Hockeys Asia Cup 2009 Will be the First of Many
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai Sports City is set to host its first international tournament, after the UAE was awarded the Asia Cup 2009 hockey tournament.
In a move to promote the sport across the Middle East region, the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) awarded the event to the UAE at its 49th Council meeting last week, beating out bids from Malaysia, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Mr. U. Balasubramaniam, CEO, Dubai Sports City said: This is the first of many international tournaments to be announced for Dubai Sports City. We are proud that our partnership with the UAE Hockey Committee “ who will have a base at Dubai Sports City - has brought this event to Dubai. And we are continuing discussions with many other governing bodies about bringing a wide variety of the best sports events to our world-class facilities.
The hockey stadium at Dubai Sport City will be ready early in 2009, in good time for the Asia Cup. We will be encouraging local hockey fans to come out and enjoy seeing this competition in the Middle East for the first time, he added.
The Asia Cup - which is also a qualifying event for the 2010 World Cup - will include India, Pakistan, South Korea, Malaysia, Japan, China, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
The exact dates for the tournament will be decided in the next couple of months.
The Hockey Stadium is taking shape with the pitch area almost ready for the artificial playing surface to be laid, and the permanent stands well under construction. It is going to be really exciting to see the stadium full to capacity for this important tournament as competition between these teams will very keen indeed, said Macky Dudhia, General Manager, Sports Business, Dubai Sports City.
This is the first time a major international hockey tournament will be staged in the UAE. It is a great vote of confidence that international governing bodies like the Asian Hockey Federation are looking to use Dubai Sports City as the venue for their most important events, he added.
India is the current holder of the Asia Cup, defending the title in its home country last year. Pakistan is also a strong playing nation having won the first three tournaments following its inauguration in 1982.
Dubai Sport City will also be home to the WorldHockey Academy “ a first of its kind development in partnership with the International Hockey Federation (FIH).
In addition to the 5,000 seat Hockey Stadium, Dubai Sports City includes a 60,000 seat multi-purpose outdoor stadium, a 25,000 capacity cricket stadium, a 10,000 seat indoor arena and The Els Club 18 hole championship golf course.