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New Details

Women Who Have Never Seen Camels Became Expert Riders In The UAE

Published on : 27-05-2024

Women Who Have Never Seen Camels Became Expert Riders In The UAE.

These women are not only participating but defying expectations and breaking barriers. Traditionally a male-dominated sport, camel racing is now seeing an influx of women who, up till now, had never seen a camel.

These women participate and become expert riders, defying expectations and breaking barriers. Jana Schmiedel, a 40-year-old German adventurer, is an example of this. She had never considered camel racing until she befriended a local Emirati family in Al Ain. She said: "My interest in camels came from my interest in local culture and the friendship I formed with the family."

Before this, camel racing was entirely new to her. Jana said there is an absolute joy in forming a deeper connection with the majestic animals known as ships of the desert beyond the racetrack. "It is also a privilege to be among the first female camel jockeys to promote this sport for women," she added.

Unexpectedly Thrilling

Taylor, a 54-year-old British newcomer to the sport, discovered camel racing only six months ago. "I never knew it existed for human riders until I spoke to someone from a cycling club who told me about it. Within a week, I had signed up for my first lesson," she shared.

Sioned, who previously had no experience with the camels, found the sport unexpectedly thrilling and safer than her previous activities, like skydiving and triathlons. "After over 200 jumps from planes, helicopters and hot air balloons, I decided camel racing was safer!" she quipped.

Despite challenges like unexpected twists and turns during races, Sioned remains determined to excel in her newfound passion.

Welcoming the sport

Jennifer Reggio, a 40-year-old American horse racing manager, was introduced to camel racing by a friend. Having never interacted with camels before, Jennifer embraced the sport wholeheartedly, "I always tell my son that you should push yourself from your comfort zone. That is where growth happens, she said. Jennifer is also passionate about representing the rich heritage and culture of the region through her participation in camel racing. Meanwhile, Coralie Viroulaud, a 31-year-old Frenchwoman, discovered camel racing after relocating to the UAE. "Sport is great for the mind and keeps you fit, and it is true with camel racing," she said.

Adrenaline rush

Jordanian expert Rawan Salah, 27, started her journey by participating in the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center camel trek in 2022. After that experience, she heard about camel racing and began training with the Arabian Desert Camel Riding Centre to compete in international races. It has been almost two years since she started riding camels. For Rawan, the race's thrill lies in the initial gallop's adrenaline rush. "The first few seconds when the gate lifts and the camel jumps into a gallop are the best adrenaline-filled seconds. I feel like I am flying," she said.

Long-lasting associations

Camel racing has been based in the UAE for nearly a decade, but Linda switched from horses to camels in 2019 out of sheer curiosity. She said the recent race in Al Ula, Saudi Arabia, highlighted the prominent increase in female participation, from being the solo woman amidst hundreds of men in 2023 to witnessing over 20 women competing in their category in 2024.

#dubai #camelracing #uaetravel #travelnews #uaetourism 

News Source : Khaleej Times

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