Annual race meeting held in Dubai for the first time ever outside Switzerland
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East and North Africa, yesterday hosted the international Interclub ski race at Ski Dubai. The region’s premier indoor skiing destination welcomed over 170 skiers from the world’s most prestigious members clubs for their first meeting in the Middle East.
Interclub members made up of 42 nationalities from 6 continents around the world travelled from as far afield as London, New York, St Moritz and Buenos Aires to partake in a programme of sporting and social activities, including ice hockey, polo and golf, culminating in a giant slalom ski race at Ski Dubai.
Established by the 100 year-old Corviglia Ski Club in St Moritz, Interclub's annual meeting has always been held in St Moritz, Switzerland, with the aim of bringing skiers from the finest international clubs to the resort for a week of sport and entertainment. The organisers took the decision to hold the Interclub week of events outside St Moritz for the first time this year, and chose the Emirate of Dubai.
Iyad Malas, Chief Executive Officer at Majid Al Futtaim – Holding said: "We are delighted and honoured to host Interclub members for their annual meeting here at Ski Dubai. This is the first time that this prestigious event has been held anywhere in the world outside St Moritz and it is a testament to our facilities here at Ski Dubai that they have chosen us as this year's venue for their ski race."
"Since opening in 2005, Ski Dubai has continued to be a must-visit destination for residents and visitors alike, offering them a realistic and unforgettable skiing experience for any age and ability. Hosting Interclub's race demonstrates the international standard that Majid Al Futtaim strives to create in all of our business units," Malas added.
Each year the various members clubs, including: White's Club, London; The Brook Club, New York; Andes Club, Buenos Aires and Jockey Club, Vienna receive an exclusive invitation to Interclub from the Corviglia Ski Club in St Moritz. In recognition of the UAE's prominence as a world-class host for international sporting events, the Interclub President, Prince Augusto Ruffo di Calabria, invited the formation of a Interclub UAE Team which is made up of 20 men and women from the UAE and living in the UAE and which is Captained by Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises.
Prince Augusto Ruffo di Calabria, President of Interclub said: "We chose to hold this year's event in Dubai and our ski race at Ski Dubai because of its impressive and unique facilities. Historically we have met in St Moritz, and so when Dubai was proposed by our friends from the UAE, our members were delighted to make the trip and discover what Dubai has to offer for us skiers. We have been hugely impressed with what Majid Al Futtaim has produced here in the region. We could never have imagined skiing in the desert, but what a fantastic and unforgettable experience this year’s Interclub meeting has been."
Hamad Bin Mejren, Executive Director of Business Tourism at the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) said: “Dubai excels at hosting events which surprise and astonish and the itinerary provided for our guests from Interclub will live up to this billing. The members of Interclub are business leaders, royalty and notable dignitaries and the itinerary designed for them has included a number of our Emirate’s highlights, ensuring that they will leave Dubai as strong advocates of our destination. Hosting a highly regarded event such as Interclub further bolsters Dubai’s reputation as a global leader in tourism and entertainment.”