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  • 2024 event drew the largest participation of athletes from far and wide
  • A total of 51,000 male and female athletes have so far taken part in 88 different competitions since event commenced 11 years back
  • Volleyball expert Al Fardan hails growth and evolution of NAS competition

​DUBAI: The Dubai Sports Council extended its thanks and appreciation to the national bodies, institutions and companies sponsoring and backing the 11th Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament, which was organized under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, from March 11-31.

His Excellency Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of the Dubai Sports Council and Chairman of the Supreme Organizing Committee of the tournament, said: “We were keen to extend our thanks and appreciation to the sponsors and partners who supported the successful organizing of the largest tournament of its kind, which was launched under the guidance and support of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council.

“There was an euphoria of appreciation throughout the three weeks of this event, but especially at the closing ceremony of the tournament in front of a jam-packed hall as His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, honoured all the partners and sponsors from various government bodies, institutions and companies with mementos. It is a matter of pride that we had sponsors such as DAMAC Properties, DP World, Al Tayer Motors, Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Police, Dubai Ambulance Services Corporation, Dubai Media Incorporated, Dubai Health, Dubai Endowments, Tadawi Medical Complex, Mai Dubai and Pocari Sweat backing our efforts all the way during the course of this important event.

“It has always our belief at the Dubai Sports Council that a sound and fair co-operation with partners will not only ensure the success of such mega events, but also help us achieve our great goals at the sporting and societal levels,” H.E. Saeed Hareb noted.

He added: “The tournament once again confirmed its position and leadership through the participation of 7,149 male and female athletes of various nationalities, amateurs and professionals, who competed in nine different sporting disciplines including volleyball, padel, jiu-jitsu, fencing, wheelchair basketball, road running, cycling, obstacle challenge racing and tug-of-war. The obstacle challenge racing attracted some of the top names from the international scene, and it is their eagerness to compete here once again confirms our prowess of organizing top-quality events in Dubai. Such signs can only mean that we are headed in the right direction as our sponsors and partners believe in what we are doing in staging successful events throughout the season.”

HE Hareb was further appreciative of the backing and support given to the event by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan while instituting a total prize fund of AED 3.6 million. “The main aspect here is the idea of inclusion and engagement within communities. All sporting events were held in one vicinity, including the Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex or in the surrounding areas of Mohammed bin Rashid City or Meydan Racecourse or at the Dubai Club for People of Determination. And what is even more important for us is the close cooperation between partners and sponsors from various departments and institutions,” he remarked.

“One of the things considered by the Supreme Organizing Committee is how an event like this can be of benefit for our own home-grown athletes, who can get an opportunity to take the next step in their careers. I think we have more than managed this through the Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament. Such an event has also assisted in spreading the message of healthy living and a sporting lifestyle among the society we live in. There is an experience of health, vitality and happiness. It only provides the community with positive energy,” HE Hareb added.

The highlight of the tournament was the volleyball tournament that attracted some of the top international players from across the globe. “We were also keen to support the participating teams by honouring the sponsors of the volleyball teams and presenting them with the tournament shield in appreciation of their contribution to supporting participating teams. These international players blended well and teams were able to raise their level and help in the development of our own players for the sake of the national cause,” HE Hareb added.

Record attendance

It is worth noting that the Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament has so far witnessed the participation of more than 51,000 amateur and professional male and female athletes from the UAE and from across the world. These players have so far participated in 88 championships in various sports over the course of these past eleven editions of this tournament.

This event has witnessed great growth and there has been a significant increase in the number of participants each year. The first edition that was held in 2013 had more than 1,500 participants, while participation in the next one doubled to more than 3,000 participants. The third edition had more than 4,000, while the fourth had 5,000 participants. The sixth edition had 6,000 participants, and there were 7,000 participants in the seventh, while the eighth edition had a fall in the number of participants to 2,500 due to the pandemic.

There were more than 6,000 participations in the ninth edition and another 5,000 in the tenth edition, while the eleventh one that concluded last week witnessed a record 7,149 male and female athletes.

Al Fardan hails volleyball

Meanwhile, former Emirati volleyball star and now expert commentor Jaafar Al Fardan has hailed the development of the sport in the UAE due to the success of the volleyball competition held during the holy month of Ramadan.

“The competition is stiff and we get some of the best teams and players converging on to Dubai during this event. It may be safely stated that our national team has benefitted from such an event as our players get to learn from some of the best from across the world,” he said.

Al Fardan hoped that the young and old players of our UAE national teams, as well as the administrators and technicians of the clubs and federation would attend this tournament and draw some benefits from watching such standard of play.

“The tournament has developed over the years, thanks to the support of the organizing committee along with the handsome prizes offered to participating teams. This tournament has managed to gain global attention at all levels. The Italian Volleyball League that had its president attending the last two days of competition is hopeful of cooperating with the Dubai Sports Council for events in the future,” Al Fardan noted.

Posted by : GoDubai Editorial Team
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Posted on : Wednesday, April 3, 2024  
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