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Sports sector contributes AED 9 billion to Dubai’s economy



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The sports sector’s contribution to Dubai’s economy exceeded AED 9 billion in 2021, rising to 2.3 per cent of the emirate’s GDP for the year.

It also supports the creation of 105,000 job opportunities, accounting for 3.8 per cent of the total employment in Dubai.

His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Sports Council (DSC), revealed the figures while chairing the third meeting of the Council’s Board of Directors.

He credited Dubai’s regulatory framework and robust infrastructure for shaping the emirate’s sports sector.

Sheikh Mansoor emphasised that the government’s support for the industry is an integral priority within Dubai’s drive to become the world’s best city to live and work in.

“We are proud of the significant growth in the contribution of the sports sector to Dubai’s annual GDP. In addition to nurturing and fostering Emirati and expat athletes living in the UAE and ensuring the community’s health and happiness, the sports industry is now a significant economic contributor,” he added.

Factors driving growth

The areas that contributed to the increase in the sports sector’s contribution to Dubai’s GDP were factories manufacturing sports equipment and sportswear, outlets selling bicycles, sportswear and equipment, physical training and fitness centres, and cycling tracks and sports centres.

Several sports, including padel tennis, gymnastics, and yoga, benefitted from Dubai’s robust regulatory and physical infrastructure and increased active lifestyle among different members of society.

The availability of specialists and experts in event management and sports medicine was also a contributing factor.

Dubai saw more than 400 competitive sports events in 2021, including more than 130 international events, which contributed to the growth in sponsorship, marketing, insurance, travel, transportation, hotel room reservations and hospitality spending. 

In addition to the increase in promotional media revenues, millions worldwide watched incredible clips showcasing the beauty of Dubai, its cultural development, and unique attractions.

The coverage of major sports events, including the UAE International Cycling Tour, the Dubai International Sports Conference, the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards, and the Confederations Cup for beach soccer and golf tournaments, contributed to attracting more tourists and potential residents and property investors.

More than 1.65 million professionals and amateurs of different ages participated in various annual sporting events, including many from outside the country.

More than 400 sports academies and over 100 public and private sports clubs in Dubai attracted many training camps for clubs and teams of different nationalities and sporting genre.


Dubai’s advanced infrastructure, the superior quality of life, and the availability of skills in different fields have attracted major companies and e-sports organisers.

The city plays host to several international tournaments and is set to hold more events in the future, which will further increase the sports sector’s contribution to Dubai’s GDP.

Dubai Sports Strategy 2030 

The DSC’s Board of Directors approved the Dubai Sports Strategy 2030, a new framework representing the future direction of sports in line with the changes witnessed by the sector and the opportunities that contribute to its growth.

The strategy outlines the Council’s work methodology, which includes cooperation with various government and private bodies, to implement initiatives and achieve its goals. 

The five future drivers developed as part of the strategy to measure and determine the success in achieving the goals are:

  • Government indicators, including attaining federal government and happiness targets. 
  • Societal indicators, including sports awareness and the community’s satisfaction with the quality of services provided in the sports sector. 
  • Sports indicators, including developing sports talents. 
  • Economic indicators, including the contribution of sports to Dubai’s GDP and the growth of jobs in the sports sector.
  • Global indicators, including global competitiveness indicators through the number of international sports companies operating in Dubai and the number of tourists visiting Dubai to attend sports events.

The aspects considered in the new sports strategy were sports clubs in Dubai, infrastructure for sports facilities, e-sports, sports tourism, and sports technology, among others.

The methodology also included identifying the main challenges, as well as the elements of future development and the axes of strategic transformation.

The meeting also reviewed plans to develop football stadiums in Dubai and directed the team to work on implementing them according to the approved schedule.

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England and Germany sign off with 3-3 Nations League thriller – ARN News Centre





England will head to the World Cup on the back of a six-match winless sequence but with at least some pride and confidence restored after a thrilling 3-3 draw at home to Germany in the Nations League on Monday.

Gareth Southgate’s listless side trailed 2-0 to Ilkay Gundogan’s penalty and a superb effort by Kai Havertz with less than 20 minutes remaining and boos beginning to resound at Wembley in their final Group A3 match.

But they responded in thrilling fashion with goals by Luke Shaw and Mason Mount in the space of four minutes drawing them level — England’s first goals from open play in 5-1/2 competitive matches.

