Fahad Badar is the Executive General Manager, Chief of International Banking at Doha’s prestigious Commercial Bank of Qatar (CBQ) Headquarters in West Bay where he has an executive office with scenic views of the Doha Corniche and the magnificent skyline that makes up part of West Bay. He is a seasoned banker with over 20 years of banking experience at CBQ.
As a successful businessman, Fahad has taken his years of learning from the boardroom to the mountains and joined the elite club of high-altitude climbers from around the world. In 2019, he became the first Arab male to reach the summits of both Mount Everest and Mount Lhotse during the same expedition. An achievement that less than 85 people in the world can lay claim to.
Fahad is one of the few Qataris to even attempt such mountaineering expeditions. His aim is to climb the highest mountain on each of the world’s seven continents, and he’s well on his way to turning this goal into a reality.
Not just a successful business leader and mountain climber, Fahad also uses his publicity and his social media platforms to promote topics close to his heart from physical health, community engagement, cancer awareness, and creating further public recognition of the important venues and entities Qatar has to offer for both physical development and engagement.
During his MBA university years in the UK at Durham University, when he was introducing himself to everyone during induction week, Fahad told his peers:
“One day I want to climb Mount Everest.”
He had backpacked around Asia in his twenties, and since then the challenge of joining mountaineering expeditions appealed to his character. However, the demands of work overtook his life and he got busy climbing the corporate ladder at CBQ over the last 20 years.
In 2013, he planned to make his dream come true. Initially, he had wanted to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, but due to the demand of his work and its needs, he had to cancel that expedition and put his dream on hold again for a further three years. It wasn’t until 2016 that he was able to fulfill that dream. He said to himself:
"I need to do this!”.
Between 2017 and 2018, Fahad laid the necessary physical and mental foundations required for mountaineering. He trained hard to ensure he had the necessary technical skills and was well prepared physically to face the risks he was about to embark on.
At the age of 38 (he was born in 1979) in February 2018, he scaled Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania – the highest mountain in Africa - which was his first summit; this was followed by Jebel Shams (Mountain of the Sun) - the eighth tallest peak in the Middle East, located in northeastern Oman north of Al Hamra town and the highest mountain of the Hajar range - in November 2018; Mount Elbrus - the highest mountain in Europe and Russia - in August 2018; and then Mount Everest and Lhotse to become the first Arab male to do the double summit in the same expedition and the second Qatari to reach the top of Mount Everest.
This is what the father of two beautiful children had to say about the highest mountain in the world:
“Mount Everest is one of the most difficult challenges in the world. I would compare it to winning a medal in the Olympics. We undergo the same kind of rigorous training that people undergo who take part in the World Cups or Olympics.”
August 2019 saw this passionate and dedicated climber scale two more mountains peaks – Mont Blanc and Matterhorn in the Alps. On this astounding achievement, Fahad Badar said:
“It has been a pride and privilege to fly the Qatari flag on the highest peaks of the world. My endeavor has always been to achieve the unprecedented and this has what helped me push myself forward. For me, failure is not an option and I am excited for this next expedition to raise the Qatari flag high at Antarctica and inspire many others to follow suit.”
At the end of 2019 and the very start of 2020, Fahad embarked on to one of the most ultimate adventures on earth in the Antarctica, where he skied the last degree expedition and reached the South Pole from the 89th degree in seven days. This incredible crossing involved skiing in intervals for 110 km across the South Pole, using sleds to haul provisions and scaling one of the coldest mountains on earth, Mount Vinson, the highest peak in Antarctica, to become the second Qatari to do so. Mount Vinson is the most remote of the Seven Summits, located 1,000 kilometres from the South Pole. Mount Vinson is Fahad’s fourth of the Seven Summits.
About his adventure to the top of his fourth summit, Fahad stated:
“I knew they would be challenging expeditions and I am so proud that, once again, I was able to achieve success and fly the flags of Qatar, Qatar 2022, the Cancer Society and for Commercial Bank at both the South Pole and on the summit of Mount Vinson in the Antarctica.
“With two guides and nine team members in the first expedition, we faced some punishing weather conditions, with frost bite and extreme exhaustion for some. Eating mostly provisions of dehydrated food, pre-cooked frozen meals of rice and daal and energy gels during the hours of skiing; the journey was a challenge both physically and mentally.
"The 2nd leg of the expedition to scale one of the coldest mountains on earth, Mount Vinson the highest peak in Antarctica was led by one guide and two other team members; we were roped together to avoid slipping. To scale the steep ice ridge of Mount Vinson, we used spiked crampons on our boots to dig into the ice so we could scale the steep ascent. It was tough, but we made it."
Fahad chose a tough summit like the Ama Dablam in Nepal for his fifth summit at the beginning of 2021. Due to its immense altitude and geographic location, Ama Dablam can only be climbed at two points in the year: from April to May or September to October. Besides the thrilling climbing routes made of snow, ice, and rock, the expedition itself has a higher level of difficulty due to the season itself. And it’s among the most technical and challenging climbs on Earth. All these conditions tested Fahad’s abilities and resilience, providing fundamental experiences that will be useful in his upcoming trips, but he did it and on 14 January, he waved the Qatari flag on the top of Ama Dablam
This was what Fahad had to say after his victorious climb:
“I was looking forward to reaching the summit of Ama Dablam. It’s been quite a long time since I’ve been away from the mountains, and I have the need to return to the place where I feel the most alive."
Fahad took on physical fitness and mental training long before his expeditions into mountaineering. As a Martial Arts aficionado since 1998 and an Aikido practitioner since 2000, the system of Martial Arts and Akido training develops not only a strong individual, but one with knowledge and positive energy.
Within these years of training he laid the necessary physical and mental foundations required for mountaineering.
“The world of mountaineering can instruct one to be confident. In addition, also having the necessary technical skills and being well prepared physically to face the risks and know what you’re going to do; are all attributes required for success.”
He undergoes a rigorous training and diet regimes to prepare him for his adventures and trains six days a week, sometimes walking for tens of kilometres in the desert areas of Qatar preparing himself for the physical and mental strength required to scale the top summits of the world.
So, as you can see, Fahad takes his climbing very seriously. Whether it’s climbing up the executive ladder of the prestigious Commercial Bank of Qatar (CBQ) or the world’s highest peaks!
In his own words:
"I love it. I love the challenge. It’s the challenge that pushes me forward, without the fear of failing. For me, it’s become a passion and part of my life. Failure is not an option."
"Follow your dreams; always think high. Your dream should be only your dream, not to impress someone. It’s not easy. It needs sacrifice. You need to be tough in your mind. You need to be patient, and you should try to excel in everything you do. "
He went on to say:
"My dream was to scale Everest - mountain. For someone else, their Everest may be something else. Everyone has a dream and it's never too late to follow your dreams."
His next adventure in 2020 is all planned out; to scale Mount Borad Peak - a Himalayan mountain on the border of Pakistan and China; it's the 12th highest mountain in the world at 8,047 metres.
Fahad lives for the next challenge, stating:
“When I climb mountains it has not been to satisfy anyone else or to seek validation; I do it to fulfill my own personal goals and dreams.”
To know more about Fahad Badar and his many adventures, do follow his social media pages:
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