Powerful and picturesque, Mercedes-Benz’s most recent project of the year was full of positive inspiration. Road to Mecca, a four-part docu-series that dropped during Ramadan 2022, took watchers on an unforgettable journey from the UAE to Saudi Arabia with commercial aviation pilot Nabil Al Rostamani. The aim? For Al Rostamani to reconnect with the rich 5,000 year old history of the Middle East, leaving behind air travel for the road, which took him through rustic pilgrimage routes.
“The Road to Mecca journey was a one-of-a-kind experience and doing so in the luxury SUV from Mercedes-Benz, especially to the remotest places, made the trip wonderful and unforgettable,” the pilot shared with Vogue Man Arabia. “I’ve seen the whole world from the cockpit of a plane, but it doesn’t compare to my journey on the ground. From above, everything looks beautiful, but you can’t stop – and often, the best part of the journey to Mecca, like our forefathers, is along the way. I’m extremely grateful to the Mercedes-Benz Middle East team for making this experience possible.” Krishan Bodhani, Vice President and Director of Sales and Marketing of Mercedes-Benz Cars Middle East, adds, “There’s going on an adventure, and then there’s going on an adventure in style. Whether on or off the road, and whatever the operating conditions, the G-Class always stands out with its performance, cutting-edge assistance systems, outstanding handling, and safety.”
Along his journey, Nabil Al Rostamani picked up some life-changing lessons. Back from his travels, he sat down with Vogue Man Arabia for an insightful conversation on his experiences. Catch up below.
What inspired you to step away from your life as a pilot and explore your history on road?
As a commercial aviation pilot, my day-to-day schedule can be hectic, and I never really get the opportunity to properly enjoy my ride or destination. When I was offered the chance to retrace the historic pilgrimage routes, I was truly inspired. I finally had a chance to stop and slow down and embark on a journey of self-discovery.
Even before the journey began, I reminisced on fond memories of all the road trips I took with my father as a child – and couldn’t hold the excitement.
What has been the most surprising moment of this whole venture?
In the heart of nature, time passes much slower than usual. And, at that moment, for the first time, I truly felt that my mind was clear – I was at peace.
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class seems to have been the perfect pick for your journey. What’s one thing you loved about traveling with Mercedes-Benz?
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is exquisitely crafted – and as an aviation pilot, I mostly fell in love with its state-of-the-art cockpit. I think what truly makes it an icon is that its design is shaped by its capability, which ensures it can conquer sandy, rocky and water terrains without any problems. Another thing I loved was that driving it felt rather dynamic, like a sports car rather than your classic off-road vehicle.
After watching the episodes of your travels, many would likely wish to do the same. Would you recommend that they do so in the Mercedes-Benz G-Class? Why?
Definitely. It was the best choice for my journey – it practically defies all laws of gravity and offers a unique on-road and off-roading experience like I never thought possible. It simply offers a superior level of capability and durability that you will not find on any other vehicle.
What are five things you’d like to tell anyone who’s planning to journey the same route as you did?
1. Be prepared for an immersive exploration of time, tradition, and the priceless values that have endured for generations.
2. Focus on the quality of time, rather than the quantity of time.
3. Traveling alone is a unique learning experience. Take the opportunity to meet new people and explore new territories – this is how you discover yourself.
4. The world is diverse, colorful, and huge. Those who travel by car make their way to their destination and experience stories on the way that would have remained hidden when traveling by air.
5. It’s a humbling experience made even more profound by the sheer length and difficulty of the journey. But it is absolutely worth it.
What’s next for you? Will we see you exploring any other special routes and spots?
Right now, I’m happy to be back home to my family. My journey was a beautiful experience that made me appreciate the quality of time spent with them even more. However, I’m fond of traveling spontaneously, so stay tuned!
Krishan Bodhani, Vice President and Director of Sales and Marketing of Mercedes-Benz Cars Middle East
In three words, please describe the quintessential Mercedes-Benz G-Class man.
Adventurous, bold and luxury-enthusiast.
What is the strongest feature of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class?
The G-Class is not only in its element in off-road terrain, it’s equally uncompromising on the road where it offers a whole new level of dynamism. And most importantly, the SUV knows what really matters: your safety.
Thanks to the Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive, whether driving long distances at night or on an unfamiliar route, your G-Class noticeably takes the strain out of driving, ensuring that you not only reach your destination safely, but are also more relaxed when you get there.