The upcoming Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens, which enjoys huge crowd participation, will be held on December 5-7 this year. Image Credit: Gulf News archive

Dubai: Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens became the latest sports event to receive a five-star ranking by the Dubai Sports Council’s Sports Events Ranking System (SERS) 2018-19, which was approved by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council. The three other events to retain their five-star rankings are Dubai World Cup horse race, Gov Games and the DP World Tour Championship golf, three of Dubai’s marquee sporting events.

The Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens, the upcoming edition of which will be held on December 5-7, have climbed a step from four-star rating in the 2017-2018 edition of SERS. The NAS Sports tournament, held every Ramadan, topped the list of four-star events, along with the AFC Asian Cup, the Julius Baer Gold Cup 2019 and the 13th Dubai International Sports Conference.

The Dubai SWAT Challenge and the Bloomberg Square Mile Relay completed the Top 10 in the 2018-19 edition, which lists a total of 405 events — 85 international events, 137 national events, 161 community events, 11 sports conferences, six sports exhibitions and five sports awards. Four of these events received a five-star rating, while 194 events got four and 17 events got three.

Praising the efforts of the DSC team, which helped create and implement the Ranking System, Sheikh Hamdan said SERS is an incentive for sports event organisers to embrace innovation and seek excellence. “The sports sector is an integral part of our society and economy, and we are always looking for excellence and innovation in this sector in accordance with the model of excellence and innovation established by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The Sports Events Ranking System is a reflection of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision to launch initiatives that enhance the status of the UAE and place Dubai at the forefront of innovation in every sector,” Sheikh Hamdan said.

Mattar Al Tayer, Vice-Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, thanked Sheikh Hamdan for his continuous support and encouragement of the sports sector, and for inspiring the residents of Dubai to embrace a physically active lifestyle.

“Sheikh Hamdan himself is a top athlete and understands the value of sport and its impact on the community,” Al Tayer said. “He keeps reminding us that our work at Dubai Sports Council is to translate the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai.”

Launched by the DSC in 2014, the Ranking System is an initiative that enhances and incentivises the sports sector in Dubai through its recognition of innovation and excellence in the organisation of sports competitions and events.