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The second annual edition of Gov Games, the Government of Dubai’s high-energy team-building challenge for domestic, regional and international government departments, roared into life today as thousands of spectators joined His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, to cheer on the all-female teams competing in the opening day’s heats. Image Credit:

Over this weekend, teams from almost every government entity at both the federal and emirate level will be participating in the second edition of the Gov Games — an initiative of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council.

Right now, Kite Beach in Dubai looks like a futuristic assault and obstacle course — obstacles that are meant to test the fibre and mettle of all the teams participating in this unique event. And for most people, the very thought of tackling such obstacles is enough to make the bones tire. But for those taking part, the Gov Games offer a unique opportunity to challenge themselves both personally through physical, psychological and emotional challenges, forging new bonds with colleagues from the workplace.

Certainly, there is a serious side to the weekend’s activities, with attractive prize money for winning teams, but this is truly an event not so much about winning but more about the actual act of putting oneself and colleagues through such a challenge.

But why? Why endure extreme physical discomfort, exhaustion, mental stress and all of the pains and aches, joy and jubilation that comes with scaling heights and generally being put in situations far beyond most people’s comfort levels?

The short answer is team-building. The nature of the obstacles at the Gov Games is designed to put the teams taking part under stress.

It’s one thing to work in an office environment with co-workers. It’s a completely different thing when you must work together to be able to scale up a wall that is taller than two people. That requires trust. It requires reaching out, lending a hand, accepting a hand, acknowledging that the sum of the team is greater than the abilities of the single individual.

The Gov Games too offer a bonding opportunity for colleagues and co-workers to actually meet and interact with each other outside of the office. They are a test of the psychological limits of those taking part. It’s a race, the clock is ticking, your co-workers — now your teammates who are sweating and straining alongside you — depend on you. You must achieve. You must push yourself. You must push others. It’s exactly this can-do attitude, this ability to succeed, the desire to win that has built the still young UAE into what it is now. And that’s why the Gov Games matter.