But while the main spotlight will be on the Class 1 challengers setting off from DOSC on the two-day series of short course races, the less heralded Class 2 contenders will be tussling for honours at a level which has the most obvious potential for attracting newcomers into sailing.
Boosting the popularity of the sport is one of the chief objectives of Maktoum Trophy organisers Dubai International Marine Club, and Class 2 skippers like Jed LANGOSZ in Goan Bananas and Ben TRENOUTH in Binker believe the series is on the right course.
Currently lying joint second in Binker behind John ROSE'S runaway Class 2 leader Insatiable, Langosz admits: 'John is in a class of his own and winning Class 2 by a mile, and the Class 1 boats are in a different league. The rest of us, people who just do this for the sheer enjoyment of sailing, don't have the professional crews and big budgets, but we've enjoyed the whole experience and have learnt so much.
It's so good to be involved in something that is taken so seriously. We all benefit from being part of it. It's taken sailing to a new level from the normal club events and it could help attract more people to sailing, particularly through Class 2.'
Added Langosz: 'You don't have to spend a lot of money. There are plenty of old boats around that can be picked up quite cheaply. All you need is the desire, and some people who want to go racing with you. It's accessible to anyone.'
That's a message underlined by Trenouth, a former Commodore at DOSC where round five of the Maktoum Trophy is being sponsored by Van Oord, MMI and Thomsun/Yama, 'Recently there has been an influx of hybrid French boats with high-tech sails bringing a completely different class of sailing,' he says. 'But I'm very pleased that we have Class 2. It shows sailing can still be rewarding without having to buy an expensive new boat. Ours are older, slower and more traditional, but we have good competition and enjoy ourselves. What we need now is more young people to come in and crew.'
Trenouth has been sailing for 30 years, the last 17 of those years in Dubai, 13 at DOSC. He bought Binker 19 years ago in the UK and took a year off to sail it around the Mediterranean before it was eventually brought to Dubai from Turkey on a container ship.
Work commitments have limited him to two rounds to date and means he will miss the DOSC event at the weekend, but he expects to contest the final two rounds next month.
Langosz, whose wife Lesley is a regular member of his crew, has sailed at DOSC for the last four years after previous stints in Bahrain and India. The 20-year-old Goan Bananas, named by the previous owner who had dreamed of sailing it home to India, is his 'pride and joy.' He says: 'We love racing it, even though we have no chance of winning line honours.' His most dramatic moment in the series to date came during the previous round, the Dubai-Muscat Race, when a collision with the boom during a sudden storm left him with a four-inch cut on the top of his head. The Fujairah coastline was 15 hours away at the time and while his wife tended to the wound the two other crew members had their work cut out to keep the boat steady and guide it safely to shore.