Dubai: Fatima Sajwani has become the first Emirati to summit the third-highest and most treacherous peak in Africa — ‘Margherita Peak’ — in the Rwenzori Range of Uganda. Standing at 5,109 metres above sea level, Fatima raised the UAE flag on the peak for the first time on May 27, 2022.
Even though this was Sajwani’s fourth climb, summiting Margherita Peak was the most challenging expedition the young Emirati climber attempted so far. Sajwani started climbing four years ago, at the age of 27 — first summiting Mount Kilimanjaro in February 2018, followed shortly after by Mount Elbrus in June 2018 and later Mount Aconcagua in February 2020. After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sajwani set off for Uganda late last month to take on this new challenge.
The Emirati climber took the decision to attempt Margherita Peak earlier this year, fuelled by a desire to increase representation of women and Emirati athletes within the global mountaineering community. “Mountaineering is still a very male-dominated sport and as an Emirati woman, I want to be a catalyst for other young Emiratis to discover climbing and shine light globally on Emirati athletes”, says Sajwani.
Following her successful ascent of Margherita Peak, Sajwani is already training for her next climbing expedition. She will be attempting to become the first Emirati woman to reach the summit of Mont-Blanc in September this year.