by Souha Abbas
  • 2 minute read
  • April 29, 2024
How the UAE Trekkers’ founder used the pandemic as a way to springboard her trekking career

Amy Subaey’s introduction to the world of trekking was a fortunate combination of passion and circumstance. “It was my weekend hobby,” she explains, recalling how she balanced her life as a teacher and mother with her love of the outdoors. This hobby, which she developed in the classrooms of Decide University and Emirates College of Education, quickly began to consume more of her time and effort.

Amy found herself at a crossroads when the pandemic struck, causing unexpected consequences. Her teaching position at a nuclear plant was terminated, presenting a significant challenge. “We were all let go in September 2020,” she says, but adds that it was a breakthrough moment, an opportunity for bold action. Amy shifted gears with determination, declaring to herself, “I’m doing this full-time.” And so, she stepped into the world of professional trekking with a group of six women who shared her passion.

UAE Trekkers is about more than just guiding people through trails; it’s about providing unique experiences tailored for each individual. “We welcome anyone from age 25 to 45, and we really like small groups,” she says. This preference is not entirely logistical; it is part of a philosophy that values the individual experience, ensuring that every hiker, particularly those new to the trails, feels seen, supported, and empowered.

Amy trekking in Rwanda
At the Everest Base Camp

Amy’s approach to hiking is transformational. It’s a journey of self-discovery and growth. “If they enjoyed themselves, they would come back, do a harder walk, and then they would keep hiking,” she explains. This cycle of challenge and enjoyment is essential to the UAE Trekkers’ ethos. 

The UAE’s trails are surprisingly diverse, ranging from the quiet majesty of the Liwa desert to the mesmerising heights of Jabal Jais and the serene surroundings of Wadi Shah. Each path tells a unique story, providing a different perspective on a land perhaps known more for its urban marvels than its natural wonders. “We try to make everything accessible,” Amy says, expressing her desire to tailor each trek to participants’ capabilities and interests.

Her philosophy extends beyond the UAE, preparing hikers for iconic climbs such as Kilimanjaro with trips to Jebel Shams in Oman. “That is the stepping mountain before Kilimanjaro,” she says.

Amy continues to balance her trekking interests with motherhood. Her daughter, Amira (now 26), was raised with these landscapes as a backdrop. Climbing Kilimanjaro at the age of 14, Amira not only set a record for the youngest Saudi to do so, but she also embodied the spirit of determination and courage that the UAE Trekkers embody. Her experience at Everest Base Camp adds to her credentials. For mother and daughter, these trails have been a source of bonding.

Looking ahead, Amy hopes to broaden the scope of UAE Trekkers. Her goal is to share the joy of trekking with a wider audience, from corporate events to luxury tours in exotic locations such as Socotra. “It’s so exciting to be the facilitator of astonishment,” she shares.

Step by step, with UAE Trekkers, Amy and her colleagues are building a community deeply rooted in the transformative power of the UAE’s natural wonders. Her success story isn’t just about growing a successful business; it’s about strengthening bonds with nature and inspiring others to explore, discover, and thrive – one trail at a time. 

Visit and follow @uaetrekkers on Instagram.

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