172 teams to vie for $272,245 prize at Gov Games next month

Teams have to decide and act fast when they're doing the obstacles.


The ultimate physical and mental challenge for government employees is back. And it's bigger and tougher than before, with 172 local, federal and international teams vying for the top prize at the second edition of Gov Games, taking place on Kite Beach, Dubai, from April 3 to 6.

Under the banner, 'One Team One Spirit', government teams are pitted against each other, testing their teamwork, physical prowess, speed, mental agility, problem-solving skills and sharpness in hurdling various obstacle courses. Winning teams in both the male and female categories will get Dh1 million each.

"This year's edition will be a lot different from last year," Marwan bin Issa, director of Gov Games, told Khaleej Times after the orientation and official draw for the competition on Tuesday at Nad Al Sheba Sports Arena.

"We've added a couple of bonuses to some obstacles. And this year, every second matters, so teams have to decide and act fast when they're doing the obstacles."

The 'risk and reward' bonus will give teams extra points by taking on added risks or implementing decisions that reflect advanced thinking and performance.

"More teams are also participating in this edition. There are 108 teams competing in the men's category and 64 in the women's, for a total of 172 teams, including 14 government teams from eight other countries," Bin Issa added.

He also stressed that creating innovative platforms such as Gov Games would help "instil key corporate values, such as teamwork, strategic thinking and determination, to reach the goals across the UAE's government departments and share that challenge with participating teams from around the world".

Gov Games is organised by the Executive Council of Dubai, in partnership with Dubai Sports Council (DSC). Organisers have also revealed the full schedule of challenges but the details of the exact obstacles facing the athletes remained a secret.

The inaugural edition last year was won by Team F3, led by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, in the men's division, while the trophy in the women's category was lifted by the team from the US Consulate General in Dubai.

Champions ready to defend their titles

The title-holder F3 Team will again be led by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, in the second edition of the Gov Games next month.

Last year, Sheikh Hamdan led his team in tackling a challenge called 'Storm', where they climbed a wall and went down a zipline over a fire and afterwards ran 1km while carrying a heavy log along the obstacle course.

The F3 Team bested other finalists, including the Abu Dhabi Airports, Ministry of Interior, Sharjah Police, Fujairah Police and the Ministry of Education.

The women's championship title went to the US Consulate General in Dubai after beating the Ministry of Education, Dubai Police, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Dubai Health Authority and Dubai Municipality.

Games' schedule set

>Day 1 (April 3)

64 women's teams will compete, with each team facing nine challenges. The top six teams will qualify for the finals

>Days 2 & 3 (April 4-5)

108 male teams will compete in three rounds to overcome nine challenges, with the best six teams making it to the finals

>Day 4 (April 6)

Six best-performing male and female teams will go head to head in their respective competitions for one last challenge

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