Competition at the World Air Games is set to commence today with 1,200 athletes scheduled to compete until December 12 in Dubai.
Conducted under the World Air Sports Federation’s (FAI) rules, the Games is billed as the premier international multi-discipline air sports event.
Competition is due to take place in a number of disciplines, including skydiving, glider aerobatics, ballooning, gyrocopters, hang gliding, helicopters, micro-lights, experimental aircraft and para-motors.
In total, 23 different disciplines will be contested across the 12-days of the Games, with international competition beginning this afternoon with the Aerostats Hot Air Airships event.
This will be the fourth edition of the Games since they first took place in Selçuk, Turkey, in 1997 followed by events in Seville in 2001 and Turin in 2009.
"This is the biggest World Air Games ever," said Susanne Schödel, secretary general of the FAI.
"In the 110-year history of the FAI, it's the first time we have had an event like this."
Events are set to take place at several venues, including the Skydive Dubai Palm Dropzone at The Palm Jumeirah, which is due to stage the official Opening Ceremony on Wednesday (December 3), coinciding with the 44th United Arab Emirates National Day celebrations.
The Skydive Dubai Desert Dropzone in Margham, the Al Sufouh Beach Dropzone, Jebel Ali Horse Race Dropzone and the RC Airfield in Al Lisali are all scheduled to host events throughout the duration of the Games.
The first medals are due to be awarded this evening at the Dubai Mall, following the completion of the first aerobatic aeromodelling event, which sees aerobatic power model aircraft fly to music.
Held under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and chairman of Dubai Sports Council, the event has been designed to ensure maximum participation from the general public and visitors to the UAE.
“This event is for the people of the UAE,” said Saeed Hareb, chairman of Dubai 2015.
“This event is truly world-class.
“It is not just the competitions taking place, but also an involvement between the participating athletes and inventors and dreamers from the sport.”
The FAI hope the Games, which are scheduled to be held on a quadrennial basis, will inspire new opportunities and motivate new generations to take part in air sports.
June 2014: Dubai to host 2015 World Air Games