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18 April 2024

All geared up to enter the field of play

By Staff Writer



“The strategic development plan will support the roll-out of new attractions to a local, regional and international audience, aiming to capitalise on the excitement generated by the inauguration of the first city in the world dedicated to sport,” said a statement.

One of the first attractions to open will be the 72-par, 18-hole championship golf course designed by South African star Ernie Els, scheduled to host a series of inaugural events this month. A key part of the strategic plan is to firmly establish the course as a “must-visit” destination for resident and international golf enthusiasts.

The year will also see the first sets of keys handed over to home owners at Victory Heights, the exclusive villa community that features the Ernie Els-designed championship golf course as its centrepiece.

Local cricket is also set to receive a major boost, with the opening of the 25,000-seat cricket stadium. An international cricket event is scheduled for the grand opening, which will provide the Middle East with one of the most advanced cricket stadiums ever built.

The hockey stadium will also be completed this year and plans are well advanced to stage an international tournament.

Academies campus

A third signature district within DSC, due to open in 2008, will be the Academies campus. The famous Manchester United Soccer Schools will move to a permanent home in the Academies campus this year, as are the ICC Global Cricket Academy, World Hockey Academy, the Butch Harmon School of Golf and David Lloyd Tennis Academy.

The Bradenton Preparatory Academy, an American college preparatory school that will offer a flexible curriculum to develop sporting talent, will also open its doors to students this year. Working in co-ordination, the academies will provide integrated infrastructure for training across a range of core sports.

“A new year always brings with it new challenges, new opportunities and a sense of excitement about the coming months. Whereas many people often use this season as an opportunity to reflect on times past, Dubai Sports City is firmly fixed on the future,” said Khalid Al Zarooni, President of DSC.

Event sponsorships

DSC’s sponsorship programme is also set to be extended this year, beginning with its support along with National Bonds for the Mohammed bin Rashid International Football Championship, which will kick off in Dubai on January 5.

As a presenting sponsor, DSC will use the opportunity to introduce competition rivals AFC Ajax, Sport Club International, Inter Milan and VfB Stuttgart to its wider mission to promote sport in the region.

Under the strategic development plan for 2008, the sports city will emphasise the comprehensive nature of its offering.

In the long-term, the mega development is set to host flagship events in each of the six major sporting disciplines – football, rugby, cricket, hockey, golf and tennis – supported by a programme of local events and daily activities at each of the sports academies, creating a year-round calendar.

“The past year was one of constant evolution at Dubai Sports City, as the development continued to rise and elements neared completion. The new year will present even greater opportunities, in particular set to galvanise international and regional attention,” Al Zarooni added.


In addition to the stadiums, Dubai Sports City will feature a series of major sports academy facilities including:

- Dubai Sports City Football Academy, the home of Manchester United Soccer Schools, Dubai

- David Lloyd Tennis Academy

- Butch Harmon School of Golf, the first such facility outside the United States

- International Cricket Council’s very own ICC Global Cricket Academy

- WorldHockey Academy, a first-of-its-kind partnership with the International Hockey Federation

- Top class multi-sport training facilities including gymnasium and a 50-metre swimming pool

- World-renowned sports medicine and rehabilitation centre


Dubai Sports City is a $4 billion, 50 million square feet mixed-use development that will be the world’s first integrated purpose-built sports city. Designed as a lifestyle development, DSC will also feature comprehensive community facilities.

The development will be built around five major sports venues:


capacity multi-purpose outdoor stadiums for football, rugby, track and field and other sport and non-sport events

seat multi-purpose indoor arena suitable for all hard-court sports as well as concerts and other events and will also include a removable ice rink


capacity cricket stadium, which can be expanded to 30,000, with state-of-the-art facilities for players, match officials, VIPs, spectators and the media


seat field hockey stadium

a magnificent 18-hole Championship golf course designed by Ernie Els.