UAE camel trek opens up vast deserts and Bedouin culture to expats

Published:  7 Dec at 6 PM
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For a few lucky expats in the UAE, the journey of a lifetime is on right now.

Deserts, the Bedouin heritage and camels are the hallmark of the Arab States’ long, fascinating history involving journeys across seemingly unending vistas of sand. Many of those who’ve read about the region’s earlier days can’t begin to imagine how the camels and their owners found their way across what seems like a futuristic, ever-shifting landscape under a burning sun. Every year, eleven lucky expats get the chance to find out everything they want to know about this amazing experience.

The annual Camel Trek is organised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Centre, starting in the Mender AlAslan desert and ending at Dubai Global Village’s Heritage Village. The trek takes 14 full days and covers some 65 kms of the vast desert every day, dependent on the weather. Usually taking place in January, this year’s event was moved back a month to coincide with the emirate’s National Day cultural heritage celebrations.

The 11 expat trekkers, selected from 700 applicants, are from Albania, China, Germany, France and the UK as well as the UAE, and underwent a tough training programme at Dubai’s Al Nakhra camel farm before setting off. All passed their examinations in camel-riding, looking after the camels, feeding them, setting up tents for overnight stays in the desert and the Bedouin lifestyle. This year, two UAE children and their fathers are also taking part. For all, the trek will be the unforgettable experience of a lifetime, including connecting with nature, learning ancient Bedouin ways and developing friendships.

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