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Globetrotters find Dubai festival an oasis of security

DUBAI // A group of ­adventurers travelling the world by car, motorcycle and bicycle have said the UAE’s peace and security made it a popular destination for tourists.

During a stop in Dubai, four travellers made camp in Mushrif park for the 5th Dubai Traveller’s Festival.

Leonhard Salwey, who left his home in Germany seven months ago to explore the world on his bicycle, thought the event would be a good chance to meet like-minded people.

He said the sense of security and hospitality in Dubai was something the city should feel proud of. “I was not expecting such warmth from the people here,” he said. “I entered the city about a 24 hours ago and I feel so comfortable already.”

Matthias Schurch left his home in Switzerland five months ago to circle the globe on his motorcycle.

He has crossed several European countries, Turkey and Iran, with India his next stop. He said Dubai surprised him.

“It’s a beautiful melting pot, where you meet so many amazing people,” said 38-year-old. “I was surprised to see such a great disciplined modern country in the middle of a desert.”

Another globetrotter was ­pleasantly surprised after his misplaced bag was returned to him during the festival without a single item missing.

“Here, I don’t have to worry about my bags, documents and money,” said Ivan Zaikov, 33, a dentist from Bulgaria who ­decided to break his routine by cycling around the world.

“This is so amazing, especially for a European where safety is a major issue.”

Mr Zaikov now plans to spend a few days in Dubai before ­returning home for Christmas. After that, he will return to Dubai to continue his journey.

Cyril Chauvet became bored with his job as technical manager in an oil and gas industry and decided to give his life a shake up by setting out on a world tour in his Toyota Land Cruiser.

“I don’t want to die like a boring career-orientated urban qualified man,” he said.

“I want to see the world beyond my office.”

Another factor the Frenchman decided to leave behind in his country was the growing racism he had witnessed there.

“In France, we don’t know much about Muslims ­especially Arabs and hence make wrong opinions about them,” he said.

“This world tour has given me an opportunity to understand the world, especially the Islamic world.

“When I will return home, I will tell my countrymen that Muslims countries are most friendly countries in the world.”

The next country on Mr Chauvet’s itinerary will be Oman. From there, he is planning to head towards Mongolia.

“I have no organised route,” he said. “I am travelling to explore the world and myself. I am glad, Dubai is part of my journey.”

The four-day festival, which ended on Friday, included workshops, contests, seminars and photography exhibitions for those travelling the world by car, boat, motorcycle or even camel or horse.

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The National