Sabatino Aracu, Ali Omar Al Balushi, Ahmed Al Khaja and another official during the press conference in Dubai on Thursday.
The Dubai Sports Council (DSC) on Thursday announced that two World Skate Tour events are returning to the UAE for a second successive year with back-to-back competitions at Dubai Harbour from Feb.25 until March 10.
Hosted by World Skate and Arada, the UAE-based master developer, alongside venue partner Shamal Holding and in collaboration with DSC and the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), this year’s tour events hold unparalleled significance for the world’s greatest skateboarders. In addition to competing for the title of world’s best, each competition will serve as a pivotal qualifier for the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris this summer.
Held under the patronage of Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of DSC, the Middle East’s debut professional skating event stages the Street Pro Tour Stop (February 25 – March 3) followed by the Park Pro Tour Stop (March 3-10).
The announcement came during an official press conference on Thursday, which took place at DSC offices with local, regional and international media in attendance.
Sabatino Aracu, President, World Skate, said: “The great sporting city of Dubai is the perfect backdrop for two weeks of truly world-class competition, and I am delighted that local fans will have an unique opportunity to see the planet’s top professionals up close. As the Road to Paris 2024 draws to a close, these two events provide the last opportunity to secure ranking points to qualify for the Olympics, so we expect that competition will be intense.”
Prince Khaled Bin Alwaleed bin Talal, Vice Chairman of Arada, said: “We’re delighted to bring the world’s best skaters back to the UAE, following on from a hugely successful event in 2023. It’s great to see the Middle East taking such a central role in what is one of the world’s fastest-growing sports, and we look forward to staging an event that hosts the very best in global talent.”
Ali Omar Al Balushi, Director of Sports Events Department at Dubai Sports Council, said: "We are delighted to host the announcement of the Pro Tour Stop Park and Street categories for men and women at Dubai Harbour from February 25th to March 10th. This championship is the largest of its kind and serves as the final qualifier for winners to participate in the Olympic Games in Paris this summer. The tournament is a significant addition to the list of sport events in the country, which contributes to sports tourism. Despite other international tournaments being organized in Dubai during the same period, this championship will attract athletic talent from around the world receiving considerable attention from local and international audiences."
He added: "The events are an excellent example of collaboration between various entities, organized by World Skate and hosted by Arada, in collaboration with the Dubai Sports Council and the Department of Economy and Tourism in Dubai. The popular Dubai Harbour district will be the venue for the global event, with the participation of over 500 elite athletes from various countries. We anticipate the presence of more than 3,500 people from outside the country, representing competitors, their coaches, families, and organizers from World Skate, as well as representatives from international media institutions covering and broadcasting the event to various parts of the world."
Ahmed Al Khaja, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment – Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism, commented: “Dubai is delighted to be the proud host of the World Skate Tour events for the first time, highlighting the city’s standing as an international events destination. This also aligns with the goals of the Dubai Economic Agenda, D33 launched by our visionary leadership to further consolidate Dubai’s status as one of the top three global cities for business and leisure. Bringing the World Skate Tour events to Dubai is also a testament to the continued support of our stakeholders and partners, as we work closely to support Dubai’s ambition to become the best city in the world to visit, live, and work in. We look forward to welcoming top skating talents and enthusiasts from around the world to experience the excitement of this global event, as well as the diversity of Dubai’s exceptional offering.”
Abdulla Binhabtoor, Chief Portfolio Management Officer at Shamal Holding, owner and curator of Dubai Harbour, said: “We look forward to welcoming skating champions from around the world to Dubai Harbour for the first time. Our venue offers a premier, vibrant and multifaceted seafront experience for events of all sizes and we are certain that the impressive tricks will be complemented by the backdrop of our iconic vista. We wish all the participating talent the best of luck in their pursuit of the extraordinary. "Both competitions, featuring the best over 500 male and female talent from across the globe, will be held at Dubai Harbour, an extraordinary seafront district, set against an iconic vista and designed for a maritime lifestyle.
The announcement follows the success of last year’s Park World Championships and Street World Championships held in Sharjah. Across two weeks of incredible competition, partners, brands and avid skating enthusiasts will unite for a world-class event where the spirit of competition comes alive.
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