The 6th annual Camel Trek, organised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Centre (HHC), came to a successful conclusion as 18 adventurous camel trekkers, including 9 Emiratis and 9 expats, completed their two-week, 700 km journey across the UAE desert.
They arrived at their final destination on Wednesday night at the Heritage Village in Global Village, where their family, friends and supporters gave them a warm welcome.
The camel trekkers were also delighted to see His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who waved at them as they made their way to the Global Village. The warm welcome was captured and shared numerous times on social media.
The annual camel caravan, organised by HHC, saw the participation of nine Emiratis, including two young boys aged 7 and 5 years old as well as nine expats and travelers from Germany, France, Britain, China and Albania who have committed themselves to immerse in the local culture.
The convoy, led by Abdullah Hamdan bin Dalmook, CEO of the HHC, set off on December 4 for a two-week journey covering around 700 KMs of the vast UAE desert from the Mender Al Aslab desert area before heading to a pre-arranged route that includes Al Thurawaniah, Al Assab, Al Dhafra Fort, Al Marzoum, Al Shabika, Bugrin, North Razin, Al Haffar, Al Ajban and Saih Al Salam.
“The annual camel trek has become very popular among Emiratis and expats, especially among those who love to have a unique desert experience and learn the old ways of the Bedouins. The journey also connects them with nature, in addition to developing ties of friendship and cooperation among the participants,” Bin Dalmook said.
A first-time participant, German expat Linda Krockenberger, 28, said the Camel Trek gave her a better and warmer understanding of the Emirati culture. “The experience I had in desert was really very memorable. Seeing he undulating desert landscaper of the UAE was mesmerizing. Now, I will be going back to the city and I will definitely miss the sand dunes, would love to the trek again. It also made me feel that I want to have a family rather than being alone” she said.
“But the memories and bonding we created – with participants coming from various cultures and parts of the world – will be treasured for a lifetime,” she added.
Japanese-French traveler Anna Aiko, 40, who has been to several countries documenting local cultures, said that the end of the journey was just the beginning of more adventures to come. “I will be sharing with the world what I have seen and experienced in the UAE,” she added.
Around 700 people of various nationalities and abilities applied to join in this year’s camel trek. Selected applicants underwent vigorous training, where they learned various tasks for the journey, including how to set up tents and feed the camels.
The HHC has also ensured all the necessary logistics for the entire trek, including the camels, tents, food and other provisions, and a medical team on standby.
The annual Camel Trek, which usually takes place in January, has kicked off early this time, coming on the heels of the celebration of the UAE National Day.