Dubai: The picturesque setting of Hatta mountains will be abuzz when it hosts the X Dubai Spartan Race at the Hatta Mountain Bike Trail Centre on November 10.
“Having an exciting race in Hatta is very much a part of our strategy in portraying the region as a new frontier of Dubai. Such an event will shift focus to a rather unknown part of Dubai and make it a sporting, economic and tourism venue all rolled in one,” Saeed Hareb, General Secretary, Dubai Sports Council (DSC) told the media at a press conference on Tuesday. The event will be held under the direction of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
“The overall development of the region is the ultimate goal as per the directions of Shaikh Mohammad. We have the dual role of developing sports facilities at various locations In Dubai while promoting the place as a destination. The overall mission, of course, is to maintain our position as a major sporting hub in the region,” he added.
Dubai conducts more than 400 sporting activities in a calendar year, thus establishing itself as one of the biggest destinations in the region. “We hope we can further cement our position as the best sporting destination. We are here to hand out this vital lesson that the race will not just challenge us as competitors but also bring in this alteration in our lifestyle,” Hareb noted.
Abdullah Mohammad Saeed Bin Touq, Director General of The Executive Office of Shaikh Mohammad, observed that an event of this stature will definitely promote sport and the place at the same time. “Hatta has unique geographical features and the environment there is fresh. We want to use sport to promote Hatta as a major sporting destination, and this is a task for all of us an one team,” Bin Touq said.
Abdullah Bin Habtoor, General Manager, X Dubai asserted that the inaugural race will attract from 3,000 to 5,000 participants in various categories, including the Spartan Beast (20+ km and 30+ obstacles), Spartan Sprint (5+ km, 20+ obstacles) and Spartan Kids (up to 1.5km, 7-14 obstacles). “Most athletes spend a lot of time exercising in the comfort of a gym. But now is the time to put all this training to good use in natural circumstances,” Bin Habtoor said.
Dr Abdullah Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), who has managed to put together a KHDA squad of more than 70 employees over the past two years, insisted that the next step would be the involvement of teachers and students in the event. “This race is headed towards greater things for Dubai on the international stage,” Al Karam said.
Organised by Spartan Arabia and DSC, and sponsored by X Dubai and Dubai Holding, this will be the first Spartan Middle East Championship with more than $50,000 (Dh185,000) in prize money in the regional championships.
Hatta has been chosen as the venue not just for its challenging and diverse terrain, but also to promote the region as per the directives of Shaikh Mohammad, who announced a Dh1.3 billion comprehensive development plan for Hatta last November to enhance the social and economic capabilities of the region.