
the Polar V800 when used with the Polar
Flow web service. The Polar Flow mobile
app connects seamlessly with the Polar
V800, synching the data gathered instantly with the Polar Flow web service to
provide a full picture of all the data you
need to train properly. Polar Flow also
connects you to a community of similarly
minded athletes and friends through its
social functionality.
The Polar V800 also offers a host of
other unique features that makes it stand
out. It records your heart rate even while
swimming making it perfect for triathletes and includes the most accurate
altitude readings with a built-in barometric pressure sensor. It has a high-contrast
black and white display which is optimised for different sports. The screen is
easy to read, even in low-light conditions,
and is very power efficient. This contributes to the excellent overall battery life of
the rechargeable Polar V800, which offers
up to 14 hours of training time, 50 hours
in low power GPS mode, or 30 days in
time mode with 24/7 activity monitoring.
Polar V800 also provides Running Index data on your aerobic fitness and running economy, as well as an Orthostatic
Test to help you avoid over-training by
gaining insight into recovery status over
a long period of time. You can access
four weeks of your training history at the
touch of a button and can also share your
Polar Flow data with your coach.
The Polar V800 is made for the most
demanding of sports and features a
large, scratch-resistant, Gorilla Glass
face, similar to that used on the most
advanced smartphones. This is set in
stainless steel with an aluminum core
and soft, breathable polyurethane straps.
Its a combination of strength, lightness,
style and comfort.
Additionally, the Polar V800 features
updatable software which will allow users
to add new features from the comfort of
their own home. This will include a power
monitoring function for serious cyclists,
which will be available in the middle of
2014 to be used in conjunction with new
Bluetooth Smart power pedals. The wireless connection to a smartphone creates
the possibility for further features, such as
SMS notification and music control, which
will be added as updates later in 2014.
Marco Suvilaakso, Director of Product
Management at Polar said: Athletes
have been waiting for our new flagship
product and we are incredibly excited
to be presenting it for the first time this
year. This is Polars smartest and most
advanced training computer ever. It is designed for the most demanding athletes


and sports in the world. We know that

its design, integrated GPS and smart
training features will delight our customers, whether youre running, swimming,
cycling, skiing or even doing them all.
The Polar V800 helps you know just when
you need to recover from a tough session
and when you are ready to get back out
We are delighted to continue our
work with Polar to introduce the ultimate
flagship Polar V800 to all our sports
enthusiasts in the region, said Nicolas
Girot, Founder of Sport In Life Distribution. This new device takes training
guidance to the next level, no matter the
sport, and were passionate the Polar
V800 will bring superior workout benefits
to professional athletes and demanding
amateurs, for whom sport is a way of
Ironman world champion, Frederik
Van Lierde, said: I train up to 35 hours
a week and I need a smart training tool
that gives me deep insight into my
performance, whether Im swimming,
running or on a bike. The Polar V800
goes with me anywhere. And because it
also measures even my smallest activity,
it helps me know how Im benefitting
from the rest I need to stay at the top of
my game.
The Polar V800 with integrated GPS
retails at AED 2,290. It will be available
exclusively for pre-launch from Go Sport
stores throughout the UAE, Qatar and
Oman in July and thereafter available
from all other major sports stores.
For further information, please visit, and
for a full list of retailers.

Portable Fridge & Freezer
For car & home use

Genuine WAECO
with integrated
AC electronics

Up to 50 C
below ambient

for solar

12/24 volts DC
240 volts AC

Suitable for
vehicles with a
single battery
Available at

Va ri ab le
Motor Speed
Mk 2

3 stage




Travel to Qatar: Part 2

Discover the outdoor
Words By: Eulogy van Dyk
Photos By: Erlanka Paquet

When planning your next

outdoor adventure holiday why
not choose Qatar as your connecting destination and make it
more than a stopover. Or simply
book yourself a long weekend
away and come and discover
the outdoor adventures of this
small peninsula tucked away in
the heart of the Middle East.
When planning your next outdoor
adventure holiday why not choose Qatar
as your connecting destination and make
it more than a stopover. Or simply book
yourself a long weekend away and come
and discover the outdoor adventures of
this small peninsula tucked away in the
heart of the Middle East.
Just about any time of the year, you can
find something fun and active, combined
with a bit of adrenaline, to do in Qatar.
The country has a variety of leisure and
recreational activities that is easily accessible and definitely worth exploring.
There is something for almost any type
of adventurer. Here is a list of activities in
no particular order, pick and choose your
favourite one and head over to Qatar for
some fun in the sun!

Desert adventures

The desert offers naturally a perfect

playground for adventure seekers. The
most popular and a favourite spot for
local Qataris and expatriates is Khor
Al Adaid (80km south from Doha) also
known as the Inland Sea located in the
south of the country. GPS Coordinates
(243721.1N 511932.6E)
There are a number of desert-centric
activities that you can engage in such as

desert safaris, dune bashing, sand

boarding and quad biking. Local tour
operators offer a number of tours or rent
your own 4x4 and explore the desert with
a group of friends. It is possible to visit
the desert all year round, but the cooler
months from October through March are

Singing sand dunes

It sounds a bit off tune but it is true,

40km southwest of Doha, you will find this
natural wonder also in Qatar. Reported often as a type of miracle by desert explorers, there are certain conditions in which
the movement of sand grains can create a
low murmur or singing. While the singing occurs naturally, it can be triggered
by sliding down the face of the dune or
running along its crest, whereupon each
footstep creates a humming that cannot
only be heard but also felt as a vibration
through the feet.

Pack a picnic basket and blanket and

head out for a brunch or lunch with the
family and friends while the kids (or
adults) climb up and down the dunes and
enjoy the singing. (GPS 250221.3N


Although Qatar has no official campsites

or camping facilities, free camping is
popular among expats and locals alike.
There are no restrictions in place as of yet,
but do be mindful of official government
property. Popular sites are mainly at the
main beaches on the east, north or west
coast. It is however possible to take your
tent with you to the desert in the south,
find a dune with a view and set up camp
for the night. Remember standard rules
apply, leave it as you found it.
Camping season is generally from
October to April, but it is also possible
to take a drive out in the hot summer
months and spend one night there if you
would like a change of scenery.

Water sport

Due to the fact that the peninsula is surrounded on three sides with the Arabian
Gulf, water sport activities come as a
natural choice for most people living here.
Scuba Diving, sailing, wakeboarding, kayaking, kitesurfing, Stand Up Paddling, jet
skis weve got it all! Local tour operators
(mentioned below) will be able to guide
you with more information on how to
participate in these. You are able to spend


below) provide a variety of tours for big or

small groups.

Rock climbing

time in the water almost all year-round depending on the type of activity, however
the cooler months between October and
March is ideal.

Fishing trips

Choose between a traditional dhow or

speedboat to experience a deep sea
fishing adventure. Whether you are a
seasoned fisherman or a novice wanting
to have a new experience, the Arabian
Gulf will have a special catch of the day
for you. Local tour operators (mentioned

For some it might be difficult to believe

that in a country like Qatar there are high
enough natural walls to climb, however
there are a few spots for these types of
adrenalin seekers! Zekreet on the north
west coast of Qatar near Dukhan has a
number of large rock formations, with
the highest of them being around 15m.
Musfer Sinkhole (a karst cave in Umm
Al Shabrum, central Qatar) is a popular
location for those interested in bouldering. The Doha Climbers Facebook group
is the best source to connect with during
your stay here.

Outdoor fitness: cycling and running
Never leave your bicycle or running shoes
behind! Doha Bay Corniche provides a
beautiful setting for a morning or afternoon run, or alternatively visit one of the
parks where multiple running tracks can
be found. Although there are no major


mountains, it is possible to explore the

country and desert on your mountain bike
just watch out for some camels that might
cross your path. Road cycling is quite
popular and it is possible to cycle on most
of the main roads leading out of Doha.
The national day ceremonial road
(Al-Rayhan area in Doha) has a circular
bike track of 18km for an easy ride. Normal traffic rules apply.
So pack your favourite outdoor equipment and bring an adventurous spirit next
time you travel to Qatar!

Flight travel time


Average direct flight price from the UAE

+/- 1,000-1,200 QR (round trip)
Average traveling time +/- one hour
(one way)

Adventure tour operators in Qatar:

Driving from the UAE is not really

recommended, as you need to cross
the Saudi Arabia border that has its
own challenges with visa, insurance and
residency issues.




Arabian Adventures

Gulf Adventures

Regency Travel

Qatar International Adventures

Qatar Inbound Tours




12 years, 12 memories and 1 regret

Words By: Mike Nott
Photos By: Collin Campbell, David Chambers, Eric Claudel, Ged Langosz and Mike Nott

It is said that all good things

must come to an end but thats
not necessarily true. I suppose
it depends on what comes after
the end, and if what comes
after it is good.
Having spent 12 years in the UAE,
and having had some particularly good
times, we are leaving to settle in the Sierra
Nevada mountains in southern Spain. Id
be mad to say I didnt think that this was
a good thing too, because it is. So, lets
not call it an end but instead a change
and a time to reflect on what Ive done
and been involved in during my time in the
Twelve years is a relatively long time to
spend anywhere and Ive always aimed at
trying to do as much outdoors as possible,
so rather than write an essay on everything and be open to accusations of
being a bore, I thought Id summarise by
highlighting 12 memories and one regret.
12 Memories
1. Waking up to snow and ice on the
top of Jebel al Jais. Barry Grosart and I
had walked up to the top of Jebel al Jais
in January 2005 and camped on the top
in the shadows of Sheikh Saqrs villa. Its a
spectacular walk from Wadi Galilah, though
made somewhat redundant now by the
new road. We got into our bivvy bags and
awoke the following morning to a dusting of snow and hoar frost. The Sheikhs
retainers struggled to get anything out of
the frozen water pipes but when they did
they were kind enough to offer us some
warming tea.
2. Creating the Advanced Off-Road
Adventure Routes guidebook. Daniel
Birkhofer and the team at OutdoorUAE
were instrumental in publishing this
guidebook and I owe them a great debt
of thanks for taking it on and doing it so
well. It encompasses at least 10 years of
driving experience in the region and was
a fascinating project to have completed. I
also owe a debt of thanks to ME4x4, who
got me going and with whom I did the vast
majority of drives and all the other fellow
travellers who I accompanied along the

way, through the Oman and the UAE.

