Most popular traditional sports in UAE

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Published: October 4, 2019

The United Arab Emirates is truly a magnificent place – especially when seen through the eyes of foreigners. And what those foreigners, as well as the UAE natives, love most about this place is its vast tradition. When it comes to sports, that tradition is more than a unique one. True, it’s becoming more popular to hire Dubai football or basketball trainers for your kids, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t reflect on the most popular traditional sports in UAE. It’s good to forget about the modern world from time to time and reflect on our heritage. And these sports are just that! Besides, you are about to see that they can be as fun as modern-day sports, if not more so.

Camel racing is one of the most popular traditional sports in the UAE

Admit it – just how interesting does camel racing sound? This sport has served as a form of entertainment throughout Abu Dhabi’s development and it has remained popular to this day. Granted, you might have a huge problem finding a personal trainer Dubai based who will teach you all the peculiarities of this sport. But you will be able to find more than enough places and opportunities to practice it.

People on camels in the desert.
Does seeing camel racing sound fun? Here’s when and where to do it.

There are as many as 14,000 racing camels and 15 camel racetracks scattered around UAE. If you want to catch a race, you can do it in mornings and afternoons from October to April. That’s when the racing season is in full effect. The camels race up to 4km and 10km with their owners or trainers driving beside them in off-road vehicles. And did you know that if you catch the morning show you might be able to watch camels which are owned by royalty? These races are usually linked to extravagance and a big cash prize for the winner of the race. If you ask us, that sounds like the definition of a good time.

Free-diving is a sport you want to partake in while being aware of safety

Did you know that the champion of the Fazza Freediving Championship has held his breath for 11 minutes and 54 seconds underwater? To give you an idea of just how incredible of a feat this is, why don’t you try holding your breath for 30 seconds? Chances are that by the end of it, you will be gasping for air. Luckily, if you want to free-dive in UAE, you can do it safely by taking courses from certified trainers that target beginners. And the benefits of doing this cannot be overstated. True, free-diving may not be the best exercise to lose weight, and it might not be the perfect routine for toning your body. But it’s one of the best sports out there that will help you see the mental strength you have, as well as help you become one with nature.

Wondering what makes free-diving one of the most traditional sports in UAE? In the long-gone days, the UAE divers risked their lives in search of pearls. Those pearls were at one point the main source of income for the Emirates. After months on the open sea, divers would dive down as much as 30 meters for 3 minutes at a time, multiple times a day. You can imagine how that routine helped them have a pretty good lung capacity! Today, the Fazza Freediving Championship has been created to salute the traditional ways of diving in the UAE as well as provide some fun for the spectators.

Diving - one of the most popular traditional sports in UAE.
Free-diving is great both for those who participate and those who spectate.

Equestrian sports are among the most popular traditional sports in UAE

And they are actually becoming a mix of traditional and modern. Plenty of people have become a regular at horse races, whether as spectators or participants. Of course, equestrianism isn’t a sport you’ll want to take up when you start exercising for the very first time. It takes a lot of skill, training, and strength to become good at equestrian sports. Especially when you take into account the fact that they can be very dangerous.

Still, that doesn’t take away from the fact that equestrianism is a traditional sport in the UAE. There are dozens of riding clubs all over the UAE. Also, there is even a 160km race that takes place in Dubai. All of this just so that the deep and profound love for this group of sports could be shown!

Shooting can be a safe sport when done in a controlled environment

There was a lot of worldwide controversy about guns and gun-safety lately. That’s why it might be a bit weird to hear that shooting is one of the most popular and traditional sports in the United Arab Emirates. However, shooting is a completely safe sport when all the necessary measures of precaution are taken and when everyone is behaving responsibly. And with all the amazing sporting events in Dubai, it would have been a surprise if at least one of them didn’t have something to do with the shooting range. And there is one we are sure all females reading this will love.

A woman holding a rifle in a shooting range.
Shooting can be a great sport for both males and females. So what’s stopping you?

The Fazza Championship for Saktoun Rifle Shooting is just the one we are talking about. The goal of this tournament is to attract women who are interested in shooting – one of the most traditional sports in UAE. This tournament tries to attract new talent and turn that young and raw talent into future champions. You can say whatever you want. But you can’t say that the UAE doesn’t invest a lot of funds into its young talent. If you are interested in shooting, all you have to do is look for the closest shooting range. There are a lot of them spread all over the Emirates. All you have to do is show that you are taking this seriously. It is a serious and responsible sport, so you should act accordingly, as well!

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