Al Barq top in traditional dhow sailing

Under the Patronage of Shaikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative for the Western Region, the fifth Al Gharbia Watersports Festival continues in Mirfa, Al Gharbia, the Western Region of Abu Dhabi.

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Published: Mon 22 Apr 2013, 12:22 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:45 AM

Initiated by Western Region Development Council (WRDC) and organised by the Al Gharbia Sports Club and Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht Club, the festival is a strategically important event for the Western Region Development Council (WRDC) as it aims to grow Al Gharbia into a leading tourist destination.

Participants of the Al gharbia watersports festival at a presentation ceremony. — Supplied photo

Competitions and live stage performances are all part of this year’s festival which runs until Saturday April 27th. The festival has had fantastic turnouts from the public each and every day wishing to take part in the festivities.

A large crowd assembled on the Al Mifra shoreline, and arguably one of the highlights of the festival so far was the traditional 30-feet traditional dhow sailing race. A truly competitive contest, the eventual winner on the day was Al Barq, owned by The President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and captained by Abdulla Mohammed Abd Al Aziz.

Coming in second place was Al Sarowkh, also owned by The President and captained by Mohammed Abd Al Aziz Al Hamadi. In third place was Al Qasimi, owned by Muhammad bin Saud Al Qasimi and captained by Othman Khalil Al Mansowri.

After the race Obaid Khalfan Al Mazrouei, the festival manager, Abdullah Butti Al Qubaisi, director of the Western Region Sports Club and Majed Ateeq Al Muhairi, Chief Executive Officer of the Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht Club presented a prize to the competitors finishing in first, second and third place. Commenting on the festival Obaid Khalfan Al Mazrouei, the Festival Manager, said:

“As the organising committee it is really important for us to hold this festival each year which looks to preserve both Al Gharbia and the UAE’s maritime culture. A big part of the festival is to highlight this rich aspect of our heritage and encourage the younger generation to embrace it. The festival so far has been extremely well attended and we are certainly building on the success of the opening ceremony. The festivities on offer are diverse and allow everyone to take part and enjoy what Al Gharbia has to offer.”

Mazrouei praised the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, the Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones, Al Gharbia Sports Club and the Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht Club for organising the event. He also thanked the Western Region Municipality, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Abu Dhabi Police, Abu Dhabi Distribution Company, the Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Authority and Zonescorp for all their support - in addition to the technical support provided by the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club, Higher Colleges of Technology, Madinat Zayed and Ruwais Colleges.

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