x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Cold comfort

Elham Al Qasimi may not be the first person to cross the Arctic, but come April, she'll be the first Arab - and Emirati - woman to have done so.

Elham Al Qasimi may not be the first person to cross the Arctic, but come April, she'll be the first Arab - and Emirati - woman to have done so. Once accomplished, the feat would put her in the company of similarly courageous women adventurers, including Amelia Earhart, who was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, and Valentina Tereshkova, the first female astronaut. While Ms Al Qasimi skis her way to the North Pole, an Emirati compatriot will be doing the same in Antarctica. Starting today, Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Ali bin Rashed Al Nuaimi, Ajman's self-professed "Green Sheikh", embarks on a climate-change awareness campaign in the South Pole along with 70 other team members.

Despite travelling to opposing poles, the adventurers seem to possess a shared degree of optimism reserved for a courageous few. When asked how they'll survive temperatures colder than 30 degrees Celsius below zero they agreed that, yes, it would be out of their "comfort zone" but that they were hardly bothered. For those of us dreading the arrival of the summer heat, this should serve as some inspiration.