Winter Odyssey adventurers will explore the UAE on camelback

Fifteen lucky Emiratis will be given the chance to follow in the footsteps of their ancestors.

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ABU DHABI // Following in the footsteps of the camels that their forefathers rode, Emiratis can now apply to embark on a 10 day voyage across the country mounted on the iconic animal.

The Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Centre is organising a trip on camelback to allow 15 nationals to experience the primary method of transportation of their ancestors.

The trip, which will commence on January 20, and cover a distance of 200km, will be launched in collaboration with Ahmed Al Qassemi, a seasoned Yemeni voyager who has undertaken a number of trips across the world since 1994, covering more than 40,000km to date.

“This unique opportunity offers the youth of today a glimpse back in time and teaches them the skills possessed by their ancestors to survive and thrive in their natural environment,” said Ibrahim Abdulrahim, director of events at Hamdan bin Mohammed Heritage Centre.

Al Qassemi’s “Winter Odyssey” will offer Emiratis a unique opportunity to travel back in time — exploring the UAE as their ancestors did, using traditional navigational techniques, maps and sun positions, he said.

“As a nomadic culture, the people of the Arab world and the UAE have a long tradition of voyages,” said Mr Abdulrahim “Trips such as the ‘Al Hadar’, journeys undertaken for trade and commerce or to attend weddings and celebrations, have formed a vital part of the lives of our ancestors.”

Individuals interested in being part of Al Qassemi’s entourage can register by sending an email to

The selected individuals will be trained to care for their camels as well as read ancient maps using traditional navigational techniques.

The entire journey will be documented for cultural preservation purposes.