A jam-packed week

The annual Rugby Sevens tournament in Dubai caps an exciting series of great events

South African fans watch their team play against Canada at the Rugby Sevens Series at the Rugby Sevens grounds in  Dubai last year. Satish Kumar / The National
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Rugby Sevens is one of the oldest fixtures on our winter calendar. Over the years, the games have become faster and more exciting and, along with that, the popularity of Dubai’s tournament has grown. This year, tens of thousands of spectators are expected to watch local and international teams in three days of competition.

Unlike football, rugby hasn’t attracted large-scale attention outside of expatriate communities. But there are growing numbers of Emiratis playing the game. The direction of travel for local rugby is encouraging. The popularity of Rugby Sevens certainly bodes well for the future.

Rugby Sevens comes at the end of an exciting and emotional week for the country. From the roar of the Formula One, the quiet reflection of Commemoration Day to the joyousness of National Day, we have come together as a country. With so many events to choose from, it feels as though we are marking a national week instead of one National Day.