Intrepid traveller Ali Hussain Mushaima is well-known for his unique Friendship Arabia tours - journeying by road from Bahrain to various corners of the world. The message has remained the same right from the time he launched his first trip, a 3-month drive to Europe, many years ago: spread the word about Bahrain, its people and all it has to offer. Ali's newest tour, a two month journey from June 23, 2010, is titled: "Tylos to Thassos, Voyage of Discovery".

Day 6: Modernity with a cultural soul
Written by Sarah Clarke   
Saturday, 07 April 2012 16:24

Fishing in Ras Al Khaimah waters

All too often in this fast paced world we focus on the end result rather than the path we take to get somewhere, judging a successful project or activity by the certificate we receive or the pat on the back given for a job well done.  If this were the case then today I guess we’d score “null points” for our abject failure to land a fish on our final excursion of the day – a trip out into the waters of Ras Al Khaimah aboard one of RAK Marine’s boats, skippered by Captain Matti and 2nd in command Ahmed, in search of the “catch of the day” for supper. 

We were all highly confident (a little too high as it turned out) in our ability to snare one of the region’s fish, especially after hearing from Dr Tariq at the fish market in old Ras Al Khaimah earlier in the day that there was an abundance of fish in the waters off the coast.  Well let’s just say that 3 hours later, the one that got away was a REALLY big one!  

Day 5: Through another 5 Emirates!
Written by Sarah Clarke   
Friday, 06 April 2012 16:15


Ajman Museum 

 Another day, another country – or to be more accurate another 5 Emirates! 

To be fair I was only in Dubai for the time it took to clear customs and meet up with the team and we swiftly hit the road, skirting round the edge of Sharjah and into Ajman – Emirate number 3.  

In Ajman we briefly checked out the Museum of Ajman – unfortunately it’s closed on Fridays – and the glimpse we caught over the restored fort wall that houses the museum whetted our appetite for more.  

We shall certainly be back to include it in a 101 guide of the UAE.   In a blink of an eye we sped through Um Al Qaiwain, my fourth Emirate of the morning before arriving at our destination for the next three days – the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.

Day 4: Dubai as vibrant as ever
Written by Ali Mushaima   
Thursday, 05 April 2012 17:54


Outside the Burj Khalifa in Dubai 

Leaving Oman is always sad, even if we know we will be back soon. We had our breakfast and after wishing our friend Jamal goodbye, we went to visit Al Khandaq Fort.

We then headed to the border. When we got there, we were asked to drive to another immigration office which is 35 km away to stamp Eleni's passport. It would have been nice if the first border office was able to stamp exit visas for non-GCC nationals too. It took us more than an hour, but in the end things went well.

Day 3: The long drive to Al Buraymi
Written by Ali Mushaima   
Wednesday, 04 April 2012 19:06


Governor Ebrahim Al Busaidi greets the team 

After saying goodbye to our team member Sarah and Waleed from the museum in Doha, we drove to Saudi Arabia and then to Abu Dhabi airport to pick up Eleni who arrived from Greece to join us. Eleni first met the Friendship Arabia team in Thassos during our Bahrain to Greece expedition and was fascinated with the idea of the tour. She asked if she could join one of our trips and was all the more interested in this tour since she had visited Oman last year and fallen in love with it.

The drive from Doha to Abu Dhabi airport was long -- 610 kms in fact -- and  when we met Eleni it was quite late at night. Still, we decided to drive to Al Buraymi in Oman, since we had a meeting with Governor Ebrahim Al Busaidi the following morning. Al Busaidi who is chairman of the photography club in Oman, knows team members Haider and Shafeeq from a photography trip they had done earlier.

Day 2: Fascinating stopover at museum
Written by Sarah Clarke   
Tuesday, 03 April 2012 14:49

With Sayyar

The team presents the travel guide to Mr Sayyar 

The 2nd day of the tour started with a meeting with His Excellency Mr Waheed Mubarak Sayyar, Bahrain’s Ambassador to Qatar.  We presented him with a copy of 101 Things to See and Do in Oman and discussed the possibility of a 101 Things to See and Do in Qatar book, the 6th in the series.  He assured us of the complete support of the Embassy for this project which would promote the unique qualities of Qatar and what the country has to offer for tourists.  We also discussed a future “Dilmun to Doha” tour and even the feasibility of using bicycles rather than 4x4s! 

H.E. Ambassador Sayyar recommended that we should visit the Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani Museum before heading off to Abu Dhabi and kindly made arrangements for us to meet the Curator Mr Waleed Al Dulaimi later that morning.  

From sea of plastic to a sight to see
Written by Sarah Clarke   
Monday, 02 April 2012 18:04

Sarah with the artwork created from bottle caps

Sarah with the artwork created from bottle caps

Meeting up with old friends is always a pleasure and the arrival of the Friendship Arabia Team in Doha was one such occasion. It was perfectly timed too as I’ve just completed a major art project at The Pearl-Qatar which I thought would be a superb place to start Ali’s latest tour. 

