The Russian-Arab caravan expedition "Across the Seven Emirates", headed by Fedor Konyukhov and Ivan Molchanov, started on January 27 in the city of Al Ain (Emirate of Abu Dhabi). On January 31, the travelers covered half of the way, they crossed four emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, and Sharjah.
The caravan consists of 10 camels, on which five Russians and the same number of UAE representatives are traveling through the desert. On average, the project participants ride about 30-40 km every day, then stop for the night, setting up a tent camp. At night, the temperature in the desert drops to +8 ° C, and during the day the thermometer stays at around +30 ° C.
On the eve of January 30, a welcome meeting of the travelers with Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammed Al Qasimi took place in Sharjah. In his welcoming speech, the Emir of Sharjah noted the importance of the expedition to strengthen humanitarian, cultural, and tourist ties between Russia and the UAE and wished the travelers a successful continuation of the journey.
As the expedition progresses along the route, the participants get acquainted with the local history and culture. They visited the abandoned ghost town of Al Madam. It was mistakenly built on a migrating dune by representatives of the Al Ketbi tribe. Over time, the residents got tired of fighting with the constantly arriving sand, and they had to leave this place. The participants also visited Mleiha, one of the oldest archaeological sites of the Neolithic period in the world. Mleiha served as a center for the intersection of caravan trade routes. Historians believe that camels were domesticated in these places.
It is worth noting the respectful attitude of local residents to camel caravans. Special underpasses are provided on busy highways, and in difficult areas the caravan is accompanied by a police patrol.
During the day stops, Fedor Konyukhov sketches future paintings. The artist always brings sketches from expeditions and transforms them into large-scale canvases in his Moscow workshop. As part of the official events of the expedition, it is planned to organize the first exhibition of Fedor Konyukhov's art works in the UAE.
At the moment, the Konyukhov – Molchanov caravan is on its way to Ras Al Khaimah, the estimated time of the remaining journey is five days.
The objectives of the expedition are to strengthen humanitarian cooperation between Russia and the UAE, to study the history of the development of the Arabian Peninsula, as well as the international exchange of experience in the field of expeditionary activities.