ABU DHABI // A Dh1 million prize is up for grabs for the UAE's top Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 player.
The month-long competition kicked off across the country last night at various locations and runs until the 28th day of Ramadan.
Dubbed "Million Player", the nationwide tournament, the biggest the region has yet seen, is open to men and women.
Fireworks signaled the start of the Abu Dhabi leg of the competition at the Emirates Park Zoo, where Mohammed Al Asad from Palestine had high hopes of finishing on top.
"It is my first time competing, but I have been training hard for the past three weeks. I hope I can win," he said.
Mr Al Asad said that if he won, he would drop everything and "go travelling the next day, for a month or two, I'll travel all over the world".
Another hopeful, Ahmed El Baz, from Egypt, is confident he will be the UAE champion - despite organisers expecting 50,000 entrants.
"I want a villa on the Palm, and maybe a new car. I will be the champion, I'm very good," he said.
Alongside the lofty first prize, runners-up are also in line for a sizeable cash boost.
The person who takes second place in the competition will received Dh300,000, with the third in line taking home Dh100,000.
Participants who place fourth and fifth will walk away with Dh50,000 and Dh40,000 respectively.
Even spectators are in with a chance of winning. A raffle will be held to give away a Range Rover and "hundreds" of mobile phones.
The event has been organised by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in cooperation with the Armed Forces Officers Club and Hotel, UAE Armed Forces Football Federation, Ministry of Education, Abu Dhabi Education Council, Dubai Education Council and other government agencies.
Abu Dhabi Sports TV will broadcast the semi-finals and the final live, and organisers hope the event will become an annual feature during Ramadan.