Take a drive from Burj Al Arab and head towards old Dubai on Jumeirah Beach Road, and somewhere along the way you will see, nestled among the villas, hotels and low-rise buildings, the enduring Dubai Offshore Sailing Club.
The UAE was less than two years old when this Dubai landmark club was established, the brainchild of British couple Guy and Caroline Temple, and a few other yacht-loving friends. They could not in their wildest dreams have imagine back in 1974 just what the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club would go on to become, and represent.
Almost 47 years on from those heady, early days of a slowly flourishing shoreline, DOSC has become one of the pillars of the city’s sailing community and a iconic landmark along the Arabian Gulf coast.
But it took a royal seal of approval for the project to get off the ground.
In a sign of things to come, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai and Vice President of the UAE, embraced the innovative ideas of expatriates who would make the UAE their home by granting the Temples and the other founding members a stretch of land along what would become Jumeirah Beach Road, to set up a permanent home for sailing in the Emirate.
It’s no exaggeration that its presence has since played a major role in shaping Jumeirah Beach, and indeed advancing all things sailing and yachting in Dubai.
Slowly, from around the world, sailing professionals and amateurs, residents or visitors, would come to visit Dubai Offshore Sailing Club. Olympic athletes and World Champions would sail from its shore.
Among the sailors across various categories to visit DOSC were the late, legendary British sailor John Oakley; four-time Olympic gold medalist and 11-time world champion Paul Elvstrom of Denmark; Double Olympic gold medalist Rodney Pattison from Great Britain; and another Briton, Randy Smyth, winner of two Olympic silver medals.
Today, Dubai Offshore Sailing Club has plenty of competition for attention on Jumeirah Beach Road, which while maintaining its traditional charm on the coast of Dubai, is unrecognisable from the barren, sparsely-populated stretch of land with sporadic residential areas it was in 1974.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, as Dubai and the Emirates in general continued to grow at breathtakingly rapid pace, the DOSC remained a destination for this who loved sailing, and increasingly for their yachts.
Fro te outside, it might have maintained its humble facade, but inside however, it has thrived and grown to register over 700 members, a marina with 152 berths, a welcoming Clubhouse and a busy social calendar.
Members and visitors can rent boats and dinghies, go cruising on yachts and learn how to sail.
Year round, DOSC is also hosts international sailing regattas, local competitions, boat shows and social events.
Almost five decades after its humble beginnings, the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club continues to fulfil the vision of its founders as a home of sailing on the Arabian Gulf.