ABU DHABI // The fastest tray-carrier in the Arabian Gulf - that's the proud boast of Zimbabwean Future Ngeenya.
The 24-year-old won the second annual waiters' races in Zayed Sports City yesterday.
Staff of all nationalities from across the city's hotels came together to battle it out. The winner got free Etihad Airways flights to anywhere in the world, except the US and Australia.
Mr Ngeenya completed the 50-metre dash with two glasses of water and a bottle of water ahead of all other competitors.
"My boss said I had the potential to compete and I really went for it," he said.
Mena Al Hamy, from the One to One on Salam Street, who won the obstacle race, had to run over tyres, step over a rope a half-metre high then run around three traffic cones before retracing his steps.
"I was here last year and I knew what to expect, so I was training hard for the last few weeks," the 28-year-old Egyptian said.
Mr Al Hamy said that, in his hotel, he worked in a large bar, so running around with a tray full of drinks was second nature to him.
Female counterparts Carolann Remo, from Le Meridien, won the straight race, while Gloria Theresa George, from the Ritz Carlton, managed the best time in the female obstacle race.
The waiters raced in pairs but the challenge was, ultimately, against the clock. Prizes were also given to second and third placed contestants and there were male and female relay teams.