As I approach my third year as a Physical Education teacher here in Dubai. I wanted to share some of my thoughts and experiences as a sports fan living in the Middle East. With it being four years exactly to the start of the Qatar 2020 Winter World Cup, I felt there was no better time to embrace the football fever. This has also been helped with the FIFA World Club Competition taking place in December which should see Santiago Solari claim his first trophy with the Los Blancos. Followed by the Globe Football Awards, where the football elite will flock to the luxury of Dubai to collect awards which almost no one has heard of. Not forgetting the AFC Asian Cup where current champions Australia, under the watchful eye of Rene Muelensteen will look to retain their title.
With regards to the other major sporting events, the Dubai Duty Free tennis championships are yet to announce their star studded line up. Will Roger Federer make a comeback this year as a final hoorah? A personal highlight of the 2018 competition was seeing the start of Daria Kasatkina’s impressive run against some of female tennis’ household names.
The golf courses here need to be seen to be believed, which is most probably why all of the big hitters are in attendance at the Dubai and Abu Dhabi based competitions with an expat favourite Tommy Fleetwood & Dustin Johnson to name but a few.
This is all of course in addition to the constant supply of marketing events for all of the ‘big wig’ names in the business world of fashion, food and travel. You may genuinely be passing through a mall and a once legend of sport will be donning a sponsored t-shirt on a stall and taking pictures with people who will immediately google his or her name.
Welcome to the oh so wonderful experiences of a sports fan in Dubai. Roll on 2019.