Dhows participate in the Al Gaffal traditional long distance 2018 race, a showpiece event in Dubai's watersports calender. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News archive

Dubai: Dubai Sports Council has announced the resumption of marine and watersports competitions and a number of events are expected to take place in the coming days off the coast of Dubai and the picturesque Hatta Dam Lake.

The announcement to resume marine sports competitions is part of a series of decisions taken by Dubai Sports Council, as per the directives of its chairman Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to gradually reopen the sports sector following weeks of closure due to COVID-19. The decision is in line with the Government of Dubai’s plan to gradually open all sectors of life and complies with instructions issued by Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management, and related government agencies.

The DSC has prepared a detailed list of protocols in collaboration with relevant authorities to ensure the safety of everyone involved in these competitions, and the order of resumption will be limited to events that conform to these safety protocols and guidelines, and obtain prior approval from the DSC.

The events, however, will be held with no fans or visitors allowed inside the venues. The age limitations also remain, and children below the age of 12 and elders above the age of 60 will not be allowed to take part in the competitions. Staff older than 60 years of age will also not be allowed inside the facilities, along with anyone suffering from chronic or respiratory diseases.


Wearing of masks will be mandatory for everyone, and the DSC also recommends use of protective goggles, or face shields.

Organisers have to maintain the hygiene and sanitisation requirements at the venue as per Dubai Municipality guidelines, which includes complete sterilisation of the venue before and after competition, and maintaining a regular cleaning regime along with cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces and common areas at least once every hour, and shared objects each time they are used.

The organisers will also have to make sure safe distancing is maintained and that sterilizers are available in all the necessary areas, and they will also have to follow all the other relevant protocols issued by the DSC earlier regarding the resumption of sports activity in the emirate.

Meanwhile, the DSC in co-ordination with the Dubai International Marine Sports Club (DIMC) and Dubai Offshore Sailing Club (DOSC), have begun preparing technical plans and providing the necessary support for the success of upcoming activities, in accordance with the precautionary guidelines issued.

Dubai is one of the leading destinations of the world for marine sports, with beaches like Jumeirah, Kite Beach and Al Mamzar, offering stunning views of Dubai’s iconic skyline from the waters. The picturesque Hatta Dam has emerged as a busy year-round venue for marine and watersports in the country, and the opening of Dubai Canal has also been a major boost for the sport.