The 'UFC Fight Island' looks all dressed up for the four fight nights between July 11 and 26. Image Credit: Supplied picture

Abu Dhabi: The UFC Fight Island, set to take place from July 11-26, has been converted into a fortress with over 1,500 event personnel and Yas Island employees been stationed within the ‘safe zone’ to employ strict COVID-19 precautionary measures.

To ensure the safety of UFC staff, event personnel, Yas Island employees and the wider Abu Dhabi community, all attendees of UFC Fight Island have quarantined for 14 days at Yas Island hotels. This safety clearance serves as a precautionary measure that will ensure a risk-free safe zone and an enjoyable event for all. All UAE-based personnel and Yas Island support staff reported to Yas Island hotels in the past few weeks, following a complete and comprehensive sanitation of all hotels. Strict measures, including scheduled check-in times allowing for only four people at a time, were taken to ensure the utmost protection and security.

Following a 14-day hotel quarantine and a negative test result, individuals are now permitted to leave the hotel and move around Yas Island’s safe zone, now known as UFC Fight Island. The zone sits within roughly 11 km on Yas Island and includes the venue, the hotels, the training facilities and the dining establishments. Only UFC athletes and their coaches, UFC staff and event personnel, along with Yas Island employees will be provided access to the safe zone.

A crew of 740 are working with 350 tons of steel and 18km of cable to turn the 640,000sqm area into a venue fit for the famous Octagon, where the best fights in the world will take place this year.

Medical staff at work to complete the testing procedure of 1500-odd personnel who will be stationed at the Fight Island. Image Credit: Supplied picture

“DCT Abu Dhabi has taken extreme and outstanding preparatory measures for the much-anticipated UFC event, more rigorous than any event ever held in Abu Dhabi,” said Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing at the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi). “Abu Dhabi has demonstrated significant expertise as far as hosting major sporting events in the past, but during these challenging times, it is important that we continue to set global standards for hosting major events and unite our governmental entities to create a new roadmap for sport and tourism, all whilst ensuring everyone’s safety.

UFC will hold four events on Yas Island, including one Pay Per View - UFC 251 - and three Fight Nights. The action-packed schedule begins with UFC 251 at 2 am local time on Sunday (July 12) and will be followed with successive ESPN Fight Night events to be held on Thursday (July 16) from 3 am local time; Sunday (July 19) from 1 am local time and Sunday (July 26) from 1 am local time.

How to watch UFC Fight Island?

UFC events are broadcast in 175 countries in 40 different languages and reach approximately one billion TV households. In the UAE and throughout the rest of the Middle East and North Africa, UFC Fight Island events will be broadcast on UFC Arabia, UFC’s first Arabic-language subscription service in the region. ‘UFC Arabia’ can be downloaded through Apple Store and Google Play and is available on web, smartphones, tablets and Smart TVs.