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Emirates Unveils World Class Sports Facility

See following news release issued for Emirates Airline:

News Release
29 November 2007

Emirates Unveils World Class Sports Facility

The Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens and the game of rugby in the region will be lifted to a whole new level after plans for Dubai’s newest sporting and social facility were unveiled by Emirates Airline today.

The Emirates-funded, purpose-built complex boasting state-of-the-art sporting facilities will be Dubai’s new home of rugby from next year.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group, said: “There is great excitement at the prospect of taking the Dubai Rugby Sevens to a dramatic new level, while still preserving the special character and atmosphere that makes this tournament so unique.

“Emirates is proud to be establishing a new home for rugby which will be pivotal to the development of the sport in the UAE and the wider Gulf region, while supporting the needs of the community.”

The complex, located off the Al Ain Road near Dubailand, will feature a main pitch which will have a permanent 10,000 seat stand; while pitch two will be located in a bowl, enclosed on three sides by grassed embankments capable of holding a crowd of 15,000.

Work on the rugby centre is already under way and is due to be completed by November next year in time to stage the 2008 Dubai Rugby Sevens and then the 2009 IRB Sevens Rugby World Cup – involving 24 men’s and 16 women’s teams - which is being held in the emirate for the first time (March 5 to 7, 2009).

The unveiling of the new, as yet unnamed, sporting venue follows the recent announcement that the Dubai Rugby Sevens will move from its current home at the Dubai Exiles Rugby Club in Al Awir after 38 years.

Elements of the current set-up will remain and a key consideration in the overall design was to ensure that spectators will still be able to walk freely between all the pitches in use.

Sheikh Ahmed said: “We have taken the model that has worked so well for so long, and part of that is people like to watch games on other pitches and intermingle. We were adamant that that had to continue. This is a unique opportunity to move forward while still embracing the best of what we have done in the past.

“With the new ground, we will be able to welcome 40,000 rugby fans with the ability to grow to 50,000 – and that would make the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens the biggest Sevens tournament in the world. We currently have over 150 teams taking part but, further down the line, we could up that total to more than 200.”

Emirates flies its wide-bodied aircraft four times daily from New Zealand to Dubai and beyond, offering full service, meals and wine in First, Business and Economy class on all flights. Most services also have Emirates' award-winning 'ice' inflight system, providing more than 600 channels of information, communication and entertainment.

The new stadium will accommodate hospitality areas, medical and broadcast facilities, a world-class media centre as well as changing rooms, while close by will be a 30-metre wide rugby ‘promenade’ featuring food outlets and cafes.

The remaining five rugby pitches will be separated by a two-storey 80-metre long rugby clubhouse with a roof-top entertainment area as well as family facilities, including a swimming pool.

The clubhouse will become the new home of Dubai-based senior, junior and women’s rugby teams and includes the headquarters of the Arabian Gulf Rugby Football Union - the governing body for rugby throughout the Middle East region. The clubhouse will feature 12 changing rooms, food and beverage outlets and training rooms to cater for Dubai rugby.

In addition to rugby, additional facilities will enable a wide-range of sporting pastimes with a gymnasium, swimming pools, tennis courts, netball courts, a sports hall and squash courts all included in the plans. Plans are also in hand to develop a number of cricket pitches.


© Scoop Media

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