450 Sailors Embodying the Past in Today's Rowing Race

25 November 2023

Dubai Water Canal in the Al Jaddaf area will witness today the launching of the first round of the Dubai Traditional Rowing Race, which is organized by the Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) within the sports season 2023-2024 in conjunction with the Dubai Fitness Challenge 30 x 30.

This great heritage marine event will bring together 450 sailors on board in 49 boats, competing for the title against the stunning backdrop of Dubai Water Canal. The racecourse will feature iconic landmarks such as the Burj Khalifa, Business Bay, and Dubai Marina, situated on the opposite side of Al Jadaf Walk, near the Dubai Creek & Wildlife Sanctuary.

The race will embody the past of their forefathers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), including participants from the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Sultanate of Oman over the three rounds this season, with the Al Maktoum Cup as the final round.

The participating boat will be divided into half wherein the first half is for the local class run which is for the nationals and the second half is for the open class run which is for the GCC countries along with various teams from government department, national institutions, and private companies.



Mohammed Harib, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai International Marine Club, welcomed the participants to the Dubai Traditional Rowing Race (30ft), which is entering its twenty-eighth season since its initial launch in the 1996-1997 season. This race is a translation of the visions of the late Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Throughout these years, the club has been keen, thanks to the efforts of its team and cooperation with partners, owners, and racers, to continue and develop the race.



In the current season, the club is hosting three rounds in the Dubai Championship 2023-2024. The inaugural round is set to kick off on tomorrow, the 25th of November, followed by the second round two weeks later ,on Saturday the 9th of December. Qualifying participants will proceed to the final round at the Al Maktoum Cup, scheduled on the 23rd of December.


Mohammed Harib said, 'We are very happy that today's race brings together the elite of rowing enthusiasts, the citizens of our state, and our brothers from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. It is a unique and exceptional gathering that confirms the depth of the message that everyone has maintained through generations since its inception in the 1996-1997 season. In its first edition, the event featured 12 boats, and today, 49 boats have registered their presence. It's worth noting that this number may increase in the upcoming rounds.


The CEO of DIMC added that choosing the race venue reflects the club’s efforts to preserve the environment. The club received the 'Sustainability Award in Sports' this year within the ninth session of the 'Dubai Sports Excellence Model,' organized by the Dubai Sports Council to emphasize sustainability in work. This commitment aligns with the fact that 79% of the events organized by the club are environmentally friendly races. We appreciate the efforts of the wise leadership that facilitated sustainability by declaring 2023 as the Year of Sustainability. In a few days, the world will gather at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), hosted by Expo City Dubai from the 30th of this month until the 12th of next December.


The organizing committee, in collaboration with government departments and national institutions, including the Dubai Police, Dubai Municipality, Roads and Transport Authority, and Dubai Media Incorporated, has completed all on-site arrangements. The race will be broadcast live through Dubai Sports TV Channels, starting at three o'clock in the afternoon.

The race is scheduled to commence this morning with Technical Inspection and a Race Meeting with the participants and organizing committee, headed by Mohammed Al Marri, Director of the Sports Affairs Department at DIMC. During this meeting, the Round’s Draw will be conducted, along with the Flag Distribution for each half (local class) and (open class) before the race starts in the afternoon.


The Dubai Traditional Rowing Race 30ft commenced its inaugural season back in 1996-1997 as part of the vision of the late Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who conceived the idea for this category and various traditional marine races. The first race took place on the 7th of March 1997, featuring the participation of 15 boats. The boat Fatah Al-Ma’in 2, led by Khalifa Ali Al-Nazar, secured the first-place position.

Since the establishment of this category, the Dubai International Marine Club has organized multiple events to promote it extensively and encourage both the country's residents and enthusiasts to engage in the sport. The club has introduced several conditions to facilitate participation, particularly after introducing a new round for the open category for the first time in the 2021-2022 season.

Race Schedule :

25 November : First Round

9 December : Second Round

23 December: Al Maktoum Cup (Final Round)