There is no shortage of top sporting events in the Emirates and here’s our one-stop diary of everything that’s going on — welcome to our weekly feature, What’s Up UAE.
With it being UAE National Day this weekend, on Friday December 1, get in the spirit of celebrating the nation's 46th birthday.
Are you attending or participating in one of the following events?
His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai International Marine Club, led a star-studded line-up for the start of the Dubai Sports Council’s DXB 24HR Walkathon on Thursday morning, as hundreds of enthusiastic hoi polloi mingled with top Dubai Government officials and Emirati celebrities at the second edition of this unique community-focused event.
Sheikh Mansoor was joined at the 7.30am start by His Excellency Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council (DSC); Major-General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police; Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of the Department of Naturalisation and Residency Dubai (DNRD); and Major General Obaid Muhair Bin Suroor, Deputy Director General of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) Dubai and Chairman of the Standing Committee for Labour Affairs.
Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), was also there at the starting line-up along with a number of other chiefs of Dubai Government entities.
Major General Mohammed Saeed Al Marri, Director of Community Happiness at Dubai Police, Marwan bin Ghalita, President of the UAE Football Association, and Emirati CEO and celebrities like Mr Khalaf Al Habtoor, Sultan Bin Mejren, Fayez Al Saeed and Faisal Al Jassim also took part in the Walkathon.
“We thank all the participants from the different government and private entities, and, of course, the individual participants, because together, they make this Dubai 24 Hour Walkathon a truly unique event on your sporting calendar,” said Nasser Al Rahma, the Assistant Secretary General of DSC.
“The Walkathon is a celebration of our diversity, because today we have seen participants from many different countries, including visiting holidaymakers, from different age groups and different strata of society.
“We are really pleased to see this, because that is our focus – to bring the different sections of the community for a day of healthy fun.
“With the guidance and support of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai Government and Dubai Sports Council, Dubai has become a truly vibrant place, challenging and encouraging everyone to take up regular physical activity.
بمشاركة سمو الشيخ منصور بن محمد بن راشد آل مكتوم، انطلقت اليوم مسيرة دبي للمشي 24 ساعة
HH Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum kicked off #DXB24HRWalkathon this morning pic.twitter.com/Z0EfaQH3J6
— Dubai Sports Council (@DubaiSC) November 23, 2017
“Dubai today is a model for other cities on how to encourage its diverse population to adopt sports, or any other physical activity, as part of their daily routine, especially after this overwhelming success of the Dubai Fitness Challenge 30×30, and this Walkathon aims to keep that positive image going.”
Around 2,000 people took part in the second DXB 24HR Walkathon, which will finish at 7.30am on Friday after four loops of a dedicated 25km route past some of Dubai’s most iconic landmarks, including the Dubai Canal.
Starting from behind Sunset Mall, the participants walked down the Beach Road to Burj Al Arab before making a U-turn.
The route then took them down to the edge of Dubai Canal, into Al Safa Park and then to Marasi Business Bay, from where they turned back for the Sunset Mall.
The UAE Jiu-Jitsu national team flew from Abu Dhabi to the Colombian capital of Bogotá on Tuesday to participate in the Jiu-Jitsu World Championships.
Organised by the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation (JJIF), the World Championship will be held from November 23-27.
The UAE national team features four players in different weight categories — Faisal Al Ketbi in 94kg, Obaid Al Nuaimi in 56kg; Saeed Al Mazrouei in 62kg, and Saood Al Hammadi in 77kg.
Yousuf Al Balooshi, director of the technical department at the UAE Jiu-jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) and the delegation president has accompanied the team along with Ramon Lemos, director of training at the UAEJJF.
UAEJJF had recently held a training session for national team players, in which international experts participated to help enhance the team’s fitness prior to their participation in the World Championship.
By winning medals consistently in tournaments that test its athletes against the world’s best players, UAEJJF aims to highlight its leading global position to the future generations and gain international expertise.
“The national team’s participation comes as a continuation of a series of remarkable achievements from previous world championships. The World Championship in Colombia is one of the biggest challenges our team will face. Everything that our players have been through in previous championships was in preparation for this historical opportunity to raise the UAE’s name high in the most important international arena,” said Al Balooshi.
“Our ambition is to win. Our goal is to increase the UAE’s international presence in this sport and our spirits are at the highest thanks to the international experience we have gained from previous international, continental and local championships.”
One of the most prominent players in this tournament, world champion Faisal Al Ketbi confirmed that the team are ready to achieve their best results , stating: “My team-mates and I are completely aware of our responsibility in this championship, which we consider the most important challenge in the current season.
“We also consider ourselves fortunate to be able to participate and are aware of the hopes of the nation. We welcome the opportunity to raise our beloved nation’s flag high in this world championship.
“We will go above and beyond to make it to the podium in order to give back to our beloved homeland and repay the generosity, even though a small fraction, of what our leaders and Sheikhs bestow upon us.
“UAEJJF’s aim has been to be number one since its establishment. Hence, we will intensify our efforts to keep that promise and present our nation with the gift of victory through this great event. We want to reach the podium so that the national anthem of our beloved country is heard by everyone.”
The national team has kept a busy international calendar this season with several international participations that began with the Asian edition of the World Beach tournament in Pattaya, Thailand, followed by the World Games in Poland at the end of the same month where Al Ketbi won the gold medal.
This was followed by the Asian Jiu-Jitsu Championship in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi, the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, U15 World Cup in Montenegro, the team’s first participation in the Rio De Janeiro edition of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, which took place from November 10-12.
They will end this month with their current participation in the World Championship and finally the World Beach Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Cartagena, Colombia on November 30.