Finally, there’s some good news for sports fans in the UAE as the Dubai Sports Council’s announces the return of sporting events, but with a 30% capacity.
While it’s likely to take a lot more time before sport events and competitions return to normal – due to the pandemic – it is a small positive step forward. The Dubai Sports Council said, “the health and safety protocols have resulted in the Council obtaining approval from [the Executive Council of Dubai] and the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management for the return of spectators to sport events at a maximum of 30 per cent capacity.”
According to Dubai Sports Council, work is underway to prepare for the return of spectators at upcoming sports tournaments organised or overseen by the council. Exact details are yet to be disclosed but it comes at a time when the UAE, which was recently added to Britain’s air travel corridor list, is setting up winter training camps for international football teams, as well as for various athletes preparing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games, which was postponed to next summer.
The sporting industry was hit hard by the pandemic. It saw the premiership league get pushed back to June with teams playing in front of an empty stadium – a partial return of fans to stadiums was scheduled for October 1 but got further delayed as coronavirus cases increased in the UK. The Indian Premier League was also played out in front of empty stands, as per Covid safety regulation, meanwhile one of the UAE’s longest serving sporting tournaments – the Dubai Rugby Sevens – was cancelled for the first time in its 51-year history. Domestic rugby is still yet to return, but the Arabian Gulf League football is back, albeit currently played behind closed doors.
However, sporting life in the region is already picking up; gyms are open and there’s plenty of ongoing road races, as well as the upcoming fourth edition of the Dubai Women’s Triathlon organized by the Council’s Women and Sports Committee, in cooperation with the Dubai Ladies Club, on November 27. Check out the council website for a full guide to upcoming events.
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