(MENAFN Press) Dubai, United Arab Emirates
With one day to go until the London 2012 Games, Gulf visitors to the UK are anxiously waiting to witness the Olympic Park transform into the British countryside at the Opening Ceremony on Friday 27 July, said British tourism officials in Dubai.
While most picture the buzzing metropolitan capital city of London when they think of the UK, a lush countryside of mountains, forests, lakes and broads awaits visitors to Great Britain. The 80,000 spectators at Olympic Park will have the chance to witness how the wide, green spaces inspired the design of the introductory scenes of the Opening Ceremony.
"The UK's countryside is glorious and offers a serene escape for Gulf visitors," said Dubai-based Carol Maddison, UAE Manager, VisitBritain. "In addition to the historical sites to adventurous hikes, we are home to a world first: The Wales Coastal Path, which is the only place where it is possible to walk the entire coastline of one country in one path. Our more ambitious visitors can circumvent the entire nation, nearly 1,658 kilometres round trip!"
Locally, Dubai residents can celebrate the London 2012 Olympics as the UAE National Olympic Committee and Emaar are coordinating a series of events in celebration of the Games at Dubai Mall, said Maddison.
As the Opening Ceremony take place in London, an Olympics Flag Parade will take place at Dubai Ice Rink in Dubai Mall on Friday 27 July at 10:00pm. The parade will proceed through the Gold Souk, where a photo exhibition of the UAE Olympics Team is on display, pass the Waterfalls and then round back to the ice rink.
On Sunday 29 July, fans of UAE's Olympic Football team will head to the big screen at Dubai Ice Rink to watch live at 10:45pm as Al Abyad plays Great Britain at Wembley Stadium, which hosted the 1948 Olympics games and is known for its signature 315 metre long steel lattice arch, the longest single roof structure in the world. Wembley is the largest football stadium in England with a capacity of 90,000.
From outside the UK and across the Arabian Gulf, 22,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes and officials from more than 200 countries are now in the final countdown to preparation for the greatest sports spectacle in the world. During the Games time, there will be more than 20,000 international media, more than 6,000 members of the Olympic & Paralympic Family and many more friends and relatives of the athletes arriving in the UK to experience the electric atmosphere and enjoy world-class British hospitality.
Gulf-based visitors to Britain this summer will find hundreds of options for sport and entertainment. Tickets to witness the Olympic Games are still available along with hundreds of related events and viewing opportunities, in addition to musical acts and world-class entertainment taking place across Britain.
VisitBritain officials have said that more than four billion people are expected to watch the London 2012 Olympic Games on television, including tens of millions across the Middle East region.