Elham Qasimi

Journey To The Top Of The World
Elham Qasimi
Elham Qasimi

Few people are lucky enough to set off on the kind of adventure that Elham Qasimi did. Spirited, energetic and always working against the odds, Elham undertook a journey to the North Pole, the first Arab woman and the first UAE national to do so, ski-assisted and unsupported by re-supplies.

Qasimi, who has a degree in business and marketing from the American University in Dubai, a Masters from the London School of Economics, and JP Morgan and the venture philanthropy fund Impetus Trust on her already impressive CV, took off on the three-week expedition from Borneo, an ice station that floats between 88 and 89 degrees latitude in 2010.

Elham and her guide headed out with un-motorised toboggans, carrying 40kg of equipment in -30 degree celsius temperatures; they were not to stop en route to re-supply, nor were they assisted by drop-offs as they skied eight hours per day till they reached their goal. What drove investment banker Qasimi, who trained for six months with four experts – an experienced tri-athlete, a mountaineer, a strength coach and a top 10 European extreme skier – to undertake such a mission? The chance to see a place that very few people would ever experience and the opportunity to push herself, physically and mentally, to the limit.

Her most precious possession is one supremely well-earned, “A thermos of melted ice from the North Pole.” And what will 2012 bring for this unstoppable adventurer who just got engaged? “An expedition, a wedding and lots of fun in between.”