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Air displays over the Palms Island in Dubai as participants show their skills.
Dubai Skydive preparing to host int’l tourney Sheikh Al-Hamdan promotes sport

KUWAIT CITY, June 4: Sky diving is a sports activity practiced by many people in the world, while it remains a dream for several others. With this in mind, HH the Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum has made the sky diving dream a reality for many people. His significant role in promoting sky diving in Dubai led to the establishment of the Dubai Skydive, which is frequented by local and international sky divers, including the sky diving enthusiasts, says Board Chairman of the club Nasser Al-Niyadi.
Al-Niyadi holds the world record for skydiving using a parachute and this came after from Al-Khalifa Tower — the tallest building in the world. He is the first Emirati professional in skydiving, free fly and aerial photography. He is also the first Arab to wear the birdman suit while flying with a parachute. He heads the Power Parachute Unit in the UAE Aviation Society. He won the UAE precision parachute diving competition in 2007; executed over 2,700 jumps, and participated as a member of the Parachute Diving Team in the first competition of that nature on top of Mount Everest which is over 29,500 feet high; breaking the world record in this category.

In a recent press statement, Al-Niyadi disclosed the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has taken huge steps to promote skydiving. He said the club is one of the biggest of its kind in the world, giving credit to Sheikh Hamdan for his unwavering support in promoting skydiving in the UAE. He explained the club was established in 2009 but became famous only in 2010. At the beginning, it faced difficulties in leasing aircraft to lift sky divers and sky diving enthusiasts into the air. The rental fee at the time was 10,000 UAE dirhams; the novice sky divers were charged 1,700 dirhams per dive, while the professionals were charged 120 dirhams. Since then, the club has continued achieving more success, especially after it was provided with five aircraft and established a skydiving school in Dubai for people who want to become professional skydivers from different nationalities, including some from Kuwait. The club receives almost 60,000 sky divers a year, about 590 every day, he added.

Al-Niyadi confirmed the club is preparing to host the International Skydiving Tournament from Nov 28 to Dec 9 this year under the auspices of Sheikh Hamdan, who dreams of forming a skydiving team to represent the UAE in the tournament, aiming for positive results to clinch the first position. A large number of participants are expected from 45 countries, including Arab nations like the UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Syria and Tunisia.
Meanwhile, it has been reported the club is known internationally, considering the level of those who visit it for parachute diving, including renowned German world champion in car racing Schumacher who admired the sports facilities at the club and its location along Al-Jumeirah Beach.
American actor Tom Cruise also visited the club where he practiced diving and enjoyed the attractive atmosphere within its premises. He expressed amazement at the modern technology provided in the club, which enables those who take skydiving as a hobby to practice various types of the sport. A Spanish Formula 1 driver also loves to visit the club and enjoys skydiving with Al-Niyadi.
Urging media to fully cover the forthcoming skydiving tournament, which will attract participation of notable personalities of different nationalities, Al-Niyadi hopes his son, Khalid, follows in his footsteps to become an international skydiver. He revealed Khalid joined a skydiving club at a young age, allowing him to learn various skydiving styles.

By: Hani Salama

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