2019 Asian Cup to be boosted by Mohammed Stadium

2019 Asian Cup to be boosted by Mohammed Stadium
The model of the proposed 60,000-seat Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium.

By KT Report

Published: Thu 5 May 2016, 9:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 5 May 2016, 11:28 PM

The 2019 Asian Cup football championships scheduled to be held in the UAE got a big boost when the scale model of the proposed 60,000-seat Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum stadium was displayed at the Dubai Sports Council (DSC) organised Innovation Lab for sports activities at the Meydan Hotel.
The Asian Cup, three years from now will see 24 sides taking part instead of the customary 16-team format for the 2019 UAE chapter. The UAE will be hosting the event for the second time, the first time being Abu Dhabi in 1996 where the home side finished runners-up.
The stadium project near Al Awir and the Khawaneej area and behind Mushrif Park, announced three years ago, now has an outlay of Dh3 billion. The initial sum to be set aside was marked at Dh830 million when it was to be completed by 2017. Visiting the lab and the scale model of the stadium was His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Wednesday. Dar Al Handasah are the consultants for the project expected to be completed in 2018, and Perkins & Will, the main contractors for the project. Other facilities include a 10-20,000 capacity indoor/outdoor complex, a training hall, a 5,000 capacity car park, a sports museum and conference halls.
Shaikh Mohammed, who was accompanied by Matar Al Tayer, Deputy Chairman of the DSC, attended part of the Innovation Lab panel discussions and discussed with the participants means to make sport a key lifestyle activity. Under Shaikh Mohammed's directives, Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairma, DSC, has approved eight recommendations made at the lab.
The recommendations, part of the Dubai strategic plan for sports, include establishing the Hamdan bin Mohammed Medal for schools sports, lifting subsidies for football companies by the end of 2021, launching the Hamdan bin Mohammed Initiatives for Community Sports, promoting future sports, establishing Dubai International Centre for Sports Medicine, developing complexes and clubs for women sports, establishing Dubai Sports Museum and launching a programme for academies champions.
The new stadium will be unique as far as design is concerned and it is derived from the theme of a half-ball. "This is the only way forward for us. Our leaders are always challenging us to reach heights that have never been touched before," Saeed Hareb, secretary-general, DSC, said.
The announcement for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, the 17th edition, was made in March 2015 and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) require a minimum of six Fifa approved venues. The UAE presented four host cities - Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Dubai and Sharjah during the bidding campaign.
Zayed Sports City and the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium are the recommendations for Abu Dhabi as a host while Al Ain are well placed with the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium and the Khalifa International Stadium. Zayed Sports City, which staged the Asian Cup summit round in 1996 has a capacity of 43,000, while the Mohammed bin Zayed venue has a 42,000-seater setup. Apart from the new proposed Mohammed Stadium, the other Dubai venues likely to be in the race for hosting rights are the Zabeel Stadium and Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium.

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