Sheikh Mansoor DMO-1718300662637
Sheikh Mansoor during the review meeting of the Dubai Sports Council for the 2023-2024 season. Image Credit: Source: Dubai Media Office X

Dubai: Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, expressed his profound gratitude to Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, for his unwavering support to the sports sector in Dubai and his appreciation of the notable performances and achievements of Dubai clubs.

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Recalling highlights of the 2023-2024 season as he chaired a meeting of the Dubai Sports Council’s Board of Directors, Sheikh Mansoor congratulated Al Wasl Club after securing twin titles with triumphs in the President’s Cup and the ADNOC Professional Football League.

“We are proud of the performance of Dubai clubs and the splendid spirit they showcased in competing for titles during the domestic season. We now look forward to similar achievements at the continental level from our clubs,” Sheikh Mansoor said.

“Sheikh Hamdan’s commendations following the performance of Dubai clubs and their positive intent in the pursuit of trophies in various sports right through the season is a huge motivation for Dubai’s sporting sector. Al Wasl Club’s achievement of winning a title double is certainly among the highlights this year,” Sheikh Mansoor added. “Dubai clubs play an essential role in supporting the work of the Dubai Sports Council. We are very happy with the results achieved by Dubai clubs during the 2023-2024 season, not just in terms of sporting excellence but in other aspects too. While we are happy with the achievements of our clubs, we aspire to achieve much more in keeping with the support of the leadership and on the strength of our capabilities.”

Sheikh Mansoor chaired the Dubai Sports Council Board of Directors meeting at the Council’s headquarters. The meeting was held in the presence of Mattar Al Tayer, Vice-Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council; Maryam Al Hammadi and other Board members including Hala Badri, Moza Al Marri and Jamal Al Marri, besides Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of the Council; and Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Assistant Secretary General of the Council.

Glowing returns

The meeting reviewed outstanding achievements of Dubai clubs in various sporting endeavours through the course of the season, in addition to the football titles won by Al Wasl and Shabab Al Ahli.

Prominent among the season’s big achievers were Shabab Al Ahli, who won three volleyball titles, including the Emirates Cup, the Vice-President’s Cup, and the Super Cup. In basketball, Shabab Al Ahli won the league title, while Al Nasr claimed the Emirates Cup, in addition to the Vice-President’s Cup. Shabab Al Ahli also won the President’s Handball Cup, in addition to claiming top honours in many other team and individual sports.

Al Wasl
Al Wasl celebrate after winning the Adnoc Pro League title with an impressive 3-9 victory over Shabah Al Ahli. Image Credit: WAM

The Board of Directors applauded the brilliant display of Victory Team in the ongoing 2024 UIM F1H2O World Championship. The action will resume this weekend following a nearly three-month break with the Regione Sardegna Grand Prix of Italy in Olbia, Italy. Victory Team’s Erik Stark leads the drivers’ championship standings with 55 points.

Fresh initiatives

Issuing directives for a new study to be conducted on the economic impact of sporting events in Dubai, Sheikh Mansoor appreciated the efforts of government agencies and the private sector in Dubai, in cooperation with the Dubai Sports Council, to organise sporting events. Sheikh Mansoor also lauded public and private sector entities investing in various aspects of sport including the academic sector and in other areas that contribute to the growth of the sports sector’s contribution to Dubai’s GDP, thus attracting new companies and creating numerous job opportunities.

Sheikh Mansoor directed that a new study be conducted this year on the economic impetus from sports-related events and activities and the growth recorded by the sector. The 2022 study, which attributed a GDP contribution of Dh9.078 billion annually from Dubai’s sports sector, representing 2.35 per cent of the annual GDP. This apart, the sports sector provided at least 105,000 jobs within companies operating in the sports sector and allied sectors.

Attracting new talent and academies

The meeting also reviewed a report on the implementation of the policy to attract and develop sporting talent in Dubai from 2023 through 2033. The 2023-2024 sports season witnessed many such programmes with more than 55,000 junior athletes recorded as having participated in various events and competitions. Prominent among these was the Dubai School Games, which evinced the participation of more than 8,500 students from 140 schools competing in 20 sporting disciplines.

Figures were also provided for local and international academy championships featuring 12 competitions that witnessed the participation of 14,292 athletes, representing 263 academies competing in six sports.

The report also highlighted the registration of 400 academies in Dubai promoting 50 sports, including 11 top academies run by international football clubs including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Ajax Amsterdam, Greek Olympiacos, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, besides LaLiga and the Argentine Federation Academy.

Boost for women’s participation

During the meeting, the DSC Board of Directors also reviewed the report of the Women and Sports Committee, which included data on the development of women’s sports in Dubai and the efforts of the Dubai Sports Council to contribute to the Dubai Social Agenda 33 while supporting the vision of the Dubai Women’s Establishment for the emirate to be a global model for women-friendly cities.

The report included an action plan that aims to enhance numbers of female athletes and women in sports, attract more international sporting events for women, and qualify female national cadres through numerous training courses and programmes.