International camel trekkers welcomed at Expo 2020 Dubai

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The biggest desert caravan carrying their respective flags received warm welcome at the Expo 2020 Dubai.

Thousands of Expo visitors on Tuesday evening welcomed the biggest desert caravan carrying their respective flags, a group of 29 camel trekkers from 21 countries on their arrival at the Expo 2020 Dubai.

The caravan’s family members were also given a warm reception at the exclusive site reserved for the camel trekkers, Tasmeem Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai.

The 8th Camel Trek was organised by Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC).

The HHC shared on its social media account photos and video of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, waving at the camel trek participants on the success of their trip. He also spoke with Abdullah Hamdan Bin Dalmook, CEO of HHC, who led the camel trekkers composed of 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 Dziewinska 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.

This is the biggest camel trek to date, with 30 participants coming from 21 countries. The participants started at dawn on December 9 from Liwa Empty Quarter in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi. They covered three emirates and 11 checkpoints over 13 days – navigating 640 kilometres of the vast UAE desert – until they reached their final destination at Expo 2020 Dubai site on Tuesday.

Bin Dalmook thanked the support and inspiration given by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and 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 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.

Mohammed Al Ansari, Vice President of Communications and Official Spokesperson for Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “We are very pleased that the annual Camel Trek has reached the end of its journey at Expo 2020 Dubai. We are proud to partner with the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center to highlight Emirati traditions and heritage to millions of visitors in addition to 192 participating countries. This event is deeply rooted in UAE history and the caravan enriches Expo 2020 Dubai’s presence on the international stage, bringing people together and truly embodying our theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.”

The participants underwent rigorous training 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 were also trained on how to travel in a convoy and were familiarised with life in the desert.

The caravan followed a prepared route and the camel trekkers rested at camping stations in the middle of the desert. Participants were provided with all necessary requirements by the HHC for the entire duration of the voyage, including food, drink, individual tents and camels.

The participants enjoyed a unique desert experience, such as living the old ways of the Bedouins. One of the participants, Emirati Saeed Mohammad Rais said: “I’m proud to represent the UAE for this annual camel trek. As an Emirati, this is a golden opportunity for me – as we celebrate the UAE’s 50 years – to retrace my roots and share my country’s rich heritage with other participants from various countries across the world.”

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