Your UAE weekend: Emirates Palace Invitational Summer Match Race

Dazzling host to stylish nautical events, sailing regattas and dock celebrations, Emirates Palace Marina is a luxury hub for watersport and yachting enthusiasts and adventurers, as well as for those just looking to take in a breathtaking view.

It has hosted such prestigious events as the Abu Dhabi Sailing Regatta, the Volvo Ocean Race (official host port for spectator boats), the DOSC Dubai-Abu Dhabi Offshore race, and the Abu Dhabi Cup, to name a few.

If you’re a serious yacht enthusiast, or just looking for a fun day out, register your interest now for this weekend’s season-ending racing event, the Emirates Palace Invitational Summer Match Race (Friday 17 and Saturday 18 May).

This is a free-to-attend boat meet and celebration of all that was achieved over a bustling sailing season in the capital, and all the region’s top sailors, including Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s Emirati star Adil Khaled, will be in attendance, with five teams actually competing for top honours.

“On Friday and Saturday we are hosting the first Emirates Palace Invitational match race,” said Captain Toby Haws, the marina’s manager. “Basically, the top sailing club teams in the UAE are invited to race in a competition sailed on identical boats in the bay in front of Emirates Palace.

“It is the simplest form of sailing competition as the format is the same as 5-a-side football – all teams race each other and the winner is the one who has the most wins.

“There will be teams from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, among them Adil Khaled, the Volvo Ocean Race sailor,” he added. “This is an amateur competition, but expected to be intense and forcely fought over.”

The action gets underway from 14:00 each day but stick around because once the sun starts to set, that’s when the festivities are only just warming up. There will be a spectator boat on hand for interested guests to get a better look at the action.

Also, by simply attending, you get access to the post-race Sailor BBQ and party in the marina on the Friday night. Prizegiving will take place on the Saturday at 17:30.

Haws concluded: “The concept is that there will be several ‘Invitational’ competitions throughout the year, some amateur and some professional, particularly leading up to the Volvo Ocean Race 2014. So watch this space!”

All Visitors to Emirates Palace Marina will require a security entry form, which is available on their website www.emiratespalacemarine. ae. Just fill in the details and the team will be in touch to arrange your visit. Otherwise, for more information, call the Capitainerie on 02 690 7725.


WHAT: Emirates Palace Invitational Summer Match Race
WHEN: Friday 17 and Saturday 18 May, from 14:00
COST: Free. Just make sure to register to your interest to management before arriving because you will be checked at security
AGES: All ages welcome
Sport360 VERDICT: All the marine clubs are throwing season-ending races and celebrations but none will be like the one at the Emirates Palace Marina. It is the yachting extension of the Palace, after all.
CONTACT: 02 690 7725 or write to


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