Fabulous Forsan

Posted on July 8, 2012


I wrote not long ago about the joys of going somewhere that really exceeds your expectations … then, I was referring to the beautiful old town of Lijiang in the far west of China near Tibet where I went for the Action Asia 100km race in May.

This time round, I was a little closer to home … just along the road in fact in fab Ab Dhab. I spent Thursday past at Al Forsan having a super cool avo with my very own 007.

Heard of Al Forsan?  I imagine if based in the UAE, yes.

Been yourself? 

If yes, I suspect you too thought the place great.

If not, I suggest you plan a date because this place rocks.  I will definitely be returning.

Al Forsan is a sprawling and spectacular sports project with a huge array of activities … think karting and buggying, shooting and archery, riding and polo, wake-boarding and water skiing, flight simulation and much more. I can think of no other set up quite like it in the world, never mind the region.

So 007 and I did the flight simulator first off …

Stepping from a waiting area and into a dark cockpit is pretty surreal especially when you then sit down to fly a 747 around Sydney!  007 was captain and I first officer … a good move with my track record behind the wheel although having said that, I’m still revelling in the fact that my last collision saw me be handed the green slip (to signify ‘not at fault’) rather than the pink. Wonders never cease!

Having been a massive traveller my entire life, I found the whole experience too cool to convey especially considering you could never go into the nose now during a flight.  The days of being a kid and hanging out in the cockpit during the flight to chat to (up!) the pilots and getting your little frequent flyer log book filled are a distant memory now.

The instructor, Anas, was terribly interesting. He’s gained huge amounts of info from avid pilots in the UAE who come and use the simulator and so it was fascinating to chat and get an insiders view.

We took off (v easy) then flew all around Sydney, taking in the dense urban landscape, the CBD, the iconic landmarks and the spectacular coastline. Landing seemed the only really tricky part and I truly marvelled at the sheer technology and computer automation that goes into these planes now … I wonder whether pilots will ever find themselves out of a job altogether?

A quick refreshment then we headed to the range for some shooting … LOVE!

My previous experience had been limited to either shooting at school with the CCF (compulsory and I went to great lengths to come up with extravagant excuses to avoid at all costs) and the odd clay pigeon or game shoot back in bonnie Scotland. I’d never shot with handguns before though and fancied myself as a character straight out of a Bond film.  Fitting no?!?

007 had made a bet with me prior to my first round … the details of which shall remain undisclosed but given my track record of bets, watch this space (!) … and thankfully I rose to the challenge and hit a bulls eye straight off.

RESULT … in so many ways …!

We shot for a good while … the focus it requires is addictive and it demands just the sort of mind : body connection that I crave.

We left early evening and drove along the road back to the bright lights of Dubai, tired but exhilarated. Later in the year, Al Forsan will open a Sniper Rifle Range so shall definitely pay them a visit again then, if not before.

We are utterly spoilt here in the UAE with facilities and adventures such as this.  It almost seems a massive injustice not to take advantage … especially during these hot summer months when fun al fresco feels much like being sent out to play in a sauna.

Check it out … you shan’t be disappointed.


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