DUBAI: The participants of the annual ‘Camel Trek’ arrived in the Heritage Village of the Global Village after embarking on a continuous 12-day journey through the UAE desert, starting from the Arada area in Abu Dhabi and concluding in Dubai.

The 10th edition of the annual event was organised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Centre. The participants journeyed a total distance of 557 km, commencing their trek from Arada and traversing diverse locations across the UAE desert before concluding at the Heritage Village in Global Village.

The journey was unforgettable, as it brought together a French mother and her 10-year-old daughter in a unique experience. They shared 12 days of challenges and difficulties in the heart of the UAE desert.

About this experience, the French mother said: "I deliberately took my daughter with me on this challenging journey during the holiday season and New Year celebrations. Life in the UAE is full of luxury and beautiful things for children before adults, so I wanted my daughter to have a different experience. Through it, she can discover that life is not as easy as she lives it. I wanted her to realise how difficult the journey was that the people of the UAE have undertaken to put their country at the forefront."

A British skydiver who partook in the journey considered his second consecutive participation in the camel trek to be a continuous challenge of a unique experience for him. He said: “I have spent 23 years in the United Arab Emirates, so I have a great background and knowledge of the customs and traditions of this authentic Arab community. My profession in skydiving is full of challenges and requires a lot of courage, but the camel trek experience has a different specificity that is no less challenging than skydiving. It requires compliance with the team leader's instructions and cooperation with colleagues on the trip in order to overcome the difficulties that you may face while crossing long kilometres in areas far from the city.”

A Mexican participant said: "It was a different and wonderful experience, it took us away from the hustle and bustle of the city and the daily routine that we live in. The truth is that the trip, despite its difficulty, was very exciting. I spent 12 days wandering the desert. I didn't expect to have all this energy and the ability to travel on camel back every day. In general, the trip is considered an achievement that I did not expect to achieve. I am very happy with this exceptional experience, which has restored a lot of peace to my soul as I have moved away from our smart devices."

The Emirati participant, Saif Kitab Al-Suwaydi, considered the camel a popular heritage that is cherished by every Emirati. The journey, he said, represents the era of the first ancestors whom we are proud of. He added that the camel journey is a challenging and beautiful experience at the same time. He praised the organisers, the Hamdan bin Mohammed Heritage Center for providing the requirements of the journey for all participants and its positive impact on celebrating the authentic Emirati heritage.

It's noteworthy that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, met with participants of the annual Camel Trek at the Seih Al Salam area of Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve in Dubai.

His Highness was briefed on the progress of the journey, led by Abdullah Hamdan bin Dalmook, CEO of the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center. The expedition comprised 37 participants representing 16 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Yemen, India, China, Australia, Mexico, Russia, Belarus and the UAE.

Bin Dalmook said that the launch of the event was inspired by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s vision and directives to promote tolerance, understanding and coexistence.