A host of dignitaries gathered in Dubai Media City this week for the inauguration of the new World Professional Powerboating Association (WPPA) headquarters. This exciting new development has seen the WPPA opening its doors on the 34th floor of the Concord Tower on Al Sufouh Road. Attending last night’s function were Dr. Saif Al Ketbi (WPPA President), Dr. Khalid Al Zahed (WPPA Vice President), Dr. Saeed Harib (UAEMSF President and DIMC Vice President), Mr. Rashid Al Amiri (General Manager, Dubai TV), Mr. Ahmad AL Matrooshi (Managing Director of Emaar Properties), Mr. Salah Tahlak (Senior Vice President – Corporate Communications, Dubai Duty Free), Mr. Arif Al Zafein (Managing Director, Victory Team) and Mr Essa Kharbach (Managing Director, Fazza Marine).
Not only was this a physical move, but this auspicious occasion was also symbolic of the WPPA’s move to a new era since its reorganisation at the end of last year, with a strategic plan to promote the sport of powerboating at all levels, youth, amateur and professional, around the world. Dr Al Ketbi expressed his pride in the WPPA and its professional approach, saying that it reflected the vision of Dubai and the UAE. “Our mission is to reinvent the sport of powerboating in all its forms as we believe that there is huge potential, which has not yet been explored,” he said. “Dubai has invested so much in the sport since 1991 and achieved plenty. Now it’s time for a big change and a global shift in order to promote and develop the sport of powerboating as we are truly committed to our XCAT World Series project,” added Al Ketbi, also thanking those involved in the organisation’s progress. “I have to thank Dr. Saeed Hareb for his long term contribution to promote the sport since 1991. He is still very active with the UAE Marine Sports Federation and because of him the WPPA was created and funded in 2006. “My special thanks also goes to all our new partners: SkyDive Dubai, Emaar, Dubai Duty Free, Marinepool, the Victory Team and Dubai TV for their contribution and support,” he added.
Also part of this week’s proceedings was the signing by Al Ketbi and Harib of an agreement between the WPPA and DIMC for the hosting of two XCAT World Series events for the next three years – one to open the season and a season-closing race in December, which will incorporate plenty of fantastic onshore activities as well – reminiscent of similar hugely popular events hosted by DIMC over the last 20 years.