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400 adventurers take on Caracal Challenge in Al Khatim desert
By Jamil Khan November 13, 2016
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ABU DHABI: Adventure enthusiasts including UAE-based adventurer Saeed Almemari and Svan, a US national, were among the 400 adventurers who took part in the 15-km Caracal Challenge in Abu Dhabi’s Al Khatim desert on Nov.11.

Svan won the first position while UAE-based adventurer Saeed Almemari was the second in male category while first three winners in female category also were awarded prizes.

The Emirates Wildlife Society-WWF together with Husaak Adventures organised the first ever Caracal Challenge, one-of-a-kind 15km excursion through Al Khatim desert.

Participants tested their endurance, navigated the desert landscape at night and learned about the UAE’s natural environment, all while contributing funds for an important cause. The initiative donated all net profits towards EWS-WWF’s Terrestrial Conservation Programme that is designed to protect land-based species and habitats across the UAE and Gulf region. The funds collected will go towards developing a central biodiversity database, integrating protected area networks and building awareness around the initiative.

Talking to the The Gulf Today at the finishing line, UAE all time favourite and prominent adventurer Saeed Almemari said that the walk was a great adventure with the aim of pushing one’s extreme endeavours. “I have been participating in a number of adventures and this was one of the most exciting and noble ones. First time I have participated in a desert run as this one was not done before,” he said.

Svan completed the trail in 3- hour along with Almemari and became the first to complete the 15-km run. “We were together in the run and enjoying the trail full of ups and downs between dunes. It was amazing to run with nature and for a noble cause,” Svan said who completed half of the race with bare foot.

The participants appreciated the arrangements and suggested that the trail should be equipped with better lighting especially in the darks.

The 15-km run attended by 400 participants from all over the GCC, locals and expats and started at 5pm.

Laila Mostafa Abdullatif, Deputy Director General of EWS-WWF, commented “Residents of the UAE should be so proud to live in a country that is home to such a diverse mix of natural habitats and rich wildlife. Over the years, the UAE has been rapidly developing to meet population needs and socio-economic demand; this significant pressure has, as a result, impacted the natural environment and biodiversity.”

Abdullatif added: “Events like the Caracal Challenge have proven that the community can come together and make a real difference by contributing towards EWS-WWF’s work to build a future where people live in harmony with nature, and by spreading awareness about the rich natural heritage we have in the UAE. We’re absolutely delighted that 400 people rallied to recognise the cause, and used the chance to test their physical and mental strength too!”

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