Swiss couple Emil and Liliana who traveled around 172 countries in the World in 28 years in their family cars participating in the Traveler’s Festival 2012 in Dubai on Wednesday. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: After visiting 172 countries over almost three decades, Guinness World Records holders Emil and Liliana continue their journey around the world in their 1982 Toyota Land Cruiser. Making a stop at the Travellers Festival 2012 in Dubai, the couple along with several other world travellers participated in what is considered the first Travellers festival of its kind in the Arab World and Middle East region.

The couple who started their trip in 1984 has driven over 668,484 kilometres and are planning to continue Globe trotting. “We see how people live in different cultures, we experience different places — it’s our life now,” said Lilian, who’s excited for their upcoming trip to Oman this week.


After carrying an ordinary lifestyle for 42 years, Emil went through a mid-life crisis which triggered his need for change. It was then when Emil decided that it was time to travel a little. “I could always see a map of the places I wanted to go on an atlas — and one day I thought why not,” he said.

What started off as taking a year off to travel soon became a lifestyle for good. “I was hesitant to travel for so long at first, but after Emil insisted I agreed,” said his wife Lilian who has grown to love being on the road.

The couple who is planning to visit Oman, Iran, Armenia, Georgia, Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan next still has several dream spots which they plan to visit one day. Countries such as China, Jamaica, and Myanmar still remain on their wish list.

The world trotters keep record of all their stops and share their experiences, media publications, statistics, and over 6,600 pictures with the world through their website (www.worldrecordtour.com).

First Travellers Festival

About 16 experienced travellers from all over the world came together to share their experience with each other as well as the public, at the First Travellers Festival in Dubai.

The two day festival, Travellers Festival 2012, includes a photo exhibition, and a series of lectures by seasoned travellers and adventurers The participating travellers exchanged their knowledge and experiences and provided a brief overview of their adventures to the public.

The Exhibition was held on December 26- 27 at the Cultural and Scientific Association in Dubai.

Awad Bin Mejren, Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Traveller’s Festival 2012 and Head of the Emirates Travellers said that they are planning to make this festival an annual event.


Other world travellers

The festival which was organised by Travellers Emirates in corporation with the Department Of Tourism and Commerce Marketing aimed to gather travellers from around the world who share distinct experiences and unique adventures in a variety of excursions.

“The Festival aims to honour the travellers who have achieved success and contributed significantly in setting records in various kinds of traditional sports, especially towards those who were not honoured in a way befitting their achievements,” Mejren said.

Other travellers who attended the event included the first Arab woman to climb Mount Everest, the first local man to climb Mount Everest twice consecutively, the first Arab who sailed around the world via a sailing boat, and a Bosnian man who travelled on foot from Bosnia to Makkah.

Among the travellers, was a 70-year old Malaysian man who cycled from Malaysia to London over a period of seven months. “I travelled between 80 and 120 kilometres per day, and I made 46 stops along the way,” said Mohammad Adnan.