Following a fantastic year of sports and entertainment at Zayed Sports City, including many "firsts", Zayed Sports City is looking towards the future which is certain to hold even more success.
Last year, the world-class complex welcomed 1.3 million visitors from around the world participating in 32 sports within six facilities, increasing revenue 21.9% in 2015. Zayed Sports City hosted 222 events onsite in 2015, an increase of 18% from 2014. A milestone for the year was the opening of Zayed Sports City's largest indoor venue, The Domes, providing 1,100 sqm of column free indoor space, available for visitors to continue hosting events and sporting activities during the hot summer months. Zayed Sports City Paintball also experienced its grand opening in 2015, including the launch of a water-based game called "Wet ‘N Wild," which has inspired children to get more active and have lots of fun.
Ali Eid AlMheiri, Executive Director of the Real Estate and Infrastructure unit of Mubadala said: "Zayed Sports City is much more than a sporting destination. It is built into the very fabric of our nation and is a symbol of cultural pride. For Mubadala, such premier developments are of strategic importance as they help put our nation on the world map. I am extremely proud of the fact that Zayed Sports City is home to the Emirates' greatest sporting achievements and the most spectacular sporting events and that it continues to grow from strength to strength with each passing year."
Several events contributed to Zayed Sports City's success, including the inaugural FBMA Trophy for Figure Skating. This competition provided local skaters their first opportunity to earn international qualification points on UAE ice, including Emirati figure skater and Olympic hopeful Zahra Lari. Zahra also won the inaugural UAE National Figure Skating Championship and later opened a skating club, Emirates Skating Club, at the rink as a way to develop other local skaters.
Zayed Sports City also hosted the first World Gaelic Athletic Association Championship, which drew 2,000 players from five continents to the 14 grass pitches. Khalifa International Bowling Centre further solidified its status as an international venue by hosting the World Bowling Championship for a record third time, attracting 200 participants from 30 countries
The addition of "futsal," the official 5-a-side game of FIFA, brings the number of activities available at Zayed Sports City to 32 sports in total. These new additions contributed to the revenue increase and helped secure the facilities gold awards at the SPIAs (Sport Industry Awards) for Best Indoor and Best Outdoor Sport and Recreation Facility in the Middle East.
For the upcoming season, Zayed Sports City will continue to host new events and expand offerings, having successfully secured Taste of Abu Dhabi, the capital's favoruite food, drink and music festival, and plans are underway for an outdoor music festival, a new event featuring top artists from the 80s and 90s. New community events, such as TrainZSC presented by Daman's ActiveLife, are also creating mass participation activations for the venues.
Barry Bremner, General Manager of Zayed Sports City, said: "Our main focus at Zayed Sports City is to provide new and varied experiences for our customers. Our efforts have attracted major global and local events while introducing a wide array of new events and programmes. These offerings are perfectly aligned with our mission to bring health and fitness activities to Abu Dhabi, making a direct impact on the health and quality of life for UAE residents."
Major upcoming events include TrainZSC, an outdoor music festival, Taste of Abu Dhabi and Mubadala World Tennis Championship.