Dubai, 9 December 2021: The 8th edition of the annual Camel Trek, organised by Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC), kicked-off at dawn today (December 9) from Liwa Empty Quarter in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi. This is the biggest camel trek to date, with 30  participants coming from 21 countries.

For 13 days, the 30 camel trekkers will navigate 640 kms of the UAE desert to enjoy a unique desert experience such as living the old ways of the Bedouins, until they reach their final destination at Expo 2020 Dubai site on December 21.

The caravan was led by HHC CEO Abdullah Hamdan Bin Dalmook, who expressed his happiness with the high number of participants and the diversity of nationalities in the annual camel trek.  

Bin Dalmook also underlined the support and inspiration given by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, in promoting the UAE’s cultural heritage in the framework of spreading peace and tolerance among the different peoples and cultures of the world.

He added that it is only fitting that the final destination of the camel trek is the Expo site as the UAE has gathered the world to come together at Expo 2020 Dubai. “It is a matter of pride and honour that we showcase the UAE’s cultural heritage at the world’s biggest stage,” he underlined. 

Camel trekkers

Among the 30 participants are Emiratis Batool Hassan Ghaith, Hakima Hassan Ghaith, Khawla Al Blooshi and Saeed Mohammad Rais. They were joined by Howard Leedham from UK; Madawi Alahmad  form Saudi Arabia; Andreas Wim Deges, Paulin Piesker, Emilia Piesker from Germany; Meriam Sehrewerdi from USA; Prijumon K Dominic, Bilal Gulammohiddin Palekar, and Ammar Ahmed from India; Nicola Bettio and Nicole Busetto  from Italy; Joost Verploeg from The Netherlands; Mohamed Amehdar from France; Renate Antolkovich from Austria; Claudia Granberg from Nicaragua; Jana Vintrova from Czech Republic, Laura Ezzat from Estonia; Mariska Verploeg from Brazil; Monika Teresa from Poland; Ann Carine from Belgium; Silke Pfitzer from South Africa; David Pescador from Spain; Amina Samy from Egypt; Geul Bang from South Korea; and Nathaniel Alapide from The Philippines.

The caravan will follow a prepared route and the camel trekkers will rest at camping stations in the middle of the desert. Participants were provided with all necessary requirements by HHC for the entire voyage, including food, drink, individual tents, and the camels that they use for the journey.

Rigorous training 

The participants also underwent a rigorous training programme at a camel farm in Dubai, months prior to the camel trek. During training, the participants developed a level of fitness and aptitude for the desert voyage. They did not only learn how to ride a camel but they were also trained to travel in a convoy, and were familiarised with life in the desert. Everyone’s health is a priority as all safety and precautionary measures will be enforced.

Unique desert experience

A number of participants expressed their excitement to embark on unprecedented journey in the heart of the UAE desert

Polish expat Monika Teresa said she has improved her skills in riding a camel riding and now would like to get acquainted with the Emirati heritage more closely. She added: “As a financial manager, I’m happy to leave the office for two and embark on a unique desert expertise to learn more about Emirati heritage and culture”.

German national Paulin Piesker, who works as a teacher in Dubai, said the support of her family was the main reason behind her taking the desert trek. “I also wanted to experience more the UAE heritage that is very rich and beautiful,” she added.

British expat Howard Leedham, 63, meanwhile, said: “I have also had a huge interest in Emirati culture but this camel trip will take it to a completely different dimension and I think the HHC and the UAE for this wonderful experience.”