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Abu Dhabi: Dh25 million prize for historic dhow race

Al Dhafra Region will host the fifth edition of the Historic Dalma Sailing Festival’s 60ft Dhow Race

By Wam

Published: Fri 22 Apr 2022, 12:02 PM

Al Dhafra Region will host the fifth edition of the Historic Dalma Sailing Festival’s 60ft Dhow Race from May 7 to 20, under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region.

The 60-foot traditional dhow race, with a prize fund of Dh25 million, is the highlight of the annual event organised by the Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee - Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Marine Sports Club, and Abu Dhabi Sports Council. The race will underline the significant value of festival tourism and enduring popularity of traditional sports.

More than 3,000 sailors will be taking part in the dhow race, covering over 80 nautical miles (125km). The Abu Dhabi Marine Sports Club revealed the Dh25 million prize fund will be shared by the first 100 boats to finish the race, making it the biggest prize money in the history of the traditional dhow races in the region.

Majid Ateeq Al Muhairi, Vice Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee of the fifth Dalma Traditional Sailing Festival, said the registration will close on April 28 with a technical meeting for sailors that will be held under the supervision of the Abu Dhabi Marine Sports Club.

“Preparations for the historic race are proceeding as scheduled and that the registration process is witnessing a great turn out from sailors from different emirates of the country.”

The race dates to be decided according to the weather conditions, he added.

The festival aims to support community events and Emirati productive families as well as revive traditional marine traditions and give the chance for the new generations to experience and value them while promoting economic development by shining light on Dalma and other Emirati islands in the Al Dhafra region, and highlighting their historical value and natural, pristine beauty.

The race flags off from Dalma Island and touches eight islands: Sir Baniyas, Ghasha, Umm Al KurKum, Al Fatayer, Al Bazm, Al Fay, Marawah and Janana, before finishing at Al Mirfa city.


The event will feature a full lineup of exhilarating traditional, and aquatic activities, including the Fishing Competition (casting), dominoes contests for men and women, carrom tournaments, cycling, running, fireworks, theatre events, and other folklore shows.

It also includes the Souq, which contains a number of traditional kiosks that combine the Emirati maritime heritage, and many diverse shops that display local heritage products and popular foods, in addition to the Children’s Village & Theater with their daily competitions and prizes, heritage and folk contests, traditional handicrafts, and other functions that cater to all age groups.

The festival has achieved unparalleled success in its past four editions in light of the unwavering support of Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed.

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