Abu Dhabi will soon welcome an estimated 2,500 people from around the world to the most exciting youth football competition in the region.
Ninety-six teams from as far afield as Australia will go head-to-head in the second edition of the Manchester City Abu Dhabi Cup – a doubling in team entries from last year’s inaugural tournament.
With just weeks to go until kick-off at Zayed Sports City on March 23-24, event organisers are putting in place final preparations to host players, coaches and families, from across the globe.
At stake is the top prize of a trip to the Etihad Campus in Manchester, where youngsters will train and play at the City Football Academy, the state-of-the-art facility used by Manchester City’s men’s and women’s teams.
As well as the thrilling football on display, the two-day tournament will showcase Abu Dhabi as a world-class tourist destination with Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture & Tourism as key partners.
Sultan Al Mutawa Al Dhaheri, Executive Director- Tourism Sector, Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, said, “The Manchester City Abu Dhabi Cup is a youth sporting extravaganza that will see thousands of young competitors, their coaches and families visit the UAE capital this March.
“With over 2,500 people visiting for the competition, who will be travelling from destinations such as Sri Lanka, UK and Australia, our aim is not just to focus on the days of the competition, but to invite people to experience the unique blend of Arabian culture, heritage and entertainment we have here in Abu Dhabi.
“Events like the Manchester City Abu Dhabi Cup fits within our strategy of making Abu Dhabi a global go-to destination and contributes to Abu Dhabi’s thriving tourism sector.”
During the Cup, teams across four different age groups, players from over 50 nationalities and speaking 34 languages, will play over 9,500 minutes of football at Zayed Sports City.
Simon Hewitt, Head of Football Operations for City Football Middle East, said, “It’s great to see the Manchester City Abu Dhabi Cup going from strength-to-strength in just our second year. Due to the success of last year’s tournament we have seen a surge in overseas teams registering for the 2018 Cup. Teams are now seeing this event as an opportunity to travel and experience what we have to offer here in the UAE and are already excited to enjoy the sun, sand and heritage we have on our doorstep.”
As well as youth football action on pitch, away from the pitch the City Village will provide entertainment for hundreds of local spectators also expected to attend the event and will include live entertainment, food and drinks, plus activities for the whole family from event partners including Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture & Tourism.