The leader of the group, a group of 25 Pakistani bikers, announced on Monday that they had arrived in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on their way to Makkah to perform Umrah.
He described the motorcycle trip as a “journey of refulgence and enlightenment” undertaken to encourage peace, friendship, and religious tourism. The biker gang decided to travel after the Saudi government relaxed guidelines for Umrah pilgrims last year, extending the validity of international pilgrim visas to three months and allowing them to use the permits for travel to destinations other than Makkah.
The group departed Lahore for Saudi Arabia on January 6 and will travel more than 14,000 kilometers to arrive in the holiest city of Islam. The party will travel through Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Jordan, and Kuwait over the 60-day round-trip before arriving in Saudi Arabia, where they will stay for 19 days. As the chairman of the Cross Route Club that planned the trip, Mukarram Tareen said over the phone from Sharjah, “We were organizing this journey to conduct Umrah by traveling to Makkah from Lahore on bikes but owing to the coronavirus epidemic our plan could not materialize.”
It took five months of preparation once the opportunity to travel arose the previous year, according to Tareen. Each cyclist will spend roughly a million rupees on the trip, which is self-funded. During this path of renewal and enlightenment, he stated, “We have three goals. Along with doing Umrah, we wish to foster friendship, peace, and religious travel between regional countries,” the statement reads. The team leader continued, “We will also meet with citizens of these nations to dispel misconceptions about Pakistan.”
Passing through friendly Muslim countries on bikes would help Pakistan project a pleasant image. We arrived in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, on Sunday, and after spending a week in various Emirates, including Sharjah, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi, Tareen said that on January 22, across the Al Bataha border, they would enter Saudi Arabia.
As a key component of Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Muhammad bin Salman’s Vision 2030, the group plans to visit popular tourist destinations in the kingdom to promote tourism potential in Saudi Arabia.
In addition to other locations along the coastal highway, Tareen said, “We will travel to Riyadh, Al-Rawdah, Taif, Makkah, Medina, Duba, and Tabuk. Jahangir Khan from Gujranwala, a different group member, claimed it had been his “dream” to ride a motorcycle to Makkah to conduct Umrah. In an interview with Arab News, he said, “I have belonged to this motorcycle club for the past seven years, and it has always been my dream to embark on this Safar-e-Noor (journey of light), which is now becoming a reality. Along the way, particularly in Saudi Arabia and Iraq, we’ll stop at a variety of holy sites.