Dubai Rugby Sevens - More Than A Tournament

November 27, 2018
Written by Arpan Ghosh

Winter in the UAE means a packed social calendar. After the DP World Tour Championship in mid-November and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the start of this week (which was preceded by an entire weekend of revelry), we have another thrilling event to look forward to – the Dubai Rugby Sevens. Taking place from the 29th of November to the 1st of December, the Rugby Sevens is an unofficial prelude to Christmas in Dubai. This year, the tournament coincides with a long weekend, so we can expect it to be more exciting than ever.
 

The Dubai Rugby Sevens will be held in the Sevens Stadium, comprising 8 separate event arenas and a seating capacity in excess of 50,000. The Sevens Stadium is one of Dubai’s most renowned entertainment venues and hosts a variety of events, including the Rugby World Cup Sevens (the world’s premier rugby tournament), international football matches and even musical concerts.

 

While rugby is the main focus, the Dubai Rugby Sevens is about much more than that, delivering a weekend brimming with music, food and entertainment. This year, it will also host its own music festival, taking place across three separate areas of Sevens Stadium – the Green Room, Green Space and Green Tavern. This new move is aimed at making the weekend-long event something that anyone can enjoy, whether they want to follow the action on the field or the activities in the surrounding Rugby Village.

 

Rugby has a long history with the UAE, going back nearly five decades to before the country was officially founded. Started by a handful of British expatriates, the first Sevens tournament was held in 1970 and it didn’t take long for the sport’s popularity to boom in the fledgling nation. Played in different venues through the decades, the Rugby Sevens finally found a permanent home in 2008 in the form of the Sevens Stadium. It is now a mainstay in Dubai and one of the most keenly anticipated events of the year. It also holds the distinction of being the longest running sporting event in the Middle East. The tournament is the first leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series, which runs through till June and ends with the Paris Sevens.

 

Given the sport’s vast popularity across the country, the Rugby Sevens has developed an official School Partnership Programme to promote rugby as part of the physical education curriculum and to foster a new generation of players. In 2013, the UAE took its love of rugby to the next level by introducing its own men’s team, the Emirati Shaheen, into the Dubai Rugby Sevens. The Shaheen will make their second appearance in this year’s tournament to showcase how far the team has progressed since its debut.

 

With a lineup of stellar musical performances, all-star sporting prowess and activities designed to appeal to the entire family, the Dubai Rugby Sevens is the ultimate weekend destination in Dubai.