At 15-years-old, Ali Saleh Al Shunnar achieved his wish to climb the highest mountain in Africa.

The young Emirati trekked his way to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, counted as one of the 7 towering peaks in the world, and raised the UAE flag high with 3 other climbers - including his father.

Speaking to Dubai Post, Al Shunnar said: ‘The UAE is experienced in defying difficulties, as we strive to achieve the best.’

He pointed out that competing with his older brother is what motivated him into taking on this challenge; his brother Mawya was the youngest climber at the state level in 2012, only 15 years at the time.

Al Shunnar recalled the climb itself was not fun, but once he peaked the mountain and raised his country’s flag, he felt a sense of achievement and pride.

He said: ‘At that moment, I forgot about the cold weather, the difficulties, the fatigue and camping in the area for a week, as well as the lack of oxygen and the inability to sleep in the Highlands.’

Handing out advice to fellow hopefuls, he said: ‘Climbing needs mental and physical fitness and full readiness before beginning on any arduous journey.’

Al Shunnar is also an ardent fan of playing tennis, football, basketball and horseback riding.