JLL, the world’s leading real estate investment and advisory firm, in partnership with multi-sports events specialists, RACE.ME, is preparing to host the series climax later this month, in association with the Dubai Sports Council.
Hosted on the outskirts of the Emirate in the grounds of the stunning Jebel Ali Resorts and Hotels, the three-race-series has once again showcased JLL MENA’s commitment to being actively involved in the community whilst helping to drive the message of staying fit and healthy.
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Ahead of the eagerly-anticipated triathlon this month, Sport360’s resident runner Stuart Appleby caught up with Alan Robertson to discuss JLL’s renewed sponsorship and the race’s supreme progress in recent years.
Q) Triathlon is one of the world’s fastest growing and popular sports – as we’ve seen with the large number of people turning out for the JLL series. You must be pleased with its continued success?
A) The series is now more and more recognised on the calendar, people are talking about it and the continuity of the events is very important. The series has been sold-out throughout and we’re delighted with the levels of participation and interest. Our initial sponsorship was for three years and we’ve now renewed the agreement for another three years. We understand triathlon and we were very keen to keep this going, that’s why we were so keen to support the races when the opportunity came up initially.
We wanted to do a community event and a triathlon ticked lots of our boxes, and as a firm, it’s one that we have a relationship with – given a lot of staff take part in this particular series. Everyone from total novices to elite athletes, from juniors to super veterans – it’s really a great way of capturing a very wide portion of the market and a lot of competitors work for organisations that are clients and potential clients of JLL. Putting something back into the local area is what we were keen to do and it makes commercial sense too.
What is it about triathlon that appeals to JLL?
It’s got something for everyone and triathlon is one of those sports where a beginner can happily compete alongside an international athlete. It’s a sport where people can achieve their objectives together. The idea for the series initially came about through Tri-Dubai but they needed support to help get it off and running. I decided we’ll go for it and it’s been growing ever since.
I’m very keen we stay involved in the sport and for me it’s about giving back. I feel it is very easy for multinational companies to be regarded as slightly mercenary, coming in, doing the business and shipping the money back home before clearing off after a few years. But for JLL, when we open new offices and we have now been in Dubai for a decade, we do like to become embedded in the local community and triathlon is one way of doing that. It’s a good feeling for our employees and hopefully we get some respect and recognition for getting involved and doing it.
How are preparations going ahead of Race 3 at JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort, the finale to the series?
I would be very disappointed if we didn’t sell out. It’s the final event and it’s a popular time of the year to have it. This time around, we have an additional category for the real estate and construction industry. We are now beginning to market it to our competitors, clients and firms – so it’s great we have a number of people taking part from our industry.
Do you have any plans to expand the JLL Triathlon Series into other areas?
I would be happy to look at having JLL Triathlon Series in other cities and regions like Abu Dhabi or Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. We are always happy to look at new possibilities to get involved in other sports as well. For the time being, we have an excellent series of events in the UAE and we look forward to that continuing.
The series includes individual and team categories, with the Sprint Distance and Super Sprint Distance Triathlon offered in both. The Super Sprint includes a 375m swim, 10km bike ride and 2.5km run, whilst the more challenging Sprint Distance will see participants tackle a 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run.
The course includes swimming in the hotel’s beautiful sea starting from the beach area, before running through the hotel grounds to transition to the bike course, followed by the run which includes a new and technical 2.5km loop taking in the picturesque marina.
THERE’S STILL TIME TO REGISTER TOO!
The event was themed ‘Become a Desert Hero’ and the winners in each of the four categories – UTVs, ATVs and MX1 and MX2 motorcross bikes – proved worthy of the titles.
The time trials finals for UTV’s was won by Emarati racer Majid Al Miza, who came through a set of tough qualifiers to claim first place.
In the ATV class, Obaid Al Kitby, also from the UAE, held off stiff competition to clinch victory.
In the two quad bike categories, Ross James Rutherford won the MX1 class course and Matthew Burrows triumphed in MX2.
Winners of the three categories each received AED 10,000, second places were awarded AED 5,000 and those in third place won AED 3,000.
New and innovative water jet technology as well as a pioneering means of underwater travel based on a World War II design from Britain’s Naval Service will be among the many marine industry advances to capture the imagination of visitors to next month’s Dubai International Boat Show.
