Dubai: Dubai’s prestigious live entertainment venue, the Coca-Cola Arena, will be transformed into an ice rink for the very first time to host the three-day Dubai Ice Show. The event will feature a high-profile game of the global professional ice hockey league Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), and a unique theatrical show performed by world-famous Olympic figure skating champions.
The organisation of the event is further testimony to Dubai’s rising status as one of the world’s most prominent and safest destinations for international sporting and entertainment events.
The Dubai Ice Show will feature a regular game of the current season of KHL, the premier professional ice hockey league in Europe and Asia. Timed to coincide with the official Day of Russia at Expo 2020, the game will be played between the most recent Gagarin Cup winner Avangard Omsk and Ak Bars Kazan within the framework of the KHL World Games.
In addition, on 4 and 5 December, fans will be able to see the Sleeping Beauty ice show, an exciting theatrical performance directed by Tatiana Navka, the Olympic champion in figure skating. The main female roles in the musical on ice will be performed by Tatiana Navka and another Olympic figure skating champion Alina Zagitova.
The holding of the events follows a Memorandum of Understanding signed in the UAE between the Kontinental Hockey League, Avangard hockey club, Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), and Dubai Sports Council. The MoU creates a framework for joint efforts to develop hockey and promote KHL in the UAE. The organisation of the Dubai Ice Show will be the first step towards achieving this strategic goal.
Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council: “We are excited to facilitate the organisation of the Dubai Ice Show, following the MoU signed with our partners from Russia, Kontinental Hockey League and Avangard Hockey Club. The event is testament to Dubai’s growing emergence as a preferred venue for major events in the global sporting calendar. The Dubai Ice Show will be a unique attraction for expatriates from countries where ice hockey is a popular sport as well as other local fans of ice sports. Dubai Sports Council is keen to bring new events to Dubai for different members of the emirate’s diverse community that has expatriates from over 200 countries. Ice Hockey is one of the most popular sports in the world with millions of fans around the globe and we are looking forward to three days of great action and entertainment on ice this December.”
Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment at Dubai Tourism, said: “We are delighted to sign this MoU with the Kontinental Hockey League, Avangard hockey club and Dubai Sports Council for a unique three-day sports entertainment event. The Dubai Ice Show is yet another example of global sports organisations choosing Dubai as a venue for their events due to the exceptional infrastructure and globally-benchmarked health and safety protocols offered by the city. We look forward to welcoming to our city, the internationally acclaimed hockey teams and star players, as well as world famous Olympic figure skating champions. The health and safety of all guests, team members, performers and staff will remain our top priority.”
Mark Kar, General Manager of Coca-Cola Arena, commented: “We are delighted to welcome another first for the Coca-Cola Arena, allowing us to truly showcase the multi-purpose facilities the venue offers. We look forward to working with KHL World Games, Dubai Sports Council, Dubai Tourism and Avangard as well as seeing both residents and tourists enjoying what promises to be another outstanding and unique experience at the Coca-Cola Arena.”
Alexey Morozov, KHL President, said: “We are excited about the KHL World Games project being resumed after almost two years. The UAE will become the 15th country to host a KHL game, and we are very pleased that the most recent Gagarin Cup winner Avangard Omsk and the only three-time champion of our League Ak Bars will go to Dubai. The match-up of these two teams during the latest playoffs resulted in one of the best series in the entire KHL history. We appreciate the cooperation with Dubai Tourism, Dubai Sports Council, and Avangard hockey club, which enables the game to be played in such a remarkable location. The UAE is a promising market for the development of hockey, and we will make every effort possible to ensure that the KHL game will become a memorable event for Dubai.”
Alexander Krylov, Avangard HC Board of Directors Chairman said: “Having received an offer from the League to hold a game in the UAE, Avangard was pleased to support this initiative. The event, which will take place on the Day of Russia in Dubai, represents an honour and a big responsibility for us. It is a great new challenge for our club. I am confident that we will succeed in holding an event that will be a source of pride not only for the KHL, but for the country in general. The start of ticketing for the Dubai Ice Show will be announced in the near future. We are planning to hold a number of bright and memorable events, including Tatiana Navka’s Sleeping Beauty ice show, so that people in Dubai get a chance to explore Russian hockey and ice sports.”
Nail Maganov, Ak Bars HC President said: “We have enthusiastically accepted the League’s offer to play a game against Avangard in Dubai. It is an honour for us to represent the country and the republic abroad, and to support the official Day of Russia at Expo 2020. We are happy that the match-up between Avangard and Ak Bars was chosen by the KHL to demonstrate the power and the attractiveness of our hockey. These are the two strongest clubs of the Eastern Conference that drive the entire industry forward. We will do our best so that the first experience of attending a high-level hockey game becomes memorable for the people in Dubai.”