Women’s Heritage Walk

Dates: We hope to restart this Walk in 2025. Please don’t lose hope and perhaps join us on another Global Adventure in India, Bhutan, or Hawaii.

United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a country located in the southeastern part of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. The country is a federation of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah.
The early history is fascinating and varied. The region that is now the UAE has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The area was an important center for trade and commerce due to its strategic location between Asia, Europe, and Africa. Throughout history, the region was ruled by various empires and kingdoms, including the Sassanian Empire, the Abbasid Caliphate, and the Ottoman Empire.
In the 19th century, the area that is now the UAE was known as the Trucial States and was under the protection of the British Empire. In 1971, the Trucial States declared independence from Britain and formed the United Arab Emirates. The first president of the UAE was Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi.

Interesting facts
  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a fascinating country with a rich culture, history, and modern developments. Here are some interesting facts about the UAE:
  • The UAE is home to the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, which stands at 828 meters (2,716 feet).
  • The UAE has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, thanks to its oil wealth.
  • The UAE is a federation of seven emirates, each with unique culture and traditions.
    Dubai is known for its luxury shopping and is home to the largest shopping mall in the world, the Dubai Mall.
  • The UAE is one of the safest countries in the world, with very low crime rates.
  • The UAE is home to the world’s largest indoor theme park, the IMG Worlds of Adventure.
    Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, is home to the largest hand-loomed carpet in the world, which is over 5,600 square meters in size.
  • The UAE has a diverse population, with expatriates making up over 80% of the country’s population.
  • The UAE has a rich cultural heritage, with traditional activities such as falconry, camel racing, and dhow sailing still practiced today.
  • The UAE has invested heavily in renewable energy, with the aim of generating 50% of its electricity from clean sources by 2050.
  • These are just a few of the many interesting facts about the UAE. The country is full of surprises and offers a unique blend of tradition and modernity, making it a fascinating destination to explore.

What’s included:

    • 12 weeks of physical fitness training with certified trainers
    • 1 hour of Wellness Coaching with a Certified Wellness Coach Chia
    • 6 Zoom calls in the lead up to the walk
    • 5 days of adventure in the UAE desert
    • 4 nights in an authentic Bedouin campsite
    • 14 nurturing meals throughout the duration of the Walk
    • Cultural Programs during lunch and at campsite
    • Crew team members for campsite management
    • Daily ambulatory and support cars to ensure walkers’ safety
    • Full support of The Women Heritage Walk’s team members
    • Complimentary T-shirts
    • Belly laughing, desert dancing, stretching, peaceful contemplation and things yet to be discovered.
    • An ending celebration
    • Lifetime membership in a ‘Sand Sisterhood of unique and supportive women

    Day Schedule

    • 4:30 AM Wake up call
    • 5:00 AM Breakfast, followed by bag packing.
    • 5:20 AM Call to prayer
    • 5:30 AM Teams gather, safety brief. Walk begins alongside support vehicles
    • 10-minute breaks: Every 60-80 min
    • 11:30 AM Lunch Break – Health and Wellness
    • 2:00 PM Walk resumes
    • 10-minute breaks: Every 60-80 min
    • 5:00–6:00 PM Arrival at the camp
    • 6:30 PM Dinner at base camp & cultural experience
    • 8:30 PM Debrief of the day and next day briefing
    • 9:00 PM Camp downtime

    Walk With Us

    This adventure allows walkers to authentically immerse themselves in the UAE’s culture and heritage. Daily programs stimulate a more profound understanding of our foremothers’ life experiences and offer a new appreciation for the habits and customs borne from the hardships of desert life.

    FAQS United Arab Emirates

    What is the fitness level required for the Walk.

    Trekking in the Desert for five days is a physically demanding and challenging adventure, and a good fitness level is required. Here are some things to consider when determining if you are ready for this level of activity:

    • Cardiovascular fitness: Trekking in the undulating sands over dunes days requires good cardiovascular fitness. This can be achieved by regular aerobic exercise such as brisk walking, cycling, or running, as well as by gradually increasing your training altitude.
    • Endurance: Being able to walk for several hours at a time in the heat of the Desert requires a good level of endurance. Building up to this activity level can be done by gradually increasing the duration and intensity of your training over time.
    • Strength: Walking in the Desert requires good leg and core strength to help you maintain good posture and to carry your gear. Regular strength training exercises such as squats, lunges, and leg presses can help to build leg and core strength.
    • Flexibility: Walking for long periods of time can be hard on the body, so flexibility is important to reduce the risk of injury. Stretching and yoga can help to improve your flexibility.
    • Training: It’s important to train for this level of activity by gradually increasing the distance and altitude of your training over time.

    It’s essential to consult with your doctor before attempting this activity level, particularly if you have any health concerns or haven’t been physically active in a while. A medical clearance is required as part of the application. 

    It’s also important to note that, as you will be Walking in the heat, it’s essential to be well-prepared and to have a plan in case of an emergency, including knowing how to prevent and treat heat exhaustion.

