Dubai: The Union Internationale Mononautique (UIM), the world governing body for watersports, and the Dubai-based World Professional Powerboat Association (WPPA), on Sunday signed an agreement to enhance the profile of watersport activities all around the world.

The three-year agreement, with an option to renew for a further period, was signed by UIM President Dr Rafaello Chiulli and Saif Al Katbi, WPPA President. Present were UAE Marine Sports Federation President Saeed Hareb, WPPA Vice-President Dr Khalid Al Zahid, UIM Board Member and Administrator Mohammad Hareb, and Sid Bensaleh, General Secretary, WPPA.

As per the guidelines laid down in the ten-page agreement, the WPPA has been entrusted with the role of organising a full-fledged calendar for X-Cat powerboat racing and jet-ski racing starting from January 2013.

The X-Cat Series calendar — consisting of seven rounds around the UAE and another four rounds outside the country — has already been planned, with the first race starting from the Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) on January 25.

The WPPA was formed in Dubai in December 2006, with Saeed Hareb as its first president in an attempt to run the sport of powerboating in a more professional manner. Over a period of time and following several meetings, the UIM took the new body under its wing with the express task of promoting the new X-Cat World Series.

But, with Sunday’s agreement in place, the co-operation between the two entities has been further enhanced in various areas of the sport, including safety, environment and growth of powerboating and jet-ski racing at the grassroots level.

“This agreement was much-needed to take our sport to the next level,” Chiulli told media after the signing of the agreement on Sunday.

“After more than 20 years in watersports, it is only right for a place like Dubai to think about going further. This is a huge partnership and I am confident this will start showing results in the near future,” Al Katbi added.