The Awafi Hill Climb is the most eagerly awaited segment of the Awafi Festival in Ras Al Khaimah. The tournament has consistently attracted high-profile competitors and tens of thousands of fans, particularly young motoring enthusiasts. Image Credit: Supplied

Ras Al Khaimah: More than 10,000 motorsport fans gathered on Friday at the ninth Awafi Festival to witness the Awafi Hill Climb, which attracted participants from the UAE and other GCC countries.

The event was inaugurated by Shaikh Mohammad Bin Kayed Al Qasimi, vice-chairman of the Ras Al Khaimah Department of Economic Development and vice-chairman of the Festival's Supreme Committee.

The competition, which is the most prominent feature of the festival, featured a total of 48 cars with specially modified engines negotiating various race obstacles including a massive sand dune.

The tournament was divided into three categories with Hamad Bin Surour taking top place in the 8-cylinder full-option class, followed by Saeed Bin Surour in second place and Ali Al Hammadi in third place. In the 6-cylinder full-option class, Saeed Bin Surour won first place, Hamad Hababi grabbed second place and Taleb Ahmad came in third. Khalid Rifaei emerged winner in the 6-cylinder standard-option class with Khalid Bin Terki taking second place and Nasser Al Khateri third.

Faisal Abdul Aziz Al Mattar, general coordinator of Awafi Festival 2011, said: "The championship achieved great success with the participation of a large number of cars and racing fans from all over the UAE. The championship continues to strengthen its reputation as a leading sporting event in the region. We thank all who contributed to the success of this event, which prominently places the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah on the regional sports map."

The festival runs until January 7 at various locations including the Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Hotel, Heritage Village Theatre, Awafi Stadium, RAK Sea Club, and RAK Exhibition Centre.

The Awafi Hill Climb offered a total prize value of more than Dh160,000. The tournament has consistently attracted high-profile competitors and tens of thousands of fans, particularly young motoring enthusiasts from the UAE and across the region.

This year's Awafi Festival features a number of hugely popular sporting championships that will bring together teams representing various UAE companies, institutions and communities. A football tournament to be held at the Awafi Stadium, a jiu jitsu championship in the closed hall of the UAE Club in Saih Al Brairat, an "arm wrestling" championship, and a "bench press" championship will be among the highlights.