In an innovative and tech-forward step, the UAE Pro League unveiled its 2023-2024 season draw, utilizing Artificial Intelligence (AI) program 'ChatGPT' for the first time in the region.
The event, held at Sea World Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, marked a turning point in the way professional football competitions are organized.
The high-profile event was attended by distinguished guests including the Chairman of the UAE Pro League Abdulla Naser Al Jneibi, board members, sponsors, professional club representatives, and media personnel.
In his opening remarks, Al Jneibi underscored the UAE Pro League's ambition for progressive evolution from one season to the next, backed by the robust support of the UAE's leadership. This forward momentum is part of achieving the objectives of the Pro League's 2020-2030 strategic plan.
Recognizing the important roles of the UAE Pro League sponsors, Al Jneibi hailed their valuable societal impact and the successful partnerships they embody. He also underscored the significance of media partners and TV broadcasters. He stated, "Their unwavering support and active participation have been pivotal in enriching our championships through their comprehensive, professional coverage
The UAE Pro League Chairman highlighted the importance of hosting the event at a significant place like SeaWorld Yas Island, the first marine-life-themed amusement park in the Middle East.
This modern entertainment destination plays a crucial role in raising environmental awareness and protecting marine life in Abu Dhabi, the UAE, and the broader region.
"We've committed to upholding absolute transparency and precision for the new season's draw. Our state-of-the-art smart electronic system determines the matchweeks for the ADNOC Pro League. Furthermore, for the first time, we used AI to decide the ADIB Cup draw, exemplifying our alignment with the UAE's ambitious 2031 AI strategy," Al Jneibi elaborated.
He added, "Our primary aim remains to achieve the maximum balance for everyone, according to the set schedule, and distributing matches in the most optimal way possible during the forthcoming season."
The event featured a live stream from the headquarters of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), a leading low-emission energy provider, in addition to the main headquarters of the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), a leading bank providing innovative and unique services.
Ahead of the draw ceremony, there was a tribute to national coach Mahdi Ali, a towering figure in Emirati sports, who has contributed significantly to Emirati football and achieved numerous accolades that have delighted fans of the teams he has led.
ADIB Cup draw
In line with the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence 2031, the ADIB Cup draw took place by using artificial intelligence for the first time, as the robot Pepper participated in the draw ceremony for the tournament, and explained the competition format and the draw mechanism.
Both Shabab Al Ahli, the ADNOC Pro League's title holders, and Sharjah, ADIB Cup's champions, advanced automatically to the quarter-finals.
Fixtures of gameweek one, gameweek two, quarter-finals, and semi-finals will be played over a two-legged format, while the final will take place over a one-legged match.
Fixtures of ADIB Cup's first round, gameweek one, kick off with Al Wasl vs. Hatta, Bani Yas vs. Al Jazira, while Al Wahda host Emirates and Khorfakkan welcome Ittihad Kalba.
Meanwhile, Ajman clash against Al Nasr, while Al Bataeh face off Al Ain.
ADNOC Pro League smart match scheduling system
ADNOC Pro League smart match scheduling system revealed the full schedule of the 2023-24 season as it kicks off on August 18th, 2023, and concludes on May 26th, 2024.
Matchweek one will take place on August 18th and 19th, 2023 as title holders Shabab Al Ahli kick off their defending campaign by playing against Ajman at Rashid Bin Saeed Stadium.
Meanwhile, the remaining fixtures of matchweek one will be between Khorfakkan and Hatta, Al Nasr and Al Jazira, Ittihad Kalba, and Sharjah, Al Wasl and the Emirates, Al Ain, and Bani Yas, while Al Wahda face off Al Bataeh. The second round of this matchweek will take place on February 23rd and 24th, 2024.
Games of matchweek two will be held on August 25th, 26th, and 27th, 2023 with Hatta vs. Al Ain, Shabab Al Ahli vs. Khorfakkan, Emirates vs. Ajman, Al Bataeh vs. Ittihad Kalba, Al Jazira vs. Al Wahda, Bani Yas vs. Al Nasr, andvSharjah vs. Al Wasl, while the second round of these fixtures will be held on March 2nd, and 3rd, 2024.
Meanwhile, matchweek three will be held on September 22nd and 23rd, 2023, with Khorfakkan vs. Emirates, Al Nasr vs. Sharjah, Al Ain vs. Ajman, Ittihad Kalba vs. Al Jazira, Al Bataeh vs. Shabab Al Ahli, Al Wahda vs. Hatta, and Al Wasl vs. Bani Yas, while the second round of these games will take place on March 8th and 9th, 2024.
