On the home page of the World Championships of Beach Ultimate website they promise that their sport will bring four things: warm sunshine, white sand, exotic locations and elite ultimate action.
The sport of ultimate combines elements of football, American Football and basketball with teams of five throwing a disc into a marked zone at either end, which must be caught to score a point.
While the sport is in its infancy in the Middle East, it has experienced a seismic boom in the western world since its inception in the 60s, with the USA boasting over six million registered players.
There is no referee and players rely instead on good sportsmanship and honesty. These fun and friendly foundations, coupled to the physical benefits of constant running in sand create a unique sport whose benefits are as much social as they are physical.
From 8-13 March over 1,000 players representing 25 countries will descend upon the Jumeirah Beach Residence sand to compete for the world championships.
Ahmed Al Shamisi is currently the only Emirati player in the sport and will be representing the UAE with the Open team at WCBU.
He works in the UAE Air Force and decided to give ultimate a try after reading about the sport online a year ago.
Twelve months later and he has progressed quickly, now playing three times a week for different teams.
“One of the most amazing things about the game is that I get to play with people that I would (otherwise) never have had the opportunity to meet.
“In the team we have people from Philippines, America, Europe and all over the world so it is a good opportunity to mix up and make friends from all over the world.
“I have seen other Emirati people interested in playing but so far no one has come. A lot of people are tempted to come and play so I hope one day we reach a level where we compete with all other countries.
“I think this (tournament) is going to be a big start for growing the sport in the UAE and in other countries here.
“When I first started I thought that the language and traditions would be very hard but everyone makes you really comfortable with playing and you feel that you fit in easily in no time.
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, attended the prestigious Saluki Championship – Greyhound on Monday.
A total of 180 greyhounds participated in the championship, which attracted a large number of fans of this heritage sport comprising both citizens and residents. Monday’s event witnessed strong competition among the participating greyhounds, which underscored the high level of training they had received.
Competitions were divided into two categories: “male” and “female”. The first round of competitions kicked off with the professional “female” category that saw the greyhounds chasing their prey over a distance of 1 kilometer amidst a lively and enthusiastic atmosphere. The second round was for the professional “male” category, which witnessed fierce competition among the participating greyhounds, with the results remaining undecided until the final stages of the race.
This was followed by the third and fourth rounds which involved competitions in the amateur category, in which the greyhounds compete on the same track but over a distance of 2 kilometers. The speed and competition readiness of the greyhounds were once again reflected in their vastly improved technical levels compared to last year.
Mohammad Abdullah bin Dalmouk, Head of Technical Support and Development for Fazza Championships, said: "The Saluki Championship has witnessed remarkable progress in the levels of participation, and the fruits of intensive training are obvious in the improved technical level of the participating greyhounds."
He added: "The race consists of 4 rounds, two for amateur and professional male Salukis and two for amateur and professional female Salukis, and extends over a distance of 2 kilometers for amateurs and 1 kilometer for professionals. The winners of the competitions are judged by a jury of independent experts and the entire judging process is kept transparent and fair, which is an important factor for the success of the championship."
Abdul Aziz Ibrahim Al Marzouki, one of the participants in the amateur “male Saluki” category, said: "We have been preparing our greyhounds for a very long time to participate in this contest. This however is not my first participation in this tournament; I had taken part in last year’s championship and had won the third rank."
FC Gladiator is the champion side of the DSC Monday Night 7s at the Dubai Sports City Football Academy after producing its best form at the perfect time.
It secured a semi-final win against ADNOC Distribution and then followed that up with a convincing 3-0 success against Lukoil in the final to take the title and the silverware.
– #Quiz360: WIN Dh250 to spend at Legends Sports Bar
And FC Gladiators player Mehdi added to the celebratory mood among his team as he secured the award for the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
FC Gladiator’s success was the climax of a thrilling tournament that started off with 22 sides all aiming for glory.
Meanwhile, the Plate competition, for the 12 lowest-placed sides after the first stage of the competition, produced a thrilling ending with Team Premier taking that prize – but only after a thrilling penalty shoot-out against ABCDE FC.
The final finished 1-1 and went to spot kicks and it was Team Premier that prevailed 3-2. And after the match its goalkeeper Ismail won the Golden Glove award as the tournament’s top stopper across all 22 sides.
Team Premier made it through to the Plate final thanks to a 2-1 victory against Johnson & Johnson in the semi-final, while ABCDE FC earned its place in that ultimate match through a 3-1 win against the HP Dragons.
All the teams played a minimum of 13 matches spread over eight weeks and the seven-a-side tournament took place under floodlights on the grass and artificial outdoor pitches of Dubai Sports City’s Sports Village.
That is within sight of the office of former Real Madrid and Spain legend Michel Salgado, now the Director of Spanish Soccer Schools, the Dubai Sports City coaching programme for five to 16 year-olds that already has well over 1000 children enrolled in just its second year of operation.