In celebration of Arab Tourism Day, we would like to share with you stories of famous Arab travelers throughout history.
Ibn Battuta 1304-1377
When thinking of travel and exploration, the first name that comes into your head would probably be Ibn Battuta. It was told he was named after his mom’s nickname “Battuta”, but her real name was Fatima. Through the forests of Britain to the Maldives Islands, Ibn Battuta’s travels took him all over the world. He brought all corners of the world together in his published work “A Masterpiece To Those Who Contemplate The Wonders of Cities & The Marvels of Traveling” When reading Ibn Battuta’s publications, many feel passionate about traveling and tourism, as he shows people the beauty of the world through his words.
"I have reached, with the grace of God, my goal in this world and it is to tour this Earth.”
Muhammad Al-Idrisi 1100-1166
Al-Idrisi was known as one of the founders of geography and his mastery of cartography. Like many great scholars of the Middle Ages, Al-Idrisi was interested in various sciences. Al-idrisi became passionate with travel from a very young age; he made his first trip at the age of 15, and he kept traveling throughout his life visiting multiple countries.
One of the most important milestones of Muhammad Al-Idrisi’s life, was his world map. Commissioned by King Roger II of Palermo, Sicily, Al-Idrisi created a silver spherical map based on his travels. It was designed in 1153 AD. However, his spherical map is now lost to time. In February 2020, it was reproduced in Abu Dhabi in collaboration with the Factum Institute in order to preserve history.
Muhammad Al-Idrisi’s world map
Ahmad Ibn Majed 1418-1501
Named by the Portugese as the Prince of the Sea, and widely known as the Lion of the Sea; Ahmad Ibn Majed was an Arab navigator and geographer from Julfar (known as Ras Alkhaimah today). He excelled at geography, astronomy, and navigation. His name is associated with the famous journey of Vasco Da Gama’s Portugese campaign from Portugal to India, where it was said he was the Captain of the ship for a while. Not only was Ibn Majd a navigator, he was also an author who spread knowledge about the science of navigation in many books, and translated some of his books into the Ottoman Turkish Language and European languages.