Dubai making athletes feel at home at world championships
The ‘Dubai Club for People of Determination’ in the United Arab Emirates is a perfectly-designed, bespoke venue to host para sport competition.
Spacious, convenient and without any stairs, athletes, coaches, judges, guests, volunteers, fans and everyone else at the 2022 World Archery Para Championships this past week have certainly been enjoying the facility.
It has been perfectly adjusted for all the needs of para archers too, with athletes able to transfer easily from the training field, to the main venue or the dining areas.
Athletes are provided with breakfast and dinner at their hotel, but they do not need to return during the day and disrupt their daily training and competition schedule. Behind the training field there is a huge building with catering zone.
Storage and other vital facilities are located less than 100 meters away from the training field too, in the concourse of the stadium, which houses a football pitch and where qualification, elimination and final rounds are held.
For those early rounds, targets were set on the football pitch, but for the medal matches, a conversion took place with the shooting area moved to the athletic track.
Walking around the venue you can see a special VIP area for distinguished guest and supporters of para archery and para sport in general, while team members can support their fellow athletes from the covered stands – important with the heat and temperatures around 30 degrees.
Efforts have been made also by the organisers to create a real homely community with a ‘local village’ set up, popular amongst the athletes and others.
Here they can feel a taste of ‘old Arabia’ with stalls full of traditional food and products. Food lovers will be delighted with a chance to try local, specially-prepared dishes. Sweet, sour. It's all here. Just as is the typical and ever-present Arabian coffee.
This can all be accompanied by playing games such as ‘Jenga’ but also the South Asian popular table top game of carrom. After buying souvenirs and local crafts, there is even a chance to try a potter’s wheel and for guests to make their own pottery.
Or maybe they just want to chill out and relax on traditional Arab furniture and carpets? How about a workshop too? It’s all here.
The 2022 World Archery Para Championships creates a chance not just to admire the skills on show from the best para archers in the world, but to meet the Arabian culture of the United Arab Emirates.
Photographs: Dubai Club for People of Determination / Yahya Essa