3. Establishing the Musandam Adventure Race. Having been a keen participant
at some of the great events in the UAE;
Wadi Bih relay, Dubai Creek Half, Abu
Dhabi Half, Ghantoot and Jebel Ali triathlons, amongst many others, I was looking
around for an event that I could lay on.
Having a fascination with the Musandam,
the eventual organising of this event was
something of a labour of love but a subsequent annual dent in my wallet, but it was
too good an opportunity to miss. I think,
and of course I would, that this is the most
scenic and demanding one day adventure
race in the region. Im really pleased that
Paul Oliver of Absolute Adventure has now
taken it on for next year and beyond.
4. Completing the first Liwa Crossing by
bicycle with Ian Ganderton, Shaun Ellis
and Phillip Ramos. Id got into cycling
here in the early years of Wolfis Friday
morning rides and remember setting out
from The Lime Tree Caf when the peloton
was less than 30 riders. I started doing
some local races and got Elite licence 001
from the UAE Cycling Federation in 2004
(definitely not a reflection of my racing
abilities). Id enjoyed the Coast to Coast
race but then my road riding dropped off
as it became a bit same old, same old.
Liwa crossing

RAK Adventure Race

Having driven across the Liwa in my first

years here, there was no way, then, that I
believed I would ever cycle across it. But,
with the foresight of Ian Ganderton, Pete
Aldwinckle and Guida Verschut at Global
Climbing, this unexpected opportunity
was realised. It was an outstanding twoday effort and combined my love of the
spectacular scenery with proving the art of
the possible. This also lead, inexorably, to
me organising the Al Barsha and Al Qudra
evening sand biking TT series. Well, hardly
a series. It was something to do in return
for all the advantages Ive gained from
knowing the Global Climbing team, trying
to support them in putting sand-biking on
the outdoor pursuits map, encouraging
fat bike owners to come and have a go
and something to do with my own control
5. Opening the border gates to let
Adrian Hayes and his Emirati companions back into the UAE after the Oman
phase of their Empty Quarter Expedition. I was fortunate to be involved quite
heavily in Adrians expedition, primarily
in setting up the selection process for


Goanbananas and the QEII

choosing his travelling companions and

elements of the administration within the
UAE. Jeni, our two dogs and I travelled
down to Umm Zummul early on a Friday
morning and waited while they made their
10km dash across the dunes from Oman,
through Saudi Arabia and up to the UAE
border fence gate. As Adrian described
in his book, I found the whole thing rather
emotional and reminiscent of that scene in
Lawrence of Arabia when he first sees and
then meets Sherif Ali. We spotted them
as small dots through the heat haze and
mirage about 6km away across the sabkhah and waited, for what seems aeons, as
they approached and grew in size until we
finally opened the gates and let them in.
6. Celebrating John Youngs 50th birthday on the top of Jebel Qihwih in April
2007 and drinking icy bubbly. Jeni had
been badly smashed up when she was
knocked off her motorbike in the UK and
was still recovering and just off crutches.
Together with our son, Robert, our two
dogs and the other revellers we headed
up Jebel Qihwi and camped on the top
plateau. Id wrapped a bottle of Moet
between two bottles of frozen water and
insulated it by wrapping them up in towels.
When we popped it about five hours later
it was still icy cold and a real treat.
7. Discovering Colosseum and Nant
Bidey and helping to initiate their
development for rock climbing. Id
stumbled across both crags in the course
of my work. Wadi Bidey was known but
the Nant had not been put on the
map amongst the UAEs climbers. I took
Toby Foord-Kelcey to Colosseum and it
subsequently appeared in his book as an
undeveloped venue. I took him and Pete
Aldwinkle to Nant Bidey and was with Pete
when the first bolts were placed by him on
the huge West face. Colosseum has subsequently been developed by a small band
of enthusiasts, predominantly Eric Claudel,
and Pete and Toby developed Nant Bidey,
including what remains the longest (11
pitches I think) sport route in the region.
8. Taking part in the RAK adventure

Stood on Sheikh Saqrs patio


Thesiger Expedition arrives in the UAE

races organised by John and James

Falchetto and doing the Abu Dhabi
Adventure Challenge in 2010. The
Falchetto brothers were instrumental in
setting up some great adventure races in
RAK and they were the first to lay on such
events, which arguably were the catalyst
leading to an adventure race scene in the
UAE that keeps getting better every year.
The culmination for me was doing the last
Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge in 2010
with Robin McGowan and Rob and Lou
9. Accompanying the QEII as it entered
Port Rashid. My son, Robert, was a keen
racing yachtsman at Dubai Offshore Sailing Club (DOSC) and so were with our
yacht owning friends, Ged and Lesley
Langosz. They invited us aboard their
yacht Goanbananas as part of the huge
flotilla that escorted the QEII into Port
Rashid as it arrived to berth there. There
were hundreds of sailing and motorboats
in the frenzied flotilla (the equivalent of the
Sheikh Zayed Road at sea, in rush hour)
including Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashids
huge private yacht. Ged and Lesley had
hoisted an array of coloured flags that
distinguished their yacht amongst the melee of other vessels. It wasnt exactly calm
either and it required all of Geds skills as a
helmsman to avoid a collision.
10. The Saudi Arabian Odyssey and the
Hejaz Railway with David Chambers,
Manuel Schmidt and Kim Merritt. This
was without doubt, the best off-road trip in
my 12 years in the region and one Id been
hankering to do for at least 20. The chance
to roam freely around Saudi Arabias heritage sites and stunning landscapes for 16
days in our own vehicles, to visit Madain
Salah and to drive the length of the Hejaz
Railway were pretty much unrepeatable
11. Getting shot at and then captured
by Yemeni militia and interrogated
by khat chewing policemen with my
16-year-old son. Colin Campbell, David
Horn, Graham Kimber and his son, and my
son, Robert, and I had set out on a five-day
overland expedition closely following the
borders of the UAE/Oman, Saudi/Oman
and then Yemen/Oman. With inaccurate
maps wed strayed into the Yemen and
were then chased, shot at, captured and
then taken for questioning by Yemeni
militia. However, Yemeni hospitality proved
to be outstanding and we eventually managed to prove that we werent gun running


smugglers but silly tourists. A great story

for Robert on his return to school.
12. Doing the Stairway to Heaven, solo
in June and drifting interestingly
off route on the descent. The Stairway
should be on every self-respecting UAE
mountain walkers to-do list. My mistake
was to do it for the first time alone and
in summer and without a decent route
description. I ended up back climbing to
the left of the Stairway, the heat melted the
glue holding my boots together and the
soles fell off as I climbed down, and I had
to severely ration my water. I thought Id
had it. It was something of a personal own
goal but reassuring, nonetheless, to know
that I could cope.
1 Regret
13. Joining Rock Republic but then
never going. I used to think of myself as
something of a climber and used to climb
quite regularly in Wadi Bih, Hatta and occasionally at Wonderwall but climbing has
dropped off my radar in the last couple
of years. When Pete and Guida initiated
their plan for an indoor bouldering wall, I
was quick to respond and signed up early
on (membership number 7) but Ive never
taken advantage of using the wall and my
time is now up.
And so to the Sierra Nevada. Why?
Well, because it has everything we need;
superb mountain biking, road biking and
a panoply of mountain sports; skiing, rock
climbing, Winter and summer routes, as
well as sailing on the Mediterranean, the
delights of North Africa across the bay,
and beer and tapas for 1.5 Euros! If you
fancy visiting the area, and if Im allowed a
shameless plug, come and visit: or

Musandam Adventure Race


AWD bikes
Mohammed Ikram Khan Durrani, recently posted a picture on his
Facebook featuring two good-looking
bikes with the Dubai skyline in the
backdrop. Their catching black and silver color scheme was definitely unique
and immediately caught my attention.
His caption was My two new Christini
AWD bikes have arrived! I cannot wait
to test them this weekend!
I had never heard of Christini,
and remember thinking why
anyone would give a bike an
AWD abbreviation in its name?
This will just confuse everybody as
internationally the term/abbreviation AWD is accepted and used
John Basson to abbreviate vehicles with an All
Moto/ATV and all round
adventure seeker Wheel Drive system. These bikes,
apart from their grasping colour
scheme, were no different to the
bikes I have, and surely could not have
AWD. I left it at that and ignored the comments and replies made by other riders.
Obviously there was a post that following
weekend (the test ride weekend) and this
time it was Ikrams caption that caught my
attention: These bikes will change the
way we ride in the UAE! Intrigued with
the statement I read all the comments and
questions from other riders and behold,
these bikes somehow, according to what I
was reading, were driven by both wheels?!
I immediately wrote to Ikram asking about
this AWD and how this was possible
without any chain or sprocket going to
the front wheel. He simply replied with an
Internet link to the manufacturer in the USA,
Christini AWD Motorcycles.
This jaw-dropping technology was not
invented by Christini, but they have managed to produce their own very reliable,

