Tri-out: Khaled Al Fahim on the exciting prospect of The World Triathlon Championship Finals in Abu Dhabi

It will be the first time the deciding leg of the series will be held in the capital.

The atmosphere is electric. Upbeat tempos blast out from bass-fuelled speakers as kaleidoscopic lights brighten the night as Yas Bay Waterfront delights the throngs who have descended for their weekend’s entertainment.

But November promises something different; it will be the splash of athletes in the bay’s blue waters, the clicks of bicycle chains and the pounding of feet on pavements that is set to draw the crowds to Yas Island’s stunning lifestyle offering as The World Triathlon Championship Finals come to Abu Dhabi.

It is in the autumn of 2022 when the nation’s capital will be the scene of the coronation of the kings and queens of the World Triathlon Series circuit, an event which Khaled Al Fahim, President of the UAE Triathlon Federation, sees as a defining moment for the sport in the country.

“For triathlon, this championship is the icing on the cake and for Abu Dhabi to be the host is an exciting thing.

“Whenever a country or city hosts an international event, you see and witness an increase in participation in that sport. Whenever Abu Dhabi has hosted a race, you see people come from all over the place to participate in Abu Dhabi.

“So, we see hosting the finals in this city will help the triathlon in the community and also grow it in the UAE.”

A four-day festival of swimming, cycling and running, 7,500 professional and amateur athletes are expected to don their wetsuits, helmets and running shoes and compete over five categories; Elite Men and Women; Elite U23 Men and Women; Elite Para Men and Women; Age Group Men and Women; and Community Races; as a global light is shone onto Yas Island’s state-of-the-art leisure and sporting facilities.

Incorporating Yas Bay Waterfront into the circuit for the first time after previous legs of the world series were held exclusively at Yas Marina Circuit, the global reach of the competition and indeed Abu Dhabi is expected to be vast with millions predicted to tune in from around the world, a fact which Khaled eagerly highlights: “I am an Abu Dhabian and I will always see my city as the most beautiful in the world, but sharing the beauty of our beautiful city with the world through triathlon is great news for everyone.”

And while the diaries for 23 to 26 November will have been blocked out for the championship, many triathletes around the country, both UAE nationals and residents, have the incredible prospect of lining up at Yas Bay Waterfront as the first crack of the starting gun sounds.

“Triathlon is a very inclusive sport and the UAE is a very inclusive country,” says Khaled. “We have celebrated many things that show inclusion of the people that live in the UAE.

“[The UAE Triathlon Federation] are going along with that, creating an inclusive community and giving everybody the right to participate under the UAE flag.”


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