The sports sector’s contribution to Dubai’s economy exceeded AED9 billion ($2.45 billion) in 2021, accounting for 2.3 percent of the emirate’s GDP for the year, said a senior official.
Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Sports Council (DSC), said the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, supported by a robust regulatory framework and an active lifestyle, has enabled the emirate to consolidate its position as the world’s preferred hub for sports in addition to being a destination for business, tourism, and education.
Chairing the third meeting of the DSC’s Board of Directors, he said the sector supports the creation of 105,000 job opportunities, accounting for 3.8 percent of the total employment in Dubai, said a Wam news agency report.
He credited Dubai’s pioneering regulatory framework and robust infrastructure for shaping the emirate’s sports sector. He noted that the government’s support for the industry is an integral priority within Dubai’s drive to become the world’s best city to live and work in.
“We are proud of the significant growth in the contribution of the sports sector to Dubai’s annual GDP. 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 international best 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,” Sheikh Mansoor said.
“The sports sector benefits from Dubai’s position as the world’s preferred destination for living, working, studying, and investing. The DSC supports the industry and the increase in its contribution to GDP by strengthening relations with international sports institutions and bodies. The council offers state-of-the-art facilities that support the work of local and international event organisers, which contributes to the growth of the sector.
“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,” he added.
Dubai’s new sports strategy focuses on sports clubs in Dubai, infrastructure for sports facilities, e-sports, sports tourism, and sports technology, among others. It also identifies the main challenges, future development plans and strategy. The meeting also reviewed plans to develop football stadiums in Dubai and directed the concerned authorities to work on implementing them according to the approved schedule.