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Sailing for the Blind & Visually Impaired
A Pioneering Programme by
Gargash Enterprises and Bluesail
in Dubai & Middle East
“Sailing for the Blind & Visually Impaired”

Gargash Enterprises, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility drive, has joined forces with Bluesail LLC to develop and implement a pioneering programme for the blind and visually impaired citizens of the UAE.

Supported strongly by Tamkeen and Foresight, the year long plus programme aims to provide blind and visually impaired Arab nationals with the opportunity to focus on their abilities whilst learning to sail a 42 foot sailing yacht. A further objective of the programme is to develop a local blind sailing team that will represent the region at the International Federation for Disabled Sailing (IFDS) World Blind Sailing Championships in the future. The ultimate aim would be to eventually host this event in Dubai.

“Gargash Enterprises are enormously proud to be spearheading this exciting initiative in partnership with Bluesail. We believe that the programme will have a significant impact in the U.A.E, by leading to many wonderful challenges and achievements for the community” said Julian Redman, Marketing Manager, Gargash Enterprises.

The foundation of the program requires participants to undergo an intensive 3-month training session under the direction of Bluesail’s experienced Yachtmaster instructors. Each participant will be allocated an English/Arabic speaking “Buddie” that will assist in the training and safety of the blind sailor. The Buddies, who are all volunteers, form a diverse group of dedicated individuals, many of whom are well established and respected business people from leading corporations and agencies within the UAE. The Buddies have generously donated their time, skills and enthusiasm to help ensure the success of the entire project.

Mamoon Sultan Saeed Saif, a student at Tamkeen said: “I am delighted to have been offered the opportunity to participate in this programme. There is a very big buzz in the blind community about learning to sail. Many of my friends at Tamkeen both male and female have enrolled. We are all very excited at the challenges this presents and the possibilities of representing our country as part of an international yacht racing team”

Mr. Ahmad Al Mulla, Head of Community Relations, Tamkeen is very positive about this opportunity for his students and said: “We are delighted to be involved with Gargash Enterprises and Bluesail on this innovative project. Opportunities like this are very special. It is a dream for many people to learn to sail a racing yacht. A groundbreaking project of this dimension will test everyone’s commitment, skill and dedication. The tangible and intangible benefits for our students will have far reaching benefits. I hope that the program’s success can be replicated across the region giving even more blind sailors the platform from which they can excel.”

Bluesail Director, Laura Muir adds: “Our collaborative commitment and dedication to this project will put UAE at the cutting edge of this rapidly expanding international sport. Developing and supporting keen amateur blind sailors and world class competitive blind sailors will have a dramatic impact throughout the area. We have received immense support from international blind sailing associations, particularly the New Zealand Council for Sailing for the Blind and Vision Impaired where Grant Dalton, leader of the Emirates Team New Zealand America's Cup Challenge, is the Vice Patron. Their support, advice and encouragement have been essential in the development of our specialised instruction syllabus.”
A special initiative has also been launched by Gargash Enterprises and Bluesail in collaboration with Virgin Megastore to raise funds for Tamkeen and Foresight. Custom-made merchandise including embroidered t-shirts and solidarity bracelets will be available for purchase at all Virgin Megastore outlets. All proceeds raised from the sale of these items will be donated to Tamkeen and Foresight.

The “Sailing for the Blind & Visually Impaired” programme is set to start in late September with the initial training of the Buddies. Volunteers from the public can contact Laura Muir from Bluesail on
+971 4 3979730 or via email on
in order to participate as a Buddie.

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