Three UAE National Freestyle Athletes Set to Compete in FIS Park and Pipe Junior World Championships in New Zealand


As part of the remarkable 10th edition of the New Zealand Winter Games (NZWG), three Emirati athletes from the UAE National Freestyle Junior team – Ski Dubai’s Sponsored Athletes, are geared up to compete in the prestigious FIS (International Ski and Snowboard Federation) Park & Pipe Junior World Championships. The athletes took part in the opening ceremony at the renowned Cardrona Alpine Resort today before competing on 27 and 28 August.  

Since 2017, Ski Dubai’s Sponsored Athlete’s Programme has been awarding the region’s most talented skiers and snowboarders with unlimited slope access and expert coaching. This year’s cohort consists of 34 athletes including 18 Emiratis chosen following a rigorous selection process which took into consideration a number of factors: technical skill, performance, fitness levels and coach reports and recommendations. 

The Emirati athletes chosen by the UAE Winter Sports Federation to represent the UAE in the Slopestyle and Big Air disciplines at the FIS Junior World Championships are as follows:

  • Sultan Al Ghandi (16) – Freeski category
  • Abdulla Al Rashed (17) – Freeski category
  • Amenah Al Muhairi (15) – Snowboard category

Prior to travelling to New Zealand, the athletes were trained by Ski Dubai’s Ski Academy Head Coach, James Machon, and Head of Snowsports of Global Snow at Majid Al Futtaim Entertainment, Artem Chernikh. The UAE Snowsports delegation have embarked on their journey to New Zealand to undergo intensive training in preparation for their chance to secure a spot for the 2024 Youth Olympic Winter Games. This endeavour is aligned with Ski Dubai and the UAE Winter Sports Federation’s joint commitment to nurturing and showcasing the exceptional talents of young Emiratis on the global winter sports stage.

Mohammad El Etri, Vice President of Global Snow at Majid Al Futtaim Entertainment, expressed his enthusiasm regarding the remarkable progress exhibited by these young athletes and their active involvement in international competitions. “Ski Dubai remains wholeheartedly dedicated to providing the essential resources and unwavering support required for honing the skills of our Emirati athletes. Participation in this competition is also an integral part of the broader strategy to prepare the athletes for the upcoming Junior Winter Olympic Games in 2024, where our Sponsored Athletes will represent the UAE in skiing and snowboarding for the first time ever, marking a significant milestone and a historic moment for both the Nation and Majid Al Futtaim.”

Hamel Al Qubaisi, Vice President of UAE Winter Sports Federation commented “We are proud of UAE National Junior Athletes taking part in the upcoming Junior World Championship. This is a great victory and the first step to bring snow medals home. Our youth have demonstrated their international competency in snowsports and we will closely monitor their performance and provide the required resources to empower our champions.” 

This year’s full Winter Games New Zealand 2023 Programme encompasses various Winter Sports disciplines including FIS Park and Pipe Junior World Championship Freeski and Freestyle Snowboard, along with FIS ANC Alpine Ski Races Grand Slalom, Slalom and Freeride World Tour qualifier events The North Face Frontier 2* & 4*.

UAE Winter Sports Federation and Ski Dubai enjoy a long-standing partnership, collaborating regularly to achieve their shared vision of promoting winter sports in the Middle East and North African region.

About Majid Al Futtaim:

Founded in 1992, Majid Al Futtaim is a diversified lifestyle conglomerate spanning 16 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The company employs 46,000 people representing 114 nationalities and welcomes 600 million customers to its shopping malls, communities, retail and entertainment destinations each year. 

With owned assets valued at US$18 billion, Majid Al Futtaim has the highest credit rating (BBB) among privately-held corporates in the region. The company is committed to becoming Net Positive in water and carbon by 2040. 

About Majid Al Futtaim Entertainment:

Majid Al Futtaim Entertainment operates the MENA region’s largest cinema exhibitor, VOX Cinemas, which has more than 600 screens. It also has a portfolio of world-class entertainment experiences across the region including Ski Dubai, Ski Egypt, Snow Oman, Dreamscape, Magic Planet, Little Explorers and iFLY Dubai. 

In addition to being the largest cinema exhibitor in the Middle East, Majid Al Futtaim Entertainment also produces premium Arabic content and serves as a major film distributor for both major and independent studios.