Jet suit race to take off in Dubai next month

Competitors from eight countries will take to the skies for event taking place during Dubai International Boat Show

Dubai will host a jet suit race in February. Guests at Thursday's press conference got a sneak preview. Dubai Media Office
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It was not that long ago that jet packs sounded like the stuff of science fiction movies or far-fetched cartoons.

But a race has been announced in Dubai next month in which participants will take to the skies wearing suits propelled by jet engines.

The eight racers will include Ahmed Al Shehhi from the UAE.

“This race signals the beginning of a new era of exciting aerial sporting action globally and it is a true reflection of Dubai’s soaring spirit of enterprise as well as the human capacity to overcome challenges," said Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed, chairman of Dubai Sports Council.

"The event also goes to highlight Dubai’s uniqueness and boundless energy in presenting to the world novel ideas that combine innovation, adventure and ambition that push the boundaries of human imagination and open the way for still greater achievements and innovations across the world.”

The date for the event was announced as February 28, with Mr Al Shehhi said to be in the UK undergoing specialist training to be ready to take part. The race will be part of the Dubai International Boat Show.

Those in attendance at Thursday's press conference to launch the event were treated to a live demonstration featuring three competitors in jet suits who went whizzing across the Dubai Fountain, next to Burj Park.

"We are pleased to host this first-of-its-kind tournament in Dubai Harbour, the region’s most unique lifestyle destination," said race director Samer Al Shammari. "Winning requires high skill in flying using a jet suit, to provide the best performance while flying on the path specified by the organisation committee, which includes various challenges.

"Our commitment extends beyond organising the event, but to also attract more people to this sport, ensuring its continued growth."

Updated: January 26, 2024, 5:58 AM