Games of matchweek four will be held on September 28th, 29th, and 30 with Sharjah vs. Al Ain, Al Jazira vs. Al Bataeh, Shabab Al Ahli vs. Al Wahda, Bani Yas vs. Emirates, Khorfakkan vs. Al Wasl, Hatta vs. Al Nasr, and Ajman vs. Ittihad Kalba, while the second round of these games will take place on March 13th and 14th, 2024.
Matchweek five is scheduled to take place on October 6th, 7th, and 8th, 2023, featuring a lineup of thrilling matches, including Bani Yas vs. Al Wahda, Ittihad Kalba vs. Hatta, Al Wasl vs. Ajman, Emirates vs. Sharjah, Al Jazira vs. Shabab Al Ahli, Al Nasr vs. Al Ain, and Al Bataeh vs. Khorfakkan, while the second round of these games will take place on April 4 and 5, 2024.
Matchweek six kicks off on October 27th and 28th, 2023, promising an exciting face-off with Al Wahda vs. Ittihad Kalba, Al Bataeh vs. Ajman, Al Ain vs. Emirates, Shabab Al Ahli vs. Al Nasr, Sharjah vs. Bani Yas, Khorfakkan vs. Al Jazira, and Hatta vs. Al Wasl. The second round of these fixtures is set for April 16 and 17, 2024.
On November 2, 3, and 4, 2023, matchweek seven will take place with clashes featuring Bani Yas vs. Khorfakkan, Al Wasl vs. Al Ain, Al Jazira vs. Sharjah, Ittihad Kalba vs. Shabab Al Ahli, Ajman vs. Al Wahda, Al Nasr vs. Al Bataeh, and Emirates vs. Hatta. The second round of these fixtures is scheduled for April 21 and 22, 2024.
Matchweek eight, occurring on November 25 and 26, 2023, will witness Hatta vs. Bani Yas, Al Bataeh vs. Sharjah, Ittihad Kalba vs. Al Nasr, Khorfakkan vs. Ajman, Al Jazira vs. Al Wasl, Shabab Al Ahli vs. Al Ain, and Al Wahda vs. Emirates. The second round for these matches will be on April 30 and May 1, 2024.
For Matchweek nine, fans should mark their calendars for December 1 and 2, 2023. The fixtures include Sharjah vs. Shabab Al Ahli, Al Ain vs. Khorfakkan, Al Nasr vs. Al Wahda, Al Wasl vs. Al Bataeh, Ajman vs. Hatta, Emirates vs. Ittihad Kalba, and Bani Yas vs. Al Jazira. The second round of these matches is slated for May 4 and 5, 2024.
Matchweek ten will take center stage on December 8 and 9, 2023, with Al Jazira vs. Ajman, Shabab Al Ahli vs. Emirates, Ittihad Kalba vs. Al Ain, Khorfakkan vs. Al Nasr, Al Wahda vs. Al Wasl, Hatta vs. Sharjah, and Al Bataeh vs. Bani Yas. The second round of these matches will occur on May 12, 13, and 14, 2024.
On December 15 and 16, 2023, matchweek eleven will see Al Ain vs. Al Wahda, Bani Yas vs. Shabab Al Ahli, Sharjah vs. Khorfakkan, Al Wasl vs. Ittihad Kalba, Hatta vs. Al Bataeh, Ajman vs. Al Nasr, and Emirates vs. Al Jazira. The second round of these fixtures will take place on May 17 and 18, 2024.
Matchweek twelve, scheduled for December 23 and 24, 2023, promises encounters between Al Jazira vs. Hatta, Khorfakkan vs. Al Wahda, Bani Yas vs. Ittihad Kalba, Shabab Al Ahli vs. Al Wasl, Sharjah vs. Ajman, Al Nasr vs. Emirates, and Al Bataeh vs. Al Ain. The second round for these matches will be on May 21 and 22, 2024.
Finally, Matchweek thirteen will take place on February 16 and 17, 2024. This round includes Al Wahda vs. Sharjah, Al Ain vs. Al Jazira, Hatta vs. Shabab Al Ahli, Al Wasl vs. Al Nasr, Ajman vs. Bani Yas, Emirates vs. Al Bataeh, and Ittihad Kalba vs. Khorfakkan. The second round for these matches will take place on May 25 and 26, 2024.
Each round promises thrilling encounters that will keep UAE football fans on the edge of their seats. As the teams gear up for the forthcoming season, all fans eagerly await what is sure to be a spectacular showcase of UAE football at its finest. Stay tuned for more updates as the UAE Pro League 2023-2024 season unfolds.