Globally exported from Abu Dhabi, this unprecedented Opus created in collaboration with the highly acclaimed film production company Cosmic Picture is to be produced in creative partnership with Abu Dhabi-based Shawati Publishing, a brand wholly owned by Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage.

Opus is delighted to announce the making of the Journey to Mecca Opus. For the first time, the sacred and amazing story of the ‘Hajj’ will be documented in Opus manner and told in a comprehensive 850 pages, each measuring half-a-metre square.

Conceptualised to honour one of the Pillars of Islamic Faith and, compliment the dramatic Cosmic Picture IMAX movie, The Journey To Mecca, The Journey to Mecca Opus will chronicle and uniquely illustrate the travels of Ibn Battuta on his first holy pilgrimage in 1325, as well as give the reader an extraordinary and unprecedented window into one of the most spectacular gatherings on earth.

The Cosmic Picture Journey to Mecca IMAX Film, produced by Cosmic Picture and SK Films, was shot on location in Saudi Arabia and Morocco, to tell the epic story of the greatest explorer of the old world and his incredible first pilgrimage to Mecca in the 14th century.

The 37kg, hand-bound, limited edition Journey to Mecca Opus will be the product of a unique collaborative partnership between Opus and award-winning film production company Cosmic Picture, headed up by Taran Davies and Dominic Cunningham-Reid.

Released on giant screen by SK Film and National Geographic, and Presented by Imagenation in partnership with Abu Dhabi Media Company, The King Abdul Aziz Public Library and The King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies, The Journey to Mecca IMAX Movie celebrated its world premiere last night, 7th January 2009, at the Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi.

The Journey to Mecca Opus will see for the first time, an Opus production creating content using frames from the Cosmic Picture IMAX film, in a bold attempt to create big-screen emotion and a truly ‘cinematic’ experience on paper. In both concept and scale, such a creative project is unprecedented in world publishing. This unparalleled piece of historic publishing will be created in Abu Dhabi and exported to people and nations throughout the rest of the world.

Having searched the globe for the “right organization”, Opus is very pleased to announce that the creative partners who were invited to work alongside Opus are Shawati Publishing. Shawati Publishing, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, is a brand wholly owned by The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture & Heritage, who bring a wealth of passion, knowledge and insight to the creative process. The Journey to Mecca Opus creative and editorial direction will be headed by the inspirational Shawati Executive Director, Sabah Al Abbasi and, her dedicated team.

Opus Media Group PLC and Shawati will be using state-of-the-art reprographic technology to convert extraordinary IMAX images to the printed page, and the Opus will include four stunning two-metre wide gatefolds, showcasing some of the most epic scenes from the amazing film created by Cosmic Picture.

The Journey to Mecca Opus will have a number of different exclusive editions within the limited edition print run which will be announced later in the year. The collaboration will also see the release of the Opus Media Group PLC-developed ‘Touch & Turn’ DVD and DVD ROM digital version of the Journey to Mecca Opus, which will allow millions more people around the world access and insight to this amazing journey. The Touch & Turn DVD is expected to be released in early 2010 following publication of the Journey to Mecca Opus during Ramadan in 2009.

Opus Media Group PLC, along with its partners Cosmic Picture and Shawati, are currently finalizing plans to take the Journey to Mecca Opus on a world tour. The Journey to Mecca Opus Exhibition plans to spend up to 10 days in several major cities around the world throughout 2010 and beyond.

The number one copy of the Journey to Mecca Opus will be auctioned later this year, with all proceeds being donated to an Islamic charity foundation to be announced during the launch period. It is hoped that the winning bid will surpass the world-record $1.5 million USD paid for the only one of its kind Manchester United Opus in a 2007 charity auction for the benefit of Dubai Cares.

Karl Fowler, the founder partner of Opus commented: “We are extremely proud and immensely privileged to be producing an Opus dedicated to such an important, dramatic and extraordinary testament of human endeavor. The Pilgrimage to Mecca, one of the pillars of Islamic Faith, is a journey that every Muslim seeks to make to the holiest city in Islam. With partners such as Cosmic Picture and Shawati we feel that the Journey to Mecca Opus will be a lasting tribute and, historical record, of what for millions of people around the world, is the greatest and, most treasured journey of their life on earth. I feel that it is truly a privilege for everyone connected with the Opus brand, that the family of Opus will now see such an important genre of work added to our library.”

“This is an epic Opus Title that the whole world, regardless of religion, needs to experience”
Taran Davies, Producer and CEO of Cosmic Picture, who conceived the concept for ‘Journey to Mecca’ with fellow producer Dominic Cunningham-Reid in 2004

Taran Davies, Producer and CEO of Cosmic Picture commented: “We set out to tell the story of one man’s journey to Mecca to perform the Hajj – a story similar to the epic voyages made by millions of travelers for over a thousand years to the sacred city of Mecca. Our partnership with Opus is very special, in allowing us to further achieve our aim. We believe that for the first time ever, Opus will take an IMAX film and in using state of the art reprographic technology, transfer our content into a large format publishing model. The Journey to Mecca Opus will create big-screen emotion and a truly ‘cinematic’ experience on paper. Everybody at Cosmic Picture is very excited to be working alongside Opus and Shawati, in producing this visual masterpiece over the coming months and, exporting the finished product from Abu Dhabi to people all over the world”.