A pilgrimage to help others: My journey to Mecca

I had always planned to follow in the footsteps of my ancestors and walk to Mecca to perform Umrah and the annual Haj. In December 2011, I embarked on this pilgrimage from Al Ghuwaifat in Abu Dhabi to the city of Makkah in Saudi Arabia in aid of the Dubai Centre for Special Needs.

It took me 47 days to complete this 2,000km journey of a lifetime, during which I had to walk the long, empty highways of Saudi Arabia, and cross the mountains wearing my Ihram. Both challenging and enlightening, my Umrah was an experience I will never forget.

"This journey has transformed me as a person - the mental transformation I have undergone is more drastic than the physical.”

The Journey

The journey started from Ruwais, Abu Dhabi, from here along the seemingly endless strip of Al Harad in Saudi Arabia (measuring exactly 1.7 meters in width), then through to the final point in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, covering a total distance of 2,000km on foot.

More photos of the journey