About Siren Dragon Boat

Siren Dragon Boat has been hosting Dragon Boat events in the UAE since 2007.

We organise Dragon Boat events across the UAE including iconic locations such as Dubai Fountain and Hatta Dam.

Currently, we organise up to eight Festivals per season including two international events – EDBF Euro Cup in Dubai and the IDBF MENA+ Club Crew Championships in Sharjah.

These events combine to produce over 10,000 participants per year.

What is Dragon Boat Racing?

Dragon Boat Racing began as a modern international sport in Hong Kong in 1976 and has since become a popular sport around the world.

Dragon boat racing involves teams of people paddling a long, narrow boat that is shaped like a dragon and decorated with dragon heads and tails.

The boats are typically propelled by a crew of 20 paddlers, a drummer, and a steerer. The drummer sets the pace for the paddlers, while the steerer directs the boat.

Dragon Boat Festival

Origins of Dragon Boat Racing

Dragon Boating is a popular water sport believed to have originated in China 2,500 years ago. The folklore surrounding its creation involves the drowning of Chinese poet Qu Yuan, who committed suicide in protest against political corruption. According to the tale, the people rushed to save him, beating their drums and splashing paddles to ward off evil spirits. Today, dragon boat races are held annually on the day of Qu Yuan’s death.

However, a more credible origin story relates to the Duan Wu festival, which falls on the 5th day of the 5th month of the Chinese lunar calendar. At this time, the sun and dragon are believed to be at their most powerful, and the Chinese people pay homage through dragon boat racing. This time of year is considered evil, with a higher incidence of disease, so people place shapes of the five venomous animals in the mouths of the carved dragons to ward off evil.

Dragon boats have been depicted on ancient Dong Son drums in southern China and Vietnam, as well as in carvings at Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Today, many dragon boat races are still associated with the Duan Wu Festival in China and the Tueng Ng Festival in Hong Kong.

Origins of Dragon Boat Festival