DUBAI, 14th July, 2020 (WAM) — H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, DSC, has praised the resilience of Dubai’s innovative sports sector as it bounces back from COVID-19 pandemic.
Dubai’s sports sector has seen a gradual return to normalcy in recent weeks, with Dubai Sports Council taking a staggered, safety-first approach in opening up the sports sector, before finally giving permission to the marine sports sector last month to organise competitions.
The opening of the sports sector has been welcomed by Dubai’s diverse community, and the Emirate’s sports centres, fitness clubs and academies have been bustling with activity since the reopening, with attendance numbers almost matching pre-COVID figures.
“Sports in Dubai is not just a recreational and health activity, but it is a way of life for our community, and the enthusiastic numbers that we have seen at our academies, and sports and fitness centres since reopening only confirm that,” said H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed, who is also Chairman of Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management, made those comments after chairing a virtual meeting of the Board of Directors of Dubai Sports Council.
He added, “It is a vital sector of our society, supporting the government’s strategic objectives and creating a community that is happy and healthy, and among the most physically active in the world.
“The sports sector is also crucial for the national economy because it creates jobs opportunities for thousands of people, and attracts a huge number of tourists to the many top international events that we host here in Dubai around the year.”
“Our sports sector is a beacon for many others cities and we proved that once again through this COVID-19 pandemic, organising a number of innovative virtual sports events, symposiums and webinars, which caught the attention of sports lovers and the media from around world, and impressed everyone.
“Now, as the sports sectors open up following the COVID-19 lockdown, and our children return to their academies and elders to their favourite sports and fitness centres, or parks, we can be proud of the work we have put in – together with all our stakeholders and different government entities, and under the umbrella of Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management – to make this possible through vision and planning,” he went on to say.
“Together, we have shown our resilience in overcoming all the challenges that the sports sector in Dubai faced over the past few months, and now we are planning for the next stage with all our stakeholders. Very soon, the Council will be announcing new initiatives and plans that will strengthen the sports sector and give it boost heading into the post-COVID-19 phase,” he stressed.
Mattar Al Tayer, Vice-Chairman of DSC, participated in the meeting along with Board members Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Ali Bujsaim, Mohammed Al Kamali, Ahmad Al Shafar, Moaza Saeed Al Marri, and Saeed Hareb, Secretary-General of the Council. Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Assistant Secretary-General of the Council, was also present at the meeting.
The meeting reviewed the performance report of the Council for the period May 15th to July 1st, which included the measures taken by the Council for the return of sports activity in Dubai and the safety protocols it developed for the reopening of sports and fitness centres, and academies in the Emirate of Dubai.
During this period, the Council participated in a webinar organised by World Health Organisation, titled “Sports events and COVID-19: from lockdown to a new start”, and organised a number of forums, foremost among them being the forum organised in co-operation with Dubai Police to discuss safety protocols for the “Return of Spectators to Sports Stadiums”, which boasted, alongside top officials from DSC and Dubai Police, former Spain and Real Madrid star Michel Salgado among its panellist, as well as the head of European Tour Golf’s Middle East operations. Representatives from different national and international sports associations also participated in the forum, together with top officials of Dubai football clubs and representatives of local media.
The Council also organised a webinar in partnership with Spanish football league, LaLiga, titled “Football Clubs’ Strategy for Recovery Post COVID-19”, which attracted 169 participants and witnessed extensive discussions as the panellists shared their insights on the way forward for the football industry in the post-COVID-19 world.
The Board of Directors also reviewed plans and preparations for major international sporting events that are scheduled to be held in Dubai in the coming period, and also discussed requests and proposals made by several international sports federations to organise their events in Dubai, in co-operation Dubai Sports Council.