Dubai: Organisers Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) have promised a grand return to watersport in the UAE with intense three days of action on the water later this week.
The DIMC has worked out a multi-watersport festival of events to kickstart the annual calendar that was prematurely brought to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March.
Spanning over three days with a Thursday evening (June 25) start, the festival will consist of Moto surf and Flyboard events from 5.30 pm onwards at the Al Shorooq Beach followed by Kayak Fishing (open seas) and Standup Paddling and Kayak (Kite Beach) at 6 am and 7 am respectively, on Friday.
Later on Friday evening, there will be a Kitesurfing competition in two categories – beginners and experts at the Nessnass Beach followed by modern sailing in the Optimist and Laser classes at the beach next to the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club (DOSC) from 5 pm onwards, on Saturday.
“This is our way of giving our watersport community the confidence we need to get back to our sport,” Hazeem Al Gemzi, Director of Sports Department at DIMC, told Gulf News.
“Ever since the announcement of the opening up of the sports sector by the Dubai Sports Council, we have been working tirelessly to ensure we have a truly memorable return to watersport this weekend. We are following all the protocols put in place and we are urging everyone involved to be prepared for a new dimension in sport due to the presence of this virus,” he added.
Earlier in May, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, agreed to the postponement of the annual Al Gaffal long distance race to 2021. The race was scheduled to be held at the end of May but due to the precautionary measures in place by the government, the DIMC thought it safer to conduct the race next season.
“Except for that one race, we hardly missed out on conducting the other events that were part of our watersport calendar this season. And since the postponement of Al Gaffal, we have been busy putting things in place to work out a new calendar for 2021,” Al Gemzi disclosed.
“At the same time, we realise the huge importance of this weekend’s calendar of racing. We want to have it as a festival so that everyone involved sees and cherishes the positives of sport. We have also ensured to have a variety of events that will suit a cross-section of the population living in the UAE,” he added.
At the beginning of 2020, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council issued a resolution forming a new board of directors for the DIMC, headed by Ahmad Saeed Bin Meshar. Saif Juma Al Suwaidi was named the Vice-Chairman while Ebrahim Sultan Al Hadad, Rashid Thani Al Aail, Jamal Zaal Bin Kreshan, Essa Mohammad Al Hag Nasser and Khalid Ali Al Balooshi were named members on the board.
(June 25) 5.30 pm: Motosurf (beginners and experts) - Al Shorooq Beach; 6.15 pm: Flyboard (beginners and experts) - Al Shorooq Beach
(June 26) 6.00 am: Kayak Fishing (open category) - Dubai Sea; 7 am: Standup Paddling and Kayak (open category) - Kite Beach; 4.30 pm: Kitesurf (beginners and experts) Nessnass Beach
(June 27) 5 pm: Modern Sailing (above 12 years) - Beach next to DOSC