Surfers in the region have been given the green light for the Middle East’s biggest surfing competition – ESSA Sunset Open to take place on Saturday April 5.

The 2,000-strong surfing community of Dubai have had their eyes trained on the waves for the best part of a month, with contestants ready to grab their boards when surf’s up.

Registration to take part in the two-day competition closed on March 29, since which it has been down to organisers – who’re watching the weather conditions with eagle eyes – to declare when the competition will start.

And on Wednesday they confirmed that the event would take place at Umm Suqeim Beach on Saturday April 5.

Sunset Opens have been held in Dubai since 2009, but this is the first time the event has been organised by ESSA, or Emirates Sup and Surf Committee – the UAE’s first surfing committee. There are four categories in the competition – men, women, ‘groms’ (that’s surfer slang for kids under 16) and ‘super groms’ (a new category for this year’s event aimed at youngsters between five and ten years old).

Competition judges will be scoring on surfing skills, including speed and technique, with trophies and surfboards up for grabs.

Of course, you don’t have to get in the water to enjoy Sunset Open. There’s plenty for spectators to enjoy on the beach and it’s all free of charge. ESSA committee member and Surf Dubai boss Scott Chambers said: “Dubai’s not usually associated with surfing but there is a very passionate surfing community here. This is a great opportunity to have fun and show off.”

For more information on surfing in Dubai, and other brilliant boardsports, CLICK HERE.