33rd Al Gaffal 60ft Dhow Sailing Race commences today

17 May 2024

Today we will witness the 33rd Al Gaffal 60ft Dubai Traditional race, which is being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council.

The great race, now in its 33rd edition, was founded by the late Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum and has been organized by the Dubai International Marine Club since 1991. It commences from Sir Bu Nair Island, passes through Moon Island, and concludes at the Dubai shore, covering a race distance of more than 50 nautical miles.

The race is set to begin today in the early morning, depending on the sea state and wind speed at the starting point on Sir Bu Na’air Island, deep in the waters of the Arabian Gulf, towards Moon Island. Moon Island represents the first finish line and the obligatory crossing point to reach the finish line on the Dubai shore.

The dhows participating in the Al Gaffal Race are expected to cover more than 50 nautical miles in an attempt to win the title in the thirty-third edition of one of the most prestigious and oldest traditional marine races. It is anticipated to be an exciting race, carrying a spirit of challenge and perseverance, and showcasing the skills that the younger generation has acquired in sailing safely towards the finish line.

Today, more than 5000 people will gather in the waters of the Arabian Gulf, including up to 3,000 sailors, to paint a picture of the past, where they will raise their white sails on the blue waters of Arabian Gulf , retracing the memories of their forefathers during their return from diving and fishing trips in search of abundant livelihood. 

The Higher Organizing Committee for the race has completed all preparations for the success of the race, in which they have been working throughout the past period to schedule the event on a date appropriate, considering the sea state and expected wind speeds. These factors are crucial for the success of the race amidst the variables and weather fluctuations.