Jordan Local Leader - Raslan Abbadi
Raslan is a Jordanian professional cycler. He graduated with a degree in sports rehabilitation and has been a keen sportsman since his childhood. He joined the first ever triathlon team in Jordan and is also a member of the Jordanian National Cycling Team. Raslan has won several cycling and triathlon races in Jordan including the famous 253km Dead2Red cycling race which he has won no less than 4 times. He has been leading cycling tours since 2010 and has leading our biking holidays in Jordan since 2008. As well as his excellent skills as a road cyclist and mountain biker, Raslan also has excellent bike maintenance skills. He is a passionate outdoorsman who regularly indulges in hiking, canyoning, climbing and camping trips.
How old are you?
Where were you born?
Where do you live now?
Salt, 30km north west of Amman
How many brothers and sisters do you have?
We are 5 in total, 3 boys and 2 girls
Can you give a brief outline of your education?
I have a Bachelor degree in Sport rehabilitation from The Hashemite University 2008.
And some training courses:
First Aid Feb 2012, Website promotion workshop (toursim sectors) 2012, Digital and Social Media Marketing Seyaha project 1 and 2, Cycling Guide course in France April 2010, Technical course for coaches in Triathlon May 2008, Technical course for coaches in Cycling Oct 2007, Technical course for coaches in Swimming July 2007, Life Guard course and First Aid June 2006.
How did you come to be working in the tourism industry?
In our cycling club we started to do a cycling trips for locals in 2006, just in the weekend. After that I met Rakan in 2008 and I guided the first cycling tour for tourists.
Have you had any training specific to working with foreign tourists?
Yes, With Duvine Adventure in France 2010.
What is your first language?
What languages do you speak?
Arabic, Russian and English
How did you learn to speak English?
In School then some course in middle east language center (part of the American Embassy in Jordan)
Which KE holiday do you most like to lead?
I only lead the DRMB biking trip.
What has been the most amusing moment you have experienced on a KE holiday?
Reaching the mudflats of Wadi Rum after crossing the desert from Petra
What has been the most challenging incident you have faced on a KE holiday?
The long up hills during the DRMB trip (Dead - Karak)
Do you think that foreign tourism is a good thing for your country?
Yes, especially adventure tourism which is more sustainable.
What do you think is the future of foreign tourism in your country?
I can only seeing it growing and growing. The potential of adventure tourism in Jordan is proving to be great.
What do you do with your free time?
Cycling training, exploring new MTB tracks in the desert, hiking, in addition to organizing local fun cycling races.
What is your favourite sport?
Cycling, volleyball, Diving, hiking, climbing
When travelling with a group, what do the local people say about your clients?
In Jordan most of the locals are very friendly and everyone welcoming us all the way in our tours
Have you travelled abroad, and if so where?
France, Thailand, Indonesia, Syria, Lebanon, Libya and some others.
Which countries would you like to visit?
Mongolia, Nepal, Utah
What music do you listen to - who is your favourite performer?
I like to listen to different kinds of music, like Rock, country, trance. Metallica, Nickelback, Armin Van Buuren, Guns N' Roses
Which person do you most admire in the world?
Do you know of any local projects that our charity, the Juniper Trust, could work with?
No, I don't. But it's a good idea to make a charity to buy some bikes for bedouin children on our cycling route.
What you have to say about Raslan...
"Raslan (our leader) went over and beyond all expectations. I loved the challenges of the trip, I was up for it and delighted with the support of the group and our leader. I had a wonderful time." Sharon Tracey
"Raslan (our guide) is such an inspirational cyclist, so really kept us all motivated, taking pictures the whole time, riding back and forth in the group, really keeping us going, always smiling! I had little things with my bike, which he always fixed without getting annoyed, and it seemed the bigger problems he was great with too. He really made sure we were all smiling (even if it meant grimacing while we were going up, at the top we would be smiling!) again, I can't say enough just how amazing Raslan was!!!" Isobel Myers
"Raslan (our guide) was fantastic - hugely competent and knowledgeable. His skill and experience as a cyclist together with his great interpersonal skills meant that we always felt that we were in extremely safe hands. At the same time he was extremely fun to be with." Laurie Cohen