It was another beautiful day in Dubai as our taxi drew up at the DOSC (Dubai Offshore Sailing Club). (More on this later). We were meeting a friend of my daughter who was taking us for a sail in her Dufour 382.
We left the marina at 1200 hours heading for a new small marina in the Dubai Creek, a journey which would take approximately 2 ½ hours. The temperature was 36C and a gentle breeze of 13 – 14kts, which was just enough to keep us cool. Aided by a gin and tonic … of course.
With the sails set and the yacht in her groove at an easy 5- 6kts we settled down to enjoy the Dubai skyline where the next building was taller than the one before and all were dwarfed by the imposing site of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world at 828m and consisting of 160 floors. It looked like a rocket shimmering in the afternoon sun.
Our next view was a white superstructure and distinctive red funnel, which could only be the QE2, now permanently moored in Dubai spending her days as a floating hotel.
On entering the creek we motored passed numerous Arab Dhows still plying their trade as inshore cargo vessels carrying an assortment of electrical items and anything else they can fit in their holds and pile on deck. A sharp eye had also to be kept for the small water taxis (Abras) which crisscrossed the creek.
On entering the small marina 2 members of staff rushed to take our lines and welcome us. (Just like Granton!). We had a wander round the area and grabbed something to eat back on the boat. (It was Ramadan and you are not allowed to eat in public during daylight hours).
After a three hour stopover we motored back down the creek and had a wonderful sail back to the marina. The sun was setting, which gave a beautiful warm glow to the skyline. It was still 32C.
On returning to the DOSC I was introduced to the Commodore, Simon Reeves who introduced me to an assembled audience of 200 – 300 members who were present for a BBQ. Simon asked if I would say a few words on the history of the club as RFYC was the oldest club that they had exchanged Burgees with. After exchanging our respective club Burgees Simon extended an invitation to any RFYC members visiting Dubai to come down to the club where they would be made most welcome. On behalf of RFYC I offered a reciprocal arrangement to members of DOSC.
The Dubai Offshore Sailing Club was formed in 1974. It has over 1200 members and 70 (yes seven zero) fulltime staff. There are over 1000 yachts in the club. They are a fully credited RYA Training School and offer courses from beginners to Yacht master. They have various fleets of dinghies to service the needs of all their members and regular racing for the yachts. Their catering operations are very enviable. They have just employed a new French chef manager who is providing some wonderful cuisine. If the food provided for the BBQ is anything to go by then I am impressed.
It was a wonderful day. A great sail followed by wonderful hospitality. So if you are ever in Dubai and have a spare few hours then please head down to the DOSC. You will be made very welcome.
Rear Commodore (Harbour).