Today will see 50 women trace the footsteps of generations-old Emirati women by walking 120 kilometres from Al Ain to Abu Dhabi through the desert.
Why? To honour the women of the UAE who would make this journey twice a year.
The third edition of the annual Women’s Heritage Walk initiative is supported by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), whose mission aims to support any activity and event that nurtures a rich cultural environment and gives a nod to the emirate’s heritage.
The walk is no stroll in the park, however.
The group of women taking part – made up of Emirati nationals and expats – have trained for six days a week over the past three months.
The trek will take six days to complete in total, spanning 120 kilometres (74.5 miles) of mostly harsh, desert terrain.
The walk will depart from the Al Ain National Museum on Thursday, and then pass through the Al Ain Oasis before moving into the desert towards Abu Dhabi.
Along the way, the women will partake in traditional arts and crafts workshops in desert camps in order to learn more about Emirati traditions and customs.
“Since my first time embarking on this historic journey in 2015, I have been in awe of the strength and courage of the women who endured the harsh conditions of the walk through the dunes twice a year,” the Women’s Heritage Walk founder, Bodour Al Tamimi, told Khaleej Times.
“Their strength gives me great hope for the potential of women all around the world, the effect of their satisfaction and happiness has on society, and how much they can accomplish when they have confidence in themselves.”
Images: Women’s Heritage Walk 2016/Facebook