Ending the year with one of the most significant travel events in the UAE is the recently concluded Dubai Travelers Festival 2017 organized by Emirates Travelers. It’s a huge event that brings together some of the most exciting and sought-after personalities in the field of world travel to share their invaluable advice and insights on the culture of tourism.
The presence of Mohamed Dekkak also graced the opening ceremony, Chairman and Founder of Adgeco Group who is also the Honorary President of the Moroccan Association of Ibn Battuta which recently launched a successful International Festival of Ibn Battuta, a travel and culture festival promoting peace and tolerance in Morocco.
Among the adventurers who were featured and shared with the public their remarkable travel experiences are:
- Saeed Al Meamri, Zaid Al-Refai and Raha Moharrak as the first Arabs to climb the world’s highest peak, Mt. Everest.
- Traveling the world on their motorbikes are Mishaal Fahd Alsudairy, Fahad Alzahrani, Rosie Gabrielle, Anwar Al Azmi, Miriam Orlandi, Jorge Osorio & Katherine.
- Journeying the world on mere bicycles are: Russian Vladislav Ketov with an extreme goal of cycling the entire coastline of the Earth, blogger Hera Van Willick and Rosio Otero who traveled from Japan to Pakistan on a bike.
- Emirati duo Maitha Mubarak and Huda Zuwaid has traveled 5000km into the heart of Asia in an auto rickshaw or what South East Asians call the ‘tuk tuk’. To them, using the local tuk tuk is like extending the hand of friendship to local people, transcending the barriers of language, race, and religion.
- Captain Claus Tober and Christine Handte toured around the world by boat named Heraclitus, a 25 meter ocean-going Chinese junk that has sailed over 270,000 nautical miles. They have journeyed three times around the world, navigated 2,000 nautical miles up the Amazon River and circumnavigated South America voyaging to Antarctica.
- Czechs Ladislav Bezděk and Kateřina Dvořáková’s journey lasted more than two years and toured the world using their car.
- UAE based group Emirates Travelers also made a name after having traveled the world by car.
- Other interesting journeys were that of Ahmad Al Qasimi who traveled the world by camel, a significant symbol of the Arabian culture. Bringing back the Bedouin ways of traveling while spreading the message of peace and brotherhood from Arabia, Al Qasimi has traveled 40,000 kilometer by camel from Yemen to Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia.
- Ricky De Agrela who made the longest microlight expedition in the world. In 2004 Ricky and his best friend Alan Honeyborne set off on an unbelievable attempt to secure the world record for the longest journey in the smallest aircraft. Less than a year later, Ricky’s goal was successful but alone.
- Young Moroccan adventurer Othmane Zolati has reached places a vehicle could not reach and simply walked to travel around Africa. For him, the journey through Africa has been about understanding the land and its people.
- Inspirational stories were also presented during the event. Disability is not a hindrance to achieve your travel goals as in the inspiring case of Jasiek Mela, teenage double amputee and the youngest person to reach the North Pole.
- Believing that walking is a pure form of doing the Haj, Indonesian Khamim Setiawan traveled 9,000 km from Indonesia to Mecca by foot. His journey’s purpose is a test of his physical and spiritual strength and more importantly, to share the message of hope.
- Poverty is also not an issue as in the case of George Sanchez who despite having little money is the second most traveled person on the planet has traveled to more than 193 countries around the world.
- Many women are also dominating the world of ultimate travel adventures. Hanady Alhashmi has made her country proud for being the first Emirati woman to successfully climb Alaska’s Denali. Also attended the festival is Bouchra Baibanou, a female mountaineer who was hailed this year as the first ever Moroccan and North African to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
- Extreme expedition is also Jeff Shea’s cup of tea. The impressive 60+ year old man has summited the highest peaks on all seven continents.
Now on its 6th consecutive year, Dubai World Travel Festival Director General Awad Mohammad Bin Sheik Mojrin Bin Sultan stated that the organization has worked on spreading the culture of traveling in the local community. Many young people are getting inspired to discover the world and break free from the daily routine. He adds that given the impressive list of UAE’s world-recognized achievements and its capacity to carry out exceptional events such as this gives locals more confidence. It inspires the organization to take on more meaningful initiatives.
Locals as well as foreign nationals supported and participated in the event. An announcement was made by former tourism minister Gio Fani regarding Emirati-Italian cooperation to set another travelers festival in Milan to come April 2018.
The event offers informative lectures and photography exhibitions from 4 pm until 10 pm at Mushrif Park, Dubai from December 13-16, 2017. The event served a great chance to share real adventure stories, essential travel gears, and gadgets that are not usually broadcasted through television. Open for the public; the four-day festival has been a successful gathering of local and foreign travel enthusiasts exposed to rich culture and heritage of the world.