Dubai: Teams intending to play in a unique reworked Emirates Airlines Dubai 7s will have to wait till mid-October to know if the annual sporting highlight will be eventually held at the Sevens on December 4-5.
Normally the opening leg of the HSBC World Sevens Series was held at the Sevens each year, but with the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world this year, the organisers decided to cancel Dubai for 2020.
Local sponsors and organisers stepped in with a promise of a re-worked and scaled-down Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens that has been tentatively fixed for December 4-5.
The proposed Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens will feature all of the GCC divisions of participation in rugby, netball and cricket with participating teams having to wait until the middle of October for a final confirmation from Dubai Sports Council (DSC).
“The tournament has taken place for the past 50 years and has been built on the participation of local, regional and international invitational teams across the sports and the 2020 tournament will be a celebration of that,” Tournament Director Tom Burwell said in a press release.
“We are disappointed that the HSBC World Sevens Series is unable to take place in Dubai in 2020, but this is also an opportunity to deliver something unique for players and local fans at the end of what has been a very tough year.”
Established in 1970 and organised annually by Emirates Airline, the event is one the world’s leading international sevens event. Each year, the tournament welcomes more than 300 rugby and netball teams to The Sevens Stadium that is situated along the Dubai-Al Ain Highway. Since 1999, the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens has been a part of World Rugby’s HSBC Sevens Series.
Pitch Two will be the main field and organisers have promised a unique feel to it. Tournament goers will enjoy marquees, family events and, of course, local sporting action.
“Our intention is to build an experience that truly encapsulates 51 years of the Dubai 7s. The intention is to celebrate all levels of participation with crowds getting wowed by the skills of the teams from across the region set to backdrop that will still inspire memories from years past and set a tone for the future as we look forward to 2021,” Burwell said.
The organisers are unable to confirm the tournament until required approvals and sanctions are given by the relevant government stakeholders and governing bodies and full confirmation of this year’s event will be made by October 15.
The tournament will be delivered in accordance with international and local health and safety measures to ensure that the health of players, fans and everyone attending is not compromised. “We are faced with some huge challenges in delivery, but the team behind the tournament has been working tirelessly to come up with ways to deliver in 2020,” Burwell said.
“This might mean some extra patience is required from visitors and a personal responsibility taken but this will be no different to the new normal that we face in everyday life. We are excited to deliver a brilliantly unique Emirates Airline Dubai 7s in December despite all these challenges.”
Team entries for 2020 are open from Monday for all three sports at a discounted rate and will close on September 30. And if the tournament is not confirmed by the DSC by October 15 and the tournament is unable to go ahead, then all teams will get a full refund.
Tickets for the tournament will be released in the middle of October with further information relayed in due course of time. All further details about the event can be obtained from www.dubairugby7s.com.