What we're about
AFT Outdoor Adventures (AFT = Arabian Fit Trekkers)One of UAE's most established & active, local & international hiking community as well as licensed organization.
Our aim is simple:
To get outdoors and explore new places, enjoy the beautiful scenery with people who want to have fun and meet new friends. We have a simple philosophy; provide fun and sociable events that incorporate the best an area has to offer with experienced hike leaders that are trained and well equipped in the field of mountaineering. We understand that fitness is a major part of hiking and mountaineering, hence we are equipped with training our members to get into best shape in order to help them reach their goals. That is why we have combined Fitness and Trekking and came up with the idea of Arabian FiTrekkers.
Who are we?
Faisi Shalmani: Founder
Faisi is former hiking leader from UAE Mountain Club, former event manager at Volunteer in UAE that has been leading hiking, camping and volunteering events in the UAE since 2010. Faisi is a trail runner that has summitted many of the well known mountains around the world solo, including Kilimanjaro in 33 hours, Mount Kenya in 16 hours, Mount Elbrus in 25 hours, Mount Kazbek 48 hours and currently holds the record of fastest man to ascent Mount Meru. Faisi has also lead multiple groups to these mountains and more with success rate of over 96%. He is a certified fitness trainer and Sports nutritionist as well as an active member of UAE mountain rescue team.
Liyang Hao: Founder - AFT Gear Garage
Liyang is a passionate about hiking and trail running. Having ran a few ultra trail runs, climbed a few mountain peaks, and led numerous hiking & running events in local Hajar mountains, Liyang then set up a small online platform for outdoor sport enthusiasts to get their hands on quality and reasonablely priced outdoor sports gear: AFTGearGarage.com
Shrimal Attapatu: Fitness coach & Founder - AFT Ultimate
The Lead Team:
The AFT crew is made up of a lot of outdoor enthusiasts with decades of experience. A number of our principal hike leaders originate from the military, boy scouts, ultra marathoners, fitness trainers, rescue divers and members of mountain rescue teams who all have extensive navigation, mountain and first aid experience. Not content with our existing experience we also undertake additional training to keep our key skills tip-top. So you'll be in steady hands!
The Meetup Group:
AFT Outdoor Adventures meetup group was formed in 2016 and since then we have run well over 1,500 events and catered more than 15,000 participants. We usually run around 6 to 10 events per week, ranging from weekly fitness training, running, ultimate Frisbee, hiking and camping as well as social gatherings. AFT's mix of capable hike leaders, interesting destinations and inclusive social aspects has been very popular with our members. So popular that we are proud to recognize that other meetup groups have been replicating both our events and format. We are indeed flattered by any imitation as the more groups offering trips is good for everyone and we hope one day to be in a position to flatter their achievements.
We for our part will still continue to strive to provide unique destinations at affordable prices with a strong emphasis on providing good hikes, quality events and enjoyable and inclusive socializing. You can also be assured that the events and activities we list are activities we have hosted and not just a marketing ploy, as adopted by many other groups in the region.
What makes our events?
Without a doubt, the answer to this question is our members. We are proud of the fact that we regularly have over 50% of our weekend and overseas trips made up of loyal members who have been attending our events for years. Our members are our strength and we are ever thankful for the continuous support we receive from the regular as well as the new members.
AFT has some basic principals for ensuring successful events.
They are quite simply;
1. Great Hiking Destinations. If the destination is not unique and interesting to us as mountaineers, then we don't host a trip there just for the sake of it.
2. Quality over quantity. We do not take 100s of hikers to a hike at same time. This gives us and our participants a better chance to connect with the nature as well as to ensure the safety of our team.
3. Only using Experienced Hike Leaders and or qualified instructors for other activities.
4. Comprehensive destination research, which we always pre-visit before proposing an event.
5. Control of the finances, we don't use third-party operators on the ground to book transport and accommodation. We control the money, this reduces any risk of ground operators going into liquidation without AFT having any recourse.
6. Control of the logistics. If we don't have control of the finances we can't control the logistics. If we have control of the logistics it enables us to adjust the program if needed.
7. Social Hub. Socializing is a big part of Meetup, after all its in the title! So wherever we are we look to ensure that there is a point where everyone can socialize, whether it be under a tree, a dining room, local restaurant or a post workout gathering.
Who attends our events?
The majority of our active members range in age between the mid-20s to late 40s, but age is no barrier so long as you are young at heart. Members generally live or work in Dubai, but we have an ever-increasing number of members who live all over the UAE that join us in our events. After all, you don’t necessarily have to be a resident of Dubai to explore Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah or Oman!Our members are expats as well as UAE nationals, providing an interesting and diverse mix of experiences and cultures.
We also have a significant proportion of single members on events, although you certainly don’t need to be single to attend. We have many couples and families attending our events.
If you are nervous about committing to any of our events, don't be, almost everyone has turned up on an event before without knowing anyone. We understand that trusting a bunch of strangers is difficult, especially if you are a single expat, working away from home. We all know what it's like, because we have been there.
We assure you that you will never feel meeting stranger but only friends you have never met before. :) If you are still concerned try one of our running/jogging or fitness training events. They act as a taster and you are sure to meet like-minded people there. We also work hard to ensure that the trips are inclusive for everyone. We usually provide a minimum of two hike leaders on weekend and overseas trips to ensure we can offer a mix of hikes to meet the group needs. We rarely have hikes that exceed 30 people and if the number goes higher, we engage up to 6 hike leaders and split the group.
Why do we do it?
Quite simply we love the outdoors and making the most of this beautiful country we live in and what better way to do it than by meeting new friends.Our aim is to build a great community of hikers with whom we can share our enjoyment of the outdoors and adventurous activities. As they say, size isn't important! We are never happier than when we see the same members repeatedly attend our events Many have been joining us for years and we continue to enjoy their company.
We truly believe that you will find our adventures worth joining and we shall be seeing you very soon.
Upcoming events (4+)
Past events (1,482)
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