AL DHAFRA, 9th March, 2023 (WAM) — The 14th edition of the Al Dhafra Songkran Festival will be held tomorrow at Al Mughirah Beach, Al Dhafra, under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Representative of the Regional Ruler of Al Dhafra.
The Al Dhafra Songkran festival, organized by the Abu Dhabi Cultural Programs and Heritage Festivals Committee in conjunction with the Abu Dhabi Sea Sports Club, will run until March 19 in support of efforts to preserve the UAE’s maritime heritage.
Notably, this will be the first edition of the biggest Al Dhafra Songkran festival yet to take place. For the first time, Abu Dhabi will host the WingFoil Racing World Cup, a wind-powered water sports competition that combines kitesurfing and windsurfing. The competition is expected to attract over 50 local and international entrants vying for the top three. WingFoil is a rapidly emerging sport in which sailors stand on board and grab the wings. It creates an upward force and a sideways propulsion that moves the board through the water.
The festival also includes the Al Dhafra Kingfish Men’s and Women’s Championships, which will be held from March 10-13 and will be open to all countries in the men’s and women’s categories.
Competition registration is open until March 13th.
“Songkran in Al Dhafra embodies the directive of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to support heritage conservation projects and their sustainability in both material and moral terms,” Faris Khalaf, Commander-in-Chief of Al Dhafra Major General Al Mazrouei said. Chairman of Abu Dhabi Police and Cultural Programs and Heritage Festivals Committee – Abu Dhabi.
Al Mazrouei praised HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the ruler’s representative in the Al Dhafra area, for his sponsorship of the festival and his close attention to traditional maritime sports.
“HH Sheikh Hamdan’s astute observations of traditional maritime sports and activities highlight the history of the UAE’s coast and islands, helping to inspire future generations to practice the tradition in all its aspects and tones, and to familiarize the public with its terminology and vocabulary,” added Al Mazrouei.
Ahmed Thani Al Rumaithi, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of Abu Dhabi Sea Sports Club, said: “The multifaceted program of the festival, organized by the Abu Dhabi Cultural Programs and Heritage Festivals Committee in partnership with Abu Dhabi Sea Sports Club, will greatly promote several The renaissance of traditional sports.”
“The event aims to reinforce the authenticity of the heritage and its presence across generations. The 14th edition will feature a unique harmony between traditional and modern sport. We therefore expect a large number of skippers, sailors and competitors Participate in various competitions.”
Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamsi, Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer, AD Ports Group, said: “The Al Dhafra Songkran Festival revives the ancient civilization and cultural heritage of the people of the UAE and becomes a key destination to showcase various maritime sports.”
Obaid Khalfan Al Mazrouei, Director of Planning and Projects, Cultural Projects and Heritage Festival Committee, noted: “The festival offers participants and visitors a program of exciting activities and competitions for ten days. It features Tafrees traditional competitions; Marwah Traditional Dhow Regatta (43ft); Jenana Regatta (22ft); Al Mirfa Traditional Regatta; Open Kitesurfing and Paddleboarding; Al Dhafrah Regatta; Salahah Al Bwanish Regatta; Fishing Championships; Card Roma, dominoes; Ironman competitions; Live multi-sport events such as biking and running races; Abu Dhabi folk theater performances at the campsite, including concerts, fireworks and horse shows, and mobile fast food restaurants (Food Trucks), ’ he added.
Open daily from 4:00 to 10:00, the long-awaited event also includes Al Dhafra Souq, home to Bait Nokhza House; Children’s Village; Ethnic Dress Show; Cooking Competition; Traditional Handicraft Show; and Theatre, with daily competitions and prizes, and other activities suitable for different age groups.