Adrian Hayes, UAE-based British explorer, and two Emiratis, Saeed Rashid Al Mesafry and Gafan Mohammad Al Jaberi, are welcomed by Salem Bin Kabinah, the companion of Wilfred Thesiger on his 1974 expedition, at Abu Dhabi Corniche on Tuesday. Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: It took 45 days, facing unexpected challenges, surprising discoveries and welcoming hospitality, but the intrepid explorers finally completed their fantastic journey.

British explorer Adrian Hayes and Emirati guides Gafan Mohammad Al Jaberi, and Saeed Rashid Al Mesafry, who are also officers of the UAE Armed Forces, successfully recreated the 1974 journey by legendary British explorer Wilfred Thesiger, also known as ‘Mubarak Bin London', as part of the UAE's 40th National Day celebrations. It was supported by the Abu Dhabi Culture and Heritage Authority (ADACH), UAE Armed Forces, and the Omani ministry of culture.

"This has been quite a special day… as we were coming up the final stretch of our journey, we were brought back to the modern world… people were honking their horns, taking pictures… I was laughing… it was hilarious to see peoples' reactions," Hayes, a Guinness World Record explorer and former Gurkha Officer and Special Forces reservist in the British Army, said.

The team arrived at Abu Dhabi yesterday after travelling 1,600 kilometres from Salalah, Oman, with six camels, few provisions and a documentary team chronicling the journey.