Emirati woman embarks on voyage to conquer Antarctica

DUBAI: Dana Al-Hammadi, a 37-year-old mother of five, will be the first UAE woman to land on Antarctica as she is set to start her journey Tuesday from Abu Dhabi.Al-Hammadi, an employee with Etisalat in Abu Dhabi and a passionate environmental activist, is concerned with climate change and its impact on the UAE. She will celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8) on the journey with a diverse group of experts in climate change, journalists and other environmentally conscious travelers. “I am leaving tomorrow morning (Tuesday) with four guides, and I hope I can serve my country in a better way after my trip,” she told Arab News on Monday. “I am honored to be part of this expedition as the first Emirati woman.Antarctica is exactly the opposite of the world we live in and it is important to sometimes push our limits in order to appreciate our environment and the importance of preserving it for future generations. Upon return, I have committed to spread the message among my Emirati brothers and sisters. We have big plans, and will take more Emiratis to Antarctica next year. I have to express my sincere thanks to Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the president of the Heritage Club, for his relentless support,” she added.While asked how she is going to launch her campaign after the trip, she said, “After my trip, I will be visiting universities, colleges, schools and offices to share my experience.  I will explain the importance of environmental protection and problems of climate changes … We have to protect our natural resources for the future generation, this will be my theme.”Today (Tuesday) she will start her journey to Buenos Aires and then to Ushuaia — the southern-most city in the world. In Ushuaia, she will join a group of approximately 70 current and future leaders. From Ushuaia, after a two-day crossing of 900 nautical miles of the world’s roughest sea infamously called Drake’s passage, they will arrive on the peninsula of Antarctica. For the next 11 days, they will use their zodiacs to conduct approximately 25 landings, visiting incredible locations and experiencing the wildlife.The expedition leader Robert Swan is a polar explorer and the first person in history to walk to both the North and South Poles – Arabnews