World-class facilities, global events give boost to sports tourism in Dubai
With a diverse calendar of international sports events combined with a range of world-class infrastructure and facilities, Dubai’s sports sector has emerged as a key driver of growth for the city’s tourism industry, attracting both players and fans from around the world and further enhancing Dubai’s position as a multi-faceted destination.
What sets Dubai apart as an attractive sporting hub is the superior spectator excitement and experience shared by visitors and residents from over 200 different nationalities; access to tournaments featuring the world’s best sporting icons; year-round availability of world-leading sports venues such as stadiums and golf courses; tourism infrastructure such as hotels catering to the varied visitor profile, in addition to the unique destination offering.
As a testament to the growth of sports tourism, even international sports brands continue to choose Dubai as the launchpad for major initiatives. Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism and top global brand, Adidas, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that enables Dubai’s residents and visitors to access a range of lifestyle, retail and sports events and activations to encourage everyone to adopt a healthier lifestyle while prioritising their safety and well-being.
Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, said: “Dubai, without a doubt, is a leading sports destination – not just in the region, but also globally, thanks to the visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the guidance of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Sports Council.”
Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, commented: ‘As a role model for recovery in the events sector, Dubai continues to host global sporting events that play a pivotal role in the city’s tourism growth, and further enhance our efforts to achieve the goal set by our visionary leadership to make Dubai the most preferred and visited destination in the world.”
Apart from substantial investments in the field of football, the most popular sport in the UAE, Dubai originally rose to prominence as a global sports hub by staging the world’s biggest horse racing event, the Dubai World Cup since 1996.
Each year, Dubai hosts the best of the European Tour Players for the prestigious DP World Tour Championship and the grand finale of the Race to Dubai.
Continually adding new sporting firsts to its calendar, Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena introduced the Tie Break Tens in October, the first-ever international tennis event hosted by the Arena.
Highlighting Dubai’s sporting prominence, after almost a hundred years of being headquartered in Lords, England, the International Cricket Council moved its headquarters to Dubai. The 2021 Indian Premier League, one of the most-watched sporting events, was held across three venues in the UAE including Dubai International Cricket Stadium, which was also the venue for some of the matches and the final of the ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup, followed passionately by billions of cricket fans.
One of the city’s most popular sporting events, and another favourite of rugby fans around the world, is the Emirates Airline Dubai 7s that will take place from Dec.2-4 at The Sevens Stadium.