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Hazza bin Sultan bin Zayed: A life of achievements and dedication to UAE heritage

Hazza bin Sultan bin Zayed: A life of achievements and dedication to UAE heritage
10 May 2024 09:17

Rida Salim (Dubai)

The country’s sports institutions, authorities, federations, and clubs mourned the loss of Sheikh Hazza bin Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who passed away on Thursday. Sports websites and social media accounts were draped in black to mark the departure of a champion of Emirati sports, who achieved many local and international accomplishments. 


The late Sheikh Hazza bin Sultan bin Zayed had a keen interest in traditional sports, a value passed on to him from his grandfather, the Founding Father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his father, the late Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan. This belief encouraged him to raise awareness of preserving ancestral heritage and encourage new generations to cling to retain these traditions. 


The late Sheikh Hazza bin Sultan bin Zayed also had a keen interest in horses and horse racing, an integral part of the nation’s heritage and a field in which he achieved remarkable success. The late Sheikh Hazza bin Sultan bin Zayed dominated the endurance horse racing scene, both locally and on the world stage. 


His involvement and creativity in the horse racing domain extended not only to his own participation and achievements, but also to encouraging interest in equestrian sports through his presence at races, honouring race winners, and encouraging younger generations to continue in the sport. 
He participated in a number of Arabian horse races, and participated in key events both within the UAE and abroad.  


The Budayb International Village for Endurance Racing was a witness to all that Sheikh Hazza bin Sultan bin Zayed offered, as he had previously attended youth and junior races within the UAE Heritage Club Endurance Cup races, organised by the UAE Heritage Club in coordination with the UAE Equestrian Federation, the International Open Endurance Race, classified internationally as a three-star race, and many local and international races. 


It was not unusual for the late Sheikh Hazza bin Sultan bin Zayed to join the “sea voyagers”, and participate in sailing dhow races, most notable of which was his participation in the President’s Cup for dhow racing in the 60-foot class. His involvement did not stop at participation, as he also awarded the winners of the race, which was attended by around 2,000 sailors aboard 98 dhows, including a large number of young sailors. He worked to encourage young sailors to participate in long-distance competitions, and to preserve the continuity of the traditional sport across generations.


His participation was a confirmation of his interest in maritime heritage, in addition to his support and encouragement for all participants. The late Sheikh Hazza bin Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan participated in other boat races as well, including the Abu Dhabi Rowing Race in the 40 feet category, organised by the UAE Heritage Club.


The late Sheikh Hazza bin Sultan bin Zayed was a constant presence at traditional festivals, including the Al Dhafra Festival held at the Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan Heritage Square in Suhaila.


He was the “heritage engineer” during his service with the UAE Heritage Club, where he planned several events and worked to continue the Club’s mission to preserve the heritage of the UAE, educate younger generations on the country’s traditions, and develop activities related to national heritage, instilling a sense of pride in all.

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