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Dubai International Marine Club

Until about 1987 watersports in Dubai were organised by various government departments, the military and volunteers. But HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Chairman of Dubai Police & Public Security, felt that it was time to centralise all watersports and started by organising a long distance wooden powerboat race. The race was from Umm Al Quwain to Dubai, which was hailed a great success and marked the beginning of a new era of watersports in the region.

The following year in 1988 Dubai International Marine Club was established using a fairly basic military ‘portacabin’ camp on the beach at Mina Seyahi as control with Lieutenant General Saif Al Shafar and Colonel Saeed Harib in command.

Mina Seyahi had been designated, as a leisure area in the late ‘70’s by His Highness the late Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum due to its location and proximity to the industrial and residential centres of Dubai. A breakwater had been built to create a safe and sheltered harbour and in 1977 land was granted for Jebel Ali Sailing Club (JASC) a mainly expatriate members club, which became a flourishing sailing club and great logistical ally to DIMC.

A technical committee of powerboat professionals was formed in 1990, which included HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Lieutenant General Saif Al Shafar and Colonel Saeed Hareb and an application was made to join the Union International Motonautique (UIM).

In 1991 HH Shiekh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum asked the DIMC Committee to organise a long distance traditional dhow race in an effort to maintain the traditional culture of the Emirate. The first Al Gaffal Sur Bu Na’air long distance race was held, it was 49 nautical miles and raced by various types of dhows but the start of the traditional races.

The UAE received full membership of the UIM in March 1992 after proving eligibility and Saeed Harib was asked to organise the Class One World Powerboat Race final in Dubai later in the same year. The race started in the Creek at the Hyatt Hotel and turned near where the Jumeirah Beach Hotel is today. Emirates Airlines and Dubai Duty Free sponsored the race, as their first international sponsorship and the Victory Team were the winners for Dubai.

In 1995 Saeed Harib was appointed General Manager of DIMC and a formal decree was issued by HH the late Sheikh Maktoum Bin Saeed Al Maktoum to announce the official establishment of Dubai International Marine Club. In the same year the distinctive clubhouse and race department were commisioned at Mina Seyahi.

Later that year the original portacabins on the beach were turned in to the now world famous Barasti Bar for the members of the growing Marina. A swimming pool was added a year later and the Barasti Bar was extended to enable it to cater for up to 150 people.

As DIMC developed and offered more racing its expenses also grew and in an effort to give stability to the club HH the late Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum wanted the club to be self-funding. Plans were drafted to add a hotel to the DIMC portfolio with the profits from the hotel used to develop and fund watersports, especially the traditional racing at DIMC.

In 1999 Le Meridien Mina Seyahi was opened and His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum became the Chairman of the hotel and DIMC with Saeed Harib as overall General Manager of the properties.

The land next to the hotel was transformed into a football pitch for local teams and Saeed Harib welcomed many great international players such as Zinedine Zidane to the field. The area was also used for concerts and fairs.

With ever increasing costs and activity on the water another hotel was planned and the football pitch was closed to make way for it and the Westin Hotel was opened in May 2008.

Conversely though, in December 2008 a government re-structure meant that both Le Meridien Mina Seyahi and the Westin hotels were removed from the DIMC portfolio to the control of Al Wasl management and DIMC became directly funded by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum.

Our mission is to safeguard the seafaring heritage of the UAE and promote Dubai as a premiere watersports destination. Our activities include traditional and modern sailing, wooden powerboat, Class One and Xcat powerboat, traditional rowing, surf ski, kayak, jet ski amongst others.

Our vision is to be a source of inspiration in the world of watersports and provide a first class location for the organisation of traditional and modern watersports.

-Innovation and improvement as a way of life
-Excellence in all areas of our work and practices
-Constancy and unity in our diversity
-Advocacy of sportsmanship
-Commitment to conserve and protect our environment

Website: http://dimc.ae

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