affordable and good-looking bikes that

incorporate this amazing AWD technology.
They also have a unique patented designed
that incorporates gears inside the head
tube of the frame. I am sure that many of
you are by now intrigued, like I was, about
how this drive system works, so let me try to
summarise in a nutshell:
There are two sprockets attached to the
gearbox, where normal bikes have only
one for the chain to the rear wheel. This
second sprocket drives a chain that runs
almost vertical to just under the seat/tank
of the bike. From there the system uses a
drive shaft that runs forward, and into the
frame where the front forks and handle bars
are mounted/connected (called the head
tube). Things just get more interesting
from there on as they then have two shafts
that are telescopic (one on each fork tube),
that runs down and into a hub on the front
wheel. Very ingenious design and concept!
Wow was all I could reply after watching Christinis video and obviously, apart
from wow, there was my question to
Ikram: When do I get to join you on a
A date was agreed upon and I had to
contain my excitement regarding this test
ride. As excited as I was, I was trying to
figure out how this system could benefit a
rider here in the UAE. If we had steep, muddy trails like in Europe or back home surely
the additional traction would be great, but
do we actually need it in the sand? This
question kept going through my mind as I
was trying to reason why one would want
to get this bike here in the UAE. My bikes
dont have this and I am doing just fine, so
why would any person want to spend extra
money on a system you dont need?
I met up early on the Saturday morning with
Ikram for the test ride. We both had a busy
schedule and knew that the ride was going
to be short (this was perfect as it would
give me reason to book a longer test
ride in the future). Whilst we off-loaded and
kitted-up I asked Ikram about the bikes, the
Christini dealership, and his future intentions with this bold new venture. Ikram explained where the idea came from and that

his friend, Jack Field from Australia, who

internationally races the Christini at Endurocross Events, was the one who suggested/
encouraged him. One of my first questions
was, what was the price of the bikes and
whether Ikram thought that a more expensive bike would actually sell if we dont
really need the additional AWD in the sand?
Who said they were more expensive? was
his reply. They will be selling for the same,
or maybe even a bit cheaper than known
brands in the UAE! Regarding whether we
need the extra drivesystem. Wait and
you will see, was his reply.
Before I get into the actual ride let me tell
you about the two bikes that we rode. One
was a 450 four-stroke version based on the
renowned Honda CRF 450X. Christini manufactures the engine, frame, rear suspension
and the AWD system in their factory in the
USA. The front suspensions are top end
race proven Marzocchi shocks from Italy.
Then they have the 300cc two-stroke version. The same frame, but they use a stock
300cc Gas Gas engine. All components on
the bike looked top end and whilst inspecting the bikes I could see that Christini was
very serious and meticulous in design. They
want these bikes to succeed and know that
if they were to economise on anything they
risk getting a bad reputation. Christini also
has a 250cc two-stroke powered by a Gas
Gas Engine, a factory ready street legal 450
Dual Sport Model, a 450 Explorer Model, a
450 Supermoto Model and AWD framekit
for most bikes on the market. Yes, youve
read it right you can convert your standard
bike to an AWD by mounting this kit and
toggle between AWD and RWD modes at
the flick of a switch. The weight difference
between the standard bikes and these bikes
is a mere 7kg!
I got the 450 for the first half of the ride
and Ikram gave me a short briefing regarding the handling of the bike and what to
expect. He also told me that within 10-15
minutes I would be used to this new/
strange handling and would no longer be
thinking about it. Enough talk as the bikes
roared into action and Ikram took the lead
in a cloud of sand and dust. There was no
lack of power as the Christini whipped into


The AWD system has an approximate ratio of

80/20 in its drive system. During normal operation the power is going only to the back wheel.
The front wheel is still being supplied (ie the drive
shaft is turning), but the ratio is only 20% of what
is going to the back. As soon as the back wheel
loses traction, and starts to spin, its rotation will no
longer be 1/1wrt the front wheel. Then as the rears
rotation reaches 80/20 ratio the fronts freewheel
hub engages and you get additional traction.
This means that you will only notice the difference
in these bikes once the rear starts to spin. Typically
during a low speed turn or climbing up a dune
or any other obstacles like rocks, logs or concrete
blocks (if you would like to do hard endure).
These bikes will climb anything! It is almost as if the
bikes pull you out of a turn preventing the back
from skidding out too far. Going up a dune, well
I dont think I have to say anything, it is obvious!
Look at the picture where Ikram is crossing a small
dune. See how the front wheel is providing traction. He started with zero speed and easily crossed
over. A regular bike would never have made it if it
started from the same position.
It was during these slow speed ridings that I
realised the true value of these bikes in the UAE.
I wrote an article some time back titled the The
Next Level. It was about the problem new riders
experience here in the UAE. They can ride a bike,
but have no experience in sand. They try it, but
continuously get stuck and struggle to ride in the
sand. The problem is that they are too slow! One
must ride faster to prevent the bike from getting
stuck. This causes many new riders, sooner than
later, to fall at high speed as they are trying not
to get stuck, but still dont have enough desert experience to select a safe line on the dunes. This
has happened to many people and often causes
them to sell their bikes after their first fall. I am sure
that if many of these riders were on Christinis they

would still be riding today. You just dont get

stuck and can comfortably ride up and over dunes
that would normally require a lot more speed and
skill to cross on regular bikes.
As Ikram explains: Because the front wheel is
driving, it stays on top of the sand whereas with
any other bike the front wheel stays within the
sand and the rider is constantly fighting it with
the handlebars to maintain speed and balance. In
short; due to this technology the sand feels like
mud! On the Christinis you can be cruising and low
revving whilst you climb dunes.
As your experience increases you can progressively ride faster, and as the performance of these
bikes are on par with regular bikes you would by no
means be limited in your future riding! According
to Ikram these bikes will Transform a beginner to a
skilled rider, and a skilled rider to a professional, as
they are mighty capable and easy to ride.
Above is a picture of Ikram riding on the windblown side of a dune which usually would be a
no-go situation for many riders. As soon as one
hit a section like this, a normal bikes front sinks
into the sand, and the rider usually gets thrown
off the bike. The Christini makes it look like it was
just another great place to ride. Ikram has tested
these bikes in every possible terrain available in
this country to make sure these bikes have what
it takes and more than what most people will put
them through. He has rode them on the softest
beach sand, construction sites, over obstacles such
as concrete pipes, cement blocks, rocks. Climbed
the gravel filled mountains in Dibba, rode in wadis
and more. You can check his exciting pictures on
his Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
By the end of the day I was very impressed and
convinced that there is a place in the market for
these bikes. If you are new to sand, and not a very
experienced rider, you should at least take the
Christini AWD bike for a test ride before you finally
decide on a bike. If you are a skilled rider and
would like to take your riding to the next level or if
you are from any country that has mountain trails
to ride, and plan to take your stuff back home one
day, I think that the Christini AWD bike will also be
great on trails.
To arrange a test ride, you can contact Ikram at: and at +971 55 5437392
Ride safe and now is the time to get ready for our
winter riding!



Laszlo Toth

Occupation: Former air force pilot and Hon. Counselor of Hungary

Nationality: Hungarian
Age: 47

Sky is definitely not the limit for Laszlo and the founder of the Dubai Paragliders group said their main goal is to give safe training and share to others the
amazing experience of soaring high.
How long have you been in the UAE?
I first visited UAE in the year 2002 and I
was sincerely impressed with what I saw
in the country! After that visit, I decided
to come back settle in UAE and open an
Aviation Club. That time there was no
real sports aviation activity in the country.
Getting the permissions was extremely
difficult. I started organising airshows and
established paragliding club in Dubai
under the name of Micro Aviation Club.
I also was actively involved in establishing Emirates Aviation Association. In the
year 2004, we have established Emirates
Paragliding and Hang Gliding Organisation. Unfortunately, until today it is not
recognised by the authorities.
How did you get into paragliding?
I started paragliding in 2000, but I started
flying since 1982. Later, I was trained as a
fighter pilot in the Hungarian Air Force.
Is paragliding as risky as it looks?
Paragliding is a leisure aviation activity. It
is one of the safest aviation sports. If you
have a proper training and you follow safe
rules and regulations, then its safe.
Is there a growing interest
for paragliding today?
There are more than 500 paraglider pilots
in UAE. Unfortunately, conditions are not
the best in UAE for this activity. We have
little support from the local government.
However, this does not stop people from
all nations around the world to practice or
train in their loved hobby.
What needs to be first considered
when doing this sport?
Paragliding is a weather sports. If wind

speed is more than 20km/h and you

are a trainee or novice pilot, dont even
consider opening your canopy. It is an
absolute must to have good training from
experienced instructor. Dont start selftraining or get practice from the Internet!
Always take good care of your equipment
and do not go out flying alone.
How many hours do you
usually spend training?
We usually practice in Jebel Ali area. You
need about 10-12 sessions, one to two
hours each to master the beginners
skills of paragliding. This will include five
to seven sessions on ground handling
which is one, if not the most important in
paragliding. During this period you learn
how to take off safely without injuring
yourself. Once you are good with the
ground handling take off skills, we can go
to the next step which is the small hill
training. You will have 15-20 take-offs and
landing from an altitude of approximately
50m. Here you will learn behaviours in the
air as well as safe take-off and landing. If
you do okay than we can continue with
high altitude launches. This we do from
150m in UAE or sometimes up to 2,000m
by visiting some launch sites of close-by

Is paragliding a regulated
sport in the UAE?
Unfortunately, there is no recognition of
paragliding from the authorities in UAE.
Hopefully this can change in the near
How do you stay motivated
with regards to this sport?
Once you start paragliding, you get
addicted to it really fast. It is the most
exciting and still safe outdoor activity of
the 21st century I know pilots at age 75
still flying. You can fly free like a bird with
minimum equipment for hours and hours.
This is the ancient dream of mankind.
Paragliding makes your dreams come
What has this sport taught you?
Paragliding gives you self-discipline,
confidence, respect of nature and an
incomparable feeling of ultimate freedom.
Whats your best flying moment so far?
Thats not an easy question. I flew over
many and many beautiful locations worldwide. However my best or most memorable flight was when I first flew with my
19-year-old son Daniel from a 2,000m
launch site in Turkey. Daniel has been
flying since the age of 12. It was a proud
feeling, as a father and an instructor, to
see my young son flying along with me
beside the Babadag Peaks.




