Dubai: Dog lovers in the UAE can treat themselves and their canine companions to a unique experience by hiking together in the wild wadis of Ras Al Khaimah on November 11.
Dubai-based Hussain Hussam Darwish who is organising what he calls the Human and K9 Challenge told XPRESS the hike, in its fifth edition this year, is the toughest and longest yet, covering a distance of 5km across different levels.
“Hiking with obstacles and checkpoints on the way with your family, friends and K9 companions is a challenge that stimulates the body and mind and enables you to strengthen the bond with your dogs and loved ones,” said Darwish, who is one of the 30 marshals in the hike.
A total of 150 challengers have registered for the adventure with 90 dogs. Darwish said the climb will begin at 7.30am with five batches leaving the base camp 20 minutes apart. “The hike may require the challengers to pick up the dogs and help them up the rocks in some cases, so a lot of teamwork is necessary. There will be five check points in all. Dogs will be checked by vets from VETCARE at the third checkpoint. We also have a medical team from the RAK Hospital to take care of any emergencies with the challengers.”
He said the participants are not expected to push their dogs beyond their abilities and can complete only as many checkpoints as they can. “There are very few sports which involve humans and dogs and not many places where you can take your dog for an activity. The idea of hosting this outdoor adventure is to bring the two together and celebrate the bond between them,” said Darwish, who owns four dogs that have done the wadi hike several times with him.
He said being raised in a traditional Arab family, he always loved dogs and his relationship with them grew stronger with every challenge. “When you are out there in the midst of nature with your loved ones and your dog, you forget about everything else. The hike can take up to four hours depending on your speed and the breed of dog you have.”
He said the venue and obstacles have been chosen to suit different people and dog breeds, whether new to hiking, or the more seasoned kinds. Not all dogs participating in the hike are owned by the challengers. Many have been adopted from shelters, he added.
For more information on the Human & K9 Ultimate Challenge, visit: