Dr. Mariam Saleh Binladen, a Saudi dentist and humanitarian, set a new record that added to her tally of world records, while crossing the Dubai Creek and the Dubai Water Canal, swimming a total distance of 24 kilometres (km) on Friday, 10th March, 2017.
Under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, the special event was held in collaboration with the Dubai Sports Council, the Dubai Maritime City Authority, the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority and the Dubai Police and Marine Rescue. This event, which is part of Dr. Mariam's continued pledge to support orphaned Syrian refugees, was attended by a delegation from the Dubai Sports Council and other supporting partners, as well as marine safety, rescue and co-ordination teams.
Dr. Mariam's challenging undertaking began at 5.00am on Friday, starting from the canal's Dubai Creek entrance in the Al Shindagha area of Dubai's historic district. She achieved the feat at 2.10pm, finishing at Al Ghubaiba Station next to the Four Seasons Hotel. While swimming for 9 hours and 10 minutes, Dr. Mariam battled through strong currents at the entrance and mouth of the canal, while passing through some of Dubai’s most striking tourism sites.
After reaching the finish line, Dr. Mariam expressed her gratitude for the huge support that she received, and said, "I want to extend my warmest appreciation and gratitude to HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for his gracious patronage of the event, and to the team members who worked really hard over the past month to make this great event a memorable success."
"I would also like to thank all the people who turned up just to cheer and encourage me throughout the day. I am thrilled and delighted to become the first person to complete a 24km swim along the wonderful, yet challenging, Dubai Water Canal," added Dr. Mariam.
"It was a very challenging experience indeed, given that my preparation time was extremely short, barely one month of preparations to make this event happen. So, I am really happy to have completed the swim successfully, which would not have happened without the amazing support of my family, my crew, my trainer, Fiona, the team from DSC and all the other parties that were involved in this event," she further added.
"This event is part of my continued pledge to raise awareness for the plight of thousands of orphaned Syrian refugees who have lost their parents and guardians, and have been uprooted from their homes, and scattered across different parts of the world. I also wanted to motivate more and more women from the Arab World to take on sports and use their talents to achieve the unachievable, knowing that nothing is impossible," she concluded.