Casper Steinfath
Occupation: Pro SUP athlete
Nationality: Danish
Age: 20

The water athlete must have

channelled his inner Viking as he won
The Karrebksminde SUP Race and
grabbed the European Championship
Title last month. At the last SUP All
Stars in Abu Dhabi, Casper also took
home the Sportsman Award. We chatted with the Naish rider during his last
visit about his love of the sport.
How is your first visit to the UAE?
Its beautiful! Its so nice and warm here.
The people weve met here are really hospitable. The wave pool was cool. Its funny
growing up in the ocean and thinking of
an artificial wave: Whats it going to be
like surfing in the middle of the desert?
We took a two-hour car ride seeing nothing but sand, and then theres little pool
with perfect waves. It was unreal and was
definitely beyond expectations.
How did you get into SUP?
My dad is from California and Ive grown
up as a surfer my whole life. Now I have
transitioned into racing in the last three
years. Im focused on the racing right now,
but the best training for it is surfing, so
they complement each other.
How did you prepare for this series?
I finished school last year so this year Im
focusing 100% on my training. There are
like six to seven events all over the world,
and obviously, you have to do well in all
these events both in sprint and long
distance. So I did a lot of distance training
back home.
I got the 7th place in Brazil, which was
okay, because you know everyone is nervous and gauging each others level. Its
really good to get the nerves settled and
now I can really focus on climbing up the

ranking. Its a long year and Im definitely

looking at consistency. I want to focus on
some of the European events because its
obviously close to my home and its always
nice to have family and friends there to
support you. I feel like Im gaining momentum and as the season goes on.
Is the competition tighter this year?
Definitely, as we saw in the long distance
competition yesterday. Its just amazing
to see the level go up so much since the
finals last year. This is like the finals right
here. Weve got people all over the world
killing it. You know I think the competition
is going to get higher and higher for every
single event and thats good because that
means the sports is growing.
What do you love about the sport?
The beauty of Stand Up Paddling is you
dont need big waves to go have fun. Jen
and Nick Scully took me paddling around
this island and it was a great way to see
the country, because as a traveller the best
way to see a new place is from the water.
I think this is the perspective more people
should get.
When you go paddling its fun and its
a work out. Its exciting because its new
sports, new energy and the community
is wonderful. Look, were hanging out

like family here and able to see amazing

places around the world. Its just a dream
come true.
How do you deal with the pressure?
Ive been racing for five years now and its
been an incredible journey. Im excited
every time I go to race because you never
know whats going to happen its so
spectacular and dynamic. I feel the excitement more than the pressure. Though the
pressure is a good thing too because it
makes you want to do good. When you
are out on the water you cant be nervous,
you just have to go with the flow and ride
what comes at you.
How do you motivate yourself?
Ive always been a competitive person.
I definitely have this thing that I want to
push myself. When I finish any physical
activity Im doing, I want to feel feel tired,
like dead [laughs], so I know that I have
pushed myself to my limits. Its probably
my personal goal to make sure I always
go as high as I can; go as hard and fast as
I can.
How does it feel that younger SUP fans
and athletes now look up to you?
Its so funny, when I started I was the
youngest and now I see kids that are 15
and I see myself in them. Just think in five
years how much would have developed in
this this sport.




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

So you want
to climb 8,000m?
Part 1

There are only 14 mountains

that are higher than 8,000m in
this world. The list of climbers
who have stood on top of all of
them is growing but still relatively small. Less than 30. Not only
does it take a lot of effort, motivation and time but a great deal
of money. In mountaineering, a
lot of people aspire to climb the
Seven Summits; a collection of
the highest peak on each of the
seven continents.

This challenge is within the reach of

was the first person to have climbed all
the average but undeniably still obsessed
of the 8,000m peaks. This started an elite
recreational climber. The Seven Summits
club that is the lifework of many. Messner
Challenge includes just one 8,000m peak,
climbed the last of the 14 on October
Mount Everest, so the whole challenge
16, 1986 and climbed all 14 without the
could be said to be slightly easier than adduse of bottled oxygen. Now an attempt
ing the collection of 8,000m to your CV. So
what does it take to climb just one 8,000m?
This two-part article will look at the statistics, challenges and difficulties behind an
expedition to an 8,000m peak. In part two
you will get first-hand, the views of people
who have stood on top of an 8,000m peak.
The first people to ever successfully
climb an 8,000m mountain were Maurice
Herzog and Louis Lachenal when they
climbed Annapurna in Nepal on June 3rd,
1950. They were both from France. There
had been many attempts before on nearly
all of the 8,000m mountains but in 1950
Philip De-Beger on the top of Manaslu
the time, conditions and technology were
finally appropriate and the race to lay claim
to the first ascents of the remaining 8,000m
giants was underway.
Climbers like lists, statistics and collections and 36 years later Reinhold Messner

8,000m expeditions always start with

prayers and the blessing of equipment
Whats that big one in the background? Oh its Everest and Lhotse

Bottled oxygen makes it easier

but you have to carry it

Flying the Czech flag on Broad Peak summit. Thats K2 in the background

without supplemental oxygen is very rare

and considered foolish by the risk adverse
society that we live in. It wasnt until over
25 years later in 2010, that the Basque
climber Edurne Pasaban became the first
female to complete all 14, her last being
Shisha Pangma. The accomplishment took
her nine years and she nearly lost out on
becoming the first women when the Korean climber, Oh Eun-Sun who had similar
ambitions, claimed to have climbed all 14.
However there were discrepancies in Ohs
story, specifically that she had claimed to
have climbed Kanchenjunga falsely. She
was discredited by the climbing community
and Edurne is now widely considered the
first female.
Conquering the worlds highest mountains was initially seen as an admirable
nationalistic pursuit and planting a flag on
a very small patch of ground that was very
high up, a worthy cause. Italy and South
Korea lead the world in climbers who have
climbed all 14 8,000m peaks followed
closely by Spain, Kazakhstan and Poland.

All countries whose citizens have very

proud and patriotic traits.
Last year, the Nepalese attempted to
classify five more of their mountains as
8,000m. This is unlikely to be as a result of
the discovery of new peaks that were hidden until now, but more a means of generating additional peak climbing fees and
permits via tourism. The proposed peaks or
points are definitely over 8,000m but their
topographical prominence is in question.
Prominence measures the independence of
the summit of a mountain from those close
to it. The new points have been until now
considered subsidiary peaks of the original
14 and not distant enough or separated
by a low enough col to warrant their own
The table below shows the current list
of 14 8,000m peaks to help you choose
which one is suitable for you. All 14 are
in Asia, in the Himalayan and Karakoram
mountain ranges. The highest mountain
outside of Asia is Aconcagua at a mere

Jake Meyer on the summit of Everest

What does it take?

So is climbing an 8,000m-peak really that
hard? Surely it is similar to doing an Ironman or Ultramarathon? Pay your local fitness instructor at the gym a visit. Tell them
what you are doing and bingo. Twelve
weeks later after your WODs have been
recorded, youve put your oxygen tent up
in the villa at Jumeirah, youve updated
your blog, selected an appropriate charity, followed the scheduled workouts and
dietary requirements you are ready. To a
certain extent, that is how it happens. But
what makes an 8,000m so special and so
different from other mountains?
For a start, there are only 14 8,000m peaks.
This limits your chance of finding one
that suits you. All of the 14 have different
profiles, weather patterns, feelings and
offer completely different overall experiences. There are around 160 mountains
that are between 7,000m and 7,999m. A
lot more choice to find one that is right for
you. Imagine the same situation running
a marathon. Some courses suit different
people. Now imagine there are only 14
marathon courses, all courses only accessible at a certain time of year and some years
the race does not take place because of
the weather. In short all 8,000m peaks are
difficult. People talk about an easy 8,000m.
Its like saying there is an easy marathon
The Death Zone
People often refer to any height above
8,000m as the Death Zone. This is one of
the reasons that 8,000m are special. The
Death Zone only exists on an 8,000m peak.
A typical expedition will take over six weeks




with only a few days, the summit days

being spent in the Death Zone. Within the
six weeks, time is spent acclimatising the
body, approaching and setting up a base
camp and putting in place anything from
4-6 different high altitude camps. The task
is mammoth and is in proportion to the size
of the mountain. A small army of people is
required to just get one person to the top.
One of the reasons it takes so long to
climb to 8,000m is the difference in air
pressure. People refer to this as the lack of
oxygen. At sea level there is approximately
21% oxygen in the air. This, as most people
incorrectly think does not change but
remains the same at whatever height you
are. However it is the barometric pressure
that drops, known as Boyles Law. And it
drops a lot. At only 5,500m, the pressure
has dropped by 50%. This makes it more
difficult to breathe as each gasp contains
less molecules of oxygen; 50% less at
5,500m. Other interesting things also happen. Cooking takes on a different meaning
as water now boils at 85C as there is less
pressure to keep the steam vapour from
escaping. On the top of Everest, if you did
not use bottled oxygen there would only
be 33% of the oxygen available to you that
there is at sea level.
This creates a problem as the body
cannot adjust immediately without long periods of acclimatisation. Acclimatisation is
where the body starts to breathe faster and
deeper to maximise the amount of oxygen
that can get into the blood from the lungs.
The heart will pump more blood to increase
the supply of oxygen to your brain and
muscles. The process varies according to
different individuals but it is generally a
painful process and one that must be monitored and not rushed.
What actually happens to the
body during the acclimatisation
To give you an idea of how harsh altitude
can be, the longest someone has spent on
Quick Checklist Route planning

Google Earth Screen shot of the route

You can download the GPS files here:

the summit of Everest is around 20 hours.

