Under the patronage and direct support of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum , Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance the race will kicks off today at six o'clock in the morning for the 29th Al Gaffal Long Distance Race which is a yearly event for the closing rounds of the traditional 60ft Dhow Race and organized by the Dubai International Marine Club that signifies the end of the marine sports season .
Today's race is the message established by His Highness , the patron of the event every year as a traditional sports heritage that will restore the people of today 's generation of the past life and reminding them of the sacrifices of parents and grandparents in their quest to find a living and the search for livelihood in the sea.
HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum is keen in annually giving his full support for the event to and to provide a generous awards that stimulate all segments of society to participate and learn to sail in different circumstances skills , renewing this covenant every year that no matter how we reached progress and elevation let us not forget the past and the lives of the grandparents. Earlier , His Highness has announced that this year he raised the prize to be given in the race up to 12 million dirhams in recognition of the continued interest shown by the people making a new record of the highest number of participants up to 131 boats that will sail today from Sir Bu Na'air Island to Dubai Coast.
Around 3000 people will participate in embodying the great race which is known to be the Al Gaffal which means "the return" wherein it embodies the past culture of pearl trade and pearl diving wherein they reach up to the Island of Sir Bu Na'air and returning back to Dubai after the season of pearl diving which is around 50 nautical miles the same as the great race wherein the starting line is set to be in the Sir Bu Na'air Island to Moon Island then to the finish line at Dubai near the area of the iconic Burj Al Arab
The competing participants in the race today the top 3 winner will receive a total prize of 12 Million Dirhams provided by His Highness the patron of the event and also to give award to the boat that which reach first the Moon Island.