After two weeks, Bin Thaneya finishes trek across all seven emirates

Emirati record hopeful calls journey across his country ‘an emotional thing’

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. The flag of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) flies as the Burj al-Arab luxury hotel is seen in the background on the UAE's National Day in Dubai December 2, 2009.

Image used for illustrative purpose. The flag of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) flies as the Burj al-Arab luxury hotel is seen in the background on the UAE's National Day in Dubai December 2, 2009.

REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Monday, Jan 02, 2017

Fujairah: A punishing two weeks and around 900 kilometres later, Jalal Bin Thaneya has finished his trek across the seven emirates.

The 30-year-old Emirati started out on foot on December 20, on a chilly night at the windswept Al Ghuwaifat border post on the fringe of Abu Dhabi emirate.

“When I see the Gulf of Oman, that’s the end of this journey,” Bin Thaneya told a Gulf News camera crew on Monday afternoon, while walking along a Fujairah mountain road.

Earlier in the day, the team passed Masafi, a milestone that marked the trip coming to an end.

Starting out, the goal — set by Guinness World Records officials — was to cross the UAE in just seven days.

However, the trip, made to raise awareness for people with special needs, has turned out to be far harder than expected.

Scarce food, scorching heat, and dusty unpaved paths through much of the country have resulted in a lot of delays.

To add to that, the 712km-journey calculated by the Guinness World Records is only possible on paper, Bin Thaneya claims.

The actual distance needed to cross the UAE, as his support team have found out, is far closer to 900 kilometres.

-Delayed but not out-

But despite taking twice the time calculated, Bin Thaneya’s record attempt has not yet been disqualified.

Officials have told him to submit his completed journey log for their own verification.

Throughout the journey, the record hopeful has been shadowed by a three-man support team who follow him with two cars and, more recently, a luxurious motorhome.

The motorhome, where Bin Thaneya takes his shower and daily five-to-six hour sleep, was provided later in the trip by one of his sponsors.

Due to dark, rough roads and the sometimes glacial pace of the trip, both support cars have had to be replaced.

All through the trip, the glaring sun stood out as the main enemy.

As Bin Thaneya neared the journey’s end at Fujariah’s cool coastal waters, a support team member seemed to shudder.

“There are no clouds even here,” said Yahya, who is also a longtime friend of Bin Thaneya. “It’s the same sun, not leaving us from Ghuwaifat to the other side of the earth.”

By Paul Crompton Staff Reporter

Gulf News 2017. All rights reserved.


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