Construction work is expected to finish in four months on a new swimming complex at Dubailand which will be the venue for next year's Fina world short course championships and the 2013 Fina World Championships. The complex, which is yet to be named, features three pools, an Olympic size pool with 10 lanes, a 25m pool and a diving pool. Training pools will also be used during the short course championships at clubs in Al Ahli, Al Shabab, Al Wasl and Al Nasr.
The UAE coach Paul Van Lieshout said he hoped the complex would also be used as a research centre and for development of athletes. "My hope is that the federation, government and Olympic committee will see this as the centre of competitive swimming and certainly the centre for research and athlete development. There is a tremendous opportunity for them to do this," he said. Last month Dubai won the right to host the 2013 World Swimming Championships beating Hamburg (Germany) and Moscow (Russia).
Ayman Saad, executive director of UAE Swimming Federation, was there when Dubai won the bid for what Saad says was because Fina believed Dubai had the ability to get the job done. The championship is the third largest sporting event in the world after the Olympics and the football World Cup. "We are a very small swimming country and we only started about five years ago where we started to build a name for ourselves hosting some of the smaller events like the open water championships, world cups," he said.
"Now we have a coaching federation working with an American swimming coaching association to educate 700 coaches across the region. Now we need to grow swimming in the UAE." Saad, who spent two weeks in Rome, Italy, is due home this week to begin preparations for the short course championships and then the worlds.