Sheikh Saeed bin Saqr Al Qassimi, Deputy Chairman of Sharjah Ruler’s Office, formally inaugurated the Powerboat Championship and accompanying cultural festival and games and entertainment that will run up to March 31. He was accompanied by HE Saeed Allay Al Naqbi, Chairman of Khorfakkan Municipality.
HE Mohamed Ali Al Noman, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, received the dignitaries and briefed them on the first H20 Nations Cup Powerboat championship and the events and activities during the four-day fun and games extravaganza.
Later Al Noman and the guests went around the event area to inspect the arrangements for the F1H20 powerboat championship being held in Khorfakkan and the region for the first time. Some of the exciting fair and activities on offer at the Games Village include a fire and light shows, archery, magic shows, night bazaar, mini zoo, redemption games and arts and crafts etc.
Speaking on the occasion, SCTDA Chairman Al Noman expressed confidence that the high-profile powerboat championship and accompanying events were part of Sharjah’s efforts to focus on the East Coast and tap its massive tourism and economic development potential. “Already, thanks to its rugged landscape and great beaches and mountains, Khorfakkan and the East Coast are extremely popular with both residents and tourists. The Khorfakkan port has been hosting major cruiseliners and over the past year or so, nearly 50,000 cruise passengers stopped over in the city. But it’s still like virgin territory and potential and possibilities are infinite,” he said. This is also an effort to highlight the cultural heritage of the emirate and national identity, he added.
Meanwhile earlier today (Thursday, March 29) international powerboat championship teams practised and held two match races in the pristine waters of the Khorfakkan bay while thousands of spectators watched from the beach.
Seven international teams (two drivers each) are in the fray for the crown with the UAE, which won the 2011 Nations cup held in Singapore defending its title. Qatar, Malaysia, Brunei, Finland, South Africa and Brazil are the other teams taking part in the Championship on Friday, March 30th.
The cultural festival and other accompanying events will continue till Saturday, which have been attracting unprecedented crowds with families and young people taking advantage of school break. Friday is expected to be the big day with thousands of residents and foreign tourists travelling to the coastal city during the weekend for the sports and entertainment spectacle.
The H20 Nations Cup is a proud addition to Sharjah’s celebrated calendar of events and festivals such as the Sharjah Water Festival and Sharjah Light Festival etc. Khorfakkan itself had hosted the President’s Cup powerboat championship in 2005.
The SCTDA, which is hosting the Nations Cup, has set up a modern and well equipped media centre on the beach for the local and international media covering the championship.
Thursday, March 29- 2012 @ 13:58 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.