DUBAI: The Chinar Sports Festival, a new brand of the Kashmiri community in the United Arab Emirates, is set to get rolling in the first week of the new year.
The Festival will provide an opportunity to the Kashmiri community across the UAE to bond and spread the awareness about protecting the Chinar Valley from the effects of climate change. Through the events, information will be provided about the dangers of climate change while the ‘Chinar Bachao Campaign’ will be initiated to deal with it.
Chinar Sports Festival UAE 2024 Chairman Raja Asad Khalid said this while addressing a press conference in Dubai in connection with the 45-day extravaganza.
Raja Mohammad Khan, owner of RMK Industries; Sajid Iqbal Abbasi, owner of Fly Hawk; Raja Abdul Jabbar, owner of Liva Real Estate; and Sardar Ayaz, owner of Silver City Housing Project, Rawalpindi, also addressed the press conference.
Raja Asad Khalid said that inspired by the vision of tolerance and coexistence in the United Arab Emirates, Kashmiris from both sides are being provided an opportunity to communicate through sports.
“The Chinar Sports Festival UAE 2024 will be more than a sporting event. In light of the successful World Environment Summit COP28, which concluded just recently in Dubai, the ‘Save Poplar Campaign’ will be launched in the Kashmir region under which poplar trees will be planted from Srinagar to Muzaffarabad,” Raja Asad said.
He said that the motto of the Chinar Sports Festival is the same this time: ‘Let’s Join Hands to Save Chinar Leaf’.
The Chinar Sports Festival Chairman said that Chinar Super League – the joint brand of Kashmiris in the United Arab Emirates – has now been rechristened as Chinar Sports Festival. It will include competitions in cricket, badminton and volleyball.
Raja Asad told media persons that the Chinar Super League (cricket) is being held on the UAE soil for the last four years, for which he expressed his gratitude to the respected leadership of the UAE.
“We are extremely grateful to UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for their vision,” he said.
Raja Asad further said that the Chinar Sports Festival will be organised in the United Arab Emirates, but the poplar tree plantation drive will be held in the UAE and also in Kashmir – on both sides.
He informed that under the banner of the Chinar Sports Festival, 16 teams each will take part in the Chinar Super League and the Chinar Premier League T10 cricket tournaments. Matching the number of participating teams, 16 poplar trees each will be planted in Srinagar, Muzaffarabad and UAE.
Besides the two cricket tournaments, the Chinar Sports Festival will also have a badminton tournament and a volleyball tournament – the most popular sport of Chinar Valley.
The Festival’s sponsor Raja Mohammad Khan, the owner of RMK Industries, hoped that the volleyball players will go on to take part in the Olympics. “We have to not only conduct the tournament but also provide coaching to the players so that the players can spread the name of Kashmir around the world,” he said.
Raja Ayaz of Silver City, the main partner of Chinar Sports Festival, said that he is happy that the journey which began with the Chinar Cricket Tournament has now reached the Chinar Sports Festival. He said considering the motto of the Festival, Silver City has fully integrated streetlights in its project. “On the other hand, solar charging stations for environmentally friendly vehicles will be installed in Silver City, from where free charging facilities will be provided to international tourists entering Pakistan from Islamabad airport,” he said.
It should be noted that the glaciers in the Kashmir region are melting rapidly and South Asia faces threats due to climate change. To deal with these climatic changes, it has been decided to plant trees in Kashmir and the United Arab Emirates through the Chinar Sports Festival.
The 16-team Chinar Super League will be played from February 9 to February 18 in Sharjah and Ajman while the Chinar Premier League T10 will be played from February 9 in Sharjah and Ajman.
The badminton tournament will begin on January 6 in Dubai in which 50 teams will participate. The volleyball tournament will be played from January 13.