Fancy dress and numerous nationalities add to atmosphere at Dubai Rugby Sevens

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers were among the crowd of thousands soaking up the atmosphere and the rugby.
A New Zealand fan gets into the spirit with face paints and a wig at Dubai Rugby Sevens on Friday. Satish Kumar / The National
A New Zealand fan gets into the spirit with face paints and a wig at Dubai Rugby Sevens on Friday. Satish Kumar / The National

DUBAI // The Ninja Turtles and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers were among the fans adding to the fun atmosphere on the second day of the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens on Friday.

Crowds began to build up from the morning at the Sevens Stadium, with many choosing to distinguish themselves with colourful costumes.

As thousands of fans cheered on their teams in the main stadium, many others watched games on the second pitch, while others had impromptu rugby matches of their own.

Among them was David Miller, from the UK, who works as an engineer in Dubai, but yesterday transformed into one of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

“This was very much a last minute thing, but I felt we had to dress up because there was a big group of us coming,” he said of his White Ranger costume.

“It’s as much about the social aspect as the rugby, and this seemed like a good idea at the time.”

His friend, Ed Binder, from Suffolk in England, attended his first Sevens event in Dubai last year and was back for more.

“I had so much fun last year that I had to come over again,” he said.

“Although I’m not too sure it was such a good idea to dress up as the yellow power ranger.”

The group was planning to party late into the evening.

“As much as we enjoy the rugby, it’s also a fact that it’s a great place to party and enjoy yourself, that attracts so many people,” said Mr Binder, while posing in his yellow Lycra outfit.

“I’ve been to the Sevens in London and it’s just the same. Although more people dress up in costumes there.”

Another superhero team patrolling the Sevens stadium was that of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, who were attending with their arch nemesis, Shredder.

“We’ve spent about two weeks making the costumes,” said Scotsman David Watt, who lives in Abu Dhabi and is an engineer.

“To be honest, it was my wife’s idea and since we came as Lego last year we went for something a bit more heroic this time.

“I really love the atmosphere you get at the Sevens and it’s amazing to think that no matter where in the world these tournaments take place, there is a really special atmosphere.”

With the mercury steadily rising into the 30s Mr Watt and his team of heroes had some concerns.

“We’ve painted ourselves in green, but I’m just worried now that, with the heat, it will either start to run or will get soaked into our skin and we will be dyed green,” he said.

Paul Sutton, from Manchester, lives in Abu Dhabi and works for Etihad. He chose to dress up as Shredder.

“I wanted to be a little different so decided to come as Shredder,” he said.

“The costumes have all been handmade from cardboard so I’m not sure how durable they are going to be as the day goes on, but we’ll have fun nevertheless.”

Lyndon Gregory, from Swansea in Wales, works as an engineer in Dubai and organised for a group of 12 friends and family to attend the Sevens weekend.

“I’ve been in Dubai for three years and have attended the event every year I have been here,” he said. “It’s a fantastic competition and the atmosphere is building up wonderfully.”

The group were all wearing the Jebel Ali Dragon rugby club colours and supporting one of the club’s players, who was taking part in a match.

“We’re here to support Wales but it’s just such a great atmosphere, and you get to meet so many people from different parts of the world,” Mr Gregory said.

His brother Ceri made the journey from Australia, along with his wife, especially for the Sevens event.

“It’s my first time in Dubai and we decided to make a bit of a holiday of it,” he said.

“It’s great to see so many people here. Not only is the rugby fun, but there is also the social aspect of it.”

The event concludes on Saturday. For more details, visit dubairugby7s.com.

nhanif@thenational.ae

Published: December 5, 2014 04:00 AM

SHARE

Editor's Picks
NEWSLETTERS
Sign up to:

* Please select one