Showjumping will be included in the Arab Women Sports Tournament (AWST) for the first time this year.

The showjumping competition will kick-off the tournament following the opening ceremony this evening (Tuesday, 2 February).

The event runs from 2-12 February and will be held at the Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

The centre is home to one of the largest indoor arenas in the Middle East.

Competitors from 17 countries will take part in eight sports at the world’s only all female Pan-Arab sports tournament.

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A record number of sports clubs are registered to take part in the third edition of the games, which has the slogan “your world, your court”.

Athletes from 55 clubs are set to compete, which is up from 53 clubs in 2014.

Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, from the AWST organising committee, said that the large number of sponsors and the eagerness of leading national companies to support the Arab tournament shows the progress and impact it has made.

“The support of our sponsors is one of the main reasons behind the tournament’s success and it also helps push the presence of women in sports in the Arab region as well as internationally,” he said.

“The main goal of the tournament for everyone who is involved at any level with the tournament is to see its success.”

As well as showjumping, the tournament also features basketball, volleyball, archery, fencing, shooting, table tennis, and athletics.

A total of 16 sponsors, including Etisalat and the International Petroleum Investment Company — have pledged to support the games.

The tournament is organised by the women sports department, the Sharjah Ladies Club, the general authority of youth and sports welfare, the National Olympic committee and the Sharjah Sports Council.

Tournament manager Nada Al Naqbi said that the success of the tournament is in line with the aim of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi’s hope to make the United Arab Emirates a place that respects women and considers them an important aspect of society.