Sign in to follow this  
Followers 1
VirusZero

Cache Trips in the UAE/Caching TV Show

55 posts in this topic

Hi fellow Middle East Cachers,

 

My name is VirusZero, and I'm a cacher from Canada. I lived for 20 years in the UAE before relocating to Toronto and that's where I started on geocaching. I'll be returning to the UAE for work in a few weeks (in Dubai to be specific) and I wanted to introduce myself to Dubai cachers. I will be making my own hides around the city as well as finding some of the ones I haven't found on my last trip here (Christmas/New Year of 2009/10, one of which was the now-archived The Crescent, for which I was 2TF). I know the city pretty much like the back of my hand, and have noticed that there aren't many caches there, so I'm hoping to start a new caching revolution ;-)

 

Now...2 things...

 

1) I won't have my own car when I return, and probably would not be able to afford one for quite a while. I see that most of the caches hidden in UAE are desert ones rather than urban ones, and I'd like to use every possible opportunity to find all possible caches in the UAE, as I'm almost at 300 finds. So I'm hoping that someone would help me get started with these cache finds in trips that we can hopefully organize over the weekends while the weather still allows it. I have already introduced a friend to the concept and she will be joining me for her Geocaching 101 as soon as I return, and so it would be nice to show her the full spectrum of the wonder of the hobby. If anyone's interested, please feel free to look at my profile and send me a message.

 

2) I'm a television producer and director, and very much like that article about caches in Oman, I'd like to develop a show that will be broadcast in Arabic on the satellite TV channel that I work for to explore the phenomenon of geocaching and to work on the challenges of some of the more illusive or difficult caches (The Desert Key Challenge, for example). I'm wondering what the caching community would feel about such a show. Keep in mind that, as the show's producer, I can guarantee that if it is accepted by the channel and scheduled to shoot, that it will have English subtitling allowing for more than just Arab viewers to enjoy it.

 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on both those ideas, and hopefully upon my return and once I'm settled in my job, I can organize a caching event that can get most cachers in the area together and create a nice solid community.

 

Cheers in advance! :-)

 

VirusZero

0

Share this post


Link to post

Marhaba

 

Welcome back. I am sure you will notice a major change to the landscape - especially in Abu Dhabi - Dubai is already pretty developed - so I think changes have not been so drastic.

 

Let us know the dates you are coming - and yes - I am sure there are a number of cachers in the region who would love to accompany you.

 

Try the following guys:

TrueGeo

org

elmoro (also into travel and a journo)

 

in abu dhabi

Avanclan

Carbon Hunter (me)

planetdavidson

markus_III

 

In ruwais (some good places there if you get so far)

bestvue

 

Al Ain

US-A-RABIA

 

Oman

Camel Master

Edward Hunter

 

I'm sure there are a few more (please don't get offended if I forgot you).

 

Dates are probably the most needed.

 

Oman - I agree - some of the most amazing caches in the world are there - stunning views.

 

I am sure any coverage of geocaching will be welcome.

 

BTW: Do you know that Canadian visa requirements have changed recently for the UAE entry. There was an article in today's paper about a guy being stuck at abu Dhabi airport while his wife was a resident in the UAE.

 

Look forward to meeting you

0

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for your input Carbon Hunter. I've only been away from the UAE for 3 years, but I came back every now and then to take care of some things. As I said, I grew up there all the way from elementary school till I graduated high school then came back after university to work for a year or two before relocating to Toronto. Much has changed I'm sure, but hopefully not much since my 2009 trip.

 

I also don't have to worry about the Canadian visa thing (trust me, it's been making news here too!) as I have dual citizenship with another Middle Eastern country. I'll be alright! :-)

 

As for dates, I arrive on the 8th of February and will be busy for a few weeks as I sort out the logistics of my new job and some of the refurnishing of the family home at the Marina. I will definitely get in touch with some of the cachers you suggested, and thanks for the references indeed!