The Bottle Top Art Project organised by the Qatar Green Building Council Solid Waste Interest Group (which I coordinate) and UDC The Pearl-Qatar is a huge piece of artwork constructed entirely out of plastic bottle tops. 

Day 1: The journey to Qatar
Written by Ali Mushaima   
Monday, 02 April 2012 10:49

Passing slow moving traffic on the road across the Saudi desert 
Passing slow moving traffic on the road across the Saudi desert 

Starting a new trip is always a special feeling. This is especially true when promoting your country or a place you are in love with like Oman. It's a place we have visited several times and everyone in the team loves it, not only for what it offers tourists, but for what makes it very special – its people.

We started our drive from Bahrain at 7am. and as always the traffic on the King Fahad Causeway was heavy. We had to wait for over an hour and found ourselves wishing the Friendship Causeway between Bahrain and Qatar was open. It would have saved us at least three hours of driving, but crossing the wide expanse of Saudi Arabia is nevertheless quite enjoyable.

Tourism on fast track
Written by Friendship Arabia Team   
Sunday, 01 April 2012 22:34

Posted by Alicia de Haldevang in the Gulf Daily News:

Six travellers have embarked on a road trip through the GCC to promote tourism and bilateral relations between Bahrain and Oman.

They will launch a new book, 101 Things To See and Do in Oman and its Bahrain edition, 101 Things To See and Do in Bahrain during the expedition.

The Friendship Arabia team comprises Bahraini, British and Greek photographers and writers, who left Bahrain today in a two-car convoy and will travel through Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE before finishing in Oman next week.

The trip is being sponsored and supported by Oman-based company Omran, the Omani Embassy in Bahrain and the Omani Tourism Ministry.

"The trip will promote historical and cultural ties between the two countries, particularly because Manama is the Arab Capital of Culture for 2012 and Muscat is the Arab Capital of Tourism for 2012," said expedition leader Ali Hussain Mushaima during a final meeting at the Omani Embassy in Hoora yesterday. 

Read the full story


The start of a new tour
Written by Ali Mushaima   
Sunday, 01 April 2012 13:16

 The team at the start of the tour

In celebration of Manama being named Capital of Arab Culture 2012 and Muscat Arab Tourism Capital for 2012, the Friendship Arabia team is embarking on a new tour "Manama to Muscat" beginning today, starting from the Embassy of Oman in Manama and finishing in Muscat.

The tour will cross Saudi Arabia and visit Doha, Abu Dhabi, Buraymi in Oman, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah and Musandam in Oman.  The group will then take the ferry from Khasab to Muscat.  The aim of the trip is to highlight the historical ties and friendship between Bahrain and Oman and also to promote Oman as a year round tourist destination.

During the two week expedition, the team will give away copies of the 101 Things to See & Do in Oman.  They will visit a number of major shopping malls along the route to publicise Oman and highlight what the country has to offer as a holiday destination.

The Friendship Arabia team is extremely grateful to Ministry of Tourism in Oman and Omran for sponsoring the expedition and to the Al Bustan Hotel for sponsoring the launch of the Group's 101 Things to See & Do in Oman travel guide on April 14.

Tour Map 

Live pottery expo held
Written by Rebecca Torr   
Sunday, 12 December 2010 14:45

Costis at Al A'ali Shopping Complex 

Mr Chrisogelos conducts a pottery demonstration at Al A'ali Shopping Complex 

From the  Gulf Daily News  |  Traditional pottery experts from Bahrain and Greece showed off their skills during a live exhibition at Al A'ali Shopping Complex from December 2-8, 2010.

Costis Chrisogelos, from Thassos, Greece, took part in the live pottery event along with Bahraini potter Majeed Al Shougul.

The pair worked together in A'ali for more than a week in preparation for the exhibition, organised by Bahraini publisher Ali Mushaima.

Visitors to the mall could even have bespoke items made on request, as the potters worked against a backdrop of photographs depicting Bahraini potters taken during the 1950s and 1960s.

360º Virtual Tours: A Primer
Written by Ammar Hammad   
Sunday, 03 October 2010 21:37

While 360º virtual tours are not something new, I have found a way of using many specialized tools, from taking the photos and stitching them together to post processing and wrapping it in a format that can be used on many media such as the web, CDs and even portable devices such as phones.

[Click here to view an example of the 360º virtual tour] 

These tools have made making these virtual tours extremely reliable and relatively quick compared to other all-in-one solutions, while retaining the highest image quality available. 

Due to file size constraints, the details that can be seen on the virtual tours on this website are a fraction of the details that can be viewed on the original images. A full resolution virtual tour would be good enough for HD viewing.


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