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Interest on Traditional Sports Soaring in UAE

07 October 2014 | Dubai

Sports have the unique power of rejuvenation of the mind by promoting health and being entertainment for those who love the game. Traditional sports in UAE go back to its unique tract of land and stamina of the ethnic people.

Roots in History

The Emirates provides the perfect backdrop with its golden desert sands and dunes to foster all traditional sports especially those associated with camels and horses. People are tremendously enthusiastic in all kinds of traditional sports despite the inroads of modernity in the urban life.

People gather in packed crowds to watch all kinds of traditional sports. Some of the most famous traditional sports in UAE are:

• Camel racing

• Equestrianism

Golf and F1 might be fascinating to the elite and affluent tourists, yet the appeal of traditional sports has not diminished in the hearts of the Arab people.

Camel Racing

Camel Racing is a traditional Arab sport and intertwined with the lives of the natives. Omani and Sudania are the special types of camels used in racing. In the past camel racing was part of private events like weddings, the sport became formal over the decades. Today customized race tracks are not rare. There is even a sophisticated 15 race track specially set up to host camel racing with high tech facilities. The most famous race tracks include Nad Al Sheba Racecourse and Al Wathba Dhabi.

Camel Racing - Traditional Sports in UAE

Horse Racing

In the Emirates, Horse Racing is recreation as well as sports and an essential part of the Arabian life. The Arabian horses are one of the best horse breeds. Many horse racing tournaments are also held in the city. The essential equipment for equestrian sports is made available by the clubs. Dubai also hosts the world famous Dubai World Cup in racing. The Meydan race course of Dubai is one of the largest of its kind.

Horse Racing - Traditional Sports in UAE

Endurance Riding

The sturdy Arabian horses can easily sustain the hard terrain of the Gulf region by racing long distances with utmost endurance. This sport has to abide by many rigid rules and there are always tough courses.

Boat Racing

Boat racing is deeply connected to the psyche of Arab life, it is common in the months spanning between October and April. Dhows with huge rigs are specially built and there is exciting competitions. In December, the race held at the Mubarraz Island marine sports festival, promotes this heritage sport in a big way.

Dhow Sailing

In Dubai, Dhow sailing attracts tourists along the Dubai Creek. During winter Dhow sailing competitions are common along the Sir Bu Nuair Island.

Dhow Sailing - Traditional Sports in UAE


Falconry is yet another traditional sport with a legacy of some 2000 years. This privileged sport belonged to the rich Sheikhs. Falconry has come of age and a great deal of patience is required to train the bird to extract its skills. The Emirates Bird Society is doing a great job by making efforts to save and raise public awareness about this endangered species.

Falconry Dubai - Traditional Sports in UAE

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