'Unforgettable experience': UAE's Ramadan night sports tournament a hit among residents

The atmosphere at Nad Al-Sheba sports complex is electrifying as athletes compete against each other while family and friends cheer from the stand


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Sun 26 Mar 2023, 1:50 PM

Last updated: Sun 26 Mar 2023, 3:29 PM

The holy month of Ramadan is a time of peace, tranquillity and reflection for many Muslims around the world. It is also the time when the UAE's nightlife turns into a family affair, with night markets, cultural events and gatherings becoming a part of every resident's life. With many people choosing to go out after the Taraweeh prayers (special Ramadan prayers), several establishments and activities continue well past midnight, sometimes even till Suhoor (the pre-dawn mealtime for those who fast).

This year, one of the most happening events in Ramadan has been the NAS Sports Tournament at Nad Al-Sheba Sports Complex under the title Unlimited Abilities. The atmosphere at the complex was electrifying when the Khaleej Times team visited the venue. While for some, it was a time to relax, catch up with friends and enjoy a sport they love, for others, it was a nail-biting moment while they cheered on their loved ones from the stand.

Unique experience

For Asheem, who was attending the tournament for the first time, the experience was unique. "I've been to a lot of sporting events in my life, but the atmosphere at the NAS Sports Complex for the Ramadan event was truly something special," he said. "There was a sense of excitement and energy in the air. The fact that I was able to attend during Ramadan and even finish my Taraweeh prayers before watching the thrilling Jiu-Jitsu and Padel matches made the experience even more special. Overall, it was an unforgettable time and one that I'll remember for a long time to come."

The event kicked off on the first day of Ramadan, Thursday, March 23, and will conclude on April 10. Participants will compete in eight sports competitions, including volleyball, padel tennis, Jiu Jitsu, archery, fencing, wheelchair basketball, running and cycling. The various competitions will take place at the different halls of the NAS Sports Complex.

Mira was in the crowds to cheer on her friends competing in the Jiu-Jitsu tournament. "Watching a sporting event at night during Ramadan is an experience unlike any other," she said. "As a sports enthusiast and a believer, it gives you a unique sense of energy and excitement that's hard to find at any other time of the year. During the day, you're usually indoors, avoiding heat, but at night, you get to channel your inner fan and witness some of the most talented athletes in the world."

I hope to do it every Ramadan

Khalid AlShehhi. Photo: Supplied
Khalid AlShehhi. Photo: Supplied

Emirati athlete Khalid AlShehhi was one of those who competed in Jiu-Jitsu at the tournament. “This is the first competition for this Ramadan,” he said. “I have another one coming up next week as well. I love competing during Ramadan and hope to do it every year. It is an extraordinary feeling.”

According to Khalid, he takes care of his diet on the day he is competing. “I eat healthily and avoid deep-fried snacks, or else I will end up vomiting on the mat,” he said.


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