Rugby fiends – there’s hope! After the HSBC World Sevens Series announced last month that the tournament would be canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, organizers have since come back with a plan to make it happen, albeit in a scaled-back capacity.
The announcement came that a “scaled-down” Emirates Airline Dubai 7s 2020 will go ahead in December pending approvals from the UAE authorities.
It was first thought that the difficulties around the logistics of getting the teams to and from Dubai from all over the world may be too complex given the health and safety implications. After review, it’s been proposed that if the new strategy can gain approval from the government that the official confirmation for the event will be announced by October 15.
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Dubai 7s launches unique local tournament for 2020. Full statement in the bio —— Invitations have gone out to teams across the Gulf region to join us for a unique @emirates Dubai 7s this December! —— Still some way to go but 7s will return and the desert is waiting! —— *Please note – Full confirmation of this years tournament will be in line with government stakeholders DSC, DTCM and the crisis committee and we will confirm by October 15th at which point tickets will become available for registration* —— #swiperight #dubai7s #backtoourroots #willyoubethere
The iconic tournament, which has been a highlight of the local events calendar for the past 50 years, is now proposing a regional version of the festival to limit the concerns around logistics and safety to enable it to run on December 4 and 5, 2020. If it gets the green light after government consideration then it will include rugby, netball and cricket bouts. Meanwhile, entries opened yesterday, August 10, for team submissions.
Tournament director Tom Burwell commented: “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,”
“Pitch Two will become the main field and will have a unique feel to it. Tournament goers will still enjoy marquee experiences including the hops tavern, fantastic family fun, and brilliant local sport. Our intention is to build an experience that truly encapsulates 51 years of the Dubai 7s.
“We are going to celebrate all levels of participation. Crowds will be 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.”
Organizers have pledged that the correct health and safety measures will be considered at all stages of the experience for visitors and players alike and that the entire set up will be created with this in mind.
“We are faced with some huge challenges in delivery but the team behind the tournament have been working tirelessly to come up with ways to deliver in 2020,” added Burwell. “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 these challenges.”
Visit dubairugby7s.com for entry info and more updates.