Point blank range

Point blank range

WHILE DUBAI may offer some of the world’s most sensational recreational activities, none are up to par with the age-old adrenaline filled shooting range. Distinctive for being the only major facility in the emirate, the Jebel Ali International Shooting Club offers residents the unforgettable chance to really get extreme.

By Mohamad Kadry (Staff Reporter)

Published: Sat 19 Jul 2008, 2:33 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:10 PM

Local culture has helped the sport gain prestige and significance, particularly after the UAE’s first and only gold medal was won by Shaikh Ahmad Mohammad Hasher Al Maktoum in Athens 2004.

The club, frequented by members of the royal family, has become a hotspot for all shooting enthusiasts looking to sharpen their skill. Shaikh Ahmad even trained on the grounds for six years prior to his Olympic triumph.

The impressive fortress style architecture as you first enter, makes the Jebel Ali International Shooting Club an imposing sight from the very start. This indoor and outdoor shooting academy, built to exacting international safety standards, makes the exciting sport of recreational and competitive shooting easily accessible to all.

With five outdoor floodlit clay-shooting ranges, two indoor pistol shooting lanes, and an indoor archery range, the club offers comfortable accommodation for all skill levels.

Amine Makerem, Manager of the Jebel Ali International Shooting Club, has overseen the facility since it debuted in May of 1995. “It’s unique because there’s no club that offers clay shooting, pistol shooting, and archery under one roof.

This club accommodates all these disciplines under one roof,” he says.

With nothing short of youthful exuberance, Makerem quickly demonstrated the club’s offerings in a matter of minutes. Rushing to the outdoor range, he quickly grabs his shotgun, goggles, and shells.

The floor is littered with hundreds of orange casings, as Makerem lets out a faint huff, signalling the operator to release the clay skeets from left and right. His aim is deadly, as three shots are fired in poetic precision. In all his expertise, the clay is obliterated to dust, and Makerem is left with a grin on his face.

An expert gun handler himself, he has helped guide many enthusiasts for more than a decade. Eager to show us his skills, he invites us inside to the underground pistol shooting lanes. Resembling your basic Hollywood range, multiple lanes are set up with shooters aiming for the infamous round target.

Degrees of distance can be easily changed, depending on your level of confidence.

Makerem offers his gun to me, as my earplugs are inserted and my range is set. For a first time shooter, the feeling of a gun’s release is addictive. Aiming is crucial, as both hands line the handle of the pistol, and the trigger awaits pressure. Not for the faint of heart, the indoor pistol range is loud, explosive, and thrilling. For anyone seeking to experience something outside the box, the range is a must-do.

“In every shooting session we give instructions on how to handle the gun safely,” he says, an encouraging note for all beginners. “We give all sorts of safety precautions here.

We don’t train people; instead we allow them to shoot. By giving them permission to shoot, it essentially gives us the power to supervise them safely,” he adds.

Safety truly is key to the club’s success, with an exemplary record that aims at protecting all guests and clientele. “Anyone arriving at the club shall not have alcohol in their system, they will obey all of our instructions, and most importantly they will respect the gun as much as they respect themselves,”

Makerem says. “Abusing a gun is like abusing yourself.

If you abuse the gun, it will abuse you,” he adds sternly.

The club is a perfect spot for large groups of friends to come and compete with each other. Everyone over the age of 16 is welcome, but reservations should be arranged ahead of time to ensure adequate space and time. Due to popular demand, the Shooting Club is now open and for the first time during August. In the midst of the Jebel Ali Free Zone, the club also boasts an American grill restaurant called ‘Shooter’s’.

New timings for operation will be valid from June 1 till October 12 where doors will be open from 3pm till 12am from Wednesday to Monday.

Operating Times: Winter (January 1 to May 31 & October 13 to December 31) : 1pm to 10pm Wednesday to Monday Summer (June 1 to October 12): 3pm to 12 midnight, Wednesday to Monday. Please note the Jebel Ali International Shooting Club is closed on Tuesdays throughout the year.


More news from City Times