Khawla Al Blooshi, an Emirati woman camel rider who races side-by-side with men. She is 28 years old and she had never ridden a camel until four months ago. This camel racing came to Ms Blooshi by chance when her friend saw a post on the internet about a camel trek taking place. “I was not looking to get into camel racing, it just found me,” she said.
“My friend and I are really outdoorsy. We do a lot of hiking and diving and she saw a post online about the camel trek so I registered for it. It was so random and out of the blue. Now I ride camels almost every day and feel guilty when I don’t. I’m Emirati too, so I thought it would be a great way to get to know more about my heritage and how camels played an important role in Bedouin life.”
Ms Blooshi works 5 days a week, from 9 am to 6 pm. “Since I started I’ve become obsessed. I go to bed thinking about camels and wake up thinking about them,” she said. “It’s been such a natural bonding experience for me. I competed in my first race last weekend and I smiled all the way to the finishing line. The male competitors were very sceptical to see two women riders at first but by the end of the race, they were shouting ‘number one, number one’ at me in Arabic. It was a great moment to experience.”