 

I'd still like to hear others' opinions of a cache related TV program, too! Do others frequent the forums as much?

 

Cheers!

VZ

0

Share this post


Link to post

Do others frequent the forums as much?

 

Cheers!

VZ

 

Not too much movement on the forums.

 

I think people read from time to time - but not a lot of activity here. :(

 

Elmoro is also Arabic speaker - so is a new cacher here in Abu Dhabi - UaEnErD - so they may be good contacts for interviews in the filming.

 

An event is a great idea. We have had a good few over the past year or so - the 10th Anniversary of Groundspeak event was good - with people skyping in from a number of other GCC countries to claim the unique icon.

 

We have also had an Earthcache themed event where we learned about setting up an EC. So we are starting to have more regular events in the UAE, which is great.

 

2 dedicated cachers have recently left the UAE (pseacraft & leosoul) - so a small gap here.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Don't forget that Qatar is also part of the GCC and we also have many great caches aswell and would love to be involved in anything to do with local caching. I am sure that you will be well recieved and hosted here should you want visit.

 

I was recently interviewed for the local magazine "Time Out" on caching in Qatar. I'm not sure when it is due for publication but suggest you look out for it on the local bookshelves. Feel free to contact me if you require any further information on Qatar.

 

BTW I would agree with Carbon Hunter's sentiments about the Omani caches - they are simply stunning - those that I have done that is.

 

Welcome back to the Middle East and I hope that you enjoy it and also look forward to reading more about your TV show in the future.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Hi all,,

 

A TV show introducing Geocaching in Arabic is a great idea.. spread the word and let the locals know about it.. never under estimate the power of the media.

 

Here in Kuwait, I guess the only local cachers here are myself,my wife & 2 kids. :blink:

 

All the best VZ and welcome back to the region.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Hi all,,

 

A TV show introducing Geocaching in Arabic is a great idea.. spread the word and let the locals know about it.. never under estimate the power of the media.

 

Here in Kuwait, I guess the only local cachers here are myself,my wife & 2 kids. :blink:

 

All the best VZ and welcome back to the region.

 

gpsman77 and cincol,

 

Thank you guys so much for your responses. Please take this forum post to all cachers around you in the Middle East and spread the word about its existence, I would love to get more feedback. The more feedback I get that encourages making an Arabic cache-related TV show, the more I can convince my channel that it can be made and be successful!

 

Thanks again and much love to all!

 

VZ

0

Share this post


Link to post

Have you seen the Omani magazine articles (another thread in this forum). The authors may give ou some professional insights?

0

Share this post


Link to post

Have you seen the Omani magazine articles (another thread in this forum). The authors may give ou some professional insights?

 

I have seen the Omani articles, which is what spurred me to writing my post in the first place. I was under the impression that revealing more about the methods of caching or the locations of hides may ruin the secretive nature of the hobby. In retrospect it's really not that revealing if written in an article, but it would be if put in a TV show, so there has to be some way of circumventing that.

 

I am planning on getting in touch with the Omani journalist for sure. I would like to get more feedback on this page, however, so that I may have something to show my superiors in terms of the support of the community towards a show like this. I was introduced to caching via a short film and a news story that I edited for Canadian TV in 2009, but to base a whole series around caching is an entirely different dimension.

0

Share this post


Link to post

I think that information about geocaching in Arabic is definitely needed - and would love to share more information in Arabic on our website....we currently have one article and one video posted by a new cacher here in Riyadh - falsafat.

 

Please keep us in mind when starting this project as "Saudi Geocachers" is not a geographically isolated group - and we enjoy members around the world - who have at some time or are presently geocaching in the Middle East.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Hello everyone,

 

I'm happy to announce that my channel has given the green light for a pilot episode of the show to be filmed here in the UAE very soon, and Groundspeak's Marketing team has already expressed their excitement about the prospect of a show like this introducing caching to new audiences. I'm happy that these advancements have come to be and look forward to hearing more of your opinions as to how this program can be developed.

