Two women have crossed the finish line to become the first Emirati women to compete side by side with men in a camel race in the UAE.
Khawla Al Balooshi and Hakima Ghaith successfully took part in the preliminary race for the annual UAE National Day Camel Marathon at the weekend at Al Marmoom Race Track in Dubai.
Riding on the four-kilometre track, Ms Al Balooshi, 28, competed in the 18-29 age category, while Ms Ghaith, 38, took part in the over-30s group.
Both women said they were thrilled to be given the opportunity to become the first Emirati women to participate in an official camel race in the UAE.
Ms Ghaith said her participation proved that women "can excel in all fields, including heritage sports".
“In my daily life I work in the field of aviation as a ground employee, and this type of heritage sports gives me a lot of positive energy,” she said.
The second preliminary race is scheduled for December 3, coinciding with the country's 50th National Day, while the main marathon will be held on January 14.
In the opening race at the weekend, Issa Al Ahbabi won first place in the 18-29 age group, finishing in six minutes and 35 seconds, while Yahya Al Mallai came out on top among the over-30s with a time of seven minutes and five seconds.
The National Day Camel Marathon is held annually in conjunction with the Arabian Camel Festival under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, Crown Prince of Dubai.