Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman & CEO, Colm McLoughlin along with Ramesh Cidambi, COO, congratulated its two shopfloor employees who have scaled the highest summit of the tallest free-standing mountain in the world – Mount Kilimanjaro. The climb was part of the on-going support for the Dubai-based charity organisation, Gulf For Good (G4G), which raised Dhs400,444 for charity on this trip. 

The amount raised – which includes a Dubai Duty Free contribution – will be donated to two charities namely, the Larchfield Charity Organization to help build and operate a purpose-built children’s home, initially for 60 children, but phased to accommodate eventually up to 300 in Dar es Salaam and the Foundation of African Empowerment (FAE), to help build three classrooms to give an additional 200 students access to quality education at the Enjoro Maasai Village in Northern Tanzania.

The two Dubai Duty Free employees, Reuben Wanjiku (beauty consultant) and Binaya Regmi (sales assistant), along with 43 like-minded adventurers, completed the 9-day (5th – 13th July) trekking challenge packed with fun and adventure. This extreme test of fitness at high altitude to summit Uhuru Peak at 5,895 metres remains the highest point in all Africa and makes Kilimanjaro a universal landmark and an adventurer’s dream. 

The two employees underwent three months’ training to build fitness and stamina through a variety of weekly sessions. 

Colm McLoughlin said, “We are delighted to be a part of another successful event supporting Gulf for Good and its two sponsored charities. I couldn’t be prouder of our employees and their dedication to giving back. Year after year, we have staff stepping forward to actively participate in different charitable initiatives which raise much needed funds for worthy causes.”

The challenge also gave them an opportunity to visit the Enjoro Primary School in Northern Tanzania and spend time interacting with the children and meeting staff, seeing firsthand how the funds raised will be used to benefit the students.

Through its Corporate Responsibility Department, Dubai Duty Free supports a great number of worthy causes and is particularly keen to work with causes that benefit the lives of children.

This is the fourth time that Dubai Duty Free have participated in the Gulf for Good Challenge which included The Great Asian Cycling Challenge in Vietnam and Cambodia, The High Atlas Challenge held in Morocco and The Annapurna Base Camp Trek in Nepal.

A recent report said nine young ladies from Sharjah, all under 18, will embark on one of the world’s most daring mountain adventures in late August.

It is the second time Sajaya Young Ladies of Sharjah, SYL, are organising a mountaineering expedition. This time they will trek to Africa’s highest mountain Kilimanjaro in a bid to instil strong physical and mental capabilities in their young members.

The nine members of the Rubu’ Qarn Foundation for Creating Leaders and Innovators, a subsidiary of SYL, will be undertaking this historic climb from 21st to 31st August.

Around the same time last year, the first group of SYL climbers successfully summited the highest peak in the Atlas range, Mount Toubkal in Morocco. Among the climbers was 13-year-old Asma Al Qaidi, who became the youngest Emirati female to have achieved such a feat.

As part of a rigorous training programme designed for the upcoming 10-day climb, SYL brought in successful mountaineers to share first-hand experiences to enrich the young ladies’ knowledge about the terrain and environmental conditions they will be navigating during the climb, and boost their confidence and leadership skills.

These talks have been presented by the region’s renowned mountaineering experts including Sultan Al Obaidli from Sharjah Sports Council, SSC; Emirati Engineer Adnan Abdulrahman, who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro as part of the Climate Heroes Team in 2017; and an Abu Dhabi Police team who successfully scaled the African peak in 2018.

Sheikha Aisha Khalid Al Qasimi, Director of SYL, said that these one-to-one sessions had played a key role in preparing the group with a wealth of first-hand insights about what to expect and how to overcome possible obstacles. She also lauded the cooperation and support of SSC, and thanked their Secretary General Issa Hilal Al Hazami for his presence at the SSC session.

The climb is supported by Sharjah Police Academy as logistics sponsor; Tilal Properties, silver sponsor; Sharjah Sports Council, bronze sponsor; and Sharjah Broadcasting Authority, official media sponsor.

The activity falls under SYL’s adventure club, founded in 2016 with the slogan ‘To the Furthest Limit’ that promotes physical and mental endurance, teamwork, leadership and independence among the women.

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