 

For the time being, here is what we have started to work on:

 

Treasure Hunters is a documentary adventure series that aims to explore and promote the sport of geocaching in the Middle East. With many scenic, difficult and challenging caches in the Arabian Peninsula alone, the show will assemble a team of cache explorers that will attempt to find certain caches each episode and explore the history of the area in which they are placed.

 

Since most caches are placed in an area of historical and/or geographic significance, the show can act as both an outdoor adventure show as well as a history/culture program. The method therefore is sure guaranteed to attract demographics of the audience that are interested in many aspects: the adventure-seekers, the auto enthusiasts, those interested in history, and the technology-savvy who would like to combine all three of the above aspects in their own search for a captivating and challenging hobby.

 

The show will assemble a team comprising of adventure seekers who are the said combination above and, with the aid of an off-road vehicle or a combination of transportation methods, will attempt to explore and find caches in different areas of the country. Along with the hunt itself, the fundamentals of geocaching can be explored (usage of the GPS device, how to find the cache and log it) as well as hints and tips. The program may also contain features that explore the history of the area in which the cache is hidden to allow for multiple dimensions of exploration. This will make the show akin to a combination between Top Gear, the Michael Palin’s travelogues and tech show.

 

 

The show will be formatted into episodes of 30 minutes each, broadcast once a week for a year. In each episode, the assembled cache team (and any guests that would like to join in, e.g. celebrities) will pick a cache to explore and find out its history and the history of the area in which it is placed. With the help of the designated cache vehicle, the journey to the cache is documented and the search itself as per the descriptions and the hint provided by the cache hider will be found. It is possible that some caches will take several days’ journeys and/or guests who are more physically capable than the regular cache team, and so these will be researched and provided for prior to the actual taping of the show.

 

Snippets during the program that highlight the history of the areas explored or any events of significance that occurred in said area, for example Petra in Jordan, the Wabar Craters in Al-Hadida, Saudi Arabia; or the ruins of Palmyra in Syria.

0

Share this post


Link to post

This is tremendous news!! What channels will it be broadcast on? Will it be shown in Qatar at all?

0

Share this post


Link to post

Great news indeed.

 

When is it expected to air and what channel?

 

I guess I'll have to start finding new locations to hide some more caches in Kuwait :anibad:

0

Share this post


Link to post

Well done for getting the approval from your channel.

 

We look forward to helpign wherever we can.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Well, we shot the first part of the pilot episode...

 

My camera crew and myself went out to a cache on the border between Musandam and RAK just yesterday (GC2NYGF). The cache was placed by Cycad 1 in Wadi Baih and was a 3km hike from the nearest "civilization" to the cache itself in the middle of the valley (thank goodness for cairns is all I can say, you'll know what I mean in a bit).

 

We got to what the GPS said was GZ as the sun was setting and couldn't search for long before it got dark. And it did! A team of 3 people with a camera trying to reacquire their path in pitch black darkness was a difficult and nerve-wracking experience all its own. Somewhere along the route we got lost but managed to get ourselves back on track thanks to the cairns.

 

By then the channel had been worried about us because there was no Cellphone coverage in the area and had to call the police. Once we reached the area at the beginning of the wadi where there was Cellphone coverage we managed to alleviate any worries from friends and family and channel colleagues that anything had happened to us and reassure them that everything was okay.

 

Because of this massive failure to find the cache for the first episode, I thought it would be interesting to make this a two part episode where we use the help of more experienced cachers/hikers in a second part of the episode where we return to this area and actually find the cache. In reality, we will really need the help of more experienced hikers and mountaineers, as physically this is a very demanding hike and climb. I would say that this may be a 5-star terrain difficulty, also considering the wildlife in the area (we heard hyenas and found several dead animals that looked like they were eaten there.).

 

Help, consultation, and volunteering from anyone in the area would be highly appreciated. You will of course be featured on the show and even interviewed! So here's your chance to spread cache fever to the world by doing what you love to do most!

