Video: 168 teams up for battle in Dubai's Gov Games Filed on April 3, 2019 | Last updated on April 3, 2019 at 02.31 pm
A section of the obstacle arena for Gov Games 2.0, which is set to kick off at Kite Beach, Dubai.  Photo by Juidin Bernarrd
A section of the obstacle arena for Gov Games 2.0, which is set to kick off at Kite Beach, Dubai. - Photo by Juidin Bernarrd

This is the ultimate physical and mental challenge for government employees in Dubai.

The heat is on at Gov Games 2.0 as Kite Beach in Dubai turns into one giant obstacle gauntlet from today until Saturday.

Under the banner 'One Team One Spirit', a total of 168 local, federal and international teams will vie for the top prize of Dh1 million and the bragging rights to be hailed as champions at the second edition of Gov Games.

Videos: What are the Gov Games all about | What participants can expect this year

This is the ultimate physical and mental challenge for government employees - and it's bigger, harder and tougher than before.

"It will be a test of teamwork, physical prowess, speed, problem-solving skills, mental agility and sharpness in overcoming various obstacle courses," said Marwan bin Issa, games director, during the media tour on Tuesday.

"This initiative, launched by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, has already achieved a great deal - but this year, like our teams, we have unfinished business. We are going faster, stronger, bigger and smarter," he added.

There are also additional tasks and organisers have included bonus points for the more daring participants.

Marwan said: "Every second matters, so teams have to decide and act fast when they're doing the obstacles."

There are nine obstacles (Aquaphobia, The Human Ladder 2.0, Wipeout, The Trap, The Grinder, Power Drainer, The Weakest Link, Alzheimer, Breathless) for both male and female teams in the elimination round. Each obstacle has to be accomplished within 10 minutes and athletes will get an eight-minute break before tackling the next obstacle.

There are 106 teams participating in the men's section and 62 teams competing in the women's. Team F3 and the US Consulate-General in Dubai will try to defend their titles in the men's and women's competition, respectively.

This year's field also includes 15 teams from nine countries, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, the US, the UK, Thailand and Armenia.

Saudi Arabia is bringing in an all-female team for the first time, while F3 will also be making its debut in the women's competition.

The first qualifying heat will start on Wednesday at 4pm for women's and the second heat will be at 8pm. Men's teams will have the elimination round on Thursday and Friday. The ultimate and 10th obstacle - called Battleship - will be tackled by the six finalists in both men's and women's categories on Saturday.

Scoring system

In the qualifying heats, each team receives five points for every obstacle they complete. A further five bonus points is on offer for teams that complete high-risk obstacles within a pre-designated time and successfully hit a special button at the end of each obstacle. The fastest teams to complete obstacles receive additional points - worked out at 0.01 points per second - when the challenge is overcome in less than the 10 minutes' allotted time. All team members must overcome the obstacles together.

Gov Games by the numbers

>4 days of mental and physical competition

>168 local, regional and international teams participating (106 men's teams and 62 women's teams, including the first-ever Saudi women's team)

>80% of the teams joined last year

>15 international teams from 9 countries include male and female teams from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, the US, the UK, Thailand, and Armenia

>10 obstacles are up for this year's Gov Games

>Each team has 10 minutes to tackle each obstacle, with an eight-minute rest before going to the next challenge

>3 female teams qualify from two heats during Day One

>2 male teams qualify from three heats during Days Two and Three

> 6 female teams and 6 male teams will battle it out separately in the category finals

>1 male team and 1 female team will win Gov Games 2019 (each to receive Dh1 million)

>2 Jeeps can be won by the public by joining the Paparazzi contest


1-Wipeout Challenge

This obstacle requires jumping, swinging and crossing barriers without dropping into a pool of iced water. Speed ??may be one way to approach this obstacle, but care and tenacity are required to conquer it. This is definitely a difficult challenge, but the more daring participants will earn bonus points if they touch the ring inside the cubes.

2-The Human Ladder 2.0

The hardest obstacle last year became even more difficult this year. Contestants form a human ladder and everyone has to make it to the top of the wall by climbing on each other. After crossing over the wall, participants have to carry weight blocks and reach the end of the section.


As the names suggest, participants must take a deep breath and remain brave and calm as they attempt to unlock underwater chains. Team collaboration is critical to completing this challenge.


Water is a big element in this year's Gov Games. Mental agility is the main focus as participants must confront their worst fears to reach the finish line of this challenge. Teamwork and confidence are keys to success.


>The Weakest Link

Requires participants to find team balance instead of relying on personal abilities. In a test of balance, cooperation and coordination, teams have to put the cubes (each cube has a corresponding number and math symbols) in the middle to complete the task within 10 minutes.

>The Trap

Participants put their climbing abilities to the test, and this obstacle requires advanced physical and mental skills during climbers' ascents. Swimming skills are also essential to winning this obstacle.

>Power Drainer

Participants must navigate a series of jumps from one platform to another in a challenge requiring great balance, concentration and no fear of heights. One moment of hesitation or confusion and this obstacle will bite.

>The Grinder

This obstacle will test participants' problem-solving skills as they attempt to crack the puzzle, climb and rush towards the water - all before returning to the ground. Mental (math) and physical skills are essential.


Participants must choose whether to pass over or below the obstacle course as they try to conquer this challenge. Sharp memory is also required to finish the task before crossing over another wall.

>Battleship (Finals Day)

This is the ultimate challenge and final obstacle that requires endurance and both mental and physical agility. Details of this challenge are kept secret and will be revealed only on the final day on Saturday. Needless to say, teamwork and team spirit are vital to get to the end of this final Gov Games 2019 challenge.


>Each winning team - both male and female - will win Dh1 million

> The public can join the 'Paparazzi Competition'. They just need to post photos of the Gov Games on Instagram and Twitter. Posts should feature the competition athletes, or spectators enjoying the high-energy event and must be made on public profiles. Entrants must tag in @govgames and use #GovGames to be eligible

>Entry to watch Gov Games is free

Angel Tesorero

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