    In addition to physical fitness, it is also important to have a positive attitude and good mental preparation for the trek. The trek will be challenging, and it’s important to be prepared for this, both physically and mentally. The 12 weeks of Wellness will help you to prepare. With proper preparation and training, you can increase your chances of having a successful and enjoyable trek in the amazing Desert of the UAE.

    What will be the weather during our journey?

    January is one of the best months to visit the UAE, as the weather is typically mild and comfortable. However, the weather can vary depending on the specific location within the country.

    In most parts of the UAE, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi, temperatures in late January range from around 18-25°C (64-77°F) during the day, with cooler temperatures at night. There is also a relatively low chance of rain during this time of year.

    However, it’s important to note that temperatures fluctuate, and weather patterns can be unpredictable. It’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast before your trip and pack accordingly to ensure your comfort.

    What should I bring, how should I pack for such a journey?

    Here is a list of essentials that you should bring and how to pack for a journey in the UAE in January:

    Packaging wisely is important to ensure your safety and comfort in the desert environment.

    Clothing: The Desert can be very hot during the day and chilly at night, so it’s important to pack clothing that can keep you comfortable in both conditions. Lightweight, breathable clothing is ideal for daytime, while warmer layers and a jacket are necessary for nighttime. 

    • Footwear: Pack a sturdy, comfortable pair of hiking boots or shoes with good grip and support. Also, pack a pair of lightweight shoes or sandals for camp.
    • Sleeping gear: Pack a good quality, lightweight sleeping bag and a camping pillow. We will provide comfortable, warm sleeping mats.
    • Daypack: Pack a good quality, comfortable hydration backpack that can be worn for long periods of time and hold all your day gear, such as water, snacks, a camera, and extra layers. Your non-daily essentials will be moved forward to the next campsite. Pack at least 2-3 liters of water capacity and a water purification system. Packaging your items in waterproof bags or containers is also important to protect them from sand and dust.
    • Packing a lightweight and waterproof rain cover for your backpack is also important in case of unexpected rain.
    • Food: Pack high-energy snacks such as nuts, dried fruits, and protein bars to keep your energy levels up throughout the trek.
    • First-Aid kit: Pack a comprehensive first-aid kit, including bandages, pain relievers, anti-inflammatory, and antibiotic ointment.
    • Headlamp or flashlight: Pack a headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries.
    • Personal hygiene items: Pack personal hygiene items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, wet wipes, and hand sanitizer.
    • Sun protection: The sun in the Desert can be intense, so it’s important to bring sunscreen with a high SPF and lip balm with SPF Cash and cards: Pack enough cash and credit cards for emergencies.
    • Travel documents: Pack your passport, visa, and other important documents.

    Additionally, it’s important to consider the UAE’s cultural customs and pack clothes appropriate for the mosques and places you will be visiting. Avoid wearing revealing or tight clothing, and bring clothes that cover your knees and shoulders.

    Finally, bringing a small amount of cash in local currency is a good idea.

     Overall, the key is to be well-prepared and comfortable. Keep it minimalistic, so you can focus on the journey and enjoy the beautiful scenery of UAE.

    What is the food like? Will it be vegetarian or non-vegetarian?

    The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a rich culinary tradition that reflects its history and cultural influences from the Arabian Peninsula, Persia, and India. Here are some traditional foods of the UAE:

    • Machboos: Also known as kabsa, machboos is a spiced rice dish made with meat (usually chicken or lamb), tomatoes, and onions. It is often served with a side of vegetables or salad.
    • Shawarma: A popular street food, shawarma is a sandwich made with roasted meat (usually chicken or lamb) wrapped in flatbread and served with vegetables and sauces like tahini or garlic sauce.
    • Luqaimat: These sweet dumplings are a popular dessert in the UAE. They are made from flour, sugar, and yeast and are often served with sweet syrup or date syrup.
    • Harees: Harees is a traditional Emirati dish made from cracked wheat and meat (usually chicken or lamb). It is served during Ramadan and other special occasions.
    • Saloona: Saloona is a stew made with meat (usually chicken or lamb), vegetables, and spices like cumin, coriander, and turmeric. It is often served with rice or bread.
    • Balaleet: Balaleet is a sweet vermicelli pudding served for breakfast. It is made with vermicelli noodles, sugar, and cardamom and garnished with nuts and raisins.
    • Machboos Laham: Machboos Laham is a traditional Emirati dish made with lamb, rice, and a blend of spices that includes turmeric, cinnamon, and cloves. It is often served with a side of yogurt or raita.

    These are just a few examples of the traditional foods of the UAE. With its rich culinary heritage, the country

    has many delicious and unique dishes to offer visitors.

    What type of accommodation will be provided during the trek?

    You will be sleeping in a comfortable traditional Emirate Tent in the Desert.

    What is the most important thing to bring to the Desert?

