Pillar of nation’s sports sector growth marks 10th anniversary - GulfToday

Pillar of nation’s sports sector growth marks 10th anniversary


The Syncro Free Combination Final competition during the 9th Asian Swimming Championships at the Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai from Nov.15-25, 2012. File: Supplied

The Hamdan Sports Complex, one of the world’s most iconic sports landmarks, is celebrating its 10th birthday following its inauguration on 10-10-2010 by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council.

Built on 24 hectares of land, Hamdan Sports Complex is one of the world’s biggest and most modern multi-purpose facilities, and is designed to host more than different 10 Olympic sports, including tennis, basketball, badminton, handball and volleyball alongside all kinds of aquatic sports like swimming, synchronised swimming, diving, synchronised diving and water polo.

Two months after its inauguration, the Complex hosted one of the biggest aquatic events on the international calendar — the 10th FINA World Swimming Championships from Dec.15-19, 2010 — which attracted participants from 153 countries.

It was the first time the Championships were held in an Arab country, and every competitor and official was left impressed by the magnificent facility, with the manager of the Chinese contingent saying Hamdan Sports Complex was even better than the aquatic centre built for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Many other participants and FINA officials described it as the best indoor aquatic facility they had seen.

Dressed on the outside in contrasting hues of blue and a glistening glass façade, the cavernous complex boasts two 50m Olympic-standard swimming pools in its golden teardrop-shaped competition centre inside.

The swimming pools can also be transformed into 25m pools of varying depths at any time by simply pressing a button. Adjacent to the pools is an Olympic-sized diving tank, equipped with diving boards at heights of 10m, 7.5m, 5m, 3m and 1m.

Rising over the 10-lane swimming pools and diving tank is a three-tier, horseshoe-shaped seating bowl that can accommodate 15,000 spectators. The fans, besides following the live action, can also view replays on four giant screens hanging from the ceiling in the centre of the arena. In addition to those four screens, there are four other text-display screens showing results and other relevant information.

The arena also boasts changing rooms for 400 athletes, rooms for umpires, as a health club, gymnasium, as well as training pool.

Besides these, there is a fully functional medical room with state-of-the-art medical facilities, a doping control room, and parking space for 1,588 cars, plus the capability to provide communication services (4G and GSM) to more than 20,000 guests at the same time.

The Hamdan Sports Complex has also embraced many ground-breaking and environmentally-friendly technologies, in line with the Dubai’s vision of becoming one of the top sustainable cities in the world. All of its outdoor lights are solar-powered and pools are consistently maintained at a temperature of 27°C by the sun. The glass exterior, meanwhile, allows for optimised natural light penetration, especially for the offices and the main entrance at the first floor where it’s most required.

The complex is managed by an experienced Board of Directors that includes members with considerable expertise in managing investment projects and developing financial policies. The Chairman of the Board of Directors is Ahmed Al Shafar, who is also a member of the Board of Directors of Dubai Sports Council, while the Deputy Chairman is Nasser Aman Al Rahma, the Assistant Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council. The other members of the board are Ali Al Mutawa, Mohammed Suleiman Al Mulla, and Mahir Abdul Karim Julfar.

Abdulla Shahdad, the Director of the Complex, is the first Emirati to manage the complex and he has been working to implement the directives of Dubai Sports Council and the policies set by the Board of Directors, which aim to enhance the status of the Complex and attract more athletes and events to the arena.

Thanking Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, for showing confidence in their abilities and trusting them with the responsibility of managing the Complex, Shafar said the directives and guidance of Sheikh Mansoor, alongside the directives of Mattar Al Tayer, Vice-Chairman of Dubai Sports Complex, will be the cornerstone of their work as the Board invests all its time and resources in maximising the benefits from the Complex and making it a model for successful management of sports facilities.

He added: “The Hamdan Sports Complex is a model to emulate for every modern multi-purpose sports facility, and we thank Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed for bestowing us with the responsibility of achieving the lofty goals of this ultra-modern architectural marvel and sporting edifice, which has become one of the pillars of developments in the country’s sports sector and has attracted many major international sports events.”

“Tayer, Vice-Chairman of the Council, has stressed on the need to increase the number of events being hosted by the Complex, while streamlining operational costs through optimal investment of resources, and this is something that we have succeeded in achieving as statistics show a significant growth in revenues and events, and a reduction in spending.”

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