Aselefech Mergia and Tamirat Tola headline strong Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon field

Nick Watkins 22/01/2018
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2017 winners: Tola and Degefa

Leading marathon runners Aselefech Mergia and Mare Dibaba are just some of the stars lining up for this weekend’s Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.

Mergia, who celebrates her 33rd birthday on Tuesday, is the one to beat, having won the UAE’s flagship race three times, setting course records in the process, with an impressive time of 2:19:31. This will be her first Dubai Marathon since her last victory back in 2015.

Challenging her is defending world champion and Olympic bronze medallist Worknesh Degefa, who will be relishing the battle for the $200,000 first prize. Competition between the two should be fierce with Mergia and Dibaba boasting personal bests of 2:19:31 and 2:19:52 respectively.

Mapped out: The 2018 route

Mapped out: The 2018 route.

In the men’s race, defending champion Tamirat Tola will be leading the way in a field of runners who will all be looking to beat his record time of 2:04:11, set at last year’s event. Over 30,000 other competitors will be joining the Ethiopian runners along the 42.195km route.

Tola’s victory last year was the 10th fastest marathon time ever recorded.

“It’s a great compliment to Dubai that Tamirat has decided to run in January and not compete in the London Marathon in April,” said Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon race director Peter Connerton. “He is a wonderful young talent and at 26 has many great years ahead of him, which is why so many race directors would like him in their line-up. The fact he believes he can attack our course again in January and secure yet another personal best can only be good for the event.”

Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and staged under the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council, the Marathon will be run in conjunction with a 10km Road Race and a 4km Fun Run.

Fans looking to attend the event are urged to get to take their seats early with prime viewing locations along Jumeirah Beach Road on offer, easily accessible from Al Wasl Road direction. There will also be two grandstands at the finish area with free seating on a first-come first-served basis. Spectators can track a particular runner using the participant’s race number by logging on dubaimarathon.org. Parking for the event is extremely limited and public transport is advised.

WHAT: Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon
WHERE: Start and finish by Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim Road.
WHEN: January 26. Start Times: 6:00am – Marathon Wheelchair & Elites. 7.00am Marathon Masses. 9:00am – 10km Road Race for Men & Women. 11:00am – 4km Fun Run for Men & Women
CONTACT: For more information visit dubaimarathon.org.

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UAE’s cycling community set to gather for Ras Al Khaimah’s returning three-course cycling event

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Cycling event: RakBank Ride

The UAE’s cycling community is set to gather once again to tackle three challenging courses in the  popular Ras Al Khaimah cycling event, Rakbank Ride on Friday.

Ideal for cyclists of any ability, the courses are designed for those looking for a bit of fun or those looking to test themselves in tough terrain.

Experienced cyclists can tackle the 85km or 30km tracks, while those seeking an easier ride have the option of the 10km ride.

RAKBANK Ride Ad

Peter England, RAKBANK CEO, said of the event: “The ride aims to promote the sport of cycling, a healthy and active lifestyle, as well as to showcase the most mountainous landscapes in the emirate. We at RAKBANK believe in the value of getting office employees away from their desks for team bonding exercises as a healthy body leads to a healthy mind.”

The RAK police, who are fully supportive of the event, will close roads, ensuring riders are safe on all the courses. The events begin outside the 5-star Double Tree by Hilton Hotel in Al Marjan Island, where there will also be a race village in the restaurant complex. Riders can enjoy the post-race buffet free of charge within the Race Village.

85km RAKBANK Ride

Distance: 85 km
Start date: Fri. 19 Jan. 2018
Start time: 07:00
Start/finish location: Marjan Island Hilton Double Tree, Ras Al Khaimah
Cut-off: 3h 30m
Age categories: 16-18, 19-39, 40-49, 50-99
Price: Dh250

Please note: Only road bikes, without Time Trial and Aero Bars, are allowed for this race. No helmet, no ride

30 km RAKBANK Ride

Distance: 30 km
Start date: Fri. 19 Jan. 2018
Start time: 07:05
Start/finish location: Marjan Island Hilton Double Tree, Ras Al Khaimah
Cut-off: 2h
Age categories: 16-99
Price: Dh100

Please note: All types of bikes are allowed for this race. No helmet, no ride.

