Abu Dhabi Cricket digs’ Olympic-centric redo


Abu Dhabi Zayed Cricket Stadium upgrade Image: Zayed Cricket Stadium, Rizwan Ullah Wazir, CC BY 3.0

Abu Dhabi Cricket has announced a major revamp of their facilities, with ‘Olympic-focused’ events at the center of their expansion plans.

‘The National’ stated that the venue, which will now be known as the Abu Dhabi Cricket & Sports Hub, will house the Abu Dhabi Athletics Club, Abu Dhabi Rackets Club, Abu Dhabi Fencing Club, Abu Dhabi Weightlifting Club, and the Abu Dhabi Archery Club.

Also, the Abu Dhabi Cricket & Sports Hub is building a new eight-lane Olympic-sized swimming pool. The Hub will also have an eight-lane 400 meter running track, which will be available for both community athletes and international teams.

‘The National’ quoted Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, as stating, “These developments significantly strengthen our proactive partnership commitment with Abu Dhabi Cricket & Sports Hub in our ongoing drive to encourage sports and fitness activity among the UAE capital’s residents and provide truly accessible training opportunities. The developments also greatly strengthen our potential to host international sporting events in the UAE capital in partnership with global rights holders.”

The new swimming pool will be a legacy piece, created by combining the 25m training and 25m finals pool used at last year’s International Swimming Federation (FINA) World Swimming Championships held at the 18,000-capacity Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

The new developments extend the venue’s sporting footprint to 251,000 square meters, taking its partner club portfolio to 30 and the number of sports played there to 35.

Stated Abu Dhabi Cricket & Sports Hub Chief Executive Matthew Boucher, “This all transforms Abu Dhabi Cricket & Sports Hub into the region’s most forward-thinking and community-focused facility with unrivaled multisport facilities. The developments build on our world-class international and domestic cricket facilities and credentials, which have made our facility, home to the iconic Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, an instantly recognized and admired global cricketing venue. Cricket will remain a key focus for us with the rebrand and expansion enhancing our product range for the benefit of the entire community and reflecting the growing interest in pursuing sports among Abu Dhabi residents.”

Added Boucher, “Our efforts are totally aligned to our continued support of Abu Dhabi Sports Council’s campaign to achieve the Abu Dhabi 2030 vision of fostering a healthy, inclusive, active, and engaged community, and to the capital reinforcing its credentials as a preferred venue for major international sporting events.”

The Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium is a cricket ground located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The stadium price tag came to $23 million and was opened in May 2004, with its inaugural first-class match being an Intercontinental Cup fixture between Scotland and Kenya in November of that year. The stadium was one of the dedicated venues for the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

The stadium has a large stand at either end, with the areas square of the wicket offering grass banks for additional seating. It can hold 20,000 people.

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