DUBAI: SHINING JEWEL IN THE CROWN OF WORLD SPORTS
Nov 16 - 22, 2009
Like the Phoenix, the mythological bird, Dubai has risen from the ashes to become a leading international commercial and economic hub, the biggest shining jewel in the sports crown of the world and the incentive destination for leading businessmen, business houses, and international sports organizations and sportsmen.
Top names in the world of sports miss no chance to travel to Dubai to make name and fortune. Footballers from Latin America, golfers from the USA, horse racing jockey’s from England and the USA, racing car drivers from Europe and the Americas, tennis players from across the world and cricketers all love and long to visit Dubai.
For Pakistan and Pakistanis Dubai has special place in their hearts. Dubai has contributed in bringing prosperity to the Pakistanis who managed to reach there. Pakistani businessman and the also Pakistani sportsmen also shared the new found prosperity in Dubai.
About two decades ago when financial scene in field hockey was dismal, the PHF stumbled upon a generous sponsor who organized hockey test matches between Pakistan and India in Dubai. The series between the two neighbours at a remote venue encouraged frequent contacts, which proved beneficial to both Pakistan and India. Sub continental cricketers were most befitted with their contact in the UAE where the first-ever international cricket series was organized for the benefit of the cricketers.
Andulrehman Bukhatir accepted the idea of former Pakistan test cricketer Asif Iqbal to organize Cricketers Benefit Fund Series in an era where there was no big money in the sport.
Dubai has become a permanent cricket home for Pakistan after the traumatic events in Pakistan, which discouraged foreign teams to visit the country.
After the completion of Dubai Sports City, Pakistan has made Dubai its cricket home away from home. Pakistan has already played home series matches against Australia, the West Indies, and New Zealand in the past.
Currently the Dubai Sports City has hosted two T20 matches as part of Pakistan’s home series against the New Zealand.
Dubai’s rise to international glory was not achieved easily. It was the result of visionary ideas of its ruling family led by late Sheikh Rashid al-Maktoum known for his compassion and extraordinary administrative skills. Expatriates from the sub continent who had the opportunity to work in Dubai over the years fondly remember the late Shaikh and his love for those who were working to develop Dubai into a modern state and a city.
From an ordinary fishing desert town just a half a century ago, Dubai has transformed into an extraordinary international city surpassing in a number of much bigger and modern cities of rich and advanced countries who had limitless sources to develop their cities.
When oil was discovered in 1966, Sheikh Rashid utilized the oil revenues to spur infrastructure development in Dubai—schools, hospitals, roads, a modern telecommunications network … the pace of development was frenetic.
A new port and terminal building was built at Dubai International Airport. A runway extension that could accommodate any type of aircraft was implemented. The largest man-made harbour in the world was constructed at Jebel Ali, and a free zone was created around the port.
Dubai’s formula for development was becoming evident to everyone – visionary leadership, high-quality infrastructure, an expatriate-friendly environment, zero tax on personal and corporate income and low import duties. The result was that Dubai quickly became a business and tourism hub for a region that stretches from Egypt to the Indian sub-continent and from South Africa to what is now called the CIS countries.
Since the 1960s, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, then ruler of Abu Dhabi, and Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum had dreamed of creating a federation of the Emirates in the region. Their dreams were realized in 1971 when Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah and (in 1972) Ras Al Khaimah, joined to create the United Arab Emirates.
Under the late Sheikh Zayed, the first President of UAE, the UAE has developed into one of the richest countries in the world with a per capita GDP in excess of US$17,000 per annum.
In the 1980s and early 1990s, Dubai took a strategic decision to emerge as a major international-quality tourism destination. Investments in tourism infrastructure have paid off handsomely over the years.
Dubai is now a city that boasts unmatchable hotels, remarkable architecture and excellent entertainment and sporting events.
The beautiful Burj Al Arab hotel presiding over the coastline of Jumeirah beach is the world’s only hotel with a seven star rating. The Emirates Towers are one of the many structures that remind us of the commercial confidence in a city that expands at a remarkable rate. Standing 350 meters high, the office tower is the tallest building in the Middle East and Europe.
Dubai also hosts major international sporting events. The Dubai Desert Classic is a major stop on the Professional Golf Association tour. The Dubai Open, an ATP tennis tournament, and the Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest horse race draw thousands every year.
DUBAI SPORTS CITY
Dubai Sports City a new phenomena in the world of sports is the vision of three leading entrepreneurs from the United Arab Emirates - Abdulrahim
Al Zarooni, Abdulrahman Bukhatir and Abdulrahman Falaknaz to create one of the world’s premier sporting destinations in line with the overall vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed to create world class sporting infrastructure in Dubai and making it a destination for the sporting world.
