The crew of Fath Al Khair 5 returned to Qatar on Tuesday upon the recent conclusion of the voyage that started on July and covered Malta, Italy, France and Spain. They were received at Hamad International Airport (HIA) by Prof Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim al-Sulaiti, general manager of Katara - the Cultural Village Foundation, Ahmed Abdullah al-Hitmi, director of the beach department at Katara, other officials and family members.
The Fath Al Khair 5 voyage was aimed at introducing the Qatari marine heritage and promoting the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Prof Dr al-Sulaiti praised the crew and their determination all through the journey, as they endeavoured to achieve the targets.
He said, "Katara has always been keen on enhancing the Qatari heritage as well as introduce it. The Fath Al Khair 5 journey is considered an important step towards this end, in addition to promoting the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022."
He also stressed that Katara organised the voyage methodically and professionally, facilitating such an accomplishment that was also made possible by the determination of Qatari youth, according to a press statement by Katara.
The dhow's captain, Mohamed al-Sada, said: "We covered a distance of 5,238km during the journey that lasted around 40 days, during which we faced various challenges and hardships due to changes in weather and wind direction on a single day for up to five times. In addition, we faced some storms, especially around beaches neighbouring mountainous areas, but eventually managed to overcome all obstacles and steadily progressed towards our target."
He added that whenever they stopped at any port, the people there welcomed the crew and positively reacted to their campaign.
The 17 sailors of the journey expressed happiness at this achievement and also stressed that they were proud to serve their country.