Dubai: New Sports Power House
Dubai and Sports
Dubai never had any sporting tradition. But with the advent of oil and the resultant affluence has made the entry of sports into Dubai a reality. The ruler of Dubai Mohammed al Maktoum had a desire to make Dubai an international megapolis. This led him to usher in sports and resultant stadia in the Country.
Dubai Sports City is a massive conglomerate of sports structures like stadiums, courses and sporting clubs which have been built. The project is now almost complete. This sports project is perhaps the largest integrated sports project in the world. It is part of the ruler’s grandiose schemes. It is a multipurpose city in itself and has a carpet area of 50 million square feet,.
Dubai sports city is an end destination in itself. It gives a fillip to sports world wide as Dubai considers itself an international city. Some of the finest sporting paraphernalia like stadiums, golf courses and the like are part of this massive district
The plan envisaged the construction of four gigantic stadiums. These four stadiums have a special cricket stadium with a seating capacity of over 25000 and an indoor stadium as well as a central capacity 60000 sports stadium for all atheletic and other sports. Golf is another sport that has pride of place in Dubai Sports City. The Golf course is designed by Ernie Els and referred to as the Dunes. It is now operational. World championships are conducted here and Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh have been star attractions.
The rulers of Dubai have looked ahead and have not confined their activities to sports facilities only, but have set up many top class sporting academies. So in the future the expectation is that these sports facilities will attract the best of talent. Manchester United Soccer Schools, the David Lloyd Tennis Academy and the Butch Harmon School of Golf are some of the legendary names in school of sports that will adorn the Dubai Sports City. That will be a welcome development for the world of sport.
The Dubai sports conglomerate came up in 2012 and the total estimated cost was over $ 4 billion. The cricket stadia started by holding the Australia -Pakistan cricket match and in 2010 twenty twenty world cup, the Dubai sports stadia hosted the England Pakistan match. In addition the ICC has shifted one leg of its head quarters to Dubai. Cricket has now deep roots in UAE and the latest edition of the Pakistan Cricket league was conducted here. A portion of the Indian Premier league was also conducted in UAE. Many test matches have been held in Dubai, which hosts all home series of the Pakistan cricket team as foreign teams do not tour Pakistan because of terrorist activity.
The main aim of the ruler of Dubai is to make sports an integral part of the UAE and create world class facilities so that the world over players and nations come to Dubai as a Mecca of sports. It was rumored that Dubai may bid for the 2016 Olympics, but at the end of the day no bid was made.
Even otherwise Dubai has a number of international golf courses and some important golfing tournaments are part of the calendar. Water sports are also very much in vogue, as well as desert safaris that can be an exciting entry into another form of sport.
The recession in real estate some time back did have a marginal effect on sports activities in Dubai, but experts opine that the sports city will take off as planned. Dubai sports are on the upswing. Dubai itself may not field many locals in the sport but as a sports center of excellence, Dubai is the leader. A Dubai cricket team has taken shape and played in the last T2o world cup in India and the high point was that the team beat the West Indies in their final encounter.
Dubai is also a center for Horse racing and has one of the finest race course in the world. The 2016 Dubai Derby carried a prize of $ 10 million and was won by an American horse.In addition Dubai has a 24 hour sports channel as well- a Dubai sport that helps popularize the games and sports. The Dubai horse races are televised all over the world and punters bet from far away places like USA and India
However all this is not cheap and a tourist sportsman has to pay through the nose for these facilities. Here in is the drawback.