    A positive attitude is essential for completing a difficult task successfully. It helps to motivate you, increase your resilience, improve your problem-solving skills, enhance your performance, and improve your relationships with others.

    • Motivation: A positive attitude helps motivate you and keeps you focused on your goals. When you approach a difficult task with a positive mindset, you are more likely to stay motivated and maintain enthusiasm even when faced with challenges.
    • Resilience: A positive attitude helps you to be more resilient when facing obstacles. With a positive outlook, you are more likely to see challenges as opportunities for growth rather than as insurmountable barriers.
    • Problem-solving: A positive attitude can help you be more creative and innovative in problem-solving. When you approach a difficult task with a can-do attitude, you are more likely to develop unique solutions to problems.
    • Improved performance: Studies have shown that a positive attitude can improve performance and increase productivity. When you approach a difficult task with a positive attitude, you are more likely to work harder and achieve better results.
    • Better relationships: A positive attitude can also help to improve relationships with others. When you approach difficult tasks positively, you are more likely to collaborate effectively with others and build stronger relationships based on mutual respect and trust.

    Pictures from our Journey

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    Our History

    The Women's Heritage Walk is a life-affirming trek inspired by the worldwide history of women who walked to feed their families, bring water to the villages, trade goods and services, and migrate to safer, more hospitable lands. Women have been on the move for centuries, often reacting to the weather, food, and resources.

    The Walks was a natural corollary to the three-day Wellness Seminars established in and around the mountains of Garmisch, Germany, in 1992. This format expanded to Poland, Rome, Italy, and into schools to meet the growing need to address the social and emotional need to cope with increased stress, particularly bullying in schools. Women's Heritage Walk, established in 2015, has become an unrivaled multi-layered experience for women.

    The Women's Heritage Walk is an unrivaled multi-layered experience for women. It is rooted in the belief that women empower each other, their families, communities, and themselves through growth, learning, and pushing their limits.

    Preparation begins three months in advance with a curated program to prepare walkers mentally and physically for an arduous, exciting adventure. This experiential journey captivates all the senses and enhances each woman's physical strength and internal fortitude while enhancing an individual's personal health and wellness path.

    This adventure allows walkers to immerse themselves authentically in the local country's cultural heritage. Daily programs stimulate a more profound understanding of our foremothers' life experiences and offer a new appreciation for the habits and customs borne from the hardships of early life.

    Participants forge deeper bonds with themselves and each other through physical, mental, and emotional development. Shared hardships endured with common goals create lifelong attachments, increase mutual understanding, widen tolerance parameters, heighten mutual respect, and reinforce shared values. Once accomplished, it accentuates individual strengths and potential more fully.

    This transformational endeavor impacts the Walkers and their network of friends, family, colleagues, and community members. Each person learns vicariously from the participant's persistence, perseverance, lifestyle changes, growth, reinvigoration, and heightened knowledge.

    Each year brings a new adventure and opportunity to connect as we obtain the most up-to-date research to augment and improve upon the four pillars of Culture and Heritage, Health and wellness, Strength and Leadership, and Community Connection.

    We employ an overarching approach encompassing all human needs. We focus on physical and mental health, joy and balance in relationships and spiritual and intellectual curiosity.

    Tolerance, perseverance, self-awareness, and cultural respect are themes discussed in the Wellness Component. These become more relevant as the event brings women from multiple nationalities together. The journey provides an open forum for the women to discuss culture, values, and traditions and to learn from each other without judgment. Through it, they discover more that unites them than separates them.

    Each woman takes a chance by overcoming fear and disrupting their life momentarily, hoping to find something special inside and outside themselves. Through connections to others unlike themselves, they learn and grow.

    "A heart afraid never learns to dance and never takes a chance." Bette Midler

    Fear isolates us and diminishes our opportunity to live our best lives by finding our best selves. We must be challenged to do this, and the Women's Heritage will challenge you. Complacency and walking through our lives on autopilot does not. When we think of adventures, we think of exploring something outside ourselves. However, in this Walk, a large part of this challenge and any arduous struggle happens inside ourselves. This Walk challenges you to go outside your comfort zone in all areas.

    This program is guided by integrity and honors heritage. The Women's Heritage Walk develops personal and collective strength. Proximity and shared hardship build not only tolerance but respect. By finishing, they teach our daughters, families, and community that difficult does not mean impossible. The challenging walks teach us to persevere with compassion, humbly appreciate nature's power, and draw on inner strength to keep moving forward when weary. This gift of struggling fortifies a heightened and profound belief in oneself and gratitude for the support given.

    Along with her in-country cultural experts, Jody continues to develop a modern and ever-growing tribe of a global 'sisterhood.'

    26-year-old UAE national Waheeda Al Hadhrami participated in 2017 and said about the event, "Walking through our beautiful deserts and reconnecting with our past was life-changing, although it was physically and mentally challenging. The experience allowed me to meet many women from different backgrounds and walks of life, and I enjoyed the cultural exchange. I loved every step of the journey!"