The fourth Dalma Traditional Sailing Festival held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative of the Al Dhafra region, takes place from May 19-22, as announced by the Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club.
The highlight of the festival is the 60-foot dhow race covering a distance of 80 nautical miles (125km) organised by the Abu Dhabi Culture and Heritage Festivals and Programs Management Committee in association with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council.
The festival, sponsored by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Al Masoud Motors and Dalma Cooperative Society.
The support for the now annual festival comes within the framework of the national companies’ keenness to support community events as well as encourage traditional marine traditions.
The festival is conducted in accordance with Covid-19 precautionary and safety protocols.
Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club will open registration for sailors from Thursday, April 29 and continue until May 9.
A prize fund of Dh25million is to be split among the first 100 boats to cross the finishing line. It is the biggest prize fund in the history of traditional sailing races.
The winner will receive Dh1.5million with the second and third set to pick up Dh1.1million and a car, and Dh900,000 plus a car, respectively.
The race flags off from Dalma Island and passes through Sir Baniyas, Ghasha, Umm Al Turcom, Al Fatayer, Al Bazm, Marawah and Janana before finishing at Al Mirfa city.
The climax of the race is the boats will sail across the 65km distance from the start between the islands of Al Bazm and Al Fatayer.
It is expected that the number of sailors present at the centre of the event will reach 120 teams from different parts of the country.
The festival has achieved unparalleled successes in its past three editions, in light of the support of the wise leadership of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's representative in the Al Dhafra region.
It previously gained a remarkable public presence that enriched the heritage village through the accompanying events on the historic Dalma Island, especially in the competitions for which a set of valuable prizes were allocated.
The festival has become a distinctive feature on the map of the marine heritage festivals. It is an occasion to revive and immortalise Emirati heritage, and to promote patriotism in the emerging generationsFaris Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Commander in Chief of Abu Dhabi Police and Chairman of the Cultural and Heritage Festivals and Programs Committee
His Excellency Major General Faris Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Commander in Chief of Abu Dhabi Police and Chairman of the Cultural and Heritage Festivals and Programs Committee, emphasised the importance of the festival to preserve traditions.
“The traditional Dalma Festival is a heritage painting that invites the citizens of the country to reflect on the values of the past, history, civilization, development and the achievements of the UAE over the past 50 years,” he said.
“To draw a bright future that combines the nobility of the past and the modernity of the present.”
Al Mazrouei explained that the festival stems from the approach of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, "may God rest his soul", and his eternal sayings continue to safeguard the UAE's cultural and heritage.
He applauded the directives of His Highness the UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, "may God protect him", and supported His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and the follow-up of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, representative of the ruler in the Dhafra region, "sponsor of the festival", to preserve the authentic customs and traditions, as well as passing these on to the next generations.
Al Mazrouei indicated that the festival has become a distinctive feature on the map of the marine heritage festivals.
“It is an occasion to revive and immortalise Emirati heritage, and to promote patriotism in the emerging generations,” he said.
“Additionally, the festival shines a light on Dalma Island and a number of Emirati islands in the Al Dhafra region in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, highlighting their historical value and natural beauty.”
We always learn from their Highnesses Sheikhs and we draw inspiration from them for love and love for everything related to the legacy of fathers and grandfathersAhmed Thani Murshid Al Rumaithi, Chairman of both Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club and the Higher Organizing Committee for the Race
His Excellency Ahmed Thani Murshid Al Rumaithi, Chairman of both Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club, and the Higher Organizing Committee for the Race, thanked the leadership of the country for their constant and continuous support for the various heritage events in general and the heritage marine sports in particular, stressing that support is the basis for the various successes achieved.
“Thank you, the people of loyalty,” he said. “Our leadership always sets an example and is an example in loyalty and belonging to the authentic national heritage.
“We always learn from their Highnesses Sheikhs and we draw inspiration from them for love and love for everything related to the legacy of fathers and grandfathers.”
Al Rumaithi thanked His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in the Al Dhafra Region, for his patronage and support for the historic Dalma Race Festival, stressing that his patronage will double the value of the event.