Expat Adventures - Aussie Adrenaline - Dennis Nikitopoulos
One of the most interesting aspects of living in Qatar are the myriad of high-adrenaline activities on hand. Whether it's race car driving, sky diving, kite surfing, jet skiing, desert rallying or simply sailing, Qatar's massive coastline (over 500km) and tons of sun put it front and center for a great adventure.
We spoke with Dennis Nikitopoulos, a Greek-Australian who is most likely the #1 Adrenaline Expat in Qatar.
What brought you to Qatar?
I came to Qatar from Australia for the very first time back in July 2005. I was hired for the 2006 Asian Games Organizing Committee as the Technology Manager for the Main Press Center Venue.
What do you like about living in Qatar?
Qatar is a GREAT place for outdoor activities. I have travelled and lived in a number of countries around the world and there is no other country that allows for so many outdoor activities and sports like Qatar. Year-round sun, access to water, air and land sports, as well as the large number of communities and organizations are what make Qatar ideal for outdoor activities.
How long have you and your family lived here?
This year we are celebrating our 15th year in Qatar! I actually met my wife here and we now have an amazing 10-year old son. My family is also very active with sports and activities in Qatar. My wife likes horseback riding, motocross riding, stand up paddleboarding, sailing, frisbee ultimate, golf and yoga. Our son is also following in the family footsteps. His favorites include motocross riding, jet skiing, wakeboarding, sailing, biking, trampoline, kung fu and drumming.
How did you meet your wife?
I met Madeleine who is from Sweden, in 2007 at the Doha Sailing Club. We are both lovers of the sea & sailing, and we discovered a good number of common interests as well as a passion for adventure. While sailing together for the first time on a 470 sailboat, she mentioned that she was a Swedish national frisbee player raised by a rally-driver Mom and an open-sea sailor Dad. I almost fell overboard!
What activities can you do with kids?
There are plenty of great activities for the whole family in Qatar and we have many stories and amazing memories to tell. Our son loves sports and he is actively participating in the Motorsport Academy for bike riding; I am coaching him in water sports activities; he is frequent visitor at Bounce and takes private Kung Fu classes. He also loves music so he attends private Rock-drumming lessons and Tabla at the Qatar Music Academy. Here are a few photos with our son from around Qatar.
What do you do in your spare time?
I love adrenaline sports, especially motorsports such as: Quad racing, desert rally, paramotoring and motocross to name a few. Initially, I was super excited with desert driving and riding. Over the years this evolved into competitive quad rallying and then teaming up as a navigator in rally cars. Driving, riding, snorkeling and flying in Qatar’s outback helped me see lots of the natural secrets of this country -- Ostriches, Foxes and Oryxes at Zekreet; rock formations at Sealine; sink hole at Salwa; mangroves at Al-Khor and north Qatar; corals, wrecks and an amazing sealife.
What type of car do you drive?
My sports car is a Nissan 370Z Roadster that over the years made me a happy owner and competitor. It is low maintenance, full of power, and a convertible which is great for days when the weather is ideal. I compete in the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) which sponsors a variety of events each year.
It also helps to have a 4x4 if you want to explore Qatar. Our family car is a full-size GMC pickup truck which can go anywhere and carry all our gear (paramotor, bikes and motorbikes for the whole family, jet ski, camping gear etc.).
Is it true you were approached by the ad agency for Chevrolet to do an adrenaline inspired ad for the Qatar market?
Yes. Here they are.
How can people get involved in adventure sports in Qatar?
There are many ways to get started. I put together a few indicative links your readers can explore to have a new adventure. Keep in mind many of these have been put on hold due to the pandemic, but you can still plan for a future adventure!
- Paramotoring - https://skymasters.qa/
- Jet skiing - https://www.qatarwatersports.com/jet-ski
- Wakeboarding & Waterskiing - https://soramarinetraining.com/
- Sailing - http://dmsc.gov.qa/home
- Frisbee Ultimate - https://www.facebook.com/groups/118283844912400
- Kitesurfing - https://www.aquasportsq.com/
- Scuba Diving - https://alghaisdiving.com/
- Desert Dune Riding - https://doha4x4.qa/
- Go Karting - https://www.circuitlosail.com/
How can people get in touch with you?
You can find me on Instagram or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.