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Mansoor bin Mohammed chairs DSC meeting, reviews performance of sports sector in Dubai over 2023-2024 season

His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, expressed his profound gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, for His Highness’s unwavering support for the sports sector in Dubai and his appreciation of the notable performances and achievements of Dubai clubs.

Recalling highlights of the 2023-2024 season as he chaired a meeting of the Dubai Sports Council’s Board of Directors, Sheikh Mansoor congratulated Al Wasl Club upon securing twin titles with triumphs in His Highness the President’s Cup and the ADNOC Professional Football League.

“We are proud of the performance of Dubai clubs and the splendid spirit they showcased in competing for titles during the domestic season. We now look forward to similar achievements at the continental level from our clubs,” Sheikh Mansoor said.

“His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed’s commendations following the performance of Dubai clubs and their positive intent in the pursuit of trophies in various sports right through the season is a huge motivation for Dubai’s sporting sector. Al Wasl Club’s achievement of winning a title double is certainly among the highlights this year,” HH Sheikh Mansoor added.

Clubs from Dubai put up a magnificent display during the season with Al Wasl stealing the limelight thanks to their twin titles while Shabab Al Ahli won the Emirates Super Cup and the UAE-Qatar Super Shield, besides finishing as the runners-up in the ADNOC Professional League. Al Nasr, Al Wasl’s neighbours, gave a superb account of their own potential in the final of the His Highness the President’s Cup.

Sheikh Mansoor said: “Footballing excellence and all the other sporting achievements of Dubai clubs would not have been possible without the constant support of the leadership or the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed and his unwavering support for the work of the Dubai Sports Council. He has been more than generous with the gift of new stadiums for Shabab Al Ahli Club and Al Wasl Club that match the latest international standards. Both these stadiums represent architectural masterpieces and will be important additions to the urban and sports landscape in Dubai.

“Dubai clubs play an essential role in supporting the work of the Dubai Sports Council, which constantly strives to promote excellent team outcomes, administrative operations, and optimal investment of resources, besides identifying and developing emerging talent at the academic level among other things. We are very happy with the results achieved by Dubai clubs during the 2023-2024 season, not just in terms of sporting excellence but in other aspects too. The Council has played a crucial role in tracking the performances of clubs through regular reports issued at the conclusion of the season and, while we are happy with the achievements of our clubs, we aspire to achieve much more in keeping with the support of the leadership and on the strength of our capabilities,” Sheikh Mansoor added.

Sheikh Mansoor chaired the Dubai Sports Council Board of Directors meeting at the Council’s headquarters. The meeting was held in the presence of His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council; Her Excellency Maryam Al Hammadi and other Board members including Hala Badri, Moza Al Marri, and Jamal Al Marri, besides Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of the Council; and Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Assistant Secretary General of the Council.

Glowing returns
The meeting reviewed outstanding achievements of Dubai clubs in various sporting endeavours through the course of the season. Sheikh Mansoor appreciated the efforts of boards of directors of various clubs, besides administrative and technical teams, and players who contributed to the notable achievements in various sporting disciplines, in addition to the football titles won by Al Wasl and Shabab Al Ahli.

Prominent among the season’s big achievers were Shabab Al Ahli who won three volleyball titles, including the Emirates Cup, the Cup of His Highness the Vice President of the UAE, and the Super Cup. In basketball, Shabab Al Ahli won the league title, while Al Nasr claimed the Emirates Cup, in addition to His Highness the Vice President’s Cup. Shabab Al Ahli also won His Highness the President’s Handball Cup, in addition to claiming top honours in many other team and individual sports.

Marine sports push
The DSC Board of Directors meeting also reviewed the performance report of the Dubai International Marine Sports Club, which was presented by Ahmed bin Meshar, Chairman of the Club’s Board of Directors, along with Mohammed Abdullah Hareb, Executive Director of the Club.

The high point of the marine sports calendar was the organisation of the annual season-ending Al Gaffal Dhow Race.
Originally launched by the late Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum to preserve Dubai’s and the UAE’s rich maritime legacy, the annual 60-feet dhow race attracts tremendous participation from across the UAE.

