Dubai, February 2 2016 – A 500km camel trek to showcase Emirati culture to expatriates and UAE nationals alike fittingly finished astride the Heritage quadrant at Global Village yesterday (Monday).
This 10-day expedition, which was organised and supervised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC), saw participants experience a more nomadic existence under the guidance and stewardship of theb renowned explorers Ahmed Al Qassemi and Mohammed Bin Taryam.
The game group would get up at sunrise every morning and set off on the first leg of their day journey. They’d then stop for a light lunch in the mid-afternoon prior to re-commencing their onward voyage up until sundown.
Their route began at Al Tay and continued on through Mahafez, Al Thomaid, Al Showab, Al Faqqah, Bab Al Shams and Al Lseely before culminating yesterday (Monday) at Global Village late afternoon. The midday breaks occurred at Towi Bin Khlais, Alfayah, (close to) the Al Madam Roundabout, Al Khodr, Seeh Al Silm, Seeh Al Dahel and Al Nakhli.
All of the trekkers had to overcome physical and testing challenges over the course of the last week and a half, especially while camel riding in desert conditions. The whole trip was a test of the participants’ endurance as it wasn’t easy to ride for eight hours-plus per day. However, it cleared their minds away from the stresses of everyday life and everyone – as one – came away having benefitted from the opportunity to experience an altogether different lifestyle and anxious to do it again.
Charlotte Sarrazin, of France, commented: “It has been amazing. It was just fantastic to be disconnected completely and to be with the camels. I learnt every day about Emirati culture, Omani culture, Indian culture and the cultures of everyone around me. It was 200 per cent fun – and challenging – and I have learnt so much. I will do it again and my advice for other people who are thinking of going on this camel trek next year is that they should train up for it physically, but they should definitely do it.”
Rasheenah Ahmad, from India, said: “It has been a great learning curve and a wonderful experience all in all. It has probably been one of my best ‘holidays.’ It’s just an amazing feeling. If there’s anyone who would like to go next year, all I can say to them is that they must give it a try. I’d come back for sure as I’d love to experience this all again. It’s a very relaxed land nice life.”
Sharjah resident Ahmad Fursan stated: “I feel so happy after this experience. Our forefathers did this in the past and, now, I’ve done it. Everybody is going to the coffee shop or the mall these days. I said I’d do this camel trek to experience what our forefathers did and where they lived. I hope to do this again. That’s the plan anyway. I’ve already told Mohammed (Bin Taryam) that, if they do it again next year, he must put my name down first on the list.”
Bin Taryam explained: “This year’s camel trek was very nice and a lot of fun. There was a great level of cooperation between all of the participants and they really seemed to enjoy the experience. They also
refused to take the easy route, so – for instance – if they got tired on the camel, there was the option of getting into a nearby car, but they all steadfastly refused to do so. All of these nationalities have joined together in one place and everyone liked our rich Emirati culture and heritage.”
Al Qassemi said: “This trek showcased the real heritage of this area and the international trekkers have benefitted from it and learnt something new. It’s a huge achievement for them all as riding –and forging a relationship with – a camel is difficult, but – after sufficient training – they managed to succeed at it for 10 straight days. The teamwork was fantastic among the group because everyone helped out when challenges and tasks presented themselves to ensure everything went smoothly.”
Ibrahim Abdul Rahim, Director of Events at the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC), added: “I’m happy the trek went smoothly and successfully; there were no injuries and everything went well. I’m already looking forward to making the third edition of this event even better and bigger next year, with more participants from around the world.”