Emirati mountain climber who plans to scale the Seven Summits before he turns 40

Abdullah Al Muhairbi has already climbed three of them after conquering Mount Elbrus

Powered by automated translation

It is not unusual to set yourself a list of goals to reach before you hit 40.

It is unlikely, though, many of us will set ourselves the target of climbing the highest mountains in continents around the world.

That's the goal Emirati Abdullah Al Muhairbi, 33, has given himself.

The engineer is almost halfway there already — having just climbed Mount Elbrus in Russia in a group expedition. He has now scaled three of the seven summits.

My family has also been incredibly supportive too — they are always joking ‘this is your last mountain'
Abdullah Al Muhairbi

“I know it’s a unique kind of hobby. It’s an honour for me to be able to place the UAE flag on the highest point in each continent,” said Mr Al Muhairbi.

“I also do it because I love the beauty of nature and the scenery is just wonderful when you look out from these mountains.

“Mountain climbing has also taught me valuable lessons in how to be patient and disciplined. There is a lot of organisation that goes into preparing for each summit.”

His interest in mountain climbing began in 2013 and within a year he had climbed Mount Aconcagua in Argentina, the highest point outside of Asia — standing at just under 7,000 metres.

A year later, in 2015, he was back in action when he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, which stands at almost 6,000 metres.

“Each mountain comes with its own unique challenge. It is not just about the cold and high wind speeds from climbing those heights,” said Mr Al Muhairbi.

“People think the preparation required is all about the physical side but you need to be prepared mentally as well.”

He received a taste of just how challenging it could be when he had acute mountain sickness when descending Mount Aconcagua.

The condition is caused by reduced air pressure and lower oxygen levels at high altitudes.

“I started feeling dizzy like I was going to black out and my stomach felt acidic,” he said.

“Thankfully I had a good team with me who helped me overcome it but it’s certainly not something I will ever forget.”

After scaling Mount Elbrus, a dormant volcano that is more than 5,600 metres tall, he is looking forward to taking on the remaining four mountains on the list of seven.

He would not be drawn on which of the four summits on the list he would tackle next.

The remaining mountains for him to scale are Mount Denali in North America, Mount Vinsin in Antarctica, the Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia and the world’s tallest mountain Everest, standing at almost 9,000 metres in the Himalayas.

“I have decided but it’s at least a year away as it’s a seasonal hobby and there is a lot of preparation required,” he said.

“I am 33 now and I am hoping to climb all seven summits before I am 40.”

He thanked the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development for supporting him in his efforts to follow his dreams.

“When I approached ADFD they were so supportive and made it a lot easier for me to go and climb the mountains,” said Mr Al Muhairbi.

“Whenever an Emirati has a passion to follow their dreams, we get the support immediately.

“My family has also been incredibly supportive too — they are always joking ‘this is your last mountain’.”

Updated: September 26, 2022, 5:55 AM