Dubai: The UAE Pro League has marked the start of a rather unusual Arabian Gulf League season with the launch of a new website (www.UAEProleague.ae) and mobile application.
The first round of play-offs for the Arabian Gulf Cup were held last weekend and the opening round matches for the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) will be played this weekend.
Al Wahda will host Hatta and Al Dhafra will face Ajman in the first matches of the AGL on Friday. Later in the night, Bani Yas will take on Al Wasl in Dubai, while defending champions Sharjah will be up against Fujairah.
On Saturday, last year’s runners-up Shabab Al Ahli Dubai will travel to Kalba and Al Ain will host Khor Fakkan in the two early matches, while Al Nasr will host Al Jazira in the late night encounter at Dubai’s Al Maktoum Stadium.
Meanwhile, as part of its new digital push to offer fans a coherent and engaging experience, while staying up to date, the UAE Pro League decided to add two fresh perspectives for fans to follow their teams for this season.
Through an easy-to-use design, the website and app include an array of features that provide users with access to all updates related to the AGL and all other competitions organised by the UAE Pro League Committee.
It collates information about matches in every detail, including a goal alerts and match notifications and a match centre that gives fans the opportunity to follow game updates in real time.
The tools will enable fans to register and access a personalised profile page, where they can choose their favourite team, and get content tailored to their specific interests. Fans also have the option to add all of their favourite team’s fixtures to their phone calendar.
The app is available for download on Android and iOS, in Arabic and English, and promotes interaction between fans via its social integration tool, that allows for easy sharing across major social platforms.
UAE Pro League CEO Waleed Al Hosani was pleased with last weekend’s start of the new season in the Cup. “It is an occasion in which we express our pride and loyalty to our wise leadership that has provided us with all the tools to combat the coronavirus pandemic. We thank our first line of defence for their sacrifices and efforts to ensure the health and safety of everyone,” Al Hosani said.
“We also laud the competent authorities for the continuous and fruitful coordination to ensure the return of sporting activity. We commend the support of the UAE Football Association (UAE FA) and the role played by the professional clubs in making this league a success.”
Al Hosani was expecting a tough battle on the pitch despite all competitions being played behind closed doors and without spectators. “We are looking forward to an exciting season, keeping in mind that safety of the players and workers is a priority for us. We call on everyone to abide by the match day protocol requirements and request fans to continue supporting their clubs and players,” he said.
“Fans are an important part of the game, but the current circumstances require playing games behind closed doors to ensure their safety and limit the spread of coronavirus.”
Al Wahda v Hatta, 6.15pm
Al Dhafra v Ajman, 6.15pm
Al Wasl v Bani Yas, 9pm
Fujairah v Sharjah, 9pm
Kalba v Shabab Al Ahli Dubai, 6.15pm
Al Ain v Khor Fakkan, 6.15pm
Al Nasr v Al Jazira, 9pm