The Dubai International Marine Sports Club continues to organise this race annually under the guidance and patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, and the supervision of the Dubai Council Sports.

The Board of Directors of the Dubai Sports Council appreciated the club’s efforts and the hard work being put in to organise the most notable and largest dhow race, which brings together more than 5,000 participants over a testing course cutting through the Arabian Gulf.

The Board of Directors applauded the brilliant display of the world-famous Victory Team in the ongoing 2024 UIM F1H2O World Championship. The action will resume this weekend following a nearly three-month break with the Regione Sardegna Grand Prix of Italy in Olbia, Italy. Victory Team’s Erik Stark leads the drivers’ championship standings with 55 points. The Board of Directors affirmed that participation in such competitions is part of constant efforts by the club to enhance Dubai’s position on the global marine sports map while also showcasing its heritage.

Fresh initiatives
Issuing directives for a new study to be conducted on the economic impact of sporting events in Dubai, Sheikh Mansoor appreciated the efforts of government agencies and the private sector in Dubai, in cooperation with the Dubai Sports Council, to organise sporting events. His Highness also lauded public and private sector entities investing in various aspects of sport including the academic sector and in other areas that contribute to the growth of the sports sector’s contribution to Dubai’s GDP, thus attracting new companies and creating numerous job opportunities.

In terms of the contribution of the sports sector to Dubai’s gross domestic product, the 2014 figure stood at AED 6 billion, going up marginally to AED 7 billion in 2016. The 2018 study reflected a further growth to AED 8.5 billion and, by 2022, this share had risen to AED 9 billion.

Sheikh Mansoor directed that a new study be conducted this year on the economic impetus from sports-related events and activities and the growth recorded by the sector. He said this growth reflected in the increase in the number of companies, academies, and international organisers active in Dubai, thanks to supportive legislation, excellent standards of living, the issuance of golden residency permits, besides the availability of integrated infrastructure for sports and tourism that ensure continuous growth for businesses.

The 2022 study, which attributed a GDP contribution of AED 9.078 billion annually from Dubai’s sports sector, representing 2.35 per cent of the annual GDP. This apart, the sports sector provided at least 105,000 jobs within companies operating in the sports sector and allied sectors.

Attracting new talent and academies
The meeting also reviewed a report on the implementation of the policy to attract and develop sporting talent in Dubai from 2023 through 2033. This move aims to make Dubai a global centre for discovering and developing sporting talent, as initiatives and programmes launched by the Dubai Sports Council, in cooperation with various entities, continue to draw budding athletes of diverse nationalities keen on a sporting career.

The 2023-2024 sports season witnessed many such programmes, and the performance report presented at the meeting provided detailed figures on the performance of academies and sports events designated for talented youth, with more than 55,000 junior athletes recorded as having participated in various events and competitions. Prominent among these was the Dubai School Games, which evinced the participation of more than 8,500 students from 140 schools competing in 20 sporting disciplines.

Figures were also provided for local and international academy championships featuring 12 competitions that witnessed the participation of 14,292 athletes, representing 263 academies competing in six sports.

The report also highlighted the registration of 400 academies in Dubai promoting 50 sports, including 11 top academies run by international football clubs including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Ajax Amsterdam, Greek Olympiacos, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, besides LaLiga and the Argentine Federation Academy.

Boost for women’s participation
During the meeting, the DSC Board of Directors also reviewed the report of the Women and Sports Committee, which included data on the development of women’s sports in Dubai and the efforts of the Dubai Sports Council to contribute to the Dubai Social Agenda 33 while supporting the vision of the Dubai Women’s Establishment for the emirate to be a global model for women-friendly cities.

Various sporting events for the period from 2020-2023 witnessed the participation of more than a million women of all ages, representing 120 nationalities, who participated in 926 events in 55 sports, of which 22 were international events and 23 were regional events.

The report included an action plan that aims to enhance numbers of female athletes and women in sports, attract more international sporting events for women, and qualify female national cadres through numerous training courses and programmes.


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