From UAE to Europe: YouTuber covers 21 countries in 9 months in camper van

Emirati Mohammed Al Kaabi bought a 2002 Dodge van that he modified and equipped as his mobile home


Ruqayya Al Qaydi

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Published: Fri 7 Jun 2024, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Sun 9 Jun 2024, 4:18 PM

Known by the name ‘Skills’ or ‘UAE Skills’, Emirati adventurer Mohammed Al Kaabi has been showcasing his travel adventures on social media channels while living inside a camper van for almost a year.

As he travels from the UAE to Europe in his mobile home, Mohammed says his motto is: "Life can be simpler than we think, and happiness comes from experiences and freedom, not from material possessions."

The travel enthusiast has covered 21 countries so far in the past nine months.

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His fully equipped camper van — which has a kitchen, dining and computer table, bed, toilet and other features — is the focus of his YouTube channel where he documents his trips and uploads daily gaming videos and vlogs.

He has 1,000 videos and 2.15 million subscribers, which have collectively garnered 356,273,662 views.

Bold decision with ‘Rudy’

Mohammed’s journey actually began three years ago with a bold decision to live in a caravan during one of his trips to the desert with friends when he realised his love for mobility and the freedom it brings.

He bought a 2002 Dodge van and named it ‘Rudy’ that he modified and equipped fully as his mobile home. The cost of modifying the camper van was between $10,000 and 15,000. This included improvements such as installing a solar power system, insulation, mobile bed fittings, batteries, car painting, among others.

First journey

He first embarked on a journey from the UAE to Oman with his wife to test the car's performance. After that, he began his journey in the UAE for about 10 days from Dubai to Fujairah. Later, he headed to Saudi Arabia on the van to perform Umrah.

His journeys in the beginning were full of challenges, but the passion for freedom and travel made him continue. Then he decided to travel to Europe.

He said: "This life gives me unprecedented flexibility and the opportunity to explore new places, and it taught me responsibility."

Challenges on the road

Mohammed encountered several difficulties on the road, such as limited availability of water and electricity, and the freezing of water pipes in winter when the temperature dropped to –10ºC.

He shared one incident when he was in a remote area in Turkey, on a curved mountain. There were warnings but he didn't pay attention to them. Suddenly, the road was closed, and he couldn't go back because of the narrow road and the soft ground - so he took his own bike to the city to ask for help.

"It was a scary experience, but I am a believer in God, and everything happens for a reason for good." Mohammed said.

Learning survival skills

Learning many skills from this experience, Mohammed said: “Money doesn't make happiness, money only solves problems.”

“This (free) lifestyle taught me survival skills and adapting to various conditions.”

Through his YouTube channel, he not only shares his adventures but also inspires others to embrace unconventional lifestyles and pursue their dreams.

He said: "The reason for documenting this journey on YouTube is firstly for memory, and secondly to encourage others to experience this lifestyle."

Mohammed's next goal is to return to the UAE and be with his mother because he is the only son. He wants to start an e-commerce project and settle down in the country.


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