Shangri-la Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi Hosts Annual Dragon Boat Festival in March

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For the first time in its history, the prestigious hotel is organising an earlier edition of its popular Dragon Boat Festival on 22 and 23 March 2019

Shangri-la Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi Hosts Annual Dragon Boat Festival in March

Abu Dhabi, 11 March 2019 – Organised in partnership with Siren Events, UAE Dragon Boat and the United Arab Emirates Sailing and Rowing Federation, Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi will host the 12th Abu Dhabi Dragon Boat Festival on 22 and 23 March 2019.

Dragon boating originated in China over 2,000 years ago.  While Hong Kong may be the birthplace of the sport, it is Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi that has been the home of the capital’s celebrated Annual Dragon Boat Festival.

This will be the first time in the festival’s 12-year history that it would be held as early as March.  The October fixture in Abu Dhabi’s exciting sports calendar is likely to continue, making 2019 the inaugural year when the Dragon Boat Festival makes an appearance twice, with a break of just six months.

“The Dragon Boat Race has always been a hugely popular happening on our annual event calendar.  It has an amazing festival atmosphere, with the crowd cheering on the fleet of colourful dragon boats as they race to the beat of drums,” said Ahmed Issa, Shangri-La Hotel and Traders Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi’s general manager.  “We’re thrilled to be hosting the race twice this year, and bring a weekend of world-class dragon boat racing, spectacular cultural performances and delicious food to Abu Dhabi.”

To accommodate the surge of fans visiting the capital to watch the electrifying Asian sport, Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi has introduced a special room rate for the weekend.  Participants and viewers can book their stay at a discounted price, starting from AED695* for a Deluxe Room. 

The adjacent sister property, Traders Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi – also a prime location to catch the event live – offers rates starting from AED295* for a Superior Room.  The offer is exclusively available for stays between 21 and 24 March 2019.

Keeping the excitement alive throughout the weekend is a fun-filled barbecue party at Afya, a favourite outdoor dining venue of Abu Dhabi residents.  Located by the private beach at Traders Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, the lavish spread of grilled meats, seafood and roasted vegetables will be available at AED206 per person.

“Every year, hundreds of dragon boat athletes battle it out at the Abu Dhabi Dragon Boat Race.  This weekend is quite special, as this will be the first time the race is taking place in March as well as October,” said Jason Mackenzie, the Dragon Boat Festival’s race director.  “The two days of intense racing fills the shores with heart-pounding action and fans cheering paddlers on to the finish line.  Shangri-La Hotel and Traders Hotel celebrates the ancient Chinese tradition and sport with a weekend-long party for all to enjoy.”

Those looking to participate in the dragon boat race can build their own corporate or social team of up to 20 paddlers for AED10,000.  The Community Cup teams can enter for AED5,000, with a maximum of 12 paddlers.

There will also be slots for school, university and international teams for an entry fee of AED2,500, as well as individual entries at AED500 per person.

*Room rates are in UAE dirhams and are subject to 10 per cent service charge, 3.5 per cent tourism fee, 2 per cent municipality fee, 5 per cent VAT and AED10 per room, per night. 

To register a team or to find out more information about the festival, guests may call (971) 04446 2030 or send an email to [email protected].  For room bookings, they may call (971) 02509 8630 or send an email to [email protected] and mention ‘Dragon Boat’ to avail the special rate.  For reservations, guests may call (971) 02509 8888 or send an email to [email protected].

About Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts:

Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts currently operates over 100 hotels with a room inventory of over 41,000.  Shangri-La hotels are five-star deluxe properties featuring extensive luxury facilities and services.  Shangri-La hotels are located in Australia, Canada, mainland China, Fiji, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sultanate of Oman, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.  The group has a substantial development pipeline with upcoming projects in Australia, Bahrain, mainland China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.  For more information, visit