10 km RAKBANK Fun Ride

Distance: 10 km
Start date: Fri. 19 Jan. 2018
Start time: 07:10
Start/finish location: Marjan Island Hilton Double Tree, Ras Al Khaimah
Cut-off: 2h
Age categories: 6-99
Price: Dh50

Please note: All types of bikes are allowed for this fun ride. No helmet, no ride

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Upcoming polo attractions brought to you by Dubai Polo Gold Cup

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The Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series is almost upon us with the biggest event’s in the sport’s calendar kicking off at the end of the month.

Here’s some important dates for your diary:

McLaren Cup

First up: Super tournament

First up: Super tournament

An 18 Goal Handicap tournament, entering its ninth year under the Patronage of HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, the tournament is one of the highest ranked tournaments in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

McLaren Supercars showcases a range of luxury sport cars adding a great atmosphere and experience. This is considered the premier polo competition of the year, attracting VIPs, society figures, and senior corporate executives from across the GCC.

It is played under the banner of the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA).

WHEN: 26th January – 9th February 2018
WHERE: Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club
PRICING: AED150 /car for picnic parking during weekends (Friday and Saturday)
MORE INFO: dubaipologoldcup.com

Polo Masters Cup

Polo Masters: Huge trophy

Polo Masters: Huge trophy

The Polo Masters Cup is entering its third year is a medium tournament, with a 10-goal handicap. Passion, tradition and sporting elegance, a unique lifestyle symbolized are reflected in the Dubai Cup.

The tournament is played under the banner of the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA).

WHEN: 10th Feb – 15th Feb 2018
WHERE: Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club
PRICING: AED150 / car entry fee for picnic parking during weekends
MORE INFO: dubaipologoldcup.com

Julius Baer Gold Cup

Prestigious tournament: Julius Baer

Prestigious tournament: Julius Baer

Every year, this tournament gather royalties, celebrities, VIPs from the Dubai social scene and fans of the ‘sport of kings’ to a spectacular performance by the world’s best polo players competing for the Gold Cup trophy.

The final day of the Julius Baer Gold Cup is a celebration unlike any other, with top entertainment acts, VIP luncheons, The Gold Lounge party attracting celebrities, VIPs and special attendance by Royals.

In 2012, the Dubai Gold Cup Series was recognized by the World Polo Tour (WPT). In January 2014, the WPT committee announced that the Dubai Polo Gold Cup has enabled its importance worldwide as a tournament. Becoming the highest ranked tournament in points within the Challenge Cup category and awarding 50 points to the winners. 2015 marked the first time ever that the World Polo Tour (WPT) upgraded the Tournament from ‘Challenge Cup’ to the highly coveted ‘WPT Cup’ awarding 80 points to the winners.

WHEN: 16th Feb – 9th March 2018
WHERE: Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club
PRICING: Free entry during weekdays AED 150/ car picnic parking during weekends AED150 General Admission fee final day (March 9, 2018)
MORE INFO: dubaipologoldcup.com

Dubai Challenge Cup

Special event: Challenge Cup

Special event: Challenge Cup

The Dubai Challenge Cup is an 18-goal tournament, one of the highest-handicap tournaments in the region played at Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club. Under the umbrella of the Gold Cup Series. This popularly known tournament gathers VIPs, celebrities and other influential people worldwide.

The tournament is played under the banner of the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA).

WHEN: 14th March – 23st March 2018
WHERE: Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club
PRICING: Free entry during weekdays. AED100 / car for picnic parking during weekends
MORE INFO: dubaipologoldcup.com

Dubai Cup

Dubai Cup: Coming soon

Dubai Cup: Coming soon

The Dubai Cup is a medium 8-10 goal handicap tournament that started in 2015. The 5th edition of the tournament will be held at the Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club. The Dubai Cup is the last important tournament of the season that closes the Gold Cup series.

It is played under the banner of the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA).

WHEN: 6th April – 13th April 2018
WHERE: Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club
PRICING: Free entry during weekdays AED100 /car entry fee for picnic parking during weekends
MORE INFO: dubaipologoldcup.com

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