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Latest Dubai News >> Event and Exibitions


World media exhale in delight as Dubai Sports Council competition hogs the limelight

DUBAI: The recently-concluded Dubai Jet-Suit Championship has garnered incredible international traction and recognition from across the globe.

Some of the major media outlets and networks from across the world have hailed this unique competition that made its debut at the Dubai Harbour last week in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council.

Organized by the Dubai Sports Council (DSC) and Gravity Industries – the pioneer in such type of air racing – the event was held in cooperation with the Skydive Dubai Club and XDubai.

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed met with the Emirati champion Ahmed Al Shehhi along with Richard Browning, Founder and CEO of Gravity Industries, while interacting with some of the contestants including the top British trio of Issa Calvon, Paul Jones and Freddie Hay.

“Real-life ‘superheroes' fly in the world's first jet suit race”, screamed a headline on the CNN website. “From futuristic architecture to pioneering infrastructure, Dubai is no stranger to weird, wonderful and downright wacky innovation,” CNN's Rebecca Cairns said.

“But on Wednesday, the “City of Superlatives” went full sci-fi when eight pilots, suited and booted like Marvel's “Iron Man,” took to the skies. They were not fighting supervillains or aline warlords, though. Against a backdrop of skyscrapers and super yachts, the airborne athletes competed in the inaugural Jet Suit Race Series, an event organized by the Dubai Sports Council and Gravity Industries, the manufacturers of the jet suit,” the article in CNN added.

“To a lot of our audience, this is science fiction coming to life,” says Browning. “Whether it's the ‘Rocketeer', or ‘Ironman', or the ‘Jetsons', there's lots of people that come up to us and say, I was waiting through my childhood for this and you finally delivered on what that vision was, what that ambition was,' which is pretty cool,” the article concluded.

Writing for, Jon Gambrell, the news director of The Associated Press for the Gulf and Iran, noted how “Gravity previously drew worldwide attention when it equipped one of its jet suits on a UK Royal Marine, who landed on a ship at sea several years ago. In the time since, they've travelled widely with the suits and pursued other military applications for them before coming up with the idea of a competition with the Dubai Sports Council.”

“The races on Wednesday saw pilots wear 1,500-horsepower jet suits, more powerful than most luxury sports cars and using the same kind of fuel used by Dubai-based long-haul carrier Emirates' Airbus A380s and Boeing 777 aircraft,” the article stated.

“While known for its beaches, bars and bazaars, Dubai has long been a city fascinated by flight, particularly as it hosts the world's busiest airport for international travel. The city has been pursuing for years the idea of flying taxis as well,” the article added.

India-based NDTV network also featured an article on its World News segment. “Watch: World's First Jet Suit Race In Dubai Featuring ‘Iron Man' Pilots,” the NDTV headline read.

“The competition took place on a Dubai Marina runway used by Skydive Dubai, a company linked to Crown Prince Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, known for thrilling experiences,” the piece said.

Writing for Interesting Engineering, Ameya Paleja termed the feat as “a special occasion”. “The jet engines were not on massive airplanes but on human pilots who also doubled up as the race vehicle,” he said.

“Dubai is already becoming an adventure destination with zip line facilities installed at landmarks such as the Dubai Marina and the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. In the meantime, Dubai has achieved yet another world first with the Dubai Jet Suit Race,” the article lauded.

“‘Iron Men' in 80 mph jet-suits zoom through Dubai in first-ever race,” the New York Post said on its official social media handle X (formerly Twitter).

Perhaps, the most defining statement came from Browning when he hoped to see this event inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers to dream big. “Most technology is ludicrous and impossible until it isn't,” Browning said.

And Dubai-based American citizen Jennifer Ross summed things up best when she described the event as “pretty amazing to see that they can do this in Dubai and there these guys flying over the water. It's kind of like astronauts flying around in space.”

Posted by : GoDubai Editorial Team
Viewed 7790 times
Posted on : Sunday, March 3, 2024  
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