DUBAI // The heavy winds that have battered Dubai over the past week have died down, to the relief of those preparing to fly some of Asia's biggest and most elaborate kites on Friday.
About 10,000 people are expected to visit the Dubai Outlet Mall for the International Kite Festival Dubai, the only event of its kind in the GCC.
"The skies will become a very colourful sight with kites of every shape and size taking to the air," said organiser Uttam Kumar.
This year visitors will see kite-flying teams from Kuwait, Sri Lanka and two Indian teams, from Kerala and Mangalore.
"This is a hugely popular hobby in the subcontinent and it's the kind of thing anyone can get into," said Mr Kumar. "I can promise people an amazing display of some stunning kite designs."
The international teams will also hold workshops for visitors on how to design, build and fly their own kites.
"We will also have a DJ playing all day and there will also be drumming workshops, among many other things," said Mr Kumar.
As well as the kite flying there will be numerous stalls for people to buy and fly a kite if they do not want to build one themselves.
"One of the great things about kites is that for many people it's their own creations," said Mr Kumar.
"When you design and build something that you can then take out and fly, that is very thrilling. It takes real skill and takes dedication to get good at it.
"Hopefully we will see a few of the younger visitors be inspired to take up the hobby."
Pankaj Chauhan, from India, visited the festival last year is looking forward to attending again.
"I used to fly kites back in India but haven't done so since I moved to Dubai," Mr Chauhan said.
"I'm looking forward to talking to the international teams to get advice on how to build a good kite."
The experts' workshop for kite construction and techniques to improve designs will be between 10.30am and 11.30am.
There will also be a children's play area and a food court, as well as an entertainment corner featuring music and dance. The event runs from 10am to 6pm.
Tickets cost Dh80 for families, Dh50 for couples and Dh30 a person. Entry for those under 15 is free.