Family festival to mark opening of Hazza bin Zayed Stadium

A three-day family friendly festival will help mark the opening of Al Ain Football Club’s new ground.

The Big Kick Off event is in keeping with Hazza bin Zayed Stadium’s aim of promoting family sports for all.

Thousands of families from across the country are expected to attend to celebrate the opening of one of the Middle East’s most sophisticated sporting arenas.

The venue took years of planning but has been built in just 17 months.

The festival will feature competitions, sporting displays and high-adrenaline activities from January 16 to 18.

From show jumping and juggling to BMX bikes and bungee runs, the focus will be on encouraging families, particularly children, to become involved in sports and promote a healthy lifestyle to all members of the community.

The stadium was created for families as well as football fans, and there will be a full calendar of events designed to bring friends and relatives together, whatever their sporting allegiance.

The festival will be divided into five major zones that represent the different elements of sports, depicted by animals that best represent the zone.

Zone one, the horse, has been designed to focus on running, jumping and stamina training.

There will be a running track, a high-jump arena, a bungee run, a horseless show jumping course, juggler demonstrations, workshops and stilt walkers.

The camel represents zone two, which tests visitors’ strengths and offers training to help enhance them. Activities include tennis, basketball, human table football, table tennis and swingball. In the gaming area, coaches will help with activities such as giant chess, hopscotch, giant Jenga and skipping.

Speed and agility will be tested in zone three, the desert hare, with speed table tennis, a space hopper course and football training. There will also be tips on how the professionals play table tennis.

Zone four, the lizard, focuses on balance and flexibility – key requirements in any sport. Extreme sports including trampoline, bag jumps, wall climbing and a BMX track will be featured here.

The falcon represents zone five, which concentrates on food and how it affects the human body.

Nutritionists and physiotherapists will advise visitors about what they should and should not eat, and how they should treat their bodies during sports events.

This will be backed up by the Oasis area, which will serve nutritious, healthy meals to encourage a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle.

Circus acts will be on hand to entertain visitors while they eat.

The three-tiered Hazza bin Zayed Stadium spans 45,000 square metres, can accommodate 25,000 spectators and has been designed to accommodate those with special needs.

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Other simple ideas for sushi rice dishes

Cheat’s nigiri 
This is easier to make than sushi rolls. With damp hands, form the cooled rice into small tablet shapes. Place slices of fresh, raw salmon, mackerel or trout (or smoked salmon) lightly touched with wasabi, then press, wasabi side-down, onto the rice. Serve with soy sauce and pickled ginger.

Easy omurice
This fusion dish combines Asian fried rice with a western omelette. To make, fry cooked and cooled sushi rice with chopped vegetables such as carrot and onion and lashings of sweet-tangy ketchup, then wrap in a soft egg omelette.

Deconstructed sushi salad platter 
This makes a great, fuss-free sharing meal. Arrange sushi rice on a platter or board, then fill the space with all your favourite sushi ingredients (edamame beans, cooked prawns or tuna, tempura veggies, pickled ginger and chilli tofu), with a dressing or dipping sauce on the side.


This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home.

Match info:

Real Betis v Sevilla, 10.45pm (UAE)


Born in Dibba, Sharjah in 1972.
He is the eldest among 11 brothers and sisters.
He was educated in Sharjah schools and is a graduate of UAE University in Al Ain.
He has written poetry for 30 years and has had work published in local newspapers.
He likes all kinds of adventure movies that relate to his work.
His dream is a safe and preserved environment for all humankind. 
His favourite book is The Quran, and 'Maze of Innovation and Creativity', written by his brother.

UAE Warriors 45 Results

Main Event : Lightweight Title
Amru Magomedov def Jakhongir Jumaev - Round 1 (submission)
Co-Main Event : Bantamweight
Rany Saadeh def Genil Franciso - Round 2 (submission)
Catchweight 150 lbs
Walter Cogliandro def Ali Al Qaisi - Round 1 (TKO)
Renat Khavalov def Hikaru Yoshino - Round 2 (TKO)
Victor Nunes def Nawras Abzakh - Round 1 (TKO)
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Abdullo Khodzhaev def Petru Buzdugen - Round 1 (TKO)
Catchweight 139 lbs
Razhabali Shaydullaev def Magomed Al-Abdullah - Round 2 (submission)
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Light Heavyweight
Bartosz Szewczyk def Artem Zemlyakov - Round 2 (TKO)


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