WAM/ Abu Dhabi sports arenas are poised to host world club champions with the launch of the FIFA Club World Cup hosted by UAE during 6-16 December 2017.
Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi and Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain will host the competition matches as the necessary preparations are made to dazzle the world with a unique organization that reflects the UAE’s image as a leading sporting destination to host the world’s most prestigious sports competitions.
Through this report, WAM will review the history of Zayed Sports City Stadium and Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium which are considered the most prominent sporting edifices in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi witnessed UAE’s football evolution and the attainment of numerous sport achievements.
Throughout its long history of more than three decades since its establishment in 1980, Zayed Sports City Stadium witnessed the competitions of the most prestigious tournaments, national teams, clubs and top stars around the world.
Zayed Sports City Stadium embodies the beginning of the football evolution in UAE. Upon opening this stadium, it was one of the biggest football stadiums in UAE and the region as a whole with an initial capacity of about 60,000 spectators. This capacity was reduced over the past 30 years as part of the renewal and maintenance works to become nearly more than 43 thousand spectators distributed over 42355 seats dedicated for the fans within two levels, 1056 VIP seats, 380 seats for institutions, 132 seats for the internal platform, 50 seats for royal cabins and 277 seats for the media area.
During the last year, the stadium received around 1.3 million visitors and the largest attendance in the stands reached 43050 spectators during the finals of FIFA Club World Cup “UAE 2009” where the European champion at the time, Barcelona, was crowned of with the title following beating South American champions Estudiantes de La Plata of Argentina by 2-1.
As UAE is hosting 2017 FIFA Club World Cup, Zayed Sports City continues to write the sport history of the UAE hosting the world champions and football magicians from around the globe.
In preparations for 2017 Clubs World Cup, the stadium underwent comprehensive improvements in the hospitality areas, interior and exterior works of the royal cabins, replanting of the playground with the best seeds to provide a smooth and streamlined base consistent with the FIFA World Standards, revamping the VIP seating area, establishment of media seating zone, improving the fans zone, upgrading the stadium public signage, upgrading security equipment, refurbishing public utilities, toilets and other development and improvement works that will ensure that the country will host a new and more successful and impressive version of the FIFA Club World Cup.
Granted the title of the Best Football Stadium in the world in 2014, Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, the social and sports edifice, is a masterpiece of architectural and engineering excellence. It is featured by the finest and latest design specifications that made it one of the most developed and advanced stadiums in the region and the world.
It was officially opened in May 2014 by hosting a festive match between Al Ain and Manchester City, Champs of the English Premier League, after completing its construction works in a record period of 17 months. It is the main stadium of Al Ainawi Boss, Al Ain First Football Team.
The stadium is constructed on an area of 45 thousand square meters and at a height of 50 meters. It can accommodate 25 thousand seats distributed thoughtful to provide the best vision to the fans on three floors where 3000 premium-category seats as well as seats for “people of determination”. The record of fan attendance was seen in the game between Al Ain and Al Hilal of Saudi as 24,204 have attended the game.
Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium is the first stadium in the world to be designed to provide full shade to all fans in accordance with its advanced construction design and using a movable roof umbrella to cover the stadium and seats when needed.
Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium witnessed several development and advancement works to ensure the venue’s reediness to host the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup, including the installation of new advanced connections to support the ultra-high definition 4K television which is used for the first time in this state-of-the-art stadium, installing new LED lightening systems to comply with the FIFA grade-6 lightening standards, and implementing “Hutaf” initiative which allows the fans to listen to live commentary on matches through FM radio broadcasting.
UAE has been honored to host the 2017 and 2018 FIFA World Cups. Indeed, this affirms the State’s outstanding sporting image and FIFA’s confidence in the UAE’s ability to impress the world by organizing a unique version of the FIFA World Cup considering the integrated infrastructure and the best sport equipment in the world.