Dhs2.7 billion expected in contracts to build Dubai Sports

Specialists in sports facilities construction will be sharpening the quills in order to submit bids for the build of an 80 million square foot Sport City area within Dubailand.

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By  Eudore Chand Published  November 27, 2003

|~|dubailand_200w.jpg|~|Artist’s impression of view from the air shows the sky high ambitions of the Dubailand project|~|Specialists in sports facilities construction will be sharpening the quills in order to submit bids for the build of an 80 million square foot Sport City area within Dubailand.

At least four stadiums with a combined capacity to seat 68,000 people will be built in addition to separate world-class facilities for major open air sports such as horse riding and golfing There will also be hotels, jogging/bicycle tracks, boulevards, restaurants, cafes, malls, mini malls, cinemas and retail outlets, a medical clinic and other services — to provide a mini-township community.

Only 60% of the allotted land will be built upon, leaving 40% for natural beauty and landscaped areas. Dubai Sports City will be built in two phases, with the first four-year phase seeing the construction of sports stadiums along with the golf course and sports-related facilities. The second four-year phase will see the completion of all activities envisaged. Three major investors have come forward to build the various facilities and include Abdul Rahim Al Zarooni, Abdul Rahman Falaknaz and Abdul Rahman Bukhatir, the mastermind behind the international Sharjah Cricket Cup. The three leading UAE national businessmen recently signed a contract worth more than Dhs2.7 billion with Dubai Tourism Development Company, which has been set up by promoter Dubai Development & Investment Authority (DDIA), to build and manage Dubailand.

Following the signing, DDIA Chairman Mohammed Al Gergawi said many organisations from within the UAE and overseas have shown interest in the project, which indicates the confidence of investors in the local economy and the high potential of the growth of the tourism sector in Dubai.
“Negotiations on some projects have reached the final stage, and are expected to be announced soon.”

Dubai — already home to Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest horse race — could be aiming at hosting the football, cricket or rugby world cups, or even the Olympics? More likely, since many of the global tournaments are held in the scorching summer months, Dubai could set its sights on Asia’s most prestigious events.

Abdul Rahim Al Zarooni, president of Al Zarooni said the Dubai Sports City project includes cricket, rugby, football, field and track and indoor sports such as basketball, handball, and volleyball, alongside many complementing facilities ranging from golf and equestrian areas to sports academies.
Al Zarooni said the city would include an outdoor multi-purpose stadium with a capacity of 25,000 people. It is designed to host international matches and championships of football and rugby.

Abdul Rahman Bukhatir, chairman of Bukhatir Investments Limited says the consortium will consider designing and executing facilities that will be capable of hosting international championships, including the cricket stadium with a capacity of 25 000 people.

Abdul Rahman Falaknaz, president of Falaknaz Group, predicts that Dubai Sports City will contribute to placing the UAE on the map of leading sports centres in the world. “Dubai will actually host international events and championships in different sports like tennis, golf, horse racing and others.”
The aim does not seem to be just creating a world-class sports complex. Dubai Sports City will have dedicated academies for cricket, football, golf and tennis to train champions of the future.

Located on the upper west side of Dubailand, the project will have a golf development with an 18-hole championship course and a world-class golf academy. The development will be golf buggy friendly and will encourage exercise with jogging and biking tracks.

Dubai Sports City is part of an overall 2 billion ft2 Dubailand project that will see investments worth Dhs18 billion. It is one of the overall project’s many facets designed to position Dubai as a leisure, tourism and entertainment capital of the region. The ambitious Dubailand has 45 main projects with more than 200 sub-projects.

Main features of the Sports City will be:

Golf: Dubai Sports City will have an 18-hole golf course along with a club and a world-class academy.

Club House: A Club House will have all leisure facilities including tennis courts and tennis academy, health spa etc.

Cricket: A 25 000-seat capacity stadium for cricket with a cricket academy. This will hold international events.

Rugby, Football and Track & Field: A multi-purpose outdoor stadium for football and rugby along with a football academy and a track & field circuit. It will seat 25 000.

Hockey Stadium: A 10 000-seat capacity hockey stadium.

Indoor Stadium: A multipurpose indoor stadium with a seating capacity of 5 000 to 8 000 can be used for sports like basketball, volleyball, handball, net ball, etc. and will be capable of holding concerts and shows as an entertainment centre.

Riding Club: A riding club on a membership basis will be set up offering riding and other equestrian facilities.

Assorted Facilities: Apart from the above, there would also be hotels, jogging/bicycle tracks, boulevards, restaurants, cafes, malls, mini malls, cinemas and retail outlets, medical clinic and other services - to provide a mini-township community.||**||

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