International Media Echoes for the 32nd Al Gaffal Race

10 June 2023

The 32nd edition of the annual Al Gaffal Dhow Sailing Race (60ft) from Sir Bu Nair Island to the shores of Dubai received distinguished international media coverage that resonated on all continents of the world, representing a great heritage and societal value for the people of the region and the Arab Gulf countries.

The event was successfully organized on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, by the Dubai International Marine Club, 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 Dubai. It witnessed the participation of 125 dhow boats that sailed for a distance of more than 50 nautical miles.

The European Press Agency (EPA), headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany, made a distinguished presence during the race through its delegate Ali Hayder Hassan, a photographer. He documented the Al Gaffal race journey for over two days, capturing 33 expressive and beautiful pictures. His lens captured the preparations of the captains, owners, and sailors, as well as the evening trials around Sir Bu Na'air Island, in anticipation of their sail towards the shores of Dubai. He managed to capture rare moments of them in the backdrop of an enchanting sunset. This photo garnered admiration from international publishing houses and were fortunate to be published by the agency. One of the pictures was even selected as the "picture of the day" on the official website of the British newspaper "The Times". Additionally, the pictures were featured on various platforms, including the widely distributed Portuguese news agency, "Lusa", which serves 30 countries worldwide.  

The Agence France-Presse (AFP) team, composed of two delegates, Mumen Al-Khatib, and Karim Sahib, captured the vibrant atmosphere of the great heritage race through videos and photographs, which were shared via the agency's platform with numerous international television stations. These stations included Euro News, Chinese TV, Nocomante TV, Televertor TV, NGTV, ZD. FTV, Spanish IS News platforms and the British Guardian. The team's coverage included a four-and-a-half-minute report, along with the publication of the photographs on various websites, stations, and newspapers worldwide.

Furthermore, the Czech international photographer Martin Dokoupil, specializing in equestrian sports and sailing, contributed his unique perspective to the race coverage for multiple stations. Notably, he worked with the German agency Amigo Image, which distributes its images across continents and serves various platforms dedicated to different events. Through this agency, Martin Dokoupil's captivating images of the race were published, showcasing 12 diverse and beautiful pictures that captured the essence of the event.

The race garnered significant attention through the exceptional coverage provided by the media partner, Dubai Media Corporation, specifically through the Dubai Sports TV Channels. The race was accompanied by a dedicated team of professionals who delivered exceptional service to the esteemed audience. They provided live coverage a day prior to the race from Al Gaffal Studio, continuously capturing the pre-race atmosphere throughout the competition, which lasted for over 10 hours.

Al-Ghad TV channel, the first Arab news channel to emanate from Cairo, offered special coverage through their correspondent Abdullah Al Zoubi and cameraman Amjad Al Tom. They covered the race from its inception on Sir Bu Nair Island to the finish line in front of the iconic Burj Al Arab. The channel shed light on the Emirates' celebration of their forefathers' and grandfathers' legacy, providing viewers and readers with a news service rooted in accuracy and objectivity.