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Czech-Italian Nico Moro, who is travelling the World on foot during his stopover in Dubai. Image Credit: Amna Al Ansaari | Gulf News

Dubai: A 25-year-old Czech national travelling the world on foot has fulfilled his dream of visiting the UAE’s iconic Burj Al Arab.

Nico Moro even got himself a tattoo of the hotel on his right hand. “This is for keeps,” he said.

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Moro, who is on his way to the rest of the Middle East and onto Europe, is currently in the UAE and has been to tourist attractions in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. “There are some tourist spots in the UAE that are talked about a lot in Europe. Burj Al Arab is one of them. It was my dream to see this hotel and it felt surreal doing so,” he said.

Moro was equally excited to visit the Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Fountain and the magnificent mountains of Ras Al Khaimah. “The UAE is a beautiful country and the people are so helpful,” he said. “The UAE has everything — sun, sand and mountains.”

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Image Credit: Amna Al Ansaari | Gulf News

Why explore world on foot?

Moro, who is half Czech and half Italian, told Gulf News that he is travelling on foot to see life in its real sense. “Travel is a big education. I am travelling on foot, so I am seeing life up close in different cities. It is a great experience,” he said.

Moro began his journey on September 26, 2023, from Kathmandu in Nepal. He has clocked 2,612 km, or a mammoth 3,524,511 steps, so far, and aims to be back home in the Czech Republic before Christmas.

“2023 was the first Christmas I spent away from my family,” he said. “It was not the best time for me as I missed my family a lot.”

Moro said the beauty of the Himalayas took his breath away. “Besides the serene mountains, Nepal is home to spirituality. For example, the Pashupatinath Temple and the Swayambhunath Stupa amazed me,” he said.

He walked from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Lumbini, Putalibazar, Tansen and Manakamma before entering India.

The India experience

India was a whole different experience for him. “I visited Sonauli, Lucknow, Kanpur, Agra, Mathura, New Delhi, Chandigargh, Amritsar and Ludhiana,” Moro said.

Moro celebrated Diwali in Firozabad, a city in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. “It was a great experience witnessing the lights, colours, festive spirit and community bonding,” he said. “Seeing the Taj Mahal was surreal. It was my dream to visit the monument as a child. I felt a great sense of accomplishment when I finally did it.”

From India, Moro made his way to the Wagah border and entered Pakistan. “In Pakistan I visited Lahore, Shikarpur, Faisalabad, Mananwala, Shahkot and Panwan,” he said.

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Nico Moro: "When my journey ends I will be richer in knowledge and emotions for all that I have seen is recorded in my mind and heart.” Image Credit: Amna Al Ansaari | Gulf News

20 countries, 300 cities

Moro has so far visited 20 countries and over 300 cities. He said she has learnt something in every city and country that he has visited. “This was the purpose of my journey. I wanted to mingle with the locals, learn their culture and language,” he said.

He added: “When my journey ends I will be richer in knowledge and emotions for all that I have seen is recorded in my mind and heart.”

Moro’s mother is Czech, while his father is Italian. His family has been following his journey step by step. “My father even gifted me shoes hand-made by him for my world trip. Thanks to social media, they are up to date with my walk,” he said.

Soul searching endeavour

From the UAE, Moro will walk to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Iran, Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia. “If I can inspire even one person from my country to set off on foot like me, it will be great,” he said.

“The journey I am undertaking is not just a test of my physical ability. It is also a soul searching endeavour. I am discovering myself in all my walk from country to country. I love the fact that I am meeting people of different backgrounds, ethnicity and physical abilities. It is humbling to say the least,” Moro said.