Most people who visit the United Arab Emirates flock to Dubai’s money-centric city to splash their cash and live it large. Most readers of The Adventure Blog probably don’t have huge cravings to visit this utopia for the rich. We like to picture you all as intrepid adventurers who measure a trip’s satisfaction by the memories it leaves and the experiences you endured.
Well, wouldn’t it be interesting to shock your friends by telling them that you are visiting the United Arab Emirates but not to unwind at all-inclusive monolithic hotels but to learn to survive in the harsh deserts over 200km away.
Thinking Outside the Box
Ras Al Khaimah is an Emirate within the United Arab Emirates and is gaining a reputation as a great travel destination for those with adventure in their hearts. It gained the Middle East’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination title in 2020 at the World Travel Awards.
Not all of us really want to risk our lives summiting the world’s most dangerous mountains when we have kids at home that expect us home in time for dinner. So why not sample said elements of danger with the knowledge you’ll make it back to your country in one piece.
If that sounds like an appealing notion, you may want to have a look at the first Bear Grylls branded accommodation in the world from RAK Leisure. If his name doesn’t ring a bell, it’s time to get out of your cave; perhaps an adventure is exactly what you need.
Adventure Designed by an Adventurer
Bear Grylls is a world-famous British adventurer and TV personality, often the subject of many arguments of who would win in a survivalist battle compared with the less in-your-face Ray Mears. He is probably most known for his television series Man vs. Wild and its many spin-offs but has also completed several notable expeditions and adventures.
From summiting Everest 18 months after breaking three vertebrae in a parachuting accident to raising money by rowing naked in a bathtub along the river Thames. This is just the tip of the iceberg of this ex-military man’s accolades.
Love or hate his over-the-top presentation style, this man lives and breathes adventure. This is, of course, why if you were going to spend your money on an adventure holiday, this far-out trip to UAE probably has the best credentials out there.
The Bear Grylls Explorers Camp idea was launched in September 2020 and has finally opened for visitors this month. The camp sits on Jebel Jais, the United Arab Emirates highest mountain.
This barren landscape appears at first to be inhospitable, and to the average person landing in Dubai would be considered downright terrifying. This is about as far away from sipping expensive cocktails at the top of the Burj Khalifa as you could get. But as the website tagline states, this experience allows you to “reconnect with nature, rediscover your wild spirit.”
Airbnb Eat Your Heart Out
The purpose-built cabins have a certain level of aesthetic charm with their chipboard panels and camouflage netting whilst still remaining rustic at their core. Just looking at the photos shows us the style that Bear is going for, the feeling of being exposed to the elements without any real-life sufferings that usually go along with it. No skills in tent-pitching are required to actually survive out here.
So you may be thinking, what sets this trip apart from just going out camping with your family or friends in your own locality? Well, if you are a fan of Bear or just have an interest in becoming a better survivalist, the camp offers a range of survival courses.
The previous twelve months have felt fairly apocalyptic, and we could all probably do with adding some additional bushcraft to our repertoire. These varying courses should do the trick by improving your survivalist sensibilities. Courses range from 4 hours to 24 hours and change depending on who is taking part.
Can you Hack it?
The 24-Hour Family Survival Course is designed to inspire families to become stronger and more resourceful together and was created by Bear Grylls and his close team of experts. The course prices are not as overpriced as you would expect considering the famous name being attached. This course starts at 1300 AED, which works out under $400.
The most exhilarating course, by the sounds of things, is the 24-Hour Adult Survival Course. This course promises to teach you practical life-saving skills and how to remain calm under pressure. This unique course is not for the faint of heart as participants should bring their A-game as Bear expects you to “push yourself farther than ever before.”
Courses are run by British experts who have been trained at the Bear Grylls Survival Academy (yes, that is also a real thing). 24-hour security is also provided, just in case you were concerned about sleeping in a tiny cabin on a mountainside in a foreign land.
It’s hard to imagine rugged adventure holidays in the current COVID climate, but fortunately, these camps are prepared for it, and the guidelines you would expect are in place.
Cabins are cleaned and sanitized after each and every use. Strict social distancing measures are in place at all times, and all guests are provided with sanitization kits. Masks must also be worn at all times in common areas.
When you start looking at cabin prices alongside courses, this adventure holiday can soon add up. Not forgetting flights into the country, of course. Another peace of mind offered by the company is that full refunds are available if your holiday is canceled due to COVID-19.
If you are keen to dip your toe into the world of survivalist-style adventure where danger is measured and controlled, this could be your golden ticket. Plus, planning the logistics of taking your family to the side of an Arabian mountain without this campsite sounds like an absolute nightmare. Maybe your first adventure of 2021 should be a little on the safer side. Let’s face it, we’re all a little out of practice.