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Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, chairs a meeting of the DSC’s Board of Directors. Image Credit: X/DMO

Dubai: Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council (DSC), has hailed the phenomenal growth achieved by sports sector in Dubai.

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Chairing a meeting of the Dubai Sports Council’s Board of Directors, Sheikh Mansoor said that Dubai’s ability to register remarkable growth year after year due to the unwavering support, empowering directives and visionary leadership of a government that is focused on the welfare of its people.

Sheikh Mansoor highlighted the positive impact of a supportive legislative framework, excellent living standards, and a growing interest in sports at various levels, including in the coaching, business, and investment aspects, as manifested in the 788 new work permits granted to various agencies and companies.

Sheikh Mansoor acknowledged the rising number of enterprises linked to sports and the impressive participation in various events, in addition to the growing pool of players registered at various clubs. “The training camps held in recent months confirm that we are on the right path to achieve the Dubai Sports Council’s strategic objectives that are in keeping with the strategic objectives of the Dubai Government,” he said after the meeting.

“It is worth noting that 788 new permits have been issued to enterprises in various spheres related to sports, and the number of training camps for international teams and local outfits within Dubai has increased to more than 200 across various sports alongside a stupendous growth in the number of participants in sports events organised by the Dubai Sports Council.”

The Asian U-20 Athletics Championships is being held in Dubai until April 27. Image Credit: Supplied

Collaborative approach

The DSC works in close cooperation with private sector entities and its efforts have yielded solid results, spurring the involvement and engagement of more than 2.731 million participants across all age groups and nationalities in events conducted by the Council. Of these, more than 200,000 were boys and girls students, who participated in tournaments for schools, while events organised by private sports organisations in collaboration with the Council garnered more than 80 per cent of the total share.

Additionally, the number of players participating in various sporting events registered annually in Dubai clubs has risen to more than 5,000, a figure that includes male and female athletes.

Sheikh Mansoor said that Dubai continued to attract international talent with its capacity to organise world-class sports tournaments and events. “Of the total 480 events organised this season, we had an amazing 106 tournaments that exclusively involved international teams. There was an equal focus at the local level too as the number of licensed and classified fitness centres in Dubai rose to 338.

“We have been working to have qualified and specialised cadres who can step up in sports centres and clubs, and in penal institutions. More than 100 inmates from these institutions have completed training and gained qualification to play varied roles in the sports sector,” he added.

The Council also congratulated Shabab Al Ahli Club for their comeback 2-1 win against Qatar League Champions Al Duhail to clinch the inaugural UAE-Qatar Football Super Shield recently. Al Ain Sports Club also came in for praise after their aggregate 5-4 win over Saudi club Al Hilal to reach the AFC Champions League final late on Tuesday.

Sheikh Mansoor emphasised that development is a steady and incremental process. “Development does not stop with winning a specific local or regional championship but, rather, continues when everyone pushes towards future goals while evaluating them against current achievements. We are always keen to assess the extent of our success in achieving our goals and implementing our plans that aim to live up to the immense support given by the leadership to the sporting sector,” he said.

The meeting held at the DSC’s headquarters was attended by Mattar Al Tayer, Vice-Chairman of Dubai Sports Council; Lieutenant General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, member of the Board of Directors; Maryam Al Hammadi, along with other members including Sami Al Qamzi, Jamal Al Marri, Hala Badri, Moza Al Marri, as also Saeed Hareb, Secretary-General of the Council; and Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Assistant Secretary-General of the Council.

Towards the latter stage of the meeting, the Board of Directors also reviewed the list of prestigious upcoming sporting events including the ongoing Gulf Youth Games — UAE 2024, the Dubai Esports and Games Festival, and the annual Al Gaffal Dhow Sailing Race. Hosted by the UAE, the First Gulf Youth Games kicked off on April 16 and will conclude on May 2. It features the participation of 3,500 athletes competing in 24 disciplines under the theme ‘Our Gulf is One … Our Youth are Promising’.

That aside, the Asian U-20 Athletics Championships is being held in Dubai until April 27, while the third edition of the Dubai Esports and Games Festival, which got underway on April 19, is to continue until May 5. The annual Al Gaffal Dhow Sailing Race from Sir Bu Na’air Island to Dubai is slated for May 11.

Also scheduled to be held in the summer is the popular Dubai Sports World at the Dubai World Trade Centre from June 22 to September 8, the ‘Dubai Pro Bodybuilding Championship’ scheduled to be held from July 27-28 and the hugely popular DXB Snow Run 2024 at Ski Dubai on May 19.