Fri, Aug 14, 2015 - Page 18 News List

Dubai seeks stadium ideas: sources

Reuters, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

Dubai has launched a competition to design a 60,000-seater stadium that is to be built in the emirate to stage matches at soccer’s 2019 Asian Cup, three sources familiar with the matter told reporters.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in March awarded hosting rights for the 24-nation tournament to the United Arab Emirates.

Matches are expected to be played in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and oasis town Al Ain. Each will likely use two stadiums, with AFC rules stating the hosts must use at least six for the tournament.

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), which did not respond to requests for comment, has the remit from the emirate’s government to build the stadium, the sources said.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because the design competition has not been made public.

Some design bids have already been submitted to the RTA, the sources said.

The stadium is to be built in or near Dubai Sports City, which is already home to a 25,000-capacity cricket stadium, which is also expected to host matches at the 2019 soccer tournament.

The award of the Asian Cup reinvigorated Dubai’s plans to build a large-capacity sports venue. In 2007, it was awarded a design and construction contract for two stadiums — a 60,000-capacity outdoor venue and a 10,000 capacity indoor venue — that at the time was valued at 830 million dirhams (US$225.97 million).

Both were scheduled to be completed in 2009, but were mothballed following Dubai’s real-estate crash and debt crisis.

Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Sports City, which staged the final when the UAE last hosted the Asian Cup in 1996, has a capacity of 43,000, while the capital’s other main ground is the 42,000-seater Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium.

Either could host the latter stages of the 2019 tournament; the minimum ground capacity for the semi-finals, finals and opening match is 40,000, an AFC spokesman said.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top