Harry Kane’s 83rd minute penalty then appeared to have given Southgate’s side a morale-boosting victory.

But four-time world champions Germany, themselves in a poor run of form heading to Qatar, salvaged a point as Havertz capitalised on a goalkeeping error by Nick Pope in the 87th.

Substitute Bukayo Saka almost won it for England late on as the fans were left scratching their heads at why the hosts had taken so long to play with any freedom.

England finished bottom of the group with three points behind Germany on seven, Hungary with 10 and Italy, who topped the group on 11 points to reach the Nations League final four.

It is more than 100 years since England last went six competitive games winless but they at least changed the narrative with a stirring fightback against Germany.

“The boys have been under pressure with recent results and we all came out here with a point to prove,” Kane said.

“There are lessons we can still learn from the mistakes we made but we scored three goals and I feel like this will put us in a positive mindset ahead of the World Cup.”

Both sides needed a pre-World Cup tonic after poor Nations League campaigns with England suffering the ignominy of relegation after losing 1-0 away to Italylast Friday, the same night Germany lost by the same scoreline at home to Hungary.

The last time the two heavyweights met at Wembley, in the Euro 2020 finals, England won 2-0 and were riding a wave of euphoria. But the mood has turned sour mainly because of a woeful lack of goals — Kane’s late penalty in Germany being their only goal in their previous five Nations League games.

A lacklustre first half underlined England’s lack of creativity although Raheem Sterling had two chances – first when he was played in by Shaw to force a fine save from Marc-Andre ter Stegen and then shooting tamely from a good position.

Germany were equally bereft of attacking spark but were gifted an early chance when Pope’s nervy clearance was charged down and Gundogan curled the ball over the bar.

Germany manager Hansi Flick sent on forward Timo Werner to partner his former Chelsea team mate Havertz for the second half and the visitors went ahead in the 52nd minute with a goal that summed up England defender Harry Maguire’s recent woes.

Having given the ball away to Jamal Musiala, Maguire tried to win it back but hacked down Musiala and a penalty was eventually awarded after a VAR intervention.

Gundogan coolly slid the spot kick into the corner and it soon got even worse for England when Werner found Havertz after a counter-attack and he curled a beauty past Pope.

With the crowd grumbling, Southgate’s side needed a quick response and got it in incredible fashion.

First Shaw was found at the back post by a Reece James cross and squeezed his shot through Ter Stegen’s legs.

Then, like London buses, another goal arrived.

Saka dribbled in from the right and played the ball to fellow substitute Mount who smashed an instant shot into the net from the edge of the area.

When Bellingham was crudely hacked down by Nico Schlotterbeck and Kane smashed his spot kick high past Ter Stegen England fans were in party mode.

But Havertz sobered things up by capitalising on a late gift as keeper Pope fumbled Serge Gnabry’s shot.

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Tennis legends on their way to Dubai – ARN News Centre




Following Team Lendl’s victory in August 2022 during the Croatian stage of Legends Team Cup-ATP Champions Tour, the finals of this exciting first edition are finally imminent.

The remarkable captains – Ivan Lendl and Pat Cash – and world class players – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Marcos Baghdatis, Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer, Tommy Haas, Lleyton Hewitt, David Nalbandian, Tommy Robredo and Radek Stepanek – are coming to Dubai to play from November 9-12.

The venue is a custom-built arena in Dubai Harbour that will welcome around 3,000 spectators per day with 500 VIP seats to fully immerse oneself in the glamorous atmosphere.

The Centre Court will be surrounded by superyachts, allowing yacht owners to have access to the absolute best tennis and maritime experience.

Legends Team Cup will significantly strengthen Dubai’s efforts to boost sports tourism and further enhance its position as an international events destination.

To further symbolise the long-term collaboration with Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism, Dubai Sports Council, Dubai Harbour and UAE Tennis Federation, Legends Team Cup-ATP Champions Tour has been subtitled “The Route to Dubai”.

Which means, every annual final of this exciting series of team competitions will be hosted in Dubai, crowning the perfect combination of luxury, spectacular venues and sport entertainment.

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Brazilian Allan signs for Al Wahda FC from Everton




Brazil’s Allan has joined Al Wahda from Everton, the UAE Pro League club announced on Sunday.

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