Fifth edition of Dalma Sailing Festival to begin from May 7

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The fifth edition of the Dalma Traditional Sailing Festival, under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative of the Al Dhafra region, will take place from May 7 to 20.

The 60-foot traditional dhow race, with a prize fund of Dhs25 million, is the highlight of the annual event organised by the Abu Dhabi Culture and Heritage Festivals and Programmes Management Committee in association with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council.

The schedule of the festival was announced at the Mohammed Khalaf Majlis in Abu Dhabi on Monday in the presence of Sheikh Ahmed Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, Chairman of the UAE Sailing and Rowing Federation, Chairman of the Kite Surf Committee, Majid Ateeq Al Muhairi, Vice Chairman of the Higher Organizing Committee of the fifth Dalma Traditional Sailing Festival, and Issa Seif Al Mazrouei, Vice Chairman of the Culture and Heritage Festivals and Programmes Management Committee in Abu Dhabi.

The event is set to take place at Dalma Island from May 7-20, with the race dates to be decided according to the weather conditions.

More than 3,000 sailors will be taking part in the dhow race, covering a distance of over 80 nautical miles (125km).

Registration, which opened on Tuesday, will close on April 28 with a technical meeting for sailors that will be held under the supervision of the Abu Dhabi Marine Sports Club.

The Abu Dhabi Marine Sports Club revealed the Dhs25 million prize fund will be shared by the first 100 boats to finish the race, making it the biggest prize money in the history of the traditional dhow races in the region.

The winner will receive Dhs1.3 million, the runner-up will receive Dhs1 million, and the third place will receive Dhs800,000.Three cars will also be on offer to the winners of the first three places in the race.

The race takes off from the historical Dalma Island and passes through seven spectacular islands, namely Sir Bani Yas, Ghasha Island, followed by the passage of Umm Al Turkm Island, Al Fatayer, Al Buzam, Marawah and Janana Island before finishing at the Port City.

The festival will not be limited to the traditional race as there will be a number of events held on the sidelines and valuable prizes to be won by taking part in various competitions for visitors at the Heritage Village, organised by the residents and community of Dalma Island.

The festival has achieved unparalleled success in its past four editions, in light of the unwavering support of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed.

The festival aims to support community events as well as revive traditional marine traditions.

It also gives new generations the opportunity to experience and value them, while also promoting economic development by shining a light on Dalma and other Emirati islands in the Al Dhafra region, highlighting their historical value and natural, pristine beauty.

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