From Abu Dhabi to London: 2 Emiratis drive across 14 countries to showcase strength of UAE passport

The duo completed the 9,000-km road trip in 30 days, passing across two continents


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by

Ruqayya Al Qaydi

Published: Sat 29 Jul 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Sun 30 Jul 2023, 2:53 PM

Two Emirati adventurers went on an inspiring road trip from the heart of Abu Dhabi to London – embarking on a journey that spanned an impressive 9,000km and passed through 14 countries across two continents.

The road trip was not only a personal adventure for Sultan Al Nahdi and Thiyab Al Mansoori, but it also served as a proof of the power of the Emirati passport, which allowed them seamless travel across borders.

Emiratis can get visa-free entry to 179 countries and Al Nahdi expressed with pride: "The distinguished status of the UAE in the world and the strength of our passport made our journey possible, overcoming obstacles that might have otherwise hindered our adventure."

Trusty vehicle

Aside from meticulous planning, the key to the success of their journey was their trusty vehicle – a Toyota Land Cruiser which is known as Abu Shnab among Gulf nationals. The duo’s car was adorned with an image of the UAE Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Sultan and Thiyab meticulously planned their ambitious expedition for close to a year, ensuring they were well-prepared to face the challenges ahead.

Al Nahdi noted: “The preparations were strenuous, especially ensuring that 'Abu Shnab' was well-equipped to endure the long expedition. We conducted comprehensive maintenance checks to ensure a smooth ride and invested in essential equipment for the trip.”

Diverse landscapes

The journey, which took approximately 30 days, saw them traverse diverse landscapes, cultures, and customs. The duo cruised through Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and finally, their destination, the United Kingdom.

Their expedition encountered various hurdles right from the start, with many friends cautioning them about the complexities of navigating multiple countries by car. Yet, propelled by their unwavering determination and the love for adventure, Sultan and Thiyab pressed on, supported by the belief that their journey could serve as a testament to the beauty of their homeland and the warmth of its people.

Forging friendships

The Emirati adventurers also recounted an amusing incident during their travels. While crossing the Ibrahim Khalil border between Turkey and Iraq, they encountered delays, but a chance encounter with a helpful local named Yusuf Al Turki led to an invitation to his home, providing them with cherished memories. They highlighted the opportunities their expedition offered to forge new friendships and gain insights into various cultures.

After successfully completing their first road trip, Sultan revealed they have already set their sights on a future adventure that may span up to two years.

Leaving their beloved "Abu Shnab" with a friend in the Netherlands, they eagerly anticipate the upcoming journey, which promises to be even more thrilling and filled with enriching experiences.

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The duo also lauded the strong position of the UAE among other nations and the power of the Emirati passport, which allowed them seamless travel across borders, with citizens get visa-free entry to 179 countries.

Sultan Al Nahdi said: "The distinguished status of the UAE in the world and the strength of our passport made our journey possible, overcoming obstacles that might have otherwise hindered or thwarted our adventure."


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