#OmanPride: 39 women experience desert safari with The Guide Oman

More sports Saturday 22/October/2016 22:29 PM
By: Times News Service
#OmanPride: 39 women experience desert safari with The Guide Oman

Muscat: Once a year, The Guide Oman hosts a women’s only expedition into the deserts of Oman. But every year, the all female convoy becomes larger and stronger.
The fourth safari took place last weekend with a group of 39 women from all over the world, including two Omanis. Rebecca Mayston, manager of The Guide Oman, believes that the experience benefits women in numerous ways.
“To be honest, a lot of women feel very intimidated in a very heavily dominated male terrain,” Mayston said.
“For them to have an opportunity to learn some of those skills in an environment where everyone is learning, it helps to boost their confidence level so that the women can go out and tackle the trips on their own,” she added.
Four years ago, the first female safari had only 15 women, but this year there were over 20 cars in the convoy; the organisers were also women.
Diane Read, a staff member from the British School Muscat, has been going on these desert trips twice a month for over four years now. The difference, she says, is in the group.
“The girls give a totally different atmosphere than the mixed groups,” said Read.
“When we go in mixed groups they tend to go with smaller groups and stay together till the end, but the girls are one big cohesive community. We sit together for dinner, we sit together in front of the fire and we help each other on the trail. There is much more bonding.”
“The trouble is that when the guys are there, you start to listen to them and doubt yourself because they’re telling you what to do,” Read added.
“When it’s ladies only, it’s a much more supportive and helpful environment. I think women need that safer environment to makes mistakes without being judged or laughed at,” she explained.
First timer Rayan Chehade, a Country Sales at Global Leading Excellence, said her experience was beyond what she expected, even after watching the videos.
“It was a pure adrenaline rush; when you climb up the dune, you don’t know what’s on the other side. It was my first time driving off road and even the people, who rescued us were women!”
After her first desert safari, Chahade strongly believes that fear is only in one’s head. “Because it was an all women’s group, even using the bathroom wasn’t such an obstacle. It’s important that we break the stereotype. It’s all in our heads,” she stated.
For more information on desert crossings, email [email protected]