Ramadan in UAE: Hundreds of doctors, nurses battle it out in 'largest sporting event' for healthcare sector

A series of tournaments are being held until April 2 — from football to volleyball, basketball, badminton, tug of war, and track and field

by

Ashwani Kumar

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Supplied photo
Supplied photo

Published: Sat 1 Apr 2023, 8:02 PM

On the path to recovery from the pandemic, hundreds of frontline doctors, nurses, medical and non-medical staff are in high spirits as they take part in the largest healthcare sporting event held on Abu Dhabi’s Al Hudayriyat Island.

Mansoor Ibrahim Al Mansoori, chairman of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, inaugurated the fourth edition of Burjeel Games 2023 — which runs until April 2.


The ongoing Ramadan tournament, hosted by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) and Burjeel Holdings, is seeing the whole-hearted participation of more than 1,100 healthcare workers.

Held at night, employees from different healthcare facilities of Burjeel Holdings are split into teams for the competition. Men and women battle it out in separate games, including football, volleyball, basketball, badminton, tug of war, and track and field.


Dr Naveen Hood Ali, who is also fasting this holy month, noted that the tournament has encouraged him to set his fitness goals for the rest of the year.

“I look forward to our annual sports tournament each year. This tournament is special as it is coming in the post-pandemic period. Even though I’m fasting, I don’t feel tired. Instead, I feel recharged from just being in this environment,” said Dr Ali, director of operations, LLH and Medeor Hospitals, Abu Dhabi.

The ADSC called the games the 'biggest sporting event' in the UAE’s healthcare sector.

Suhail Abdulla Al Areefi, executive director for the sports event sector at ADSC, said the tournament is an excellent opportunity for individuals to stay active and healthy.

“We are happy to provide our support and guidance to ensure a successful tournament.”

Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, founder and chairman of Burjeel Holdings, noted the annual event is aimed at encouraging and promoting physical fitness and well-being among the group’s employees.

Minnath P, laboratory technician at Burjeel Hospital, Dubai, said a carnival atmosphere prevailed on the island, a welcome change after the pandemic service.

“It has been a wonderful experience so far. It’s a great opportunity to bond with my colleagues outside the hospital and get to know them. Meeting new people from other hospitals and facilities has also been great fun. The vibe here is electric, especially when people start cheering for their favourite teams. I have been coming here daily to soak in the atmosphere and support my team.”

Safeer Ahamed, COO of Burjeel Holdings, said the event will be a platform to discover the hidden talents of employees and help them develop new skills.

“I am certain these games will bring out the best in our colleagues and help them become more productive and efficient,” he added.

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