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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Annual camel caravan saw the participation of nine Emiratis, including two young boys.
As many as 18 adventurous camel trekkers, including 9 Emiratis and 9 expats, completed their two-week, 700km journey across the UAE desert as part of the sixth annual Camel Trek, organised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Centre (HHC).
They arrived at their final destination on Wednesday night at the Heritage Village in the Global Village, where their family, friends and supporters gave them a warm welcome.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, waved at the camel-trekkers 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 seven and five years old as well as nine expats and travellers 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 the 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 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 the undulating desert landscape of the UAE was mesmerising. 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.
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.
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