In the UAE from September to April are the best months for hiking or climbing mountains. As an avid fun of hiking, I did joined some group events on this season. I scheduled my activities and did some research for other groups that have different adventures that interest me.
Scrolling at meetup apps looking for interesting events and then I found Via Ferrata in MAG Adventures Group (two months before the date of the event). I am not familiar of Via Ferrata that time and it interest me. Imagining mountains – climbing, hiking, adventures I really love! ♥
I click to safari in my iphone and wrote the word Via Ferrata. I found photos first and really amazed with those people climbing to mountain cliffs. So I click the RSVP in the group event and later on contacted by the organizer for my confirmation and for payment details.
It was for two days activity: day one is for a group hike in an abandon village, farm and mountain cliff; day two is for Via Ferrata in Alila Hotel – all located at Jabal Akhdar, Oman. That was on the month of February 2017, a week after my vacation in the Philippines.
(Coming soon my blog for canyoneering in Badian, Cebu, Philippines).
THE MEET UP:
I was alone signing up on this meetup event and I didn’t knew anyone in the group. When we met up on the first stop in the petrol station, there where we introduce ourselves. But some people in the group they already knew each other. Well, from this event I gain friends and even up to now we are still keeping in touch. Thanks guys.
MAG Group is hosted by Mahdi – he was the one who organized the event and for our carpooling as well. Our group composed of approximately of fourteen people from different places in the UAE and there’s one in Qatar (who had just her flight to Dubai for this event). In Dubai our meet up point was at ENOC Petrol Station in Al Warqa side.
We met all our group at the borders between UAE and Oman for our visa stamping. UAE borders for our exit stamp in our passport and Oman borders for our entry stamp too. We did the convoy on our way to Jabal Akhdar, Oman. We had approximately total of six four-wheeled cars together in the trip.
After our long drive, we proceed immediately for our hike at a beautiful farm, an abandon village and cliffs in Jabal Akhdar. The weather in Oman on February is really cold, so we were advised to bring our winter clothes before the events. And yes, it was really freezing even while hiking. 🙂
Please check the full video below for our hike at Jabal Akhdar mountains.
At first, when I RSVP I was thinking to do the camping as I love to camp in Oman too. Later on I checked and informed by the organizer that the weather in Oman is really cold on February, so I decided to slept in the hotel for the night as I am one of those who got easily cold.
When in the hotel at night, we heard the strong wind outside – really strong that made some big noise and even we were inside we noticed. 🙂
THE VIA FERRATA:
What is Via Ferrata?
Via Ferrata is a protected climbing route found in the Alps and in other locations like this in Oman. A modern via ferrata is a steel cable which runs along the route and is periodically (every 1 to 10 metres (3.3 to 32.8 ft) fixed to the rock.
If you found out scary climbing up in high and sheer mountains then the Via Ferrata offers a security provided with you some safety gears. Even beginners will enjoy this adventures but maybe not that much with those faint-hearted (because of heights). You do not have to be an expert or experienced in climbing; there are some ladders, ramps and cables that is fixed to the rock edge for your access. In groups you will be rope together as well. Of course, no worries most organizations will provide you their experienced guides.
For more on Via Ferrata, please check the full video below from our VP at Alila Hotel, Jabal Akhdar, Oman.
1. RESIDENCE VISA
UAE residents (for expartiates) holding professional or executive designation in their visa can enter to Oman via border crossing between the UAE and Oman without having to apply for entry visa. The payment for Oman visa is AED50.00 or OMR5.00 at the Oman border. Other amount of AED35.00 to be paid at the UAE exit point. (This information is subject to change, please double check current details for payments, visas and others at both countries).
Other jobs like in Construction, Service industry or Sales, Receptionist are not allowed to do the same. They should get their visa stamped on their Passport from Oman Consulate in Dubai or Oman Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
Note: Your UAE visa must be valid for at least six months and the passport has at least six-month validity. Also, you can check lists of professions that are included for the visa entry exemption in Oman border here.
2. FITNESS FORM
It was a requirement to fill up the fitness form given from the Via Ferrata guide in-order to be approved and do the trip. This to ensure that you are well and qualified to do the trip.
3. CAMPING GEARS (if your are going for camping)
- Sleeping bag, blanket etc
- Rain jacket (if it rained)
- Warm clothes (as it reached approx 2C-7C during nighttime)
- No shorts 😀
But what we had during our trip, we indeed sleeping in the hotel – for the weather that time was so windy estimated approx about +- 40km/hr at night.
4. HIKING GEAR
- A backpack with good shoulder and waist straps
- Minimum 3 liters of water
- Hiking shoes
- Hiking trousers
- Sun protection and warm clothes
- Energy snacks
5. 4×4 CAR (for those who had)
- Carpooling for those who don’t have transportation and it was arranged by the organizer.
6. Payment of AED1,095.00 that includes: Via Ferrata Certified guide fee, lunch and dinner at Alila Hotel.
- plus +- AED275.00 for the hotel stay (one night). For some this was a little bit expensive trip but for me my curiosity answered and there’s no regret ’twas well organized. 🙂
For those of you who are looking for groups or adventures, you can check events or visit or sign up at: Meetup site.