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Dubai reality series to follow mountaineers through perilous expedition
(What's Up?) 2 weeks ago
The Middle East to get its own reality series featuring the journey of 17 diverse mountain trekkers from Dubai scaling Mount Kilimanjaro

17 iron-willed trekkers, one mission - to scale Mount Kilimanjaro - Africa's highest free-standing mountain, for a good cause all while being filmed for a homegrown reality series.


Calling themselves the Kili Elite, the diverse team consists of 15 men and two women between the ages of 16-55 from different nationalities and backgrounds. The attempted trek is inspired by the UAE government's Year of Tolerance initiative by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan."We are adapting the core values of respect, peace and tolerance from the Year of Tolerance as the impetus behind this expedition, seeing that we will need a lot of it to brave through the climb," says advertising and hospitality entrepreneur Ali Kassam, one of the members of the team.


"Being courteous, tolerant and patient is what makes Dubai one of the best cities in the world to live in and we consider ourselves very lucky" he added.Getting to the summit of Kilimanjaro is not for the faint-hearted. The permanently snow-capped peak towers at a staggering 5,895 metres above sea-level. Getting to the top is the equivalent of scaling the world's tallest building - the Burj Khalifa - a whopping seven times. However, the collective team spirit and determination transcend the harsh realities of the mission.


The group is undergoing rigorous training to build their stamina and endurance to tackle the extreme weather conditions, which can defeat even the fittest because of the effects of altitude sickness. 


They will have to endure daunting conditions like carrying up to 15 kilos of equipment each during their ascent, sleeping under canvas on bare mountain paths for 8 consecutive nights and learning how to adjust mentally and physically to higher altitudes.

Their toils and victories will be filmed from start to finish, making it the very first reality series of its kind that will let UAE nationals follow the journey of their fellow residents trekking through the mountains.The team consists of Mustafa Rashid, Abbas Fazal, Shahed Hasan Ali, Ali Akbar, Fizza Mujtaba, Zuhair Mohammed, Abbas Kassam, Mohammed Mujtaba, Sheikh Arif, Mohammed Abdul Aziz, Irshad Sumar, Shamim Rashid Sumar, Maisam Afzal, Murtaza Mazhar and Ali Reza Kassam.The expedition is being led by Skipper Abbas Afzal, who has successfully scaled Mount Kilimanjaro four times in the past. The expedition runs from 11th - 19th July.


"Being expats in the UAE has given us so many opportunities, which just shows that this country is truly the land of opportunity and underlines the message of tolerance, giving communities a chance to be able to coexist in harmony and happiness," he said.


A part of their mission to give back to the community, the group will head to the Zanzibar upon their descent and visit the Islah Orphanage, taking the children on a picnic and making a donation to the institution.
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