 

You know how to reach me! ;-)

0

Share this post


Link to post

An interesting adventure.

Yep - caching in nature can be a challenge - mountains and desert alike.

 

Glad all ended well. We had a smaller run in yesterday with a snake laying neatly under the cache container as we picked it up :)

0

Share this post


Link to post

Just a suggestion.. why not start with a more or less easy cache to get people interested rather than shock them with a difficulty 5 terrain on Episode 1?

 

Hyenas and snakes seem interesting ;-)

 

I remember coming across a young wild fox while attempting Jal Al-Zour (GC21F3V).. also, A huge lizard (Dhubb) while in Bahrain seeking Bahrain Geo-Post Office (GC17PJG). This guy actually hid under the rock where the cache was :)

 

Thanks for the efforts VirusZero.. keep us posted.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Brilliant!!!!! Fantastic!!

0

Share this post


Link to post

WOW!!!

Great work so far and I am sure it's gonna be very interesting to watch :)

 

One thing though.. I nthink there was a spelling mistake in arabic..

It's مستكشفو الكنوز not مستكشفوا الكنوز

 

Please confirm with someone else too but I am almost certain about it.

 

Thanks for such a great work.. please keep us posted.

0

Share this post


Link to post

We have posted the test trailer and info about the series on the Saudi Geocachers website - with VirusZero's blessing.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Thank you all for the support.

 

It's a bit short-notice I know, but anyone in the general Dubai area care to join us for the rest of the episode's shoot tomorrow. We take off from Dubai Media City at 6.30am to hopefully reach RAK at around 9 or so. My last co-host bailed out on me (too tired and it was his last week of work at the station) so I'll be going only with the crew. We're meeting Cycad1 and they'll be helping out with the hike...but personally speaking, aside from my crew, I could use the company :anicute:

0

Share this post


Link to post

Would love to - but have a full day of family needing to get to the airport here in Abu dhabi

 

enjoy

0

Share this post


Link to post

Hi VZ

 

How did the next session go? I trust it was better.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Hi VZ

 

How did the next session go? I trust it was better.

 

It was indeed. We left earlier this time and met up with Cycad1, a lovely couple from Belgium, who took me and my crew out to the wadi again and helped us with the hike. I decided the night before, seeing as my eTrex Legend failed me, that I could afford a new unit, so I bought the GPSMAP 62s. With Cycad's help, we both discovered that the reason we couldn't find the cache the last time (aside from it getting too dark) was that the coords were off and we'd hiked 1km further into the wadi than we were supposed to. It was fixed this time around and once we zeroed in they left me to my devices to look for it by myself, and surely enough...FOUND!! And an FTF to boot!

 

Problem I'm now facing is trying to get my channel to go beyond the pilot episode, as I think the CEO is changing her mind (she's only seen the promo, none of the cut footage just yet) and won't let me scout for the second episode (I wanted to do GC2MM2V but to rent a dhow, Michael-Palin-style, and cruise along the coast to get it rather than take the road. I hope that's not the case once she does see the first cut, but I might need some support from the community if it does collapse...just to show her that the idea is worthwhile to both cachers and none-cachers. *shrug*...who knows...I'm a worrywort, but for a good cause.

Edited by VirusZero
0

Share this post


Link to post

Just let us know what support you need from the local community and we will see what we can drum up for you. :ph34r:

0

Share this post


Link to post

I only just stumbled on this forum this morning...

 

Absolutely great idea... A great way to spread the caching word... Hope it all works out. :grin:

0

Share this post


Link to post

Yep - count me in - if we can send a mail or give you some support in some way - I'm always game.

