Under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative for the Western Region, the fifth Al Gharbia Watersports Festival continued in Mirfa, Al Gharbia, the Western Region of Abu Dhabi yesterday, Saturday 20 April 2013.
Winners of the traditional 30-foot traditional dhow sailing race rejoice after receiving their trophy during the fifth Al Gharbia Watersports Festival 2013 in Mirfa, in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi - Al Gharbia Watersports Festival
Initiated by the Western Region Development Council (WRDC) and organised by the Al Gharbia Sports Club and Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht Club, the festival is a strategically important event for the WRDC as it aims to grow Al Gharbia into a leading tourist destination.
Competitions and live stage performances are all part of this year’s festival, which runs until Saturday, April 27.
A large crowd assembled on the Al Mifra shoreline, and arguably one of the highlights of the festival so far was the traditional 30-foot traditional dhow sailing race. A truly competitive contest, the eventual winner on the day was Al Barq, owned by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and captained by Abdullah Mohammad Abd Al Aziz.
In second place was Al Sarowkh, also owned by Shaikh Khalifa and captained by Mohammad Abd Al Aziz Al Hamadi. In third place was Al Qasimi, owned by Mohammad Bin Saud Al Qasimi and captained by Othman Khalil Al Mansouri.
After the race, Obaid Khalfan Al Mazroui, Festival Manager, Abdullah Butti Al Qubaisi, Director of the Western Region Sports Club, and Majid Ateeq Al Muhairi, Chief Executive Officer of the Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht Club, presented prizes to the competitors finishing in first, second and third place.
Commenting on the event, Al Mazroui said: For the organising committee it is really important for us to hold this festival each year, which looks to preserve both Al Gharbia and the UAE’s maritime culture. A big part of the festival is to highlight this rich aspect of our heritage and encourage the younger generation to embrace it. The festival so far has been extremely well attended and we are certainly building on the success of the opening ceremony. The festivities on offer are diverse and allow everyone to take part and enjoy what Al Gharbia has to offer.'
For more information about the festival and schedule of events, please visit www.algharbiafestivals.com/watersports or http://www.facebook.com/AGWatersports.