It’s been conceptualized as a city within a city, where you can get everything that you dream of on your doorstep-from state-of-the-art sports venues and international sporting events, to top of the line sports academies, providing a platform for youth development, recreational sporting facilities, residential and commercial developments, together with all the related amenities expected in a purpose-built city, including international schools, medical
facilities, hotels, community centres, and entertainment venues.
Set on 50 million square feet within the Dubai land development, Dubai Sports City will feature four magnificent stadia: a 60,000-seat multi-purpose outdoor stadium for rugby, soccer and track and field events, a 25,000-seat capacity dedicated cricket stadium, a 10,000-seat multi-purpose indoor arena for hard court games, ice hockey, concerts and other events, and a field hockey stadium for 5,000 spectators.
The first completed facility in Dubai Sports City is the 18-hole championship golf course, The Els Club, Ernie Els’ first golf course design concept in the Middle East, which is now open for play to members. The Els Club is the centrepiece of the luxury golf residential community, Victory Heights.
Towards middle of 2009, Dubai Sports City will be the centre point for world-renowned sporting academies including the first purpose-built Manchester United Soccer Schools facility anywhere in the world, the International Cricket Council’s own ICC Global Cricket Academy, the first Butch Harmon School Of Golf outside the United States, the first of its kind World Hockey Academy, and a David Lloyd Tennis Academy.
Furthermore, these exciting developments will feature the Next Generation Clubs, a state-of-the-art health and fitness facility, as well as the Bradenton Preparatory Academy (from Florida, USA) – a college preparatory school which teaches students the American Baccalaureate Curriculum leading to an American High School Diploma, with flexible timings for use of the sports academy facilities.
In addition to the sporting facilities, Dubai Sports City will boast major residential and commercial developments, together with all the related amenities expected in a purpose-built city, including international schools, medical facilities, hotels, community centers, and entertainment venues.
The primary shopping destination at Dubai Sports City, Arena Mall, will have a leasing capacity of 1.4 million square feet. This will be complemented by two retail hubs and a waterfront promenade featuring boutiques, restaurants and cafes.
Dubai Sports City is all about providing its residents and visitors with an unbeatable and unique lifestyle - a city within a city, underpinned with sports and leisure activities, with every possible amenity right on the doorstep. Residential communities, superb dining, shopping and entertainment and even a vibrant commercial district, provides a unique opportunity to watch, learn, play, live, work, shop and live sport.
Dubai Sports City has set the benchmark extremely high, delivering an exceptional quality standard that has attracted top international brands, sporting bodies and investors. Anticipated to receive some 70,000 people a day when completed in 2010, Dubai Sports City is an integral part of Dubai land, the 3 billion square foot mega leisure and entertainment destination.
The DSC has multipurpose Outdoor Stadium, multipurpose Indoor Stadium, field hockey stadium, Cricket Stadium, DSC Football Academy, ICC Global Cricket Academy, World Hockey Academy, Butch Harmon School of Golf, David Lloyd Tennis Academy, Swimming Academy, Rugby Academy, and Manchester United Soccer Schools and ICC Global Cricket Academy Gallery. Managed by the International Cricket Council (ICC), the ICC Global
Cricket Academy will provide a state-of-the-art, purpose built facility, which will allow players, coaches, umpires, curators and administrators to live and breathe cricket in an environment totally focused on progress and achievement.
The academy will offer a variety of courses under a series of systematic and carefully planned training programme with skill improvement and professional excellence as integral components. National, county, and state level teams as well as development squads will benefit from the programme at this academy.
World Hockey Academy presents yet another world first for Dubai Sports City, with the establishment of a long-term partnership with the Federation of International Hockey, the world’s governing body for the sport. The academy will be the first FIH academy of its kind in the world and will be based at the field hockey stadium at Dubai Sports City. The World Hockey Academy will provide hockey coaching from grassroots to the highest professional level from accredited hockey coaches.
The Dubai Sports City Football Academy is home to Manchester United Soccer Schools. This state-of-the-art purpose built facility enables football-crazy youngsters to experience the MUSS coaching philosophy, adapted from Manchester United Football Club’s Youth Academy.
Launched in 2005 by Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United Soccer Schools emphasizes teamwork, discipline and most importantly fun. The school’s objective is for each player to reach their optimum performance level and benefit from the experience of learning the ‘Manchester United Way’.
David Lloyd Tennis Academy operates with the goal of identifying and developing players using internationally renowned programme. Former Davis Cup Captain, David Lloyd, has created an environment where everyone can learn, develop and grow. For the more competitive players it offers an opportunity to participate in leagues and events in state of the art facilities, under the watchful eye of skilled tennis professionals.
With nine outdoor and six indoor courts, ITF certified coaches; the David Lloyd Tennis Academy at Dubai Sports City will provide all students with the skills and confidence to realize their full potential.