Sep 13, 2008

Setting sail with gusto

Abu Dhabi: To say that sailing is a popular sport in the UAE, is to state the obvious.Thanks to the country's beautiful beaches and top-class facilities, sailing enthusiasts can enjoy a great day out in the water. Sailing, as a sport, is indeed thriving in the UAE. Becoming a member of a sailing club gives you access to the equipment, activities, events - and the sea. Sailing clubs are scattered around the emirates and offer a wide variety of watersport activities such as windsurfing, kayaking and parasailing. In addition, one can enjoy jet ski in selected clubs and areas designated for the sport.

One of the oldest sailing clubs in the UAE is the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club (DOSC), launched in 1974. From a humble beginning - when all the club had were an icebox, a barrasti shade on the beach and a few boats - it has grown and developed into one of the main sailing centres in the emirates.

Non-profit body

The unique thing about the DOSC is that it is a non-profit organisation whose principal aim is to provide opportunities to sailors of all nationalities.

There are many sailing opportunities to choose from, no matter whether you are a beginner or a seasoned sailor.

If you happen to be a beginner and wish to learn the basics of the sport, you can walk into the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Training Centre, where qualified instructors will guide you through the various routines associated with the sport.

On the other hand, if you are a qualified sailor, you can sign up for the DOSC's dinghy or cruiser. The club also conducts several sailing competitions.

Another very useful club is the Jebel Ali Sailing Club (JASC) which is affiliated to the Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) - the emirate's watersports headquarters.

The Abu Dhabi Sailing Club is another interesting establishment. Founded in the 1960s, the club is a great venue for sailing enthusiasts. Experienced sailors can test their skills against a variety of winds and tides that the Arabian Gulf throws up.

The UAQ Tourist Club in Sharjah's Flamingo Beach Resort is situated in the old part of the town, on the lagoon. It offers sailing in all types of boats, including catamarans, glass-bottomed boats for viewing the coral reefs and a dhow for sea trips.

Hotels and beach clubs throughout the UAE also provide recreational sailing for visitors.

Places to go sailing

Dubai Offshore Sailing Club

P.O. Box 11881
Dubai
Fax: 04 394 1596
Tel: 04 394 1669
Website: http://dosc.ae/

Jebel Ali Sailing Club
Jebel Ali
Dubai Marina
Tel: 04 399 5444
Dubai International Marine Club
Tel: 04 399 4111
Website:
www.dimc-uae.com/english

Abu Dhabi Sailing Club — Mina Sadiyat
P.O. Box 658
Abu Dhabi
Telephone: 02 673 1111
Fax: 02 673 1113
Website:
www.abudhabisailing.com

Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club
Tel: 02 681 5566
Website: www.adsmf.com

UAQ Tourist Club Sharjah
The Flamingo Beach Resort
Tel: 06 767 0000
Website:
www.flaming1@emirates.net.ae

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