Explore the hidden frontiers of Arabia with Reza Pakravan

When award-winning explorer and filmmaker Reza Pakravan ventures into uncharted territories across the Asian Arabian Peninsula, he encounters his fears and, eventually, overcomes the apprehensions and accomplishes his goals.

Reza is known for his expeditions to remote corners of the globe. So when Saudi Arabia was opened for the world he wanted to lead a team on a journey into the region’s uncharted territories. His expedition and almost two years of filming resulted in a six-part series, Hidden Frontiers: Arabia. The seriesdropped on Discovery Channel and discovery+ on May 13.

Reza says, “We had set out on a journey to unravel Saudi Arabia. We discovered caves and canyons in which no human being is believed to have set foot. We found that Oman had a similar story to tell. Saudi Arabia was the trigger for our adventure, the rest followed and allowed us to narrate a beautiful story about different species, habitation and water sources.”

Throughout the season, viewers will be shown untamed expanses of Oman, Iran, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia’s deserts. “Our expedition was not just about discovering new canyons and jungles, it is a blend of discovery, education and adventure,” says Reza. This docu-series also showcases an excursion to Bahrain’s waters to document the elusive Dugongs, perhaps for the first time. 

They came across canyons that were pathways for human migration, connecting us to Neolithic history. They also discovered arrowheads and horns of Ibex (which was believed to be extinct from the region) from the Neolithic period. “Both have been submitted to one of the museums in Riyadh,” Reza adds.

“We searched for disappearing species and ways of life, and investigated ancient mysteries. It won’t be wrong to say that we have put the limits of survival techniques to the ultimate test.” The explorer says that while maps, studies and equipment could guide them, the team also underwent rigorous physical training for about 18 months prior to their journey. Reza adds. “Preparing oneself physically is as important as the research for an expedition. Our training included many hours of deep-sea diving as well. On-ground experience is always a lot more difficult. We found ourselves inside caves with crystal clear water and in caves 30 metres under the ground, knee deep in water while our gas meters kept beeping to indicate low oxygen levels. We also got into an unexpected mountain situation where we committed ourselves to a really difficult climb with crumbly rocks; we struggled to find our way out. In Oman, indigenous people came to our rescue in a similar situation.” 

As an explorer, Reza says finding new places is his passion, and now with the Hidden Frontiers series, he wants “to show remote corners continue to exist, shrouded in mystery and waiting to be explored. Being part of the journey that uncovers these secrets and unravels the mysteries of our planet is a privilege. The excitement of not knowing what lies ahead is an unparalleled thrill,” he concludes. The second episode airs tonight at 9pm while all other episodes airs on Monday.

What next? After Hidden Frontiers: Arabia, he is looking at Hidden Frontiers: China

(Hidden Frontiers: Arabia airs on Discovery Channel and discovery+ at 9 pm every Monday)

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