32nd Al Gaffal Race witnessed an immense turnout of participants

19 May 2023

The Higher Organizing Committee at Dubai International Marine Club is currently in full swing with its preparations for the highly anticipated 32nd Al Gaffal Long Distance Race, which is scheduled to take place from the 26th to the 28th of May. This race serves as the grand finale of the DIMC's marine sports season for 2022-2023.

The great heritage is being held under the patronage and support of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Dubai.

In order to facilitate the registration process, the club has unveiled a dedicated website,, where boat owners and sailors can access race instructions and complete the necessary registration requirements. Anticipation runs high for the 32nd edition, with expectations of a remarkable turnout that may potentially set a new record in the 60ft Dhow Sailing Category. Looking back at the previous edition, the club successfully managed the participation of 118 dhow boats, safely navigating from the starting point at Sir Bu Na'air Island all the way to the finish line along the Dubai Coast.

Saif Juma Al Suwaidi, Vice Chairman of the Supreme Organizing Committee for the race, expressed heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Dubai, who serves as the esteemed patron of the race. He commended His Highness for his continuous support and unwavering encouragement towards the participants, which greatly contributes to the success of this prestigious event.

Furthermore, Al Suwaidi extended his sincere thanks and appreciation to the Government Departments, Agencies, and National Institutions, who serve as invaluable partners to the club. Their substantial contributions play a crucial role in ensuring the seamless execution of the event and ensuring the safety of participants throughout their journey in the race.

Recognizing the unwavering dedication of boat owners, captains, and sailors, Al Suwaidi expressed his appreciation for their enthusiasm and commitment to making the 32nd edition of the Al Gaffal Race a resounding success. This extraordinary event holds a distinguished place as the oldest and largest race in Traditional Dhow Sailing, showcasing the rich heritage of this sport.

Al Suwaidi further remarked, "We are eagerly immersed in thorough preparations as we approach the commencement of this highly anticipated event, scheduled to take place from the 26th to the 28th of May. The exact date for the race will be meticulously determined, taking into account various factors such as weather forecasts and sea conditions. Our utmost priority lies in upholding the highest standards of security and safety for all participants, in their remarkable journey towards the finish line."

Al Gaffal Participation since 1991-2022

  • First Edition in 1991: 53 boats
  • Second Edition in 1992: 75 boats
  • Third Edition in 1993: 70 boats
  • Fourth Edition in 1994: 48 boats
  • Fifth Edition in 1995: 65 boats
  • Sixth Edition in 1996: 73 boats
  • Seventh Edition in 1997: 74 boats
  • Eighth Edition in 1998: 80 boats
  • Ninth Edition in 1999: 69 boats
  • Tenth Edition in 2000: 83 boats
  • Eleventh Edition in 2001: 87 boats
  • Twelve Edition in 2002: 84 boats
  • Thirteenth Edition in 2003: 91 boats
  • Fourteenth Edition in 2004: 91 boats
  • Fifteenth Edition in 2005: 89 boats
  • Sixteenth  Edition in 2006: 84 boats
  • Seventeenth Edition in 2007: 93 boats
  • Eighteen Edition in 2008: 97 boats
  • Nineteen Edition in 2009: 93 boats
  • Twentieth Edition in 2010: 95 boats
  • Twenty-first Edition in 2011: 100 boats
  • Twenty-second Edition in 2012: 102 boats
  • Twenty-third Edition in 2013: 101 boats
  • Twenty-fourth Edition in 2014: 100 boats
  • Twenty fifth  Edition in 2015: 111 boats
  • Twenty-sixth Edition in 2016: 106 boats
  • Twenty-seventh Edition in 2017: 121 boats
  • Twenty-eighth Edition in 2018: 122 boats
  • Twenty-ninth  Edition in 2019: 131 boats
  • Thirtieth  Edition in in 2021: 106 boats
  • Thirty First  Edition in 31 in 2022: 118 boats