The sports sector contributes Dh4 billion ($1.08bn) a year to the economy of Dubai, which hosts a number of national and international events and attracts visitors from around the world, according to the emirate's media office.
Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed, Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, said the sector's contribution to the national and local economy continues to grow as the emirate attracts investment and creates more jobs.
Currently, there are more than 20,000 people employed in Dubai’s sports sector, the statement said.
“The growth has come as a result of the Dubai community’s notable growing interest to participate in sports activities over the years and an increase in the number of national and international sporting events being hosted in Dubai,” Dubai Media Office said on Tuesday.
The emirate's advanced sports infrastructure, which includes dedicated cycling and running tracks, and the rise in the number of sports academies and fitness centres have played a crucial role in the growth of the sector, the media office said.
Dubai, the commercial and trading centre of the Middle East, has hosted more than 70 training camps and friendly matches for international teams in disciplines such as swimming, modern pentathlon, cycling, tennis, football, badminton, cricket, rugby and golf since the beginning of 2021.
Several Asian and European football clubs have also had their camps in Dubai in the past eight months, alongside a number of tennis and paddle players, who have regularly come to the emirate to prepare for events.
Many participants in the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, including the Olympic men’s badminton champion, Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen, have used training facilities in the emirate to prepare for international championships.
Dubai has also hosted the Indian Premier League, the popular cricket tournament which was moved to the UAE this year after a severe wave of Covid-19 infections disrupted the games in India earlier this year.
The emirate will also host the T20 cricket world cup in the next few months.
“Dubai’s favourable legislations, world-class facilities for tourists and visitors and the emirate’s … response to the Covid-19 pandemic have enabled the emirate to firmly place itself as a preferred destination for international sports investors,” Dubai Media Office said.
The UAE city has registered a recovery in important economic sectors such as tourism and property over the past few months after the Covid-19 health crisis disrupted growth around the world.
The Dubai government has unveiled stimulus packages worth Dh7.1bn since the onset of Covid-19 to support the economy, businesses and people.
The emirate's economy is expected to grow 4 per cent this year, according to government projections released in December.
There are also five factories that manufacture sports equipment and sportswear in Dubai, and more than 2,500 outlets that sell training equipment and merchandise.
The emirate also has more than 350 registered companies that organise various sports events and training camps, according to the Dubai Media office.