Guinness record for crossing UAE on foot in 7 days

Eudore R. Chand

DUBAI 18 March 2021: British Dubai based expat Sean Burgess has successfully broken the Guinness World Record of the “Fastest crossing of the United Arab Emirates on foot,” having completed a 650 km journey from one side of the UAE to the other for a charitable cause.

Sean embarked on his journey on Tuesday 2nd March, beginning from Al Ghuwaifat on the Saudi Arabian border to the finish on the Fujairah coast and passing through each of the seven emirates on the way.

“The purpose of this challenge was initially very personal to me but grew on to something much bigger. It became something that inspired other people, and I’m infinitely grateful for the massive support and feedback from people saying that they’ve been motivated to take their own challenges in 2021. This is what it is about; me crossing the UAE in the fastest possible time, but also about inspiring other people to take on their own challenges in 2021,” said Burgess.

The rigorous journey saw Burgess run and walk for up to 18 hours a day to finish within 7 days in an effort to raise money for Soft Power Education, a Ugandan charity whose purpose is to change the lives of children with determination in some of the country’s poorest areas.

The Route: The challenge started at Al Ghuwaifat where the UAE and Saudi borders meet. From the start, the route followed the E11 highway up the coast, through Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman to Umm Al Quwain. The route then crossed from coast to coast, passing through the Ras Al-Khaimah, before going over the Hajar mountain range to finally finish in Fujairah. Altogether, the 650 km route passed through all seven emirates.

Fundraising: The challenge supports Soft Power Education, which is a British registered charity and Ugandan NGO who support the most disadvantaged children in some of the country’s poorest regions. This charity work includes a Special Needs Program that works with children with determination who are often ostracized from society and aims to help them realise their individual potential. The money raised by Sean through the challenge will go towards this program, whilst also supporting the incredible work this charity does in Uganda.

Sean Burgess is a British expat who has lived with his wife in the UAE for seven years. He is Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Emirates HR (, a HR & Payroll technology start-up that is designed specifically for UAE companies.

Several years ago, Sean committed to complete an epic challenge each year. The aim was to push himself physically and mentally and inspire others. Since 2018, he has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, swum in the Bosphorus Cross Continental race and in the summer completed 3 marathons in a single day. This year, he’d also committed to the Marathon Des Sables, however this has been delayed until 2021 due to Covid, which is why the 7 Emirates Challenge was brought forward.


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