x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Al Gharbia Watersports Festival expected to attract 90,000

The event is in its fourth year and is expected to help tourism in the region as well.

The fourth staging of the Al Gharbia Watersports Festival begins on Tuesday. 2011 continued for the fifth day on Al Mirfa city beaches with a great deal of excitement and celebration.
The fourth staging of the Al Gharbia Watersports Festival begins on Tuesday. 2011 continued for the fifth day on Al Mirfa city beaches with a great deal of excitement and celebration.

Kiteboarding, wakeboarding and surf ski kayaking are among the sports that will be on display when Al Gharbia, the western region of Abu Dhabi, hosts its fourth annual Watersports Festival.

The event, which runs from Tuesday until April 21, expects to also draw expert participants in sailing, both traditional and modern, and top teams competing in beach football and volleyball.

"The festival offers something for everyone, from live entertainment to exciting sporting competitions," Mohammed Hamad bin Azzan Al Mazrouei, the director general of the Western Region Development Council, said. "We have had great success in the past three years in terms of visitors."

He said the festival drew 70,000 visitors last year and officials expect more than 90,000 to attend this year.

"This festival is a combination of sports, adventure and holiday for the entire family and captures the spirit of the vision of Abu Dhabi 2030," Al Mazrouei said.

According to Jakub Szczesny, a kite surfing expert who is in charge of some of the events in the festival, the competitions consists of an open championship, one exclusively for the Emiratis and junior divisions.

"The objective is to provide as many winning opportunities as possible from the experts, locals and at the age group levels," he said.

Obaid Khalfan Al Mazrouei, the festival manager, said the event was to engage the residents to participate as well as to play an active role in promoting the region as a tourist destination.

"The Mirfa beach where the competitions take place is a stunning 350-kilometre beachfront and provides the perfect venue for an event of this nature," he said

apassela@thenational.ae

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