15-year old Emirati teen climbs Mount Kilimanjaro


Ali Saleh Alshunnar, a grade 10 student at Jumeira Baccalaureate School, in Dubai, says that he has always taken an interest in a variety of sports and high endurance activities such as tennis, football, basketball, horse riding, and Tang Soo Do (a Korean martial art), in which he is a black belt.

"In the UAE, we always challenge ourselves and strive for the best, a quality that has been passed down to us by our biggest role models, the nation's leadership," Ali said.

Ali is the latest in a string of Emirati climbers working to climb the world's tallest mountains. In 2012 - and at only five months older than Ali's current age - his brother Moawiya AlShunna reached the top of Kilimanjaro as part of a 7-day, 15-person expedition in which five people dropped out along the way.

In 2017, Emirati woman Danah Al Ali plans to climb the world's tallest mountain, Mount Everest. The 31-year-old mother of two has been held up as a national role model, given her previous physical endeavours. Her mountaineering adventures began in 2013, when she scaled Kilimanjaro.

She then climbed Mount Elbrus, part of the Caucasus Mountains in Southern Russia and the highest peak in Europe at 5,642 metres and she reached the Base Camp of Mount Everest in Nepal at 5,335 metres.

In January next year, before returning to Everest for a second attempt at the 8,848 metres summit, Al Ali will do one more climb, the 6,961 metre high Aconcagua in Argentina, South America.