Sports sector contributes $2.45bn to Dubai economy in 2021

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DUBAI: The chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, said on Monday that the sports sector’s contribution to Dubai’s economy exceeded AED9 billion ($2.45 billion) in 2021, the Emirates News Agency reported. This represented 2.3 percent of the emirate’s annual gross domestic product.

He also stated that 105,000 new job opportunities are set to be the created in the growing sector, which as a result will account for 3.8 percent of total employment in Dubai.

Speaking as he chaired a meeting of the DSC’s board of directors, he credited a pioneering regulatory framework and robust infrastructure with helping to develop and shape the sports sector in the emirate. He stated that the government’s support for the industry is a key priority in Dubai’s drive to become the best city in the world to live and work in.

“We are proud of the significant growth in the contribution of the sports sector to Dubai’s annual GDP,” said Sheikh Mansoor.

“In addition to nurturing and fostering Emirati and expat athletes living in the UAE and ensuring the community’s health and happiness, the sports industry is now a significant economic contributor.

“At the DSC, we were keen to measure this growth in the contribution of sports to Dubai’s economy. In line with the best international practices, we conducted a study in association with a major global consultancy. The study analyzed and calculated the economic contribution of sports across different areas of the industry, including sports tourism, investment in sports training academies, sports events, and others.”

The sports sector benefits from Dubai’s position as a preferred global destination for living, working, studying and investing, according to Sheikh Mansoor. He added that the sports council provides state-of-the-art facilities to support the work of “local and international event organizers, which contribute to the growth of the sector.”

He said: “The DSC encourages international sports stars and investors to take advantage of Dubai’s world-class facilities to open sports academies and host major world championships and training camps for various clubs, national teams and champion athletes, as well as to benefit from investment opportunities in its various fields. All these factors contributed to increasing the sector’s economic contribution and the number of employees in various related companies.”

The council’s latest strategy focuses on sports clubs, sporting infrastructure, esports, sports tourism, and sports technology. It also aims to identify major challenges and prepare plans and strategies for future development of the sector.

During the meeting the participants also reviewed plans for the development of football stadiums in Dubai and tasked authorities with implementing them based on an approved timeline.