What Are the Traditional Sports in UAE?

Traditional sports in the UAE are a big part of Emirati culture. The country’s diverse geography, climate, and culture have created a wide range of sports that locals and tourists may enjoy. UAE has developed a range of sports besides camel and horse racing in a nation full of deserts. Popular Traditional sports played in the UAE include:

  • Horse Racing
  • Camel Racing
  • Shooting
  • Falconry
  • Boat Racing
  • Free Diving
  • Saluki Racing
  • Archery

Horse Racing: An Integral Part of the Culture and traditional sports in UAE

Horse Racing

Horse racing has been an integral part of UAE culture for centuries. The first international horse race in UAE took place in 1981 in Dubai. The sport quickly became popular and is now one of the most popular events in the UAE. Due to its distinguished pedigree, the Arabian horse is one of the oldest horse breeds according to archaeological findings. As a result, horse racing is a major activity in Arabia, with numerous competitions planned and instruction offered to those interested in learning. At all clubs where sports may take on a form of recreation, equestrian sports equipment is freely accessible. Arabian horses, which can withstand the arid environment of the Gulf region, are ideal for long-distance, endurance rides.

Dubai is famed for hosting the wealthiest horse racing tournament in the world. UAE is growing in popularity as a location to host such rides of international stature because of the sport’s tight rules and challenging course.

CAMEL RACING: Other Traditional Sports in UAE

Traditional sports in UAE

Camel racing is one of the oldest and most famous traditional sports in the UAE. It is growing in popularity with contemporary techniques. It is fascinating to watch, and a great way to get out and enjoy the weather.

Several different camel racing events occur throughout the year, and they are all exotic. It can be challenging to keep up the sights of camels due to their extreme speed. But the rewards are well worth it. Furthermore, new racecourses have been built to promote the race that represents Emirati Culture. Watching a camel race is an experience that is hard to beat. Camel racing and riding have always been a feature of important occasions like weddings, local events, and celebrations.


Traditional sports in uae

The sport of shooting, which has a long history in the UAE, is the last one. Shooting techniques have become an essential component of the local sporting culture since they were used in both hunting and local conflict. This is demonstrated by the numerous Olympic titles the UAE shooters have won. Abdullah Sultan Al Aryani and Sheikh Ahmed bin Hasher Al Maktoum are two well-known marksmen.

In Dubai and Al Ain, local shooters get the opportunity to compete against the top shooters from across the world. Female shooters in the UAE are drawn to the Fazza Championship for Saktoun Rifle Shooting.



More than 2,000 years have passed since the beginning of this traditional Emirati sport, which has been passed down through the generations. Cooperation between the falconer and his bird is necessary for successful falconry. The falconer wins his bird’s confidence and obedience by treating it softly and sympathetically.

However, because many of these species are endangered, there have been limitations on the commercial sale and import of these birds over the years. Additionally, the Emirates Bird Society works to protect endangered species, educate the public about them, and prevent the illegal falcon trade. Nowadays, the majority of birds are raised in captivity and sell for more than AED 500,000.


Traditional sports

The UAE also offers a good selection of conventional water sports. For instance, teams compete fiercely as they steer their “dhows” toward the finish line in traditional boat racing. Boat races are often held from October through April during the cooler weather.

While visiting the UAE, you may also enjoy a dhow boat, particularly at Dubai Creek, where you can also take in the sights of the historic district. A traditional native wooden boat used for pearl diving and fishing, the dhow. For offshore cruising along the shores of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, modern dhows are now furnished with first-rate amenities.

Free diving: Traditional Sports in UAE

In the UAE, free diving sport relates to ancient pearl diving. Initially, pearl divers hunted pearls to earn living. Now became a traditional sport enjoyed both men and women enjoy. Different competitions run throughout the year, and the best divers in the UAE often compete in international events. Free diving is a sport that is based on the principle of conservation of energy. Divers use only their breath and their hands to dive and swim. They must overcome the resistance of water to stay afloat. These competitions also involve different depths and lengths of dives. The divers must swim and dive to the bottom of the pool and then return to the surface without using their hands.

Free diving

Saluki Racing: an Event Commemorating Traditional Hunting

Saluki Racing is a unique event commemorating traditional hunting in the UAE. Held annually, the event pits several dozen dogs against each other in a series of endurance races.

The origins of Saluki Racing date back to ancient times, when Arabian Salukis used hunting dogs to hunt. Today, the races are still a popular way to celebrate traditional hunting in the UAE.

Who participates in Saluki Racing?

Saluki Racing is open to all dog enthusiasts, regardless of experience or skill level. The races are short, usually just a few miles, and the hunting dogs are fast and agile. The winning dog has to reach the finish line first.

Why is Saluki Racing important as traditional sports in UAE?

Saluki Racing is an important event commemorating traditional hunting in the UAE. The races are a fun way for dog enthusiasts to celebrate the sport of hunting, and they’re also a great way to learn about Saluki racing.

Saluki Racing

Archery: One of the oldest Sports Practiced

Archery is one of the oldest sports practiced in the UAE and with a long and illustrious history. It is believed that archery originated in the Middle East. The word “archery” derives from the Arabic word “qirab,” which means “to shoot.”

Archery is a very challenging sport and requires a lot of skill and practice. However, it improves coordination and stamina as well. Archery is also a great way to improve your mental toughness and concentration.

There are several archery clubs and leagues in the UAE and they are a great way to get involved in the sport. If interested in archery, then no better place to start than at one of the local clubs.



Overall, traditional sports in the United Arab Emirates cover a big part of the culture along with healthy activities to exercise better social bonding to build community

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