Since the sport was established in China, it has become hugely popular around the world and the UAE is no different, catching the dragon fever with a number of teams in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khamaih.
Admar Barbarians are among the UAE sides, based in Abu Dhabi and are on the search to add to their competitive squad.
“Admar Barbarians started as a corporate team representing Logistics International LLC in Abu Dhabi, UAE. But last year, it became a non-corporate team representing professionals of different backgrounds, who came together as dragon boat enthusiasts,” said co-captain Lem Fernandez.
“We’re on the look out for anyone who is physically fit and can do strenuous exercises. More than the physical capabilities, we look for persistent, persevering, committed and gutsy individuals as dragon boating is geared more on the mental than the physical side.”
Newcomers can attend two free trials on Monday or Tuesdays (18:00) or Friday or Saturdays (05:30) at Shangri-La beach, Qaryat Al Beri in Abu Dhabi, before deciding whether they want to sign up for the full year at Dh1,500.
The fee includes membership, the chance to race five to six races as well as covering training costs.
And Fernandez insists there’s plenty of positives by trying it out.
“Our paddlers started with zero knowledge of the sport however by determination, discipline and will, they are now the strong and skilled athletes that they are,” she said.
“At Admar Barbarians, apart from having rigorous training sessions, the aims are to produce paddlers with characters. This is what our paddlers are taught, that they not only paddle for fun or glory, but to develop moral and ethical qualities as they grow with the team.”
She added: “Those who thrive on accomplishment should join as results of their hard work in training are seen during races. Those keen for camaraderie should join, as it is a great place to meet new people and make friends. Those wanting to improve their lifestyle and fitness should join, as the training demands will enable them to have better physique.”
Ladies looking for an innovative way of keeping fit mixed with excitement should look no further than Stand Up Paddleboarding [SUP] sessions in Dubai.
The activity is becoming one of the most popular watersports in the UAE and it’s easy to see why. Not only are you making use of the country’s spectacular beaches, but it’s also quite easy to learn and has a relaxing, therapeutic feel to it.
With its soaring popularity, watersports company Fahrenheit has notice a rise in demand and in turn has launched the SUP Sisters class that combines fitness with SUP.
“We’ve seen many ladies over the years try paddleboarding for the first time and they are now hooked,” said Mari de Villiers, marketing and communications manager at Fahrenheit. “It’s that kind of sport that does not require an intense ability to learn, it’s outdoors on the ocean and enjoyable enough to either do it on your own or with family and friends.”
The one-hour classes are held every Wednesday and Friday morning at the Dubai Marine Beach Resort in Jumeirah 1 at 09:00.
How to take part
Participants will be using unique equipment by Fahrenheit, which is available in the UAE for the first time. SUP Sisters will see them increase their heart rates by undertaking a different number of core exercises on the boards in the docking station.
And there’s no better place than trying out SUP in a location like Dubai which has smooth and calm waters.
Whether you’ve tried SUP before or not, De Villiers believes it’s worth a go.
“SUP Sisters is really aimed at beginners and intermediates,” she said. “It is not a yoga programme which requires difficult poses on the boards, but more focused on core strengthening exercises.
“This class really encourages ladies to get fit and healthy in an alternative way which doesn’t feel like a chore. That’s what makes it so popular, as well as the fresh dose of sea air every morning.”
Classes cost Dh100 for a drop-in or Dh1,000 for a 10-session pack. Each session is on a first-come-first-served basis with a limit of eight maximum. Advanced registration is required.
Running from December 18-22 and December 26-29 at the Football Center in Al Quoz, Dubai, kids will not be short of options with prizes, matches and learning new skills all on the agenda.
Previous editions of the camps have proved a big hit and this month’s is set to be no different.
“We’ve partnered with the Football Center to bring another winter camp to the kids of Dubai,” said Kane Cowburn, head coach at IJF.
“We’ve been running it for some years now but I would say, the biggest one was last year. We had around 100 children per day, which is a great number and I hope we can replicate that again this time around and get more kids involved.
“Hopefully we can achieve big numbers as we’ve already had a lot of interest from existing customers and it’s our goal to make it better and give them a better experience.”
Open to children of all abilities, qualified coaches will oversee the sessions which will involve different aspects of the game.
“The main emphasis is fun and we want kids to enjoy themselves,” said Cowburn. “Everything will be based around football. This year, we’ll have team exercises, giving them an opportunity to play the way teams play around the world.
“But each day is different with various exercises involved. There will be a lot of prizes and giveaways and it will be Christmas themed.
Half-day and full-day options are available with sessions running from 09:00 to 12:00 and 13:00 to 16:00. For one day, it costs Dh250 and Dh150 for half-day, while for three full days, it’s Dh650 (Dh400 for half). Additionally, for those who want to attend all week, it’s Dh1,000 and Dh650 for half-days.
With a few days to go, Cowburn insists there’s plenty of reasons to join.
“We pride ourself on the quality of coaches we have – the guys enjoy what they do and create good environment for the kids,” he said. “It’s also a great place to develop as a footballer and have some fun and plus it’s indoors, meaning the kids can enjoy themselves even more without worrying about the heat.”
WHAT: Winter Football Camps
WHERE: The Football Center, Al Quoz, Dubai
WHEN: December 18 to December 29, 09:00 to 16:00
CONTACT: For more information or to register, email [email protected]