The popularity of hydroflight sports is growing as fast as the water jet propulsion that powers the high-flying technology, and Dubai International Marine Club will become a showground for the latest developments in the field from 28 February to 4 March.
Among the unrivalled international line-up of suppliers and manufacturers appearing at the 25th Dubai International Boat Show is Dubai-based Hydro Water Sports, founded in 2015 by seasoned water sports and diving instructor Captain Karim El-Gendy.
“Water jet technology has created a new generation of water sports, and hydro sports activities such as Flyboard, Jetpack, Hoverboard and Jetovator give enthusiasts the ultimate experience in learning to fly,” said El-Gandy.
“We’ve served 4,000 customers over the last two years and look forward to attending the Dubai International Boat Show again to meet marine industry experts from around the world who can help us grow our business.”
While hydroflight enthusiasts are flying high in the air, underwater submersibles are reaching new depths of the ocean up to 95 metres.
The Dubai International Boat Show will provide the perfect regional launch platform for a range of submersibles capable of allowing filmmakers, researchers, offshore and surveying companies and other sub-marine explorers to work at extreme depths.
Developed by Dutch manufacturer Ortega, the new three-seater, electric-powered Mk.1C, which can function both above and under water, was inspired by the “Sleeping Beauty”, a submarine that allowed British World War II marines to carry out clandestine reconnaissance as well as attacks against enemy vessels.
Using highly advanced modern naval technology, these submersible boats are futuristic, sleek and modern and are powered by specially developed batteries based on Tesla Motors technology, giving them a range of 80 nautical miles or 11 hours of full throttle operation.
“The goal of the Dubai International Boat Show is to provide a holistic experience that appeals to a wide variety of visitors, showcasing the latest developments in the marine industry,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Events Management, Dubai World Trade Centre.
“The show will feature a wide selection of outdoor adventures ideal for anyone who loves to be near or on the water. Our programme of live music at The Beach entertainment area is expected to be especially popular this year and the show will give visitors the opportunity to try out various water sports such as stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, and windsurfing.”
Dubai International Boat Show has long been the region’s premier stage for visitors to interact with the latest in marine sport. In keeping with the show’s mission to open visitors’ eyes to a new range of activities on the water, another attraction expected to wow visitors will be the Seabreacher Z – a dolphin shaped watercraft which allows riders to explore the ocean above and below the waves.
Developed over more than ten years of engineering and testing by New Zealander Rob Innes and his American partner Dan Piazza, founders of the Innespace, the Seabreacher series of hand-built watercrafts are designed to push the limits of what people can do in the water.
Each Seabreacher is a unique creation allowing customers to pick from an array of individualised options. The Dubai International Boat Show will see the launch of the dolphin shaped Seabreacher Z which features a fully retractable snorkel, allowing the pilot and a passenger to experience the thrill of high speed 360 degree barrel rolls, and jump 90° out of the water.
In addition to their submersibles, Seabreacher will also showcase their extensive line of watersport toys with displays of their daredevil machines the flyboard, Jetovator, Freedom flyer and the Shred Sled.
An entirely new class of boat is set to impress visitors of the show, offering customers an exclusive mode of transport on the water.
Kormaran, an Austria-based manufacturer founded by husband and wife Oliver and Jutta Kormann, will display their K7 First Edition for the first time in the region, and is backed by more than US$10mn of research and development.
The Kormaran K7’s unique design and world-first patented transformation technology allows it to seamlessly transform between catamaran, trimaran and hydrofoil configurations without sacrificing comfort, a first for the small-mid range luxury boat segment.
Seabreacher, Ortega, Hydro Water Sports, Kormaran and countless other marine industry exhibitors will share the show stage in Dubai with world’s leading luxury superyacht makers as well as an international assembly of more affordable leisure and fishing boat manufacturers, and key suppliers to the Middle East’s growing collection of marinas.
The 25th Dubai International Boat Show returns with support from the Dubai Maritime City Authority; VIP sponsor Feadship; supporting partner Panerai; and official car sponsor Mercedes-Benz (Gargash Enterprises).
To learn more about the event and register your attendance, please visit: http://www.boatshowdubai.com/