Thursday, January 18, 2007

UAE: Damas Championship on Saturday

Mohammad Tamjid Abdullah (centre) with Lara Sawaya and Adnan Sultan Saif Al Nuaimi display the riders' vest at the press conference in Abu Dhabi
By M. Satya Narayan, Staff Reporter

Abu Dhabi: Around 100 riders are expected to take part in the FEI CEI three-star 120km Damas Championship endurance ride, to be held here on Saturday.

Announcing details of the ride, Adnan Sultan Saif Al Nuaimi, the general manager of Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, said the ride would be held at Al Wathba's Emirates International Endurance Village.

"Most of the top riders will be taking part in the ride which will be run in five stages of 32km, 30kms, 24km, 18km and 16km," he said. "The total prize money for top riders will be Dh400,000 along with special trophies," he added.

Mohammad Tamjid Abdullah, the deputy managing director of Damas, thanked Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Presidential Affairs, for making the ride the Damas Championship.

"In the past we were support sponsors for endurance but we are glad that this is a Damas Championship," said Abdullah.

"Apart from this event we are connected with the ADEC in many other areas and we are proud of our partnership," he said.

Abdullah also said the Damas Group had been steadily increasing its budget for sponsorship of sports. "In 2005 we had a sizeable budget which was increased by 25 per cent in 2006. This year, we have further increased our support for sports by another 10 per cent," he said.

"We have also decided to promote and support individual sport. To start with we will be sponsoring a junior chess player. Like this we have identified many such disciplines which we hope will ultimately help in boosting the sport and the image of the UAE," Abdullah said.

Lara Sawaya, marketing and sponsors' liaison at ADEC, said more and more companies were coming forward to support horse sports.

"Damas have also agreed to give away 10 prizes for the spectators in a free raffle. Every event now sees a new sponsor and some of the traditional sponsors increasing their sponsorships. All this augurs well for sport in the UAE," she said.

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