The world's first Bear Grylls Explorer Camp (BGEC) will open this month in the United Arab Emirates, with survival courses that cater to small groups of all ages.

Have you ever found yourself on a camping trip wishing you knew how to build a fire from scratch? Or wondered how you'd survive if you ever got lost in the wilderness? Help is at hand. Well, depending on how easily you can access the United Arab Emirates. Following the success of the Bear Grylls Survival Academy in the United Kingdom, the survivalist and TV host is setting up a camp in his name in the UAE, where people can enjoy adrenaline-packed activities and hands-on instruction with survival skills.

Survivalist and TV host Bear Grylls
The courses will be taught by instructors who trained at the Bear Grylls Survival Academy in the UK ©Bear Grylls Explorer Camp

Taking place on Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah, the camp will be curated for small groups with survival courses run by UK experts who trained at the Bear Grylls Survival Academy. So not Bear Grylls himself but close enough. The element of surprise will be a key feature of the courses but guests can expect to learn a combination of basic and extreme survival skills including how to build a fire and emergency shelters in the wild.

They'll also receive dedicated practical instruction on remote medical trauma treatment, navigation techniques and extreme weather survival. Participants can put these skills into practice closer to home on, say, a backcountry camping trip or a wilderness hike. The courses will include a half-day (three-to-four hours), eight and 24-hour options for adults and families.

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A survival course instructor addresses a group of participants
Packages are available for adults, families, groups of friends and team-building exercises ©Bear Grylls Explorer Camp

Ras Al Khaimah is the northernmost emirate of the United Arab Emirates, about an hour north of Dubai, and is known for its gulf beaches, mangrove forests, hot springs and desert terrain. Following the survival courses in October, camp accommodation will open in 2021, featuring 20 recycled and redesigned shipping containers.

Shipping containers converted into camp accommodation
Inside the accommodation ©Bear Grylls Explorer Camp

They'll each sleep about three guests with basic self-catering facilities, including a private BBQ on an outdoor terrace where guests can prepare their own meals. Once the accommodation is up and running, participants will can enjoy longer, 48-hour survival courses.

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Camp accommodation in the Arabian desert
Camp layout ©Bear Grylls Explorer Camp

“In 2018, we launched the world’s longest zipline on Jebel Jais and are delighted to announce another first with the Bear Grylls Explorers Camp on the UAE’s highest mountain," said Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development. "As Ras Al Khaimah continues to grow as the adventure capital in the Middle East, this exhilarating survival experience from one of the world’s best-known experts will drive us on that path to attract outdoor enthusiasts from across the globe.”

The Survival Academy courses are planned to start on October 16, with the accommodation available in 2021. Social distancing guidelines will be in place and the camp is committed to embracing UAE's public health guidelines. All packages are featured here with prices starting from AED450 (£95.18 / US$122 / €104) per person for the half-day survival experience.

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