UAE - A fine of Dh50,000 will be imposed on anyone who violates mountaineering regulations and causes danger to lives of others, according to a decision taken by the Fujairah Adventure Center (FAC).
This decision, which came into effect on March 1, comes as an increasing number cases of people getting lost on mountains have been reported recently. It covers three categories of people - mountaineers who walk on foot in rugged areas, organisers of mountain adventure trips, and approved tourism companies.
Amr Zainuddin, the director of the Fujairah Adventure Center, said that four inspectors have been appointed in cooperation with residents of the mountainous regions, who will join them in monitoring violations on 10 mountain paths in the emirate.
Zainuddin said that the Center conducted an extensive study to organise the sport of climbing and off-road hiking, which is very popular among amateurs and tourists. He added the new decision is expected to reduce the percentage of injuries and rescue operations due to mountain accidents.
The decision stipulates the standards and requirements for climbing the mountain in the emirate, and appoints a leader for every 10 people, with the aim of making the journey safe.
The director laid out the details of the inspectors' monitoring duties, which will be carried out during the morning and evening periods in cooperation with the people of the region. The regulations they will enforce include preserving the local environment and respecting the people of mountainous areas, their customs and traditions. Mountaineers are also required to register before starting their climb through a code that is placed at the beginning of the mountain path. This is to allow the people and companies to record the start time of their activity, which will facilitate the process of organizing trips and update the number of people who are present on each mountain path.
He pointed out that the Center has developed 10 mountain trails in separate areas of the emirate by providing service facilities and guide boards that inform people about the sites they are in.
The decision is also expected to lend more organisation to amateur mountaineering and tourism companies. It obliges these firms to have commercial licences issued by the competent authorities in Fujairah or any other emirate. They are also required to organise first aid course and provide a mountain leader. This is so that tourism companies can conduct their activity in the emirate while ensuring that both their customers and employees stay safe.
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