Dubai Sports Council Reviews Achievements As It Looks To Boost $2.5 Billion GDP Contribution With Major Events, Golden Visas And Building On 105,000 Jobs In Sector

The Dubai Sports Council is reflecting on the recent successes of clubs in the city and is planning a review of the economic benefits of the sport sector in the city.

Noting that sports provide at least 105,000 jobs in the emirate and adds more than $2.5bn to the city GDP it has launched a comprehensive study of the economic impact of the sector.

Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, expressed his profound gratitude to Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, 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 the President’s Cup and the ADNOC Professional Football League.

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.

Sheikh Mansoor 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 AED6bn ($1.6bn), going up marginally to AED7bn ($1.9bn) in 2016.

The 2018 study reflected a further growth to AED8.5bn ($2.3bn) and, by 2022, this share had risen to AED9bn ($2.5bn).

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 AED9.078bn ($2.5bn) 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.

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
  • Spain’s La Liga
  • The Argentine Federation Academy

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.

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 potential in the final of the President’s Cup.

Prominent among the season’s big achievers were Shabab Al Ahli who won three volleyball titles, including the Emirates Cup, the Cup of 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 the Vice President’s Cup. Shabab Al Ahli also won the President’s Handball Cup, in addition to claiming top honours in many other team and individual sports.

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 Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, and the supervision of the Dubai Council Sports.

The Board of Directors of the 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 the emirate’s position on the global marine sports map while also showcasing its heritage.


Arabian Business

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