Thats not long and he was a Nepali.
Your body starts to notice the effects of
altitude as low as 1,500m. At this point it
automatically starts to change in order to
survive. Within the first few hours, in order
to cope with the lower pressure, the plasma
volume of the blood decreases by 25%.
The red blood cell count density therefore increases in an attempt to transport
more oxygen around the body. The whole
process takes time. At a height equivalent
to Mexico City which is 2,300m, the body
will take two weeks to adjust. Even then it
will not operate exactly the same as a sea
level. Other changes include faster, deeper
breathing, more rapid heart rate and even
up to 20% muscle wastage in fast and slow
twitch fibres over a period of six weeks at
These changes in the blood and body
are often used by athletes when they are
training at altitude to enhance their performance. The effects are similar to taking
performance enhancing drugs such as EPO.
Athletes are attempting to trick their bodies
to carry more oxygen. One of the dangers
is that the blood becomes too thick and
cannot be pumped around the system any
But no matter how long an individual
lives at altitude, they never fully compen-

Start point

253650.70N 56 036.10E

Off road driving required

No. It is possible to drive all the way to the

start in a 2W saloon

Distance and Time from Mirdif to start

101km 66min

Navigation on hike

Very easy navigation

Time required for hike

5hrs 6hrs but can be extended



Elevation gain on hike


High Point

540m but can be extended

Grocery / water on hike


Possible to encounter a vehicle on trail


Suitable for all the family

This hike is fairly long but easy under foot.

The track up is possible to drive or MTB but
arrange for transport back.

Directions to the start

Enter the start point coordinates into your GPS device or follow the directions from Google.




sate for the lack of oxygen and never regain

the level of aerobic power or endurance
performance they could have at sea level.
On an expedition there is a gradual decline
in all functions of the body and with the
exception of no one, the moment you start
walking into basecamp and climbing higher
is a race against time to reach the summit
before your resources are depleted. Above
8,000m there is no acclimatisation and the
body simply deteriorates. That is why it is
called the Death Zone.
Part 2 next month will get comments,
reflections and pointers from people who
have climbed 8,000m peaks and how
you can best prepare for an expedition at
A hike for August
The hike this month is not going to 8,000m,
but in this most hot and humid month it will
feel like you are short of oxygen. As always
in the summer be aware of your liquid
intake and take adequate precautions to
protect yourself against the heat. The route
starts from near Khatt Springs hotel and
climbs up a fantastic wide graded track.
When the weather is clear there are amazing views over the RAK plain. The walking is
easy underfoot and navigation up is simple.
At the high point take a turn north and
follow a slightly fainter track back down.
Shade is difficult to find on this route.
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.


Dibba Rock
Dive sites in the UAE and Oman
How to get there:
This site is around a 20-minute trip on our
speed boat from the Al Boom, Al Aqah
Dive Centre located at the Le Meridien
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 Road. Other pickup points are available, please contact the
call centre for more info.
As Dibba Rock is an island, it has a shallow and deep side ranging from around
4m down to around 16m.
Dibba Rock is a marine reserve where
fishing and shell collecting is prohibited
and it provides a variety of different diving
conditions. On the west side of the rock,
the sea is shallower and is a perfect area
to complete open water courses, take
specialties such as naturalist or to simply
enjoy snorkeling. The corals are truly
incredible and definitely some of the best
in the UAE, but the area is still in recovery
from damage caused by a red tide in the
winter of 2008-2009.


Fujairah, UAE


Up to 16m

Type of dive:

Rocky island pinnacle which slopes down to form a reef

covered in a variety of corals.


Great site for snorkelers, novice divers and up.

Turtles are fairly common here, as

are rays and blacktip reef sharks. Small
morays can be seen hiding in the coral
bed while large porcupine fish and puffer
fish hover over the rocks. Parrotfish species feed off the coral beds and groups
of schooling banner fish, damselfish and
butterfly fish flit around the rocks and
coral beds. Pipefish are not uncommon,
although can be difficult to spot and
seahorses have been recorded at the
site. The east side of the rock drops to
around 16m in depth and makes for a
very interesting pleasure dive. Turtles can
be seen resting in crevices in the rock face
and lionfish can be seen resting on the
sides of rocks, sometimes in groups of up
to five at a time.
Be aware of the usual suspects on the
East Coast, such as lion fish, 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.

I went to Fujairah with a group of my
friends, who are certified divers, and I am
not a diver, but I really enjoyed the snorkeling while my friends did their dive.
Bietha, from Jumeirah
Dibba Rock is one of my favourite dives
that I did on the East Coast and I really
enjoy diving it at high tide so I can do a
full circuit round the island. Dexter, from
Turtles and blacktip reef sharks were
definitely the highlight for me! Jayson,
from Palau
Al Boom Diving, Al Wasl Road.
Call Centre: +971 4 342 2993 or
Al Boom Diving, Al Aqah, Fujairah: +971
9 204 4925 or



Five tips to increasing

your climbing skill
Words By: Read Macadam

Climbing is skill-based.
Yes, of course, we must recruit
finger strength and build muscle, but without being able to
masterfully use our strength, to
use it effectively, our potential is

will be insufficient, making the shoes slip

easily on poor footholds. But, do not go so
tight that you are constantly distracted by
pain! Modern shoe design means performance does not have to be cripplingly
painful in this day and age.
Performance climbing shoes have been
designed so that zone at the end of the
toe box is the power point of your shoe.
It is from this point that you can pivot and
generate upward momentum. If you find


that you place your foot on the wall midway

down your foot, at the zone outside of your
pinky toe, or near the ball of your foot, you
are using bad footwork.
Silent feet. Practice your footwork on
easy routes or by traversing across the wall
without making a sound with your feet - no
thuds, kicks or scratches.
You will notice that to climb silently you
must watch what you are doing to place
your feet precisely. This is the lesson; it
forces you to slow down, relax and breathe.
As you progress, try to do this exercise on
the worst possible footholds for maximum
2. Learn how to back step and step
through. The back step allows you to
reach further than in the square, frog,
position and climb with straighter arms,
which means you are more efficient on the

So, much as a student of the piano

must practice the scales, starting slowly,
mastering the subtle finger movements and
building their dexterity in order to perfectly
play a classical or a speedy jazz number, we
climbers must practice ours: body positioning, proper footwork, grip, commitment,
sequence reading and being able to just
breathe. You would be surprised how often
the last one is holding people back!
When we practice skills, we are creating traces of memory impressions left by
the experience. Habits, essentially. I like to
think of these as deposits in a skill bank. In
order to be able to quickly negotiate hard
sequences of moves as we encounter them
it is a very sound strategy to have a large
bank of very good habits to draw from.

How can we fill our skill bank?

Two words: climb more. Climbing is naturally the best practice for climbing. But we
do not just want to climb more; we want to
climb smart, because what would be the
use of filling your bank with bad habits?

Image 1: In this example I am back stepping off of my left foot with my right hand engaged and
reaching up with my left hand. My right foot is flagging against the wall for balance.

Here are five simple strategies to help

you fill your bank with good habits.
1. Get yourself some high performance
shoes and practice your footwork.
New climbers: resist the urge to start
off with a basic pair of comfy shoes and
then progress into a high-end shoe as your
climbing improves. Your shoes are essentially the only piece of climbing equipment
that will directly impact your performance,
so why should you compromise?
Climbing in poorly fitting shoes will
create bad footwork habits, but a properly
fitting pair of high performance shoes will
give you more precision, more power and
more edging ability. Choose the shoe that
fits you best. Your shoes should be snug
and free of dead-space so that your toes
curl slightly giving you the most power at
the end of your big toe.
If your shoes are too loose the tension
created between your curled toes and heel



Image 2: After I have reached the next hold with my left hand I will step through allowing my left
foot to pivot as I rotate my body to face in the opposite direction by stepping my right foot across
and in front of my body.


Image 3: Once I have stepped through, I will allow my left foot to flag out in front of me for balance. Repeat as you progress across the wall. Practice your back step and step through technique
with the silent feet drill from point number 1.

3. Know when to rest and when to stop.

Adequate rest is critical to allowing you
to practice climbing well. Emphasis on
well. When we become really tired our
technique becomes lax and our climbing
becomes sloppy. Sloppy climbing fills our
bank with bad habits and exposes us to
potential injury so, if you start to get too
tired, yet want to climb longer, take your
level down a notch so you can focus your
practice on climbing well.
If you are done climbing for the day, but
want to finish off your energy, then finish
by doing pure strength based workout
rather than a skill based, climbing specific
drill such as weights, push-ups, pull-ups or
Listen to your body. A typical rest time

for a boulderer is up to three minutes between a good attempt. Of course, required

rest will be much longer on roped routes.
4. Practice going for it and conquer
your fear of falling. What use will all of
this good technique be if you are unable
to climb above a bolt due to fear? Here is
a shocker: each time you get scared and
call for tension you are actually practicing
giving up, effectively engraining the habit
of surrendering to your fear. Practice taking
lead falls until you can let go with ease.
Start small, clipping and falling at the same
height as the bolt and progress until you
are comfortable to lunge dynamically for a
hold even high above the last bolt.


5. Work on your weaknesses. Are slopers

your nemesis? Try climbing on routes with
slopey grips for a few weeks. Are overhangs killing you? Do the back step drill on
the steepest wall you can find.
If you climb to your comfort zone you are
limiting yourself to a narrow style of climbing. The thing about earning skills is that
we need to practice what we are not good
at in order to improve. Go out and climb
routes of many different styles to deepen
your skill bank.
Regardless of your ability, the thing
about creating and storing these memory
traces is that you cannot build them by
climbing at your limit. Quite simply, at
maximum exertion we use only the most
deeply founded skills we have already
banked in order to hang on, so there is no
chance to learn new ones.
Take it down a level when you practice
these basics and, better yet, get in the
habit of incorporating all of these drills into
your warm-up routine so that you start each
climbing sessions off on the right foot.
Happy climbing.
Read is a personal success coach and
rock climber based in Muscat, Oman.
For the past six years, he has been establishing the hardest DWS and sport
routes in the GCC. Read is sponsored
by TRAKS Pro Gear and Training,
representing Petzl and Andreas
Boldrini. Follow Read at

Our fabulous fat friend

Why most diets dont work and how a high fat,
low carbohydrate diet can change it all
Words By: Trace Rogers, Coach and Founder of SuperTRI

So many of us have tried

and failed repeatedly to lose
weight. We have embraced low
calorie diets, ramped up our
physical activity only to find that
we may experience fitness gains
but weight loss remains elusive.
Heres why and how you can
make that permanent change.
Why low-calorie diets dont work?

