Quest Arabiya’s popular extreme sports-meets-travel show Pulse of Arabia (Nabd Al Moghamarah) may have finished its run on TV last month, but fans can still catch a special last episode, presented by regular hosts Hussein Gazzaz and Ghida Aranout, as well as all the episodes from the regular series on Quest Arabiya’s catch-up service. The special episode consists entirely of footage sent in by viewers as they go about their favourite extreme sports activities around the region.
Khalid Khouri, deputy general manager of Quest Arabiya, commented: “We are keen to engage with our customers whenever possible through our programming and our social media channels, therefore we put a call out to our viewers to submit their footage offering them a platform to promote themselves to the 22 MENA countries we broadcast to. The quality of the footage we received and the standard of the stunts was incredible and really demonstrates the amount of talent within the region and the huge rise in popularity of these high-adrenalin activities.”
Asil Abdo, a 33-year-old Palestinian based in Dubai sent in footage of him performing a backwards bungee jump, canyon swinging, quad biking and tandem paragliding as he wants to encourage others to take advantage of the fantastic Arabian outdoors.
He said: “A lot of people on my Instagram say things like, ‘your adventures look great, I wish I could do them’ and the whole point is that they can. There are some brilliant activities, facilities and natural resources available to us across the region and I know for a fact if you get out there and enjoy them you can gain a huge amount from it.”
Rami Rasamny, a mountain climber from Lebanon, sent footage showcasing the picturesque region of Tannourine in his home country. The 29-year-old said: “There are some stunning places in the region and it’s great to see Quest Arabiya giving people the chance to showcase these to such a wide audience. Lebanon isn’t talked about very widely as a destination of choice for outdoor activities, but it really has so much to offer. It has great climbs for summer and winter, cave systems that run from the mountains to the sea, most water sports you can think of and altitude activities like paragliding – but, it’s also not a very big country so the longest you need to drive is about two hours.”
Abboud Nasser is the Emirati flyboarding champion. The 23-year-old sent footage of himself performing some jaw-dropping tricks. Nasser commented: “I first got into flyboarding when I saw someone doing it a few years ago so I’m hoping my video will have the same effect on others. I’m a big fan of Quest Arabia and have been watching regularly since it launched last year. It’s great that the channel is taking extreme sports to the wider public. Before long a new generation of talent will emerge thanks to this kind of growing coverage.”
Abu Dhabi-based Ihab Mokayed, a Syrian film and documentary maker, submitted footage from his first taste of extreme sports as he conquered the world’s highest bungee jump in South Africa.
He said: “I think asking people to send their own footage is a really smart move as it makes viewers feel involved in the channel and that kind of engagement is really important. I hope more viewers share their footage as you never know when you might get spotted by the right person who can turn you dream occupation into a reality.”
Alaa Khalil, from Palestine, who lives in Abu Dhabi, is a scuba diving enthusiast. He said: “I’m lucky enough to have dived in some of the best places in the world like Thailand and The Philippines, but some of the best diving is closer to home. The visibility in the UAE is not great but the history associated with the ship and submarine wrecks makes it fascinating. Then there’s Oman, which is just incredible. It’s best known for its brilliant camping and sand-duning, but the diving in places like the Dimaniyat Islands and Musandam is outstanding. The visibility is excellent, with loads of great coral and sea-life. I’ve been lucky enough to see some Whale Sharks and other smaller sharks there so it can get pretty exhilarating.”
Quest Arabiya even received footage from an Asian Champion. Silvio Chiha won the Asian water-skiing title in 2015 and was keen to share footage from his home country Lebanon. The 26-year-old expained: “Our region has a beautiful natural landscape and we need to promote this for the world to see these true images. Since Quest launched last December I have found it a great platform to raise the awareness for how magnificent our region is as tourist destination and it gives us a chance to engage with a much wider audience through its platform.”