Dragon boat in the United Arab Emirates was popularized by Canadian expats in the mid-1990s. From there, the sport slowly grew among the international community. Filipinos began to dominate the sport when corporate teams from Abu Dhabi sponsored employees to train. Today, half of the paddlers competing in every race are Philippine expats. Hence, the Dragon Warriors Dubai (DWD) was organized by five former PDBF National Team paddlers and club crew members to be the first all-Filipino team in the league of competitive teams in the UAE.
The Warriors’ first regatta was the Abu Dhabi Volvo race held in November 2011, followed by the Dubai Festival Races in April 2012. Today, DWD continues to train every evening on weekdays and every morning on weekends. Trainings are open to everyone, regardless of age, sex, or athletic ability. The team’s mission, apart from competitiveness, is to encourage more Filipinos in Dubai to embrace a healthier lifestyle. During international races, DWD represents both the flags of the Philippines and the UAE.
For more information, visit their Facebook page.