0

Share this post


Link to post

The pilot episode is complete and awaiting the CEO's viewership to see what changes need to be made for subsequent episodes. People who've seen it so far have said that it was great and that a program of that sort is much needed in our channel/on TV these days. I hope to live up to the standards of Michael Palin's work someday, so here's hoping that it attracts the numbers. I'm currently working on the subtitling to give you guys a chance to also tune in and watch the show when it's broadcast (if you're living in MENA). Just remember to help me keep my numbers up, tell people about the show (and shop the promo around to other geocachers in the region who haven't heard of it yet). I don't wish to network or spread it on facebook just yet because the promo needs final approval from the CEO before we can make it official, but a little underground work won't hurt!

 

It's getting really exciting. I can't wait to start hunting for the next cache! :grin:

0

Share this post


Link to post

Well if you head down Abu dhabi way - give us a shout - I took a German couple around yesterday afternoon for a few caches - was really great.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Skyjuggler and I met up last night and did a few easy ones in my neighbourhood. He also had the privilege of being the first cacher to watch the full episode. I hope he comes up and puts his opinion on what he saw soon. :-)

 

But more importantly, this announcement.

 

Fellow Cachers:

 

For the second episode I would like to try either Da Bones (GC1GXQY) or Hercules (GC2KT6Y). Both have the potential to be extremely rewarding trips and an interesting perspective on the nature of the UAE's wilderness trails.

 

The show will aim from now on to invite any and all interested parties (already-established or would-be cachers) to come along on these trips and join us in the search. This way we can not only increase people's attention to the show and the hobby, but hopefully maintain the true community spirit of the sport.

 

Of course, if anyone knows or is in touch with these caches' owners, I'd love to be able to speak to them on camera for the episode as well.

 

Any readers who frequent this thread: you're officially invited. There is still no date set for this excursion but I'd like to do it soon before the heat really gets going in the inner regions of the desert. If you or a friend of yours is an avid 4x4 off-roader and can help out with transportation, it's sure to help out both logistically and in attracting sponsorships from your car's dealership ;-)

 

I hope to hear back from you on this very soon!

Edited by VirusZero
0

Share this post


Link to post

Greetings, indeed I was the very first to view the pilot episode of "Treasure Hunters".

Very nicely put together with a huge amount of potential. I think my favourite part may have been the solemn look on Virus Zero's face when they'd been searching for hours and came back with a DNF. A feeling we all know too well.

 

As for the post above, count me in... I'd lean towards the Hercules cache, that way we can sneak in an earth cache on the way. Providing a chance to highlight some of the geological aspects of the Emirates.

 

If Carbon Hunter comes along I'm sure we could learn enormous amounts...

 

As for dates, I'm afraid between work commitments and family visiting, I'll only be available around mid April. But if there are some other suggested dates, I'll try and make a plan to be there. Looking forward to it.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Depending on dates I would love to join you guys - if Carbon Hunter is going along. :unsure:

0

Share this post


Link to post

The pilot episode has been approved and we're going into business. It will be screened in front of a proper test audience to determine its success, afterwhich we can see how the direction of the show is going to go.

 

I am meant to be scouting locations for the next few episodes throughout this week. Now that Cycad1 has mentioned that military barracks are being built at the site of Hercules, I think it's safe to say that one's out of the running.

 

I would appreciate the help with the location scouting, and if it is successful, we should be beginning to shoot the episodes throughout next week.

 

I hope this topic's not becoming too tedious for some people. But being new in town it's rather difficult to network with other cachers and I'm still testing ground to see what fruit we would collectively reap from this networking.

 

Thanks

0

Share this post


Link to post

Following the thread and wishing you the best of luck.

 

Anything I can do to help in Kuwait? Please let me know..

 

:)

0

Share this post


Link to post

Here's another teaser for you, an actual excerpt from the show. Yours truly narrates and hosts :-)

 

 

Actually gpsman, send me a private message. There's a geocaching mission that's coming in from Boston in the next few weeks that I will need some Kuwaiti assistance with.

Edited by VirusZero
0

Share this post


Link to post

 

Actually gpsman, send me a private message. There's a geocaching mission that's coming in from Boston in the next few weeks that I will need some Kuwaiti assistance with.

