Awafi Festival Kicks off
with Sand
Dune Racing

RAS AL KHAIMAH — Awafi Festival 2009 got off to a splendid start at the picturesque Awafi area in Ras Al Khaimah on Friday afternoon with an estimated 10,000 people witnessing the sand dune racing competition.

By Sebugwaawo Ismail

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Published: Mon 19 Jan 2009, 1:43 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:38 AM

Shaikh Faisal bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Chairman of the emirate’s Finance Department and head of the festival’s organising committee, and other dignitaries joined the crowd to watch the adrenaline-pumping motor racing event, which marked the beginning of the annual spring festival.

The race turned out to be a fierce duel as the participants pushed their specially designed four-wheel drives to the extreme to overcome the steep sand dunes.

The machines roared full throttle, often spewing a mix of fire and smoke, as they raced up the nearly 70-degree slopes.

As many as 40 vehicles participated in the competition which had three categories — one for eight-cylinder vehicles and two for six-cylinder vehicles.

The Awafi Festival, being held under the patronage of Shaikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, has over the years become a major event in the emirate’s tourism calendar by attracting thousands of visitors from the GCC and other foreign countries.

This year’s edition is loaded with a variety of outdoor sports, arts and cultural events that bring together the rich heritage of the emirate. The festival organisers have also been able to capitalise on the cool climes and picturesque locales of the Awafi area to make it a unique place for family getaways.

A large number of families have already started flocking to the area to take part in the three-week-long festival. The festival venue has a children’s play zone, heritage village, a bazaar, and several stalls featuring local arts and crafts, apart from public amenities like food outlets, internet cafes, coffee shops, clinics and games area.

Special areas have been earmarked for providing accommodation in tents to the visiting families. The entry is free. Major events start at 4pm everyday and continue late into the night.

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