Dubai: Organisers are eyeing a bigger and better edition of the Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament, scheduled to get underway with the opening ceremony on May 17.
Tournament Director Hassan Al Mazroui was joined by former UAE and Al Wasl defender Munzer Ali, Dubai Sports Council Board Member Salah Ameen and Ali Omar from DSC to formalise the draws for the volleyball and futsal competitions late on Tuesday. “This year our aim is to bring in at least 5,000 sportspersons in all sporting disciplines during the three weeks of the tournament. The idea is to get even more expatriates involved as that will lead to more spectators,” Al Mazroui told Gulf News after releasing details of the event.
Actual competition will commence on May 18 with the volleyball and padel competitions at the Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex. Two new competitions will debut this year with the inclusion of the 3x3 Basketball and Jiu Jitsu. In addition, there will be Futsal for People with Hearing Disabilities, Futsal, Volleyball, Padel, Fencing, NAS Night Challenge, the 5km and 10km Runs, a 75km Cycle Race and Wheelchair Basketball taking the total number of events here in Dubai to eleven.
To be held till June 5 during the Ramadan month, the tournament will carry a total prize purse of Dh6 million. For the first time this year, the tournament has gone international with a five-a-side futsal competition being held in Cairo, Egypt along with a volleyball tournament in Jordan.
The volleyball and padel competitions will start on May 18 at the NAS Sports Complex, while fencing will take place from May 19-23. The 5km and 10km Run is scheduled for May 21, the 5km Night Challenge obstacle race for June 1-2, while the 3x3 basketball contest will be held from May 19-22 at Dubai Festival City Mall.
The Jiu Jitsu championship will take place on May 31 at NAS Sports Complex, the Wheelchair Basketball and Futsal for People with Hearing Disabilities on June 4, while the NAS Cycling will take place on May 25-26. The 12-team futsal will kick-off on May 27, with the final scheduled for June 5.
“The preparations for this edition are special because they coincide with the Year of Zayed, which is dear to all of us,” Salah Ameen said.
“To make this a memorable edition, we have added new sports like the 3x3 Basketball and Jiu Jitsu, which has made giant strides in the UAE while contributing towards the development of skills at all levels,” he added.
A futsal competition will take place in the indoor halls of Cairo Stadium from May 22-26, with eight teams representing eight different Egyptian Olympic sports federations fighting for honours. The Jordan Volleyball Federation will organise an eight-team volleyball tournament, which will be held from May 24-31 in Amman.
“The expansion of the NAS Sports Tournament to Egypt and Jordan this year is testimony to the tournament’s success and growth over the past five years,” said Ali Omar Al Baloushi, Member, Higher Organizing Committee and Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Events.
Meanwhile, registration for the various sporting events is still open and those interested may register through the Dubai Sports Council website (www.dubaisc.ae) or the official website of the NAS Sports Tournament (www.nasst.ae).