Four elderly Emiratis walk 110km from Al Ain to Abu Dhabi city to mark UAE's National Day

It was a nostalgic journey for the men, who are aged between 70 and 80

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Four elderly Emirati men from the same tribe have walked 110km from their home in Al Ain to Abu Dhabi city to mark the UAE's 51st National Day.

Mufrih Al Ahbabi, Hussain Al Ahbabi, Awad Al Ahbabi and Mohammad Al Ahbabi, who are aged between 70 and 80, left Al Ain on Monday and walked for four days.

They reached Abu Dhabi city on Thursday.

Mufrih Al Ahbabi came up with the idea to relive a time when people in the UAE walked or used camels and horses to travel between cities.

"Despite our age, we wanted to celebrate the occasion by walking from Al Ain to Abu Dhabi, to show our loyalty to the country and the wise leadership,” he said.

“The trip refreshed my memory of a beautiful and simple era. I’m proud of that time when our ancestors lived on this land.

"We sat in the shade of Ghaf trees to avoid the sun and it was a beautiful time."

The men camped in the desert at night and walked during the day.

A group of young Emiratis supported them and offered water and food.

The group stopped nine times during the trip and Mufrih said they sat on the ground to eat their meals.

Other Emiratis joined them during their breaks and shared stories of the past.

“Our walk represented the simple life of the Bedouin in the past. Resting under Ghaf trees was a satisfying feeling,” Hussain Al Ahbabi said.

As others greeted the men, the group became more determined to complete the trip to Al Wathba.

“The attention we got during the trip encouraged us and will encourage other Emiratis and residents to do the same thing," Mohammad Al Ahbabi said.

"It is for the love of the country and the appreciation for our Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed, and the wise leaders that continue with the development work.”

Awad Al Ahbabi said he felt proud walking to the city and carrying the UAE flag.

“We pay our allegiance to our wise leaders every year on December 2. It represents the loyalty and love of the Emirati people and residents for the country,” he said.

Updated: December 02, 2022, 1:50 PM