Completing the award in Dubai, UAE is even more challenging. Firstly, it is quite difficult to complete the community service section because of the lack of charities and public organisations. Skills and physical activity are more difficult due to the fact that Dubai is short on clubs and societies.
However, by far the most arduous aspect of completing the award in Dubai is the physical feat required for the expedition. While I am sure it is no picnic completing the expedition in the UK, Dubai has to be one of the few places on Earth where the expedition presents a genuine risk of death.
Expeditions are generally undertaken during the weeks from late autumn to early spring but even then temperatures can reach a high of 30 degrees C during the day. Treking across the desert sands under the heat of the blazing sun with no shade and a limited water supply is no holiday, especially when you have a sucsac full of equipment and provisions on your back.
Although the expedition organizers keep a supply of water at each checkpoint, dehydration is still a constant threat. A group of siz people may be expected to walk up to 2.5km without stopping and with only one 1.5 litre bottle of water between them under these unpleasant conditions.
If you think that feasting your eyes upon the glorious scenery will alleviate the feelings of desperation and woe then you are sadly mistaken. Picture the bleakest desert you can possibly imagine, then add a few dead bushes, one or two scraggly trees and the odd mountain. While this may sound somewhat appealing to someone who has never seen or been in a desert before, I would challenge such a person to hold this image in their mind and see how long it takes for them to lose interest. I give it about a minute before they turn on the TV. On the D of E expedition, you do not have that option. There is just you and the desert. In fact, the true challenge of the expedition is in finding new and ingenious ways to remain sane.