Inmates compete in Intercontinental Chess Championship

Dubai Police arrange participation in global virtual competition to improve prisoner well-being

Dubai inmates took part in a global chess competition aimed at constructively filling their leisure time and uplifting their spirits. Photo: Dubai Media Office
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Inmates from Dubai's prisons have taken part in a global chess competition, as part of a police programme aimed at improving prisoner welfare.

The inmates from the General Department of Punitive and Correctional Establishments of Dubai Police took part in the third annual Intercontinental Online Chess Championship for Prison Inmates, Dubai Media Office said on Friday.

The competition was organised by the Cook County Police Department in Chicago, US, and had participants from 118 different countries.

Teams comprised men, women and juveniles.

Authorities in Dubai have committed to involve inmates in various sports, intellectual games, and educational and training programmes as part of their rehabilitation.

Brig Salah Asibah, deputy director of the General Department of Punitive and Correctional Establishments, said the programme encourages all inmate categories to participate in both local and international competitions.

"The goal is to harness the positive impact these participations have on improving inmates' physical fitness, utilising their energies in ways that benefit them physically, mentally and emotionally," he said.

"It's also aimed to constructively fill their leisure time and uplift their spirits through individual and group tournaments.

"Our focus remains on instilling positivity, happiness and providing inmates with top-notch sports programs, tournaments and recreational competitions," he added.

Earlier this year, more than 30 prisoners at Dubai Central Jail joined cooking classes to learn skills that could help them rebuild their lives once they are released.

The classes were introduced in May as part of a scheme to equip prisoners with the skills to reintegrate into society after their release.

The initiative – called Culinary Arts – was launched by the General Department of Punitive and Correctional Establishments, in collaboration with the Emirates Literature Foundation and Abu Dhabi National Hotels.

A series of workshops were led by professional chefs, and prisoners will continue to take classes until the end of the year where they will receive certificates upon completion.

Updated: October 13, 2023, 2:17 PM