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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Dubai, UAE - This April, Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, is pleased to announce the establishment of Ski Dubai’s first-ever Snowsports Team, sponsored by Ski Dubai. The soon-to-be-revealed team will bring together the region’s most talented skiers and snowboarders to train and compete on an international level.

The team of seventeen talented youngsters, all of which were scouted on Ski Dubai’s slopes, consists of Emirati and expatriate male and female athletes of varying ages, including Alpine Skiers, Snowboarders, and Freestyle Skiers. 

Over the past 10 years, Ski Dubai has been committed to investing in and fostering home-grown talent. By ensuring it provides state-of-the-art facilities of the highest possible standard, it continually provides a platform for athletes to learn, develop and hone their unique talents, allowing them to now compete at an international level.

In line with this, all sponsored athletes will receive an exclusive Ski Dubai membership, providing them with a number of ‘snow-tacular’ benefits, including unlimited access to the state-of-the-art facilities. Also, as part of the sponsorship programme, they will receive exclusive sessions with experienced coaches in order to further develop their skills. The team will also be provided with world-class equipment and sportswear from internationally-renowned athletics brands, including Spyder, Rossignol, and Burton.

Commenting on the launch, Mohammed El Etri, General Manager at Ski Dubai said: “We are extremely proud to be announcing the formation of Ski Dubai’s Sponsored Athletes Team. At Ski Dubai, we are committed to supporting the UAE’s efforts for encouraging active lifestyles and I am personally proud to have been a part of cultivating and championing such strong local talent on our slopes.

The whole concept of Ski Dubai was guided by the vision of our founder, Majid Al Futtaim and his aspirations of bringing snow to the desert. Now, after more than a decade in the desert, we have fostered a winter sports culture in the UAE and welcome about one million guests per year, which is widely regarded as the international benchmark for any major ski resort. This strong foundation has given us the platform to attract and showcase the talent of the UAE through our Sponsored Athletes Team, and become recognised by international audiences the world over.”

Many of the team were initially identified through Ski Dubai’s Freestyle and Competition Nights and Ski and Snowboard Schools to participate in the extensive selection process, which also reviewed results from domestic and international competitions, feedback from previous and existing coaches, alongside a comprehensive application submission.

Ski Dubai will be supporting the Sponsored Athletes team with a number of experienced coaches who will be tasked with guiding the athletes over the coming years. The support team includes Mohamed Moulay, a former Moroccan National Ski Team member and experienced race coach.

The Alpine ski athletes will also be under the watchful eye of Mike Barker who’s experience includes five years’ as coach of the British Children’s team, at two Winter Olympic Festivals (Children’s Olympic Games)

The project as a whole will be headed up by Chris David, Snowsports Operations Manager at Ski Dubai, who is a former GBR athlete and is Head Freestyle Moguls Ski Coach for Great Britain, alongside his existing role at Ski Dubai.

Discussions are also ongoing with other experienced international coaches who Ski Dubai plans to add to the support team and will hopefully be arriving in Dubai in the coming months, once terms have been agreed.

“We are delighted to be the primary sponsor of the Sponsored Athletes Team and are extremely excited to reveal the final line-up of athletes to the public in the coming months. It has been a heart-warming journey to watch the athletes go from strength-to-strength over the years on our slopes. It seems only fitting that Ski Dubai continues to support them in the next leg of their careers, within which we are confident that there will be many more great moments to come.” Mohammed added.

The final Sponsored Athletes Team line-up will be announced in the coming months at an exclusive unveiling event at Ski Dubai. More information to follow.