Want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro or hike up a mighty volcano in Indonesia? How about surfing the tides in Zanzibar or canyoning in Oman? Here are five UAE-based adventure companies to satisfy your inner adrenaline junkie.
Life Happens Outdoors
Founded in 2015 by Dubai-based outdoor enthusiasts Rami Rasamny and Ghida Arnaout, Life Happens Outdoors curates adventures and expeditions for first timers, experienced climbers and solo travelers. The adventure tour operator has taken more than 150 travelers to countries such as Bhutan, Tanzania, Peru and France for trekking tours, with more countries and challenges added every year. Rasamny personally leads every expedition with the help of a local guide in that country. Cost of travel includes airport transfers, full board, meals, guides, rentals, permits. The team also offers a complimentary fitness and nutrition guide to prepare for the tour. Life Happens Outdoors also offers technical climbing tours and mountaineering courses.
Gulf for Good
Gulf for Good was established in 2001 under the patronage of Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the Emirates Group. The not-for-profit organization co-ordinates challenges all over the world to help fund community projects in those countries. Money raised by the participants supports sustainable charity projects for children. Some of the projects Gulf for Good has funded include building a community hospital in Nepal, classrooms in Tanzania, providing medical equipment in Palestine and China, refurbishing orphanages in Thailand, Cambodia and Egypt and supplying mobile hospitals in the Delhi slums.
This Meetup organization for like-minded people has been running for five years. Trekkup organizes a steady stream of short and longer tours year-round, offering good options for budget adventure travel. Trekkup has taken travelers to Indonesia, Ukraine, China, Uzbekistan and more recently to North Korea. Most trips are full board, with airline tickets, hotels and meals included. A dedicated tour leader travels with the group from the UAE and teams up with a local guide.
The UAE Trekkers team leads hikes in the mountains of the UAE and Oman during the cooler months. In addition, the experienced climbers have accompanied more than 25 teams to the summit of Kilimanjaro and other mountains, including Mt Ararat in Turkey, Mt Elbrus in Russia and Mt Kenya. They employ local guides, visit community centers and also provide volunteering opportunities on some of their trips. Their adventures are geared to travelers of varied fitness levels and can cater to first-timers.
Offering a mix of local and international adventures, this tour company combines hiking, camping, canyoning, diving, horse riding and snorkeling for a fun time outdoors. Adventure enthusiasts can sign up for local experiences in Egypt, Zanzibar, Kazakhstan and Nepal during the week-long trip.
Featured photo hiking in Kurdistan with Trekkup Dubai/Ann Marie McQueen
Afshan Ahmed is a communications consultant with 11 years of experience as a journalist in the UAE. She has been a features writer for leading English dailies in country, covering a range of topics, including education, arts, health and fitness. When not behind a desk creating content, she is either building strength with a barbell in the gym or pursuing other physical goals to tick off her bucket list.