- Inaugural Cultural-Sporting Event Marked UAE’s 40th National Day Gathering Emirati and Expat Community
The inaugural Emirati Endurance Pentathlon, a first of its kind heritage-sports, proved to be a huge success, attracting over 5,000 spectators from all over the UAE. Conceived to pay tribute to the founding fathers of the nation on the occasion of the 40th National Day, the event held at Dubai Creek Park on 25 November 2011 saw the Emirati and expat community coming together to celebrate the UAE’s foundation and development.
The event concluded with a ceremony recognizing all the seven teams as the Champions of this first ever pentathlon.
The day-long event, organized in collaboration with the Dubai Sports Council and Dubai Municipality’s Public Parks and Horticulture Department, featured seven teams contesting in five traditional Emirati sports and activities. Athletes and spectators alike thronged the competition area to enjoy the sporting events, entertainment acts and family attractions.
Among the famous UAE sportsmen who made an appearance at the competition were retired UAE national team football players Ismail Rashid of Dubai, and Salem Johar of Ajman, who led two of the seven teams, and set the stage for a vibrant display of enthusiasm and sportsmanship across throughout the five stage competition.
The pentathlon included the very authentic ‘Shoosh’ boat racing that required contestants to paddle over a distance of 600 meters; pearl diving to a depth of six meters to fetch a dummy pearl and once again rowing back to shore; palm tree climbing, symbolizing the date picking technique; archery, where one member of each team aimed at standing targets with bows and arrows. The race concluded with a 250 meters horse race.
Qualified sports professionals from Dubai Sports Council, Dubai First and Dubai Municipality oversaw and managed the competition, following stringent rules to crown the winning team.
Ibrahim Al Ansari, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai First, said: “We feel very privileged to have been able to host this landmark event, and are grateful to the sportsmen and families for their enthusiastic support to this event. I’d also like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the Dubai Sports Council for their commendable efforts and support in making this happen, and for the Dubai Municipality’s Public Parks and Horticulture Department for hosting the event at the wonderful Creek Park. We have enjoyed every moment of the high-energy day and are pleased to have created a social platform that revived traditional culture and we look forward to host another successful edition of the annual Emirati Endurance Pentathlon next year.”