Look: 16 skydivers jump-start first-ever Swoop Festival in Dubai with spectacular stunts

Professional divers took advantage of the emirate’s beautiful clear skies to navigate tricky obstacles and score points


Nasreen Abdulla

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Photos: Shihab
Photos: Shihab

Published: Thu 29 Dec 2022, 10:10 PM

Last updated: Thu 29 Dec 2022, 10:56 PM

Against the backdrop of the majestic Ain Dubai, the first-ever Swoop Festival in Dubai got off to a colourful start at the JBR beach on Thursday. Professional skydivers from around the world took advantage of the emirate’s beautiful clear skies to navigate tricky obstacles and score points. The event, which will be held on Thursday and Friday, is free for the public to watch. Here is a look at how the first day unfolded.

Sixteen of the best skydivers took to the skies over the JBR beach to participate in the Swoop festival. Some of them had over two decades of experience and had done over 18,000 jumps.

There were four obstacles during the course: an arch, three balloon sets, and a landing pad. Divers had to pass through the arch, touch the balloons and land on one of the three landing pads, with the smallest pad earning them the most points. This is one of the first times that an arch is used in a Swoop festival.

The competitors had to time their jumps and spins perfectly to ensure that they could build up the momentum to navigate the obstacles. After flying through the arch, many of them struggled to touch the balloon sets.

Most competitors were unable to read the wind currents correctly. This caused many skydivers to crash into the water just short of the landing pad.

People, some as young as 4, lining up on either side of the JBR beach, cheered and applauded the competitors. The event is free to watch for the public.

Safety was of utmost importance and rescue teams were ready at the water to fish out competitors as soon as they landed.


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