Not all calories are equal, meaning that we

do not metabolise food in the same way.
Simply put, if you are carbohydrate resistant, your body will experience the toxic
effect of stored fat and the capacity to use
stored glucose will be diminished resulting
in fat gains.
Carbohydrates do not satiate the appetite for long. So having a low-calorie diet

means that you constantly feel hungry and

lethargic which makes it easier to fall off
the diet bandwagon.

How a high-fat diet leads to a

healthy lifestyle, improved
athletic performance
and ultimately fat loss.

Given that fat has more calories per gram

than carbohydrates or protein, eating
healthy fats will result in sustained energy
and less desire to top up on food intake.
In this way, we can train our bodies to fuel
for longer on less. Over time, your body
also becomes more efficient at metabolising existing stores of fat as energy a state
known as ketosis.

Cholesterol and heart disease

Recently a few ethical scientists (those that

dont manipulate the outcome of studies
to justify their own agenda) have come
to realise that there may be absolutely

no truth in fat elevating cholesterol levels

which then go on to block arteries and
cause heart disease. This highly manipulated theory was based on insufficient
studies applied to a small minority of the
world population. When the same study
was widened to a more acceptable majority, it was discovered that the link between
heart disease and cholesterol could not be
In the next edition we will go into detail
about how to effectively apply a high-fat,
low-carbohydrate diet. Until then, think
twice before consuming food high in sugar
and consider replacing carbohydrates that
are high in sugar with healthy animal and
vegetable fats.
For more on this topic, please refer to
the publications of: Prof Tim Noakes (with
Michael Vlismas), Challenging Beliefs,
Memoirs of a Career; Prof Tim Noakes, The
Real Meal Revolution; and Gary Taubes,
Good Calories, Bad Calories.






How and what to catch in the Middle East #7

Yellowfin Tuna
Words By: Kit Belen

The yellowfin tuna needs no

introduction; I hold this fish so
dear, my four-year-old daughter can say Thunnus Albacares
since she was three. It is called
gaider in the UAE local tongue,
although recorded as present in
the Arabian Gulf it is commonly
found in the East Coast of the
This fish gets its name from the prominent yellow second dorsal and anal fins
that grow long upon maturity, its smaller
fins are also coloured yellow. Juvenile yellowfin tuna are often confused with close
cousin, the bigeye tuna. They are difficult
to distinguish because the bigeye tuna has
the same body shape and also has yellow
fins, when they reach maturity, the bigeye
tuna does not have the long yellow dorsal
and anal fins of the yellowfin tuna.
Reaching an excess of 2.4m (7.8ft) and
weights of up to 200kg, the yellowfin tuna
is one of the bigger tunas. The specimens
you are most likely to encounter in UAE
waters would be up to 30kg on the top
end, and about 3-8kg on average. There
are records of fish of 80kg landed in Fujairah in past years.

Poppers for big fish

such as tuna are now
very common sights
in most tackle shops

Trolling lures such

as these are popular
when the big boys
come to town

Tuna feather

Tuna feathers such

as this example are
good trolling lures
for tuna

Small trolling skirts

such as this are as
popular as ever


Jigs have risen in

popularity in recent
years, and with
good reason - they
produce well!


Deceivers are a great all

around fly and tuna love them

Where to find
Yellowfin tuna are epipelagic (sunlit zone
of the water column) fish that inhabit the
mixed surface layer of the ocean above the
thermocline. Research has found that yellowfin tuna mostly range in the top 100m
(330ft) of the water column and rarely dive
under thermocline although they are capable of diving to considerable depths, up to
1,160m (3,810ft).
When they are closer to shore in Fujairah, they can be found around the numerous parked tankers but oftentimes found
well offshore, about 40 nautical miles
(64km) into the Indian Ocean. Around the
tankers, they will swim anywhere from 9m
(30ft) to just above the sea floor.
How to catch
Since the yellowfin tuna is one of the
worlds most popular fish, its natural that a
lot of sports fishing methods were developed around the fishery, as such you can
target the yellowfin tuna with quite a broad
range of techniques, from the traditional
trolling to the more recent rage of popping
and jigging.
By far the most popular sport fishing
method for catching sizable tuna is with
trolling, there are a multitude of skirted

Clouser deep minnow

Flourocarbon line, a
strong hook and swivel
make up a simple tuna
live baiting rig

Live baits are nose hooked to give them

the best swimming freedom to attract tuna

trolling lures made especially for tuna but

the king of the hill has always been the
tuna feather. It is a bullet head lure with
feathers for the tail.
Drifting from a boat with live baits is also
a very good option for those that dont
mind getting their hands slimy. This is an
excellent method when the tuna less aggressive.
Vertical jigs of all sizes and shapes can
be potentially used for tuna, although
there are specific models designed primarily for them. Jigs are extremely effective
when the tuna are feeding deeper in the
water column.
Poppers and stickbaits have also been
quite popular in recent years. These lures
give the angler the best and most exhilarating takes since the explosion from the
fish trying to bite the lure is on the surface
of the water, it gives the anglers a look at
the violent take of the lure a truly addictive sight that you want to experience over
and over again! Poppers and stickbaits are
best used when the tuna are boiling on the
surface, chasing small baitfish.
When you have the space on the boat,
time and more importantly, the chance to
fly fishing for tuna it will be one of those
times you wished you could do a lot of. A
multitude of flies will work for them including the leftys deceiver, a heavy clouser
deep minnow, the surf candy and any fly
that looks like a small baitfish or a squid.
One thing to take note of is the hook, they
have to be made of high carbon steel a
good fly would have a Gamakatsu SL12s
for the hook, or similar from other reputed
Availability and conservation
The yellowfin tuna is not listed as overfished. Smaller fish should be released so
stocks will not be depleted.




Apps for the outdoors

Google Earth

Words By: Glaiza Seguia-Godinez

Developer: Google Inc

Compatibility: iPhone,
iPad and iPod touch (iOS
4.3 or later); Android
File size: 29.2 MB
Price: Free
Hold the world on the
palm of your hand literally. The search engine
giant used the same satellite imagery as seen in the
downloadable desktop
version to this app chockfull of 3D maps. It displays
coordinates and altitude,
routes and terrain, and search tool for locations.
Explore sites and landmarks around the world with the
virtual tours that will fly you there. Or check out the
geo-located Panoramio photos pinned in the map.
Easy panning, zooming and rotating view options, but
the app is only as good as your internet connection.

GotoAID First Aid

Developer: Jaargon Inc

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad
and iPod touch (iOS 4.0 or
later); Android devices
File size: 48.2 MB
Price: 17.99 AED in App Store;
18.33 AED in Google Play
Simple and practical instructions you can refer to in case
of an emergency or if just want
to refresh your first aid knowhow. The app is created for
non-professionals and includes
easy-to-follow steps with graphics on appropriate responses
to different scenarios: medical
emergencies like how to perform CPR, how put pressure on
a wound or what to do if you
get stung by a jellyfish; disaster
preparedness for tornado and
earthquake; list of emergency
numbers in different countries;
and first-aid for your pets. This
app also has a free version.

We would love to hear your recommendations

or alternative smartphone apps for the outdoors.

Useful knots #6

The bowline knot is an easy and useful knot to tie a loop at the
end of a rope. It is reasonably safe and does not slip or bind
If safety is of importance, you should use a more secure knot,
if there is no load, shakes can undo the knot. Just make sure the
tails end is not too short. The knot is easy to tie and also to untie if there is no load on the rope, with load it is not possible to
open the knot. The knot is often used to fasten mooring
lines to a ring, it can be used to connect two ropes or for any
purpose when you need a loop at the ropes end.

& pull





General Sports
Equipment Megastores

Adventure HQ, Dubai Times Square Center,

Sheikh Zayed Rd, toll free: 800-ADVENTURE,
+971 43466824; The Beach on JBR, Dubai:
+971 44304419; Dalma Mall, Abu Dhabi:
+971 24456995,
Decathlon, Dubai, Mirdif City Centre,
+971 42839392
Go Sport, The Dubai Mall: +971 43253595;
Abu Dhabi Mall: +971 26454595; Bawabat Al
Sharq Mall, Abu Dhabi: +971 25868240
InterSport, Dubai Times Square Centre:
+971 43418214 and Dubai Festival City:
+971 42066581,
Peiniger BMT Est., CBD, Khalifa Street,
Yateem Optician Bldg., Abu Dhabi, UAE,
+971 26262332,
Sun and Sand Sports, most shopping
centres, +971 43504444,

Adventure tours and desert safaris

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

Net Group, Dubai and Abu Dhabi,

+971 26794656,
Oasis Palm Dubai, Dubai, +971 42628889,
Rahhalah, Dubai, +971 44472166,
Vera City Tours, Downtown, Dubai, UAE,
+971 556100414,
Wild Guanabana, Dubai, +971 567954954,
Abu Dhabi Fishing, Camping, Kayaking,
& Adventure Club, +971504920860,


