Dubai: If you like challenges and are willing to push your physical and mental strength to the limit, then get ready for Sandstorm Marmoum, the UAE’s largest obstacle race to be held in Dubai on January 27. But what does it take to qualify? Ahmad Bin Byat, vice-chairman and managing director of Dubai Holding, which is organising the event, describes what it entails. Excerpts:
What is the Sandstorm Marmoum about?
Sandstorm is the UAE’s largest obstacle race set across 5km and 10km through four terrains – rock, sand, water and mud with more than 30 unique obstacles that blend perfectly into a backdrop of sand dunes, lakes, greenery and wildlife right in the heart of Dubai’s desert landscape.
When will it be held, where and at what time?
It will be held on January 27 at Al Qudra Lakes in one of the most dazzling desertscapes in the Middle East - the Al Marmoum Conservation Reserve that stretches across 400 hectares and is home to exotic local wildlife like the Arabian Oryx and the Sand Gazelle. The first edition of the race will be held from 8am to 2pm.
How different is it from other such challenges?
Sandstorm is a true adventure like no other. It will push your physical and mental strength to the limit, pit your agility, speed and stamina against an exciting obstacle race. Sandstorm can make the impossible possible. Sandstorm Marmoum is much more than just a race - it’s a family day out with kids’ activities, F&B trucks and drones with large LED screens that will cover the race live. Grandstands will also be available to offer spectacular views of the event.
What made Dubai Holding come up with the idea?
Dubai Holding launched the UAE’s largest obstacle race Sandstorm to take advantage of Dubai’s unique energy and landscapes. It demonstrates our commitment to preserving the UAE’s natural environment, while encouraging sustainability by promoting eco-awareness with minimal environmental impact. Sandstorm marks the onset of the 10th anniversary celebrations of Dubai Holding’s Corporate Wellness Programme, one of the region’s oldest corporate wellness programmes.
It underscores our organisation-wide commitment to supporting initiatives that encourage health and well-being in a variety of forms, from simple healthy eating campaigns to organising and participating in national competitive events.”
Who can participate in the event and how can they enroll?
Sandstorm covers all fitness levels and backgrounds, offering the options of Sprint (5km+) and Endurance (10km+) races. You need to be at least 16 years old to enroll for the races. You may register in two categories: competitive and casual. Registrations can be made online at https://www.premieronline.com/event/Sandstorm_Marmoum_2392
Is there a charge for participation? If so, what is it?
Yes, there is a fee of Dh350 for 5km and Dh450 for 10km. There’s also a corporate discount of Dh100 per person when registered with 30+ participants.
When is the last date for registration?
Registration closes on January 20 at 11:59pm or sooner if places sell out.
What about the prizes?
There will be prizes for the top three finishers in each prize category: individual male, individual female, corporate team and UAE national. All participants will receive a race pack that includes a T-shirt and multipurpose headwear to wear during the race, electronic timing chip system provided by Premier Timing, a map with race location and important timings and gifts from our sponsors.