DUBAI: Dubai Sports Council has announced that some of the world’s leading sports stars will be joining Expo 2020 Dubai to promote their countries on the global stage and participate in events taking part over the next six months.
DSC and its partners have collaborated with Expo 2020 Dubai to organize several sporting activities and events on the sidelines of the first ever World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia region, which kicks off on Oct. 1, the Emirates News Agency WAM reported.
Council officials revealed that the 16th Dubai International Sports Conference, a Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Global Initiative, and the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards, would this year take place during Expo 2020 Dubai. And the conference will once again bring sporting figures and stakeholders together to discuss the challenges facing the world of football today.
Since its launch in 2006, the conference has welcomed more than 400 international and national speakers and moderators, including some of the biggest names in football such as Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo, Argentina captain and Expo 2020 Dubai ambassador Lionel Messi, French legend Zinedine Zidane, and the late Argentine player Diego Maradona.
DSC added that the Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Creative Sports Award ceremony would also take place at Expo 2020 on Jan. 9, 2022.
The 11th edition of the ceremony will this year look to honor Emirati and Arab participants from the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Other events taking place at Expo 2020 will include the FIDE World Chess Championship 2021, which will see reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen battle to retain his crown against challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi, between Nov. 24 and Dec. 16. The Hamdan bin Rashid Masters international chess championship will be held concurrently on the same dates as the World Championship and at the same venue.
The Expo 2020 Run takes place on Nov. 19, giving participants the unique opportunity to run on a course that snakes its way through the Expo 2020 districts and around different country pavilions. Run the World community running events will also take place every Saturday morning around Expo’s Ghaf Avenue, with complimentary participation open to all Expo 2020 visitors.
Meanwhile, on Feb. 25 the world’s top international cycling teams and riders will head to Expo 2020 for the Dubai stage of the UCI World Tour.
Aside from the official competitions, visitors to Expo 2020 can take part in their favorite sport at facilities across the Expo site and at its dedicated Sports, Fitness and Wellbeing Hub, which includes a multi-purpose court for basketball, volleyball, tennis, and netball, two cricket nets, an indoor gym and fitness hall, a five-a-side football pitch, a Global Fitness Stage for yoga, Zumba, and Crank classes along with sports workshops, and events for people of determination.
Participating nations have also organized a number of sports-related events at the hub.
Australia has scheduled more than 500 events at the hub, while its trans-Tasman rival New Zealand will have sports events stretching over five weeks including Les Mills Live fitness sessions.
Croatia, meanwhile, will be bringing two of its most famous football stars, Real Madrid’s Luka Modric, and Davor Suker, the president of the Croatian Football Federation. Croatian NBA stars Dario Saric and Bojan Bogdanovic will also be meeting and greeting fans.
The Football Legends Championship, courtesy of the Nigeria Pavilion, will allow fans the opportunity to meet players such as Jay-Jay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu, and Mikel John Obi, as well as two-time unified world heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua of the UK.
The Senegal pavilion will host events to promote the Dakar 2026 Summer Youth Olympic Games – the first International Olympic Committee event to be held in Africa and the first in a Muslim-majority country.
Dubai will also host more than 30 international sports events during Expo 2020 throughout the emirate, including the men’s and women’s Rugby World Cup qualifiers in October and November, cricket’s Twenty20 World Cup, and the European Tour’s Race to Dubai finale, the DP World Tour Championship.