Ballooning Adventures Emirates, Dubai,

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

Boating & Sailing

Al Fajer Marine, Dubai, Al Quoz,
+971 43235181,
Al Jeer Marina, RAK border Musandam,
+971 72682333/+971 504873185,
Al Shaali Marine, Ajman, +971 67436443,
Alyousuf Industrial, LLC,
+971 43474111,,
Elite Pearl Charter, Saeed Tower 1 office
# 3102, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, UAE,
+971 43889666,
Gulf Craft, Ajman, +971 67406060,
Distributors and Dealers
Art Marine, Shed Nr. 31, Jaddaf, Dubai,
UAE, +971 4324061,
Azure Marine, Dubai, +971 43404343,
Luxury Sea Boats, Dubai, +971 505589319,
Macky Marine LLC, Dubai,
+971 505518317,
Nautilus Yachts, Sharjah, +971 65576818,
The Boat House, Dubai, Al Quoz,
+971 43405152,
UAE Boats 4 Sale, Dubai Marina,
+971 44471501,
Western Marine, Marina Yacht Club, Dubai,
+971 43039744
Ali Khalifah Moh Al Fuqaei, Deira, Dubai,
+971 42263220
Al Masaood Marine, Sheikh Zayed Road,
Dubai, +971 43468000,
Blue Waters Marine, Shop 11,
The Curve Bldg., Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai,
+971 43808616 / +971 553899995,,
Extreme Marine, Dubai, +971 43992995,
Japan Marine General Trading, Al Garhoud
Road, Liberty Building, Dubai,
+971 559299111, +971 42828255,,
Rineh Emirates Trading LLC, Dubai, Al Quoz,
+971 43391512,
Repairs and Maintenance
Extreme Marine, Dubai, Dubai Marina,
+971 43992995,
Rineh Emirates, Sheikha Sana Warehouse 1,
Al Quoz, +971 43391512,,
SNS Marine, JAFZA Techno Park, Jebel Ali,
Dubai, +971 501405058,,
The Boat House, Dubai, Al Quoz,
+971 43405152,
Cruise Operators
Al Bateen Marina, Abu Dhabi,
+971 26665491,
Al Marsa Travel & Tourism, Dibba,
Musandam, +968 26836550, +971 65441232
Bateaux Dubai, Dubai Creek opposite
the British Embassy, +971 43994994
Bristol Middle East, Dubai Marina,
+971 44309941,
Captain Tonys, Yas Marina, Yas Island, Abu
Dhabi, +971 26507175,
Delma Industrial Supply and Marine
Services, Al Bateen Jetty, Abu Dhabi,
+971 26668153,
Eden Yachting, Dubai Marina,
+971 504586171,
Emirates Yachting, Dubai, +971 42826683
El Mundo, Dubai, +971 505517406,
Four Star Travel and Tourism, Dubai,
+971 42737779,
4 Yacht Arabia, Shop No. 5, Dubai Marina
Yacht Club, 800 92248,
Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa,
Al Aqah Beach, Fujairah,
+971 92449888,
Ghantoot Marina & Resort, Abu Dhabi,
+971 529933153,
Happy Days Sea Cruising LLC, Dubai,
+971 558961276, +971 503960202,
JPS Yachts and Charter, Room 225,
Emarat Atrium building, Sheikh Zayed Road,
Dubai, +971 43437734,
Khasab Divers, Oman, +971 567255889,
Khasab Musandam Travel & Tours,
PO Box 411, Khasab, Musandam,
+968 93350703,
Khour Shem Tourism, Oman,
+968 26731919,
LY Catamaran, Dubai, +971 505869746,
+971 566506683,
Marine Concept, Dubai, +971 559603030,
Nautica1992, Dubai, +971 504262415,
Noukhada Adventure Company, Villa 332/7,
Al Meena Street, Abu Dhabi, +971 26503600,
RAK Marine LLC, Ras Al Khaimah City Hilton
Marina, +971 504912696, +971 72066410
Sea Hunters Passenger Yachts & Boats
Rental, Dubai Marina, +971 42951011
Sheesa Beach, Dibba, Musandam,
+971 503336046,
Smoke Dragon Of London Yacht, Abu
Dhabi International Marine & Sports Club,
+971 507011958 / +971 504546617
Summertime Marine Sports, Dubai,
+971 42573084
The Club, Abu Dhabi, +971 26731111,
The Yellow Boats LLC, Dubai Marina Walk
opposite Spinneys, Intercontinental Hotel
Marina, +8008044,
Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports
Club, Abu Dhabi, Breakwater,
+971 26815566,
Abu Dhabi Marina, Abu Dhabi,
Tourist Club Area, +971 26440300
Al Jeer Marina, RAK Border, Musandam
+971 72682333 / +971 504873185
Al Mouj Marina, Muscat, Oman,
+968 24534554,
Al Wasl Charter & Fishing, Airport Road, Al
Qwais Bldg., Off. 207, Dubai, UAE,
+971 42394760-61,
Dubai Creek Marina, Deira, Dubai,
+971 43801234,
Dubai International Marine Sports Club,
Dubai Marina, +971 43995777,
Dubai Marina Yacht Club, Dubai,
+971 43627900,
Dubai Maritime City Harbour Marina,
Dubai, +971 43455545
Dubai Offshore Sailing Club, Dubai,
+971 43941669,
Emirates Palace Marina, Abu Dhabi,
+971 43388955
Four Seasons Marina, Doha, Qatar,
+974 44948899,
Fujairah International Marine Club,
Fujairah, +971 92221166,
Intercontinental Abu Dhabi Marina, Al
Bateen, Intercontinental Hotel, Abu Dhabi,
+971 26666888,
Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa Marina,
Jebel Ali, Dubai, +971 48145555/5029,
Lusail Marina, Lusail City, Qatar,
+974 55843282,
Marina Bandar Al Rowdha, Muscat, Oman,
+968 24737286 (ext 215),
Pavilion Marina, Dubai,
Jumeirah Beach Hotel, +971 44068800
The PearlQatar Marinas, Doha, Qatar,
+974 4965801,
Umm Al Quwaim Marine Sports Club,
Umm Al Quwaim, +971 67666644,
Dragon Boat Groups
Dubai Dawn Patrol Dragon Boating, Dubai
+971 508795645 (Michael),
Dubai Diggers, Jumeirah Beach Hotel,
pier next to 360, Dubai, +971 501547175
(Nick Hando),
UAE Dragon Boat Association,
+971 507634008,

Camping & Hiking

Equipment, +971 505548255,
Gulf Camping, Dubai, UAE,
Jack Wolfskin, Mirdif City Centre Dubai,
+971 42840228; Al Wahda Mall,
Abu Dhabi,+971 24437802
Picnico General Trading, near Sharaf DG
Metro Station, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai,
+971 43951113
Tresspass, 2nd floor above ice rink,
The Dubai Mall, +971 43398801
Tour Operators
Arabia Outdoors, Dubai, +971 559556209,
Absolute Adventure, Dubai, +971 43459900,
Desert Road Tourism,
Al Khor Plaza 503, Dubai, +971 42959428,




Libra, +971 559228362,
Mountain High Middle East, Dubai,
+971 43480214,
Sheesa Beach, Musandam, Dibba,
+971 50336046,


Mountain High Middle East, Dubai,

+971 43480214,
Muscat Diving & Adventure Centre,
Oman, +968 24543002,
Oman World Tourism, Oman,
+968 99431333,


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

Mountain Biking & Cycling

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


Abu Dhabi Tri Club,
Cycle Safe Dubai, Dubai Autodrome
Dubai Roadsters,


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

+971 508853238, Dibba, Oman
Oman Dive Center, Muscat, Oman,
+968 24284240,
Pavilion Dive Centre (equipment), Dubai,
+971 44068828
Scuba Oman, Oman, +968 99558488,
Scuba 2000, Al Bidiya Beach, Fujairah,
+971 92388477,
Scuba, +971 502053922,
7 Seas Diving Center, Khorfakkan,
+971 92387400,
Sharjah Wanderers Dive Club, Sharjah,
+971 50784 0830,
Sheesa Beach, Dibba, Musandam,
+971 503336046,
Sky &Sea Adventures, Dubai, Hilton,
Jumeirah Beach Road, +971 43999005,
The Dive Shop, 34G, European Center,
Green Community, Dubai, UAE,
+971 48135474,
Atlantis Underwater Photography Club,
Dubai, +971 44263000
Desert Sports Diving Club, Dubai,
Emirates Diving Association, Diving
Village, Al Shindagha, Dubai,
+971 43939390,
Filipino SCUBA Divers Club (FSDC),
Dubai, UAE, +971 566952421,
Freediving UAE, Dubai, Abu Dhabi,
Sharjah Wanderers Dive Club, Sharjah,
+971 507840830,

Fishing & Kayaking

Al Boom Marine, Abu Dhabi & Dubai,
+971 42894858,
Al Hamur Marine and Sports Equipment,
Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai,
+971 43444468
Al Kashat, Shop No. 14, Souq Waqif,
Doha, Qatar, +974 44175950,
Al Masaood Marine, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed
Road, +971 43468000,
Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed
Rd, +971 43390621,
Arabian Divers and Sportfishing
Charters, Al Bateen Marina Resort,
Abu Dhabi, +971 506146931,
Barracuda Fishing and Outdoor, Dubai,
Street 13A 1, Al Safa 1, +971 43466558,
Blue Waters Marine, Shop 11,
The Curve Bldg., Sheikh Zayed Road,
Dubai, +971 43808616 / +971 553899995,

