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IPL 2020 could lead to all-round boost of Dh90 million for the UAE

Waheed Abbas/Dubai
Filed on August 23, 2020 | Last updated on August 23, 2020 at 05.54 am
Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah will be hosting 60 IPL matches.

(File photo)

Analysts say mega sporting event can contribute Dh90M to nation's GDP

The upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) will give fillip to the UAE's key sectors - including travel, tourism, hospitality and logistics - and also boost confidence among both those looking to organise and attend mega events in the future.

Analysts estimate that the mega sporting event, which will run for over 50 days in the UAE, will contribute around Dh80-Dh90 million to the nation's economy.

Initial reports suggest that the 60 matches would be played with empty stadiums and gallery stands. There are also talks of allowing stadium capacity to around 30-40 per cent.

It is estimated that the eight major franchises will experience a 30-40 per cent drop in sponsorship revenue to around Rs3-Rs3.5 billion compared to last year's Rs5 billion. Last year, the Board of Control for Cricket in India raked in around Rs6 billion; this year, it is targeting a total revenue of around Rs3-Rs3.5 billion from sponsorship.

So far, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings have arrived in the UAE for the 13th edition of the IPL, which will be played across three venues in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah from September 19 to November 10.

Devesh Mamtani, chief market strategist at Century Financial, said franchises will have to almost forgo key sources of revenues, including ticket and onsite merchandise sales. Plus, on the broadcasting side, he said the UAE won't be able to garner much as global broadcasting rights have been bagged by various private players like Sky Sports, Starts Sports, BeIN Sports and Yupp Tv.

"All these imply that the probable contribution of this year's IPL season to the UAE economy would be much lower than 2014's numbers of Dh147.5 million. Assuming a 40 per cent decline in a worst-case scenario, this implies a contribution of Dh85-Dh90 million to the UAE economy," Mamtani told Khaleej Times.

Global consultancy KPMG had predicted that last IPL edition held in the UAE in 2014 contributed Dh147.5 million.

Sidharth Mehta, partner and head of BCRE at KPMG Lower Gulf, said the UAE's hospitality sector - mainly Dubai and Abu Dhabi - will benefit from the mega event.

"League matches will be held over approximately two months and comprise eight teams. Dedicated hotels are expected to be booked by each of the teams for the duration. if authorities permit crowds in the stadium, cricket lovers from across the globe may come to the UAE to watch the live matches," said Mehta.

"?The UAE's excellent hospitality and infrastructure facilities offer an extremely safe environment for the IPL. This may boost confidence among both those looking to organise and attend future events in the UAE," he added.

Mamtani noted that travel and tourism will be a key beneficiary of the sporting event.

In addition, logistical and transportation will help the UAE attract foreign direct investment into the country. Also, Dream 11, a fantasy cricket league platform and one of the title sponsors for this season, is expected to invest around Rs2.2 billion this season. Various other sponsors are also likely to invest sizaeble chunks in order to make this event a success.


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