 

When is the a "mission" coming Qatar way? :rolleyes:

0

Share this post


Link to post

The excerpt looks really good - WELL DONE!

0

Share this post


Link to post

Very good - looking most impressive - trusting that the test audience is impressed and that you can deliver a full series from this

0

Share this post


Link to post

Hello! Great intro to the show! Wishing you all the best with it.

 

We will be holding the 1st Saudi CITO on 28 April - BBQ, cache and get-n-greet for the many new cachers we have in Saudi now. I think that would be a good episode idea - if you can come to Riyadh.....

0

Share this post


Link to post

me N u, I'll grab confirmation from the channel that this is possible within budgets and what not, then let you know through e-mail or private message.

 

As for the general cachers in the region: we would like to pursue Pirelli as a caching team effort, and you're all invited to make this a big rockin' convoy! How are next weekend or the next looking for people? *fingers crossed*

 

Edit: We're talking Friday April 1st or Friday April 8th or Saturday April 9th.

 

Please say yes... :anicute:

Edited by VirusZero
0

Share this post


Link to post

Anyone else?

Edited by VirusZero
0

Share this post


Link to post

An even better update:

 

We are looking for a convenient date between Saturday and Thursday to go up to Dibba Oman and do Dibba's Lost City Cache (GC18PP9). We have a barter deal with a boat tour company who will take us on one of their dhows up to the site of the lost city so we can film there and find the cache. The boat can accommodate about 20 people. We're hoping to get a good haul for this.

 

Once this episode is filmed, at some other point in time we're taking the other end of Musandam up (again by boat) to do a two-cache episode, Port Entrance (GC19RKY) in Khasab, and the Telegraph Island Earthcache by Carbon Hunter. Once again you're invited.

 

As for Pirelli, we're aiming for a shoot of that one the weekend of the 8th of April.

 

Of course not all of these will be filmed in the same week, Lost City and Pirelli at least, so I hope that some of you will be able to make it at some point in time or, if you know someone who'd be interested in joining us, please do let me know.

 

Cheers once more.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Dude!!!

 

If nothing else, this program could simply be responsible for organising the best caching trips ever!!!

 

My issue is that my mom is coming to visit for a week. She arrives early Saturday morning. I'm not convinced I'll be able to convince the old lady to come on a hike. But as soon as I'm available, I'm SSSOOO there!

 

Cheers

0

Share this post


Link to post

I'm taking 2 weeks leave - so if you give us a bit of time - we can try arrange to be at both!

0

Share this post


Link to post

I'm taking 2 weeks leave - so if you give us a bit of time - we can try arrange to be at both!

 

Pending permissions granted from the ministries of Information and Tourism in Oman, we will be shooting Dibba's Lost City before the end of the week. We have been advised by the other tour company that is helping us with water transportation up to Khasab not to come up to do Telegraph Island and Port Entrance for another two weeks as it's currently Jellyfish season and we won't have much to shoot by way of marine life.

 

That could mean that we can still do that one with the presence of Skyjuggler.

0

Share this post


Link to post

I'm taking 2 weeks leave - so if you give us a bit of time - we can try arrange to be at both!

That could mean that we can still do that one with the presence of Skyjuggler.

 

WWAAAHHHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

0

Share this post


Link to post

Hey folks,

 

Follow us on our new Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Treasure-Hunters-%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%AA%D9%83%D8%B4%D9%81%D9%88-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%83%D9%86%D9%88%D8%B2/191114177597916

 

..and spread the word!

 

I'm still trying to get a permit for this week from the Omani government to go up to do Dibba's Lost City. Seems like we won't get it in time, but I'll confirm it soon. If not, it'll have to wait until next week. It seems like the recent tensions in Oman are going to delay things a tad. In the mean time, any suggestions for adventurous caches down here in the UAE?

 

Cheerio!

0

Share this post


Link to post

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 1