Opus Media Group PLC is delighted to announce the multi-award-winning team who will produce Journey to Makkah, the definitive account charting the most important pilgrimage in the Islamic calendar that draws three million Muslims from around the world.

Michael Tierney, currently editor of Burj Khalifa Opus, and Elaine Livingstone, currently picture editor of Burj Dubai Opus, will lead an international writing, photography and research team to ensure the Journey to Makkah Opus will be the definitive publication that will take viewers to the emotional heart of the holiest of Islam’s sites.

Journey to Makkah, which will be published in 2010, will follow the incredible physical and spiritual journeys of pilgrims from across the globe, will showcase an incredible collection of world-wide Hajj treasures and commission the finest photography both within Makkah and beyond the Saudi Kingdom. It will also publish the most incredible gallery collection of Hajj Polaroid images from inside Makkah using the very rare 20 x 24 Studio camera that has become the hallmark of all Opus productions.

The Journey to Makkah Opus will also utilise many of the thousands of incredible contemporary images taken from Journey to Mecca, an IMAX dramatisation and documentary of Ibn Battuta, the greatest explorer of the Old World, following his first pilgrimage between 1325 and 1326 from Tangier to Makkah.

‘There are some editorial and photographic projects that you cannot help but be truly excited by,’ said Tierney, ‘Journey to Makkah is one of them. It is both a privilege and an honour to be involved in a project that really demonstrates the solidarity of the Muslim people and their intensely personal spiritual journey to perform the Hajj.

‘Through the Journey to Makkah Opus we will grant spectacular insights into every aspect of this incredible spiritual centre of the Islamic world in Saudi Arabia, the sacred birthplace of Mohammad and Islam. I am thrilled to have been given such an opportunity and look foreward to updating on our progress.’

Livingstone added: ‘I am similarly honoured to be involved in such a prestigious project. Already we have accessed an incredible archive of images that will help tell a spectacular and important story.’

The Journey to Makkah Opus is also delighted to welcome on board two eminent senior researchers, Yasin Salazar and Charles Jodoin-Keaton, who will uncover every minute detail, both historical and contemporary, that will enhance the project.

‘I am delighted to join this particular Opus project,’ said Salazar, who has been involved in a number of documentary film projects with themes from the Islamic world, since 2002. ‘The research that I will be carrying out, alongside Charles, follows on perfectly from our work previously undertaken on an IMAX film, Journey to Mecca, which was inspired by the travels of the 14th century pilgrim Ibn Battuta.

‘Having seen some of the incredible Opus books previously published I realised what a fantastic format this would be for a subject as important to so many people as the Hajj. With the quality of production on every Opus publication it can only do justice to such an incredible event. I look forward to helping to bring it closer to fruition.’

On the Journey to Mecca IMAX film Jodoin-Keaton researched many aspects of the project including, caravan composition, mosque architecture and Hajj rituals. ‘Joining the Opus team on this fantastic journey is a chance to explore and share the treasures of the world’s most extraordinary human gathering. I am every much looking forward to the year ahead and uncovering many, many images, stories and artefacts that will enhance such a wonderful project.’

The Hajj is the largest annual pilgrimage in the world and is the fifth pillar of islam, an obligation that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so.