New rates for 2014

Single visit 80 aed
10 visit pass: 500
Summer Sizzler 1 May to 30 Sept
(5 months) 1,500
Courses starting in May for
beginners and intermediate
04 88 29 361
Challenging Adventure, Wadi Al Bih Ras Al Khaimah, +971 561060798,
Global Climbing Trading LLC,
Dubai Investment Park 1, Dubai,
+971 48829361,
Ocean Active, Dubai, Garden Centre,
+971 502898713,
Absolute Adventure, Dubai,
+971 43459900,
Al Boom Diving, Le Meridien Al Aqah
Beach Resort, Fujairah, +971 43422993
Al Hamra Marina and Yacht Club, Al
Hamra, Ras Al Khaimah, +971 72434540,
Al Mahara Dive Center,
Downtown Abu Dhabi, +971 501118125,
Al Wasl Charter & Fishing, Airport Road, Al
Qwais Bldg., Off. 207, Dubai, UAE, +974 4
Al Shaheen Adventure, Abu Dhabi,
+971 26429995,
Al Wasl Charter & Fishing (Al Wasl
Passenger Yachts and Boats Rental LLC),
Airport Road, Al Owais Building, Dubai,
+971 42394761,
Arabian Divers and Sportfishing
Charters, Al Bateen Marina Resort,
+971 506146931,
Arabia Outdoors, Dubai, +971 559556209,
Barracuda Diving Centre, Fujairah
International Marine Club, +971 9222558
Belevari Marine, Abu Dhabi,
+971 26594144
Captain Tonys, Yas Marina, Yas Island,
Abu Dhabi, +971 26507175,
Fun Beach Water Sports, Dubai,
+971 53244550,
Happy Days Sea Cruising LLC, Dubai,
+971 558961276, +971 503960202,
Hiltonia Beach Club, Hilton Abu Dhabi
Hotel, Abu Dhabi, +971 26811900
Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort,
Dibba Road, Fujairah, +971 92449000,
Nautica 1992, Dubai, +971 504262415,
Noukhada Adventure Company,
Villa 332/7, Al Meena Street, Abu Dhabi,
+971 26503600,
Ocean Active, Dubai, Garden Centre,
+971 502898713,
Sheesa Beach, Dibba, Musandam,
+971 503336046,
Soolyman Sports Fishing, Dubai,
Umm Suqeim, +971 508866227,
Summertime Marine Sports, Dubai,
+971 42573084,
Xclusive Yachts, Dubai, Dubai Marina,
+971 44327233,


Abu Dhabi Camping, Fishing & Kayaking
Dubai Surfski & Kayak Club, Kitesurfers
Beach, Umm Suqeim 1, Dubai,
+971 554986280,

General Sports Equipment


Adventure HQ, Dubai Times Square

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

Horse Riding

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

HoofbeatZ, located just inside the Dubai

Polo & Equestrian Club, Dubai,
+971 501810401,
Mushrif Equestrian and Polo Club, Mushrif
Park, Al Khawaneej Road, Dubai,
+971 42571256,
Qudraland Community,,
Rahal Ranch, Al Wathba Racing Area,
Abu Dhabi, +971 566127914,
Riding for the Disabled, Dubai,,,
Sharjah Equestrian & Racing Club,
Sharjah, Al Dhaid Road,
+971 65311188,
Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Al Mushrif,
Abu Dhabi, +971 24455500,
Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club, Exit 399,
Abu Dhabi/ Dubai Highway, Abu Dhabi,
+971 25629050,
Jebel Ali Racecourse, off the main Abu
Dhabi - Dubai Highway (Sheikh Zayed road)
beside the Emirates Golf Club, Dubai,
+971 43474914
Meydan Grandstand and Racecourse, Al
Meydan Road, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai,
+971 43270000,
Sharjah Racecourse, Al Dhaid Road,
Sharjah, +971 65311155,
Equine Hospitals/Clinics
Central Veterinary Research Laboratory,
next to Dubai Equestrian Hospital, Zabeel 2,
Dubai, +971 43375165,
Dubai Equine Hospital, behind World Trade
Center, Zabeel 2, Dubai, +971 43178888,
Gulf Vetcare, Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi,
+971 508617590,
Sharjah Equine Hospital, Bridge No. 6,
Al Dhaid Road, Sharjah,
+971 65311881,

Jet Ski

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

& ATVs

Al Badayer Rental (Rental),
Dubai-Hatta Road, +971 507842020,
Al Shaali Moto, Ras Al Khor,
+971 43200009,
Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd,
+971 43390621,
Golden Desert Motorcycles
Rental (Rental), Dubai-Hatta Road, Dubai,
+971 551532550,
Just Gas It, Hatta Rd., Al Aweer, Dubai,
UAE, +971 509192394,
KTM, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, exit 42,
+971 4323151,
Liberty Kawasaki, Dubai, Interchange 4,
Sheikh Zayed Road, +971 43419341,
Polaris UAE (atvs), Ras Al Khor, Nad al
Hamar Road, Al Ghandi Complex, Dubai,
+971 42896100, M4, Sector 13,
10th Street, Mussafah Industrial, Abu Dhabi,
+971 25555144,


Sebsports, Al Quoz Industrial Area 1

Dubai, +971 43393399,
Wild X Adventure Shop, Dubai,
+971 48321050, www.
Desert Road Tourism, Al Khor Plaza 503,
Dubai, +971 42959429,
Sandstorm Motorcycles (Rental),
Al Quoz, Dubai, +971 43470270,
Sebsports, Dubai, Al Quoz Industrial Area 3,
+971 43393399,
2XWheeler, Motorcity Dubai,
+971 44548388,
Wild X, Dubai, Um Al Ramoul Industrial
Area, +971 42852200, www.
Workshops and Services
Moto-X and Quad, PO Box 476214, Dubai,
UAE, +971 50 6169727, www.gasgasmotos.


Distributors and Dealers

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


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

Dubai, +971 42959429,

Oasis Palm Dubai, Dubai, +971 42628889,
Abu Dhabi Off- Road Club,
ALMOST 4x4 Off-Road Club,
+971 507665522,
Dubai Offroaders,
JEEP Wrangler JK Fun Club,,
ME 4X4,


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

Stand up Paddling, Kite & Surfing,

Al Boom Marine, Abu Dhabi & Dubai,
+971 42894858,
Al Masaood Marine, Dubai,
Sheikh Zayed Road, +971 43468000,
Iknic Brands, Suite 509 Dsseldorf
Business Point Al Barsha Dubai, UAE
+971 506874178,
Kitesurf Dubai, Kitesurf Beach,
Umm Suqueim and Jumeirah 3
+971 505586190,
Pearl Water Crafts,
Dubai Marina Yacht Club, +971 553749398,
Picnico, Jumeirah Beach Road
Opposite Sunset Mall, Dubai
+971 43941653
Surf Dubai, Dubai, Umm Suqeim,
+971 505043020,
Surf Shop Arabia, Building 1,
Al Manara Road (East), Interchange 3,
Dubai, +971 43791998,
UAE Kite Surfing, +971 505626383,
Kitepeople Kite & Surf Store,
International City, Dubai,
+971 504559098,
Ocean Sports FZE, +971 559352735,
Al Forsan International Sports Resort,
Abu Dhabi, +971 25568555,




Dubai Kite Surf School, Dubai,
Umm Suqeim Beach, +971 504965107,
Duco Maritime, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah
and Abu Dhabi, +971 508703427,
Dukite, Kitesurf Beach, Umm Suqeim,
Dubai,+971 507586992,
Kite Fly, Dubai, +971 502547440,, Abu Dhabi, +971 508133134,
Kitepro Abu Dhabi, Yas Island
and Al Dabbayyah, Abu Dhabi,
+971 505441494,
Nautica1992, Dubai, +971 504262415,
Shamal Kite Surfing, Umm Suqueim Dubai,
+971 507689226,,
Sky & Sea Adventures, Dubai, Hilton,
Jumeirah Beach Road, +971 43999005,

Adventure tours
and desert safaris

Dolphin Qasab Tours, PO Box: 123, P.C.

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


Al Marsa Musandam, PO Box: 44, Dibba,

Adventure tours
and desert safaris

Al Mulla Travels, PO Box: 4147, Doha, Qatar,

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

Surf School UAE, Umm Suqeim Beach and

Building 1, Al Manara Road (East), Interchange 3,
Dubai,+971 556010997,
Watercooled, Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa,
Dubai, +971 48876771,
Water Cooled, Watercooled Sports Services
LLC, Hilton Beach Club, Abu Dhabi, UAE,
+971 26395997,
Abu Dhabi Stand Up Paddle,

Water Parks

Aquaventure Atlantis, Dubai, Palm Jumeirah,

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


Other leisure activities

Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Abu Dhabi,

+ 971 25588990,
Al Tamimi Stables, Sharjah,
+971 67431122 \ +971 44370505,
Blokart Sailing, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai,
+971 556101841,
Childrens City, Creek Park Gate No.1,
Dubai, +971 43340808,
Dolphin Bay Atlantis, Dubai,
+971 44260000,
Dubai Dolphinarium Dubai, Creek Park
Gate No. 1, +971 43369773,
iFly Dubai, Dubai, Mirdif City Centre,
+971 42316292,
Sadiyaat Beach Club, Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat
Island, +971 25578000,
Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club, Sharjah,
+971 43999005,
SkiDubai, Dubai, Mall of The Emirates,

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

Street, Al Shati Area, Muscat, Oman, +968

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

Doha, Qatar, +974 44551141,

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

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

General Sports
Equipment Megastores

Galaxy Sport, City Centre Mall, 3rd Floor,

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

Boating & Sailing

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

Horse Riding

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


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

Add your free listing to the

Stand Up Paddeling, Kite

& Surfing, Wakeboarding

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

+971 44094000,

Spacewalk Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi,
+971 24463653,

Health, Safety & Training

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

Camping & Hiking

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

Fishing & Kayaking

AzZaha Tours, +968 99013424,
Water World Marine Oman,
ofOman, +96824737438,

Boating & Sailing

Saphire Marine, PO Box: 11, Post Code 118,
Muscat, Oman, +968 99877243,
Qdive Marine Center, PO Box: 16657,
Doha, Qatar, +974 44375065,
World Marine Centre, Old Salata Street,
near the Qatar National Museum, Doha,
Qatar, +974 55508177

Fishing & Kayaking

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

& ATVs

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

Fishing & Kayaking

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

Stand Up Paddeling, Kite &

Surfing, Wakeboarding

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


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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