Intrepid Indian Explore, Mandip Singh Soin, Shares Inspiring Tales With UOWD Students #Dubai - Dubai City Guide
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Intrepid Indian Explore, Mandip Singh Soin, Shares Inspiring Tales With UOWD Students
(30 April 2013)

 

Seasoned Indian explorer, Mandip Singh Soin, enthralled the staff and students of the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) with an extraordinary account of his four decades of adventures.

Mandip is an Explorer, Mountaineer, Environmentalist and Adventure Travel and Ecotourism expert. He has climbed, trekked, rafted and explored the Himalayas, the Alps and the Arctic, covering over 40 countries across six continents. In 2011, Mandip was awarded the ‘Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award for Lifetime Achievement’, the highest civilian honour in the field of adventure, conferred by the President of India.

Mandip was in Dubai en route to the Annual World Travel and Tourism Summit in Abu Dhabi, where he was to join other international leaders and industry experts, including former US President Bill Clinton, to tackle the current and future issues facing the travel and tourism sector.

In his presentation, which was organised by UOWD in association with the Indian Consulate General in Dubai, Mandip gave fascinating insights into his inspiration and how he tackled some of his gravest challenges.

Mandip began his story with his early adventures as a school boy in India, drawing inspiration from Sir Edmund Hillary’s Book ‘Nothing Venture, Nothing Win’. One of his first major expeditions as a member of Delhi University hiking club brought one of his biggest challenges. Whilst hiking 450 kilometres in 35 days, Mandip’s team ran out of food and faced attack from snow leopards, with only their sheer determination and unbreakable camaraderie spurring them on to the finish.

Speaking of the crossroads in his life, when he had to choose between a career in the civil service and exploration, Mandip citied his inspiration from the words of Robert Frost, “The road diverged and I took the one less travelled”, as he decided to become an outdoor instructor in the UK.

Mandip described some of his most amazing feats and recounted anecdotes from his early exploration days. As the Founder and Managing Director of Ibex Expeditions, he also spoke of his motivation for establishing the international award-winning enterprise, describing tourism as a potent tool if used effectively.
During the Q&A session, UOWD students sought advice on how to overcome challenges in other walks of life. Reflecting on his experience, Mandip said that most challenges are won in the mind. “If you look directly to the peak of the mountain, it will inevitably be too daunting, but if you take each camp one at a time, you will soon find that the next camp is the summit,” he told the audience.

Prior to the presentation, Mandip and his wife, Anita Singh Soin, met UOWD President, Professor Trevor Spedding, to discuss possibilities of incorporating tourism in higher education curriculum and future of the industry as a whole.

Following the presentation, Mandip met UOWD Associate Professor, Dr Melodena Stephens Balakrishnan and Professor Ian Michael from Zayed University, who were recently awarded an AED 65,200 research grant to study destination branding, focussing on ‘Creating the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Brand’.  

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