Offering survival courses for outdoor enthusiasts, the Bear Grylls Explorers Camp will open on Jebel Jais, the highest mountain in the UAE. Jenny Southan reports
Located in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), about an hour’s drive from Dubai, the Bear Grylls Explorers Camp has been designed in partnership with Bear Grylls, the famous adventurer and survivalist.
Following the success of the courses offered by the Bear Grylls Survival Academy in the UK, in 2021, the RAK Explorers Camp will also offer the world’s first Bear Grylls-branded accommodation.
Guests will sleep in 20 recycled and redesigned shipping containers, not far from a via ferrata (a protected climbing route) on the Jebel Jais mountain. Each will offer a basic self-catering set up with a private barbecue on an outdoor terrace to prepare meals. Known for hit TV shows such as World’s Toughest Race, Running Wild, You Vs Wild and Man Vs Wild, SAS-trained Grylls has taken a US President (Barack Obama) and many of Hollywood’s biggest names on survival journeys through the wilderness.The survival courses, run by UK experts trained at the Bear Grylls Survival Academy, will include half-day (three to four hours), eight and 24-hour experiences designed for both adults and children, as well as team building activities for business people. (“Pay for Peril” was a trend Globetrender identified in its Future of Luxury Travel Forecast.)
Participants will learn techniques necessary to survive the world’s toughest terrains. The element of surprise will be a key feature but activities will include how to make a fire, build emergency shelters, knife skills, remote medical trauma treatment, navigation techniques and extreme weather survival. Prices start from AED 450 (£95) per person for a half-day experience.Alison Grinnell, CEO of RAK Hospitality Holding, says: “The launch of the Bear Grylls Explorers Camp (BGEC) represents both innovation and resilience during what has been a very challenging year for the travel and tourism industry.”
Raki Philips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development, says: “As a tourism destination, Ras Al Khaimah has demonstrated time and time again, a robust identity aligning with current travel sentiment for remote and curated experiences, which is exactly what BGEC offers travellers in a new era of travel.“In 2018, we launched the world’s longest zipline on Jebel Jais and are delighted to announce another first with the Bear Grylls Explorers Camp on the UAE’s highest mountain.
“As Ras Al Khaimah continues to grow as the adventure capital in the Middle East, this exhilarating survival experience from one of the world’s best-known experts will drive us on that path to attract outdoor enthusiasts from across the globe.”The Bear Grylls Survival Academy was set up in 2012 and offers survival courses across the UK. It has also partnered with the Sani hotel in Greece. Taking full advantage of the resort’s 1,000-acre ecological reserve, the facility teaches Bear Grylls survival techniques and allows children to enjoy the extensive grounds.
The move is part of wider trend towards offering better options for families beyond the traditional kids’ club model.
Yonder, a tailor-made holiday specialist, launched immersive family experiences in India last year – including truck painting in Jodhpur, being a journalist for the day in Delhi and organic farming in Jaipur.