Chinese businesswoman Xiaozhe Huo took first place with a time of 1 minute and 56.18 seconds. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The preliminary race of the UAE ‘Camel Trek Marathon’ for expats, organized by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC), went off to a strong start on Friday at Dubai Camel Racing Club’s Al Marmoom Race Track.

A total of 23 camel riders – men and women of various ages and capabilities – representing 17 countries took part in the 1.2km race for expats.

Chinese businesswoman Xiaozhe Huo came first place, with a time of 1 minute and 56.18 seconds. She was closely followed by German teacher Paulin Piesker who finished at 2 minutes and 1.23 seconds while German national Gesa Eggeling came in third with a time of 2 minutes and 2.15 seconds.

Camel riders

The other participants include Estonian Laura Ezzat, German Emilia Piesker, Swedish Claudia Granberg, South Korean Geul Bang, Austrian Renate Antolkovich, American Meriam Sehrewerdi, Saudi Arabian Madawi Al Ahmed, Polish Monika Dziewinska, Italian Nicola Bettio, American Howard Leadham, French Mohamed Amehdar, Filipino Nathaniel Alapide, British Shirley Wilkinson, Iranian Farnoush Ezatollah; Danuse Zdenkova and Jana Vintrova from Czech Republic, Algerian Bouchra Ezzekni; and Prijumon Kulangara, Ammar Ahmed and Bilal Palekar from India

The 23 race participants are part of the total of 30 camel riders who will take part in upcoming 8th Camel Trek that will kick-off on December 9. The annual desert voyage which will see participation from 17 countries (including four Emirati camel trekkers) will run for 13 days, starting on December 9 from Liwa Empty Quarter in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi. The 30 camel trekkers will navigate 500 kms of UAE desert to enjoy a unique desert experience how to live the old ways of the Bedouins until they reach their final destination at Expo 2020 Dubai site.