ABU DHABI, 26th May, 2016 (WAM) — The UAE Armed Forces team, the first UAE team to ever climb the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest, received a hero’s welcome today at Al Bateen Private Airport, returning from their challenging and successful mission.
The 16-strong group, which included physios and descent specialists, reached the summit of Mount Everest last Thursday (19 May), where they raised the UAE flag in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the unification of the country’s Armed Forces. This UAE Armed Forces’ group is the first Emirati climbing team to reach the summit, which is 8848 metres above sea level.
When they arrived in Abu Dhabi earlier today, they were greeted by H.H. Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, as well as friends and families. Some of the highest ranked officers in the Armed Forces were also present to welcome the heroes home.
Sheikh Nahyan shook hands with each team member, congratulated them on completing their expedition and thanked them on behalf of the UAE for their efforts.
“The team has proven their ability to challenge themselves and shown their strength and determination during this expedition. They conquered one of the toughest challenges in the world and embodied the spirit and determination of the UAE Armed Forces,” Sheikh Nahyan said.
He dedicated their feat to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
UAE Armed Forces Everest team member Hassan Rashid Al Naqbi said, “We are very thankful for the warm reception we received here today. We are delighted that our continuous training, team work and dedication to the mission allowed us to reach the mountain summit. We have faced some of the toughest challenges on our journey, but together we embodied the spirit of the UAE Armed Forces and experienced first-hand some of the difficulties that our comrades in the Armed Forces come across every day.”
Staff Major General Eisa Saif Al Mazrouei, Deputy Chief of Staff of UAE Armed Forces, who hosted the team at the General Headquarters of the UAE Armed Forces before leaving for Nepal on their expedition said, “To climb Mount Everest is a great adventure. The team has trained tirelessly for years to plan and execute this mission to the highest international standards and ensure that they are in peak physical condition. I would like to congratulate the team who showed us how much hard work and dedication it takes to summit Mount Everest.”