By Baraah al Mujaini
Paragliding is a sport that has recently gained considerable popularity in Oman. Oman’s naturally beautiful landscape has contributed to this growth as the air, creates a stimulus that makes one enjoy the sport and the scene.
Since he was a child, Abdulaziz al Dhuhli had been passionate about conquering the air. At a young age, flying paper kites had fascinated him and from the archaic paper planes, he would eventually move to electronic kites.
“The first serious step towards paragliding was made in late 2015’’, he shared. “I heard about someone who is experienced in paragliding and the interest and curiosity was pique’’, he added.
Abdulaziz would eventually do his research to get connected with the person who was into paragliding. They hit it off immediately and the interaction prompted him to begin his first training.
“I have noticed the progress in my performance remarkably, and I gained an invaluable experience’’, Abdulaziz said. While he is gaining actual experience, he also continued his research about the sport to practise it safely.
“In the beginning, it was just passion and curiosity. But that later progressed to become a favourite leisure activity’’, he said.
In the near future, Abdulaziz, is planning to harness his knowledge and experience in this sport to start his own business.
“From my perspective, based on the strong inclination of people to experience new activities, I think this sport will gain more and more popularity and reputation in the coming years. Especially, due to the promotion of this sport by HH Sayyid Theyazin bin Haitham al Said, Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, by including this sport under the Omani Committee for Aerial Sport’’, he said.
Paragliding has played its part to promote tourism in Oman.
“I am keen on documenting and recording every single adventure I experience, for a couple of reasons; first to inspect my progress and second to post them on my different social platforms to depict the mesmerising Omani landscape’’, Abdulaziz said.
The best mechanism you have to follow when you want to try paragliding is to have an overview of the destination and assure that it is suitable for this kind of sport. Besides, trying to read visitors ‘reviews about it.
“The most critical requirement to experience this activity is fitness. As long as you are fit and brave enough to experience adrenalin-pumping activity, you are ready to try it’’, Abdulaziz said.
The best destination Abdulaziz has experienced paragliding in so far is Al Suninah sands (Al Safa), which is full of breathtaking scenes that he had never seen before. Besides, Al Jabal Al Akhdhar and Jabal Shams, are characterised by low temperatures, particularly in summer.
This sport has a significant impact on Abdulaziz, as it has sharpened his skills and shaped his character.
“It has helped me tremendously in breaking my fear barriers, building my self-esteem and confidence, and being cautious as well”, he added.
The major impediments Abdulaziz is dealing with are financial support, and time balancing between this sport and family. However, Abdulaziz tries his best to consume his time wisely and dedicate a suitable time for everything in his routine.
“The most difficult time I had been through was when the engine stopped while I was flying in the sky, thankfully, I dealt with it smoothly and landed safely’’, Abdulaziz said.
Abdulaziz aspires to have his own academy for paragliding, he also appeals to stakeholders for support to achieve his goal.
Oman is a spectacular environment for experiencing new activities, all you need is to be careful and enjoy!
“Our country is characterised by many attractive destinations, whether in deserts, seas, mountains and so on. Just pick your favourite place, experience new activity, and live the moment!’’, Abdulaziz added.