Tried and tested: Bear Grylls Explorers Camp at the Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental
Global survival superbrand meets uber-luxe hospitality, all in the UAE capital…
Get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure at the Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, as the Bear Grylls Explorers Camp is coming to town.
A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build, develop or refine your toolbox of survival skills in an idyllic natural setting awaits you, as this band of never-give-up Ras Al Khaimah-based survival experts are on their way to take you on a limited-time experience, that will have you getting your hands dirty while you pick up handy tricks of survival on February 3.
View this post on Instagram
Operating at their base in the Jebel Jais mountains from September to April, they’re here to get you up to speed with survival essentials such as knife-craft, lighting a fire, astro navigation, water purification, pitching a tent, building a raft and more, as you learn how to be one with nature and tap into your inner survivor, irrespective of whether you’re army-green to this world, or a seasoned pro.
The experience is available in two packages: a 4-hour, family-friendly one that teaches you to reconnect with nature and learn the basics, as well as an immersive 24-hour experience that throws you in to numerous survival situations, as you learn and implement your newfound know-how to navigate your way out of them.
You’re expected to assemble at the Mandarin Oriental’s beach club at 9.30am sharp, where you’re greeted by Ray and his team as they pull up to the party in hardy Jeep Gladiators that rumble down from the mountains. The experience is designed for families, so if you plan to bring younger members of your household along, you’re all in good hands. Interestingly, on our experience, it was often the younger ones that had the theoretical know-how, energy and enthusiasm to tackle issues and solve problems, with some of them being long-time Bear Grylls fans – having digested several episodes of his television productions coming in to the experience.
Come lunchtime, if you’re expecting to ingest critters you never have, you likely will. But all of this, while equipping you with skills for a lifetime, will be executed in one of the, if not the best spots for Arabian hospitality in the capital and beyond. At the end of a gruelling day that will have you solving, squatting, crawling and sprinting your way through a series of challenges, you’ll be pitching your own tent, gathering around a fire, and assembling and cooking your own dinner before you rest your head under the constellations as you learn to navigate using them, on the Mandarin Oriental’s own private beach.
Abu Dhabi’s reputation as an adventure escape in the UAE receives yet another supercharge with initiatives such as these. If you’re like us and have had a wilderness experience or survival camp on your bucket list for as long as you can remember, this is the ideal opportunity for you to put your excuses aside and take on a challenge like never before at this once-in-a-lifetime experience often marketed as a Rambo-esque survivalist odyssey. While you may not necessarily find yourself wrestling a bear, you’ll still come out on the other side of the experience better equipped to deal with the harsh elements and unexpected surprises, if you ever find yourself marooned in a less-than-ideal scenario. The best bit? There’s one happening next weekend.
What’s On Verdict: Show up well-rested, dressed to roll around in the dirt and equipped with the will to emerge victorious. Walk out beaming from ear to ear, better acquainted with the outdoors, and with the confidence you can survive the elements better than ever before.
Bear Grylls Explorers Camp, Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, West Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, February 3, 9.30 am onwards, Dhs450 4-hour experience, Dhs1,250 24-hour experience. Tel: (0)2 690 73410. @mo_emiratespalace