Dubai consolidates position as global hub for sports

The 15th edition of the Asia Cup kicked off at the Dubai International Stadium on Saturday.

Dubai’s world-class sports, hospitality and tourism infrastructure and an unrivalled ability to successfully organise mega-events were instrumental in the UAE’s selection as tournament host.

Over 16 days, Dubai plays host to 10 of the 13 Asia Cup fixtures, including the India-Pakistan header on Sunday and the title clash on September 11.

The UAE is hosting the Asia Cup for the fourth time, with Dubai also hosting the title clash in the previous edition, when India beat Bangladesh to lift the Cup in 2018.

His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Sports Council (DSC), said the UAE has always been keen to cooperate and collaborate with the world, and Dubai is proud to offer its infrastructure for Asia Cup fixtures.

“Thanks to the vision of our leadership, hosting large-scale international sports events, including the Asia Cup, one of cricket’s biggest contests, reinforces the UAE’s position on the global events map. It is a huge vote of confidence by the international community in our robust infrastructure and event-management capabilities,” he said.

Along with trade, tourism and culture, sport plays a critical role in the growth of any global city.

Dubai’s leadership sees sports as a strategic economic development driver that significantly impacts tourism and the emirate’s global reputation. Today, Dubai is home to world-class facilities and venues.

The city regularly hosts local, regional and international events that welcome elite athletes and grassroots participation, including homegrown talent.

The contribution of the sports sector to the national and local economy continues to grow, cementing Dubai’s status as a global hub for sports while attracting foreign investment and creating more jobs for the UAE’s talented youth.

The Asia Cup will see cricketing stars from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Hong Kong vying for the coveted Cup in the UAE.

The India-Pakistan match alone is expected to attract more than 1 billion viewers on various international platforms.

It isn’t the first time the UAE has accepted the challenge of hosting a tournament when it’s been impossible to host it elsewhere.

The 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), dubbed the world’s richest cricket tournament, was successfully held in the UAE under a cloud of Covid-19.

Even last year, the UAE hosted the business leg of the IPL 14 tournament, with Dubai hosting the lion’s share of the fixtures, including the title clash on October 15, 2021.

Right after IPL’s conclusion last year, the UAE and Oman co-hosted the 16-team ICC Twenty20 World Cup from October 17 to November 14, 2021.

The World Cup featured 45 matches, 13 of which were played in Dubai, including the finals and the clash between traditional cricketing rivals India and Pakistan.

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