Meet the Emirati rescue worker who travelled more than 7,600km for his love of adventure

Abdullah Al Harthi drove from his home in Abu Dhabi to most northern part of mainland Europe

Abdullah Al Harthi in Norway after his three-week drive. Photo: Abdullah Al Harthi
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How far would you go to follow your dreams? The answer for one Emirati was to the most northern part of mainland Europe, in a car, from Abu Dhabi.

Abdullah Al Harthi, 43, drove more than 7,600km to the North Cape, in Norway, purely out of a sense of adventure.

Mr Al Harthi has now driven across 84 countries in Europe, South-East Asia and the Arabian Peninsula.

His three-week journey last January included stops in Sharjah, Bandar Abbas, Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, and several other European countries.

“Nothing could diminish the overwhelming sense of pride and exhilaration I felt upon reaching the North Cape,” said Mr Al Harthi.

“The fact that I had driven all the way from my home in Abu Dhabi to this remote destination was an indescribable feeling, one that remains etched in my memory.”

The epic trip with his son Maktoom, 14, began with a ferry trip to Iran, where Mr Al Harthi drove for four days before reaching Turkey.

From there he drove through countries including Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Serbia, Croatia, Italy, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands and Germany before reaching his final destination in Norway.

To the rescue

The retired rescue officer in Abu Dhabi Civil Defence has always enjoyed helping people, so he combined this with his love of adventure to set up a volunteering group known as Fazaa Team, to help young travellers prepare for journeys.

It allows him to use his expertise from his role with the Civil Defence to help train recruits for its rescue team.

“I used to enjoy helping people on the road or when I found someone stranded. I loved pulling over and offering assistance,” said Mr Al Harthi.

“Over time, I became known among my friends as the go-to person when someone's car got stuck in the sand or broke down. Some even suggested that I should start a group for this purpose.”

Following the restrictions that came with the Covid-19 pandemic, he urged his volunteer group to contribute.

Some of their tasks during the pandemic were registering patients and testing people for the virus in Burjeel Medical City and the Khalifa Screening Tent.

Next, he is planning a trip to Africa when the political climate stabilises, as he wants to continue to travel to as many new countries as possible and experience different cultures.

Updated: January 05, 2024, 7:34 AM