Sheikh Mohammed meets camel trekkers in Dubai after 550km desert journey

Thirty-seven participants made 12-day trek across the country

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, meeting camel trekkers in Dubai
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Camel riders from 16 countries have concluded a 550km journey across the UAE desert.

Organised by the Hamdan bin Mohammed Heritage Centre, this year's trek, the 10th annual event, involved the largest group of participants in the event's history.

Over 12 days, the 37 participants undertook the journey from Arada in Abu Dhabi to Global Village in Dubai, arriving on Saturday evening.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, later met the participants in the Seih Al Salam area of Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve in Dubai.

Reflecting on the trek, Abdullah bin Dalmook told The National: “The initiative was launched after the directives of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid to spread the values of tolerance among all residents.

“Sheikh Mohammed supported the initiative by meeting with the participants.”

Mado Alexandra, who shared the 12-day journey with her daughter, Liza Charline Jaspard, 10, added: “I wanted to take Liza with me during this challenging journey during Christmas and New Year to have a new experience.

“I wanted her to know that life isn’t easy and to see the difficult journey Emiratis made while building their country.”

The route included landmarks such as Tal Mera’b and the Qasr Al Sarab reserve area.

A high level of fitness is required and participants trained three times a day for two months to prepare for the event.

They learnt how to ride a camel, travel in a convoy and survive in the desert.

Abdullah bin Dalmook, chief executive of the heritage centre, praised the efforts of the riders, despite the challenges due to weather and tough terrain.

“This year’s edition is different as it witnessed a bigger group than previous years. We had to increase the time of travel and did not reach our camping stations until after sunset,” Mr bin Dalmook said.

“The journey represents the march of our ancestors in the old days and part of our vision to preserve our traditions.”

Emirati Mariam Saeed, who participated in the trek, said she was fully prepared, both mentally and physically, for this trip.

“I consider myself as an ambassador for my country on this trip as we have different nationalities. We were well prepared for a journey full of challenges,” she said.

Abdullaziz Al Serkal, another UAE citizen, said the trip allowed them to experience how people lived in the past throughout the Emirates.

“It was wonderful and full of challenges that showed us the difficulties of life in the past. It is an unforgettable experience,” he said.

The annual trek is open to people above 18 and aims to teach them the survival skills the Bedouin relied on during challenging desert voyages.

Updated: January 08, 2024, 7:33 AM