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Countdown begins for the fifth Dragon Boat Festival at Festival Marina Dubai Festival City

Countdown begins for the fifth Dragon Boat Festival at Festival Marina Dubai Festival City

Thrill-seekers are being encouraged to join and celebrate all the fun of the fifth year of the popular Dubai Festival City Dragon Boat Festival, one of the city’s favourite events which takes place in Dubai Festival City.

The festival attracts thousands of competitors and spectators with teams ready to line up for an action-packed weekend on April 6-7 and brings together corporate, university, school and community groups from across the UAE so be sure to mark it in your diary! The event is hosted by Festival Centre, the UAE Dragon Boat Association, Siren Events, UAE Sailing and Rowing Federation, and Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City, in association with Mourjan Marinas IGY, the luxury marina developer and management company.

Full of entertainment for all of the family, the festival includes DJs, a kid’s corner and a whole host of other activities for everyone’s enjoyment. McDonalds is offering face painting and colouring activities for children, Toys R Us Mascot “Jeffrey” will make special appearances across the weekend and Welcare Medical Clinic will be offering health checkups in conjunction with World Health Day which falls on the same weekend as the event.

One of the leading teams in the region is the ‘Steelcraft Dragons’ who are looking to taste glory in Dubai. Captain Mohammed Al Mulla is an Emirati national student who has been paddling for over five years and led his team to the top eight at the 2010 World Championships. They will be joined by international teams, such as the American Dragons of Singapore and local teams including Abu Dhabi Mar, Daman Dragons, Tenaris Steel Dragons, NYU Abu Dhabi, Xpert Learning and many more.

Jason Mackenzie, Technical Director of the UAE Dragon Boat Association, said: “This is our fifth year and it is becoming more popular year after year. It is a fantastic sport that brings the whole family together for a day of excitement. We encourage everyone to come join us for a great couple of days at one of Dubai’s favourite water sports events.”


Dragon Boating is a thrilling water sport full of adrenaline, sportsmanship, strategy and technique. It’s a true celebration of camaraderie, self-confidence, healthy and active living combined with the spirit of team work!

Bernice Boshoff, General Manager of Festival Centre, said: “We are very excited to be hosting the fifth annual Dubai Festival City Dragon Boating Festival this April. We are looking forward to welcoming back the UAE Dragon Boating competitors to Festival Marina for what promises to be a fun filled weekend, with activities both on and off the water. Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of this wonderful community.”

A Belgian Garden Cafe will be organized by the Belgian Beer Cafe at Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City during the two days of the festival, with premium Belgian beverages and delicious hearty food on offer. The Dragon Boat after-race party will be hosted at the Belgian Garden Cafe on Friday 6th April.

Yannis Anagnostakis, Area General Manager at InterContinental Hotels Group Dubai Festival City, said: “It is a pleasure for us to be involved in events that support the community and we’re sure the Belgian Garden Café will provide a chance for everyone to come together and enjoy this special day.”

Matthew Bate, Director of Operations for Mourjan Marinas IGY, the operator of Festival Marina said: “This is our fifth year and we are very proud of this event and its growing popularity within our community. We are honoured to have the opportunity to play a positive role in our community through a great festival such as the Dragon Boat race.”

Festival Marina is a unique yachting destination in Dubai. Located at the heart of Dubai Festival City, on the banks of historic Dubai Creek, Festival Marina forms part of the retail resort Festival Centre and Marina Restaurant Pavilion that offers convenient access to the wider range of entertainment, shopping and eating options overlooking the Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road skyline and creek.

The Mediterranean inspired Festival Marina encompasses 74 permanent berths with state-of-the-art facilities to accommodate 15 to 35 metre yachts. The custom-designed marina has a number of special features including extra wide pontoons, a helicopter pad and WiFi.

Overlooking Festival Marina, Festival Centre has become a major attraction for the yachting circuit. The retail resort is home to over 370 shops and 85 restaurants and cafés, a 12 screen Grand Festival Cinemas complex and Bowling City. The waterfront façade stretches along the Festival Marina and Festival Promenade and links them to the world renowned InterContinental and Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City and Events Centre, all with prime waterfront views over Dubai Creek and the city’s skyline.