Saeed Hareb, Ahmed Al Khaja, Alexey Morozov and Alexander Krylov during the press conference at the Dubai Sports Council headquarters.
Dubai Sports Council and Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Kontinental Hockey League and Russian professional ice hockey team Avangard to develop hockey and promote the image of the KHL in the UAE.
As a first step towards achieving the strategic objectives of the MoU, Dubai will host the ‘Dubai Ice Show’ (ice-dubai.com) from December 3 to 5, with the KHL regular season game between the most recent winners of the Gagarin Cup, Omsk-based Avangard and Ak Bars Kazan being played here on December 3 at the Coca Cola Arena, the multipurpose indoor complex with a capacity of 17,000.
In addition, on December 4th and 5th, fans will be able to watch the “Sleeping Beauty” ice show, directed by Olympic figure skating champion, Tatiana Navka, the Olympic champion in figure skating. The lead will be performed by Navka and Olympic figure skating champion Alina Zagitova.
The announcement was made during the official signing of the MoU at Dubai Sports Council on Sunday, where Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishments at Dubai Tourism, Alexey Morozov, President of Kontinental Hockey League, and Alexander Krylov, Chairman of Avangard Omsk’s HC Board of Directors, represented the four sides.
Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Assistant Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, was present at the signing alongside other top officials from the Council, DTCM, KHL and Avangard.
Avangard Omsk, the most recent winners of the Gagarin Cup, will play Ak Bars of Kazan at Coca Cola Arena on Dec 3 as part of the Dubai Ice Show. Courtesy: KHL Twitter
Hareb said: “We are really excited about the Dubai Ice Show as we sign this MOU alongside Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, with our partners from Russia, Kontinental Hockey League and Avangard Hockey Club.
“Dubai is home to people from more than 195 countries, including a big number from Russia and other countries where ice hockey is a hugely popular sport. The Dubai Ice Show is going to be a fantastic event for them, as well as others, including Emirati fans of ice sports.
“The event is planned for early December, between December 3-5. December 4 will be the official Day of Russia at Expo 2020. It is going to be a perfect opportunity for families to spend some great days together. There are many activities planned, including a spectacular theatrical show on ice featuring world-famous stars of figure skating from Russia, as well as an ice-hockey match between two top teams from Russia.”
Khaja said: “We are delighted to sign this MoU with the Kontinental Hockey League, “Avangard” hockey club and Dubai Sports Council for a unique collaboration in sports entertainment.
“The Dubai Ice Show highlights Dubai’s position as a leading events destination and also supports the city’s ongoing efforts to boost sports tourism. With ice hockey being a very popular sport followed passionately by millions of fans around the world, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment is pleased to provide its utmost support and cooperation in promoting this game further in this part of the world, especially through our well known digital platform, Dubai Calendar, which curates and manages the official listing of key events and entertainment in Dubai.”
Morozov, KHL President, said: “We are excited about the KHL World Games project being resumed after almost two years! The UAE will become the 15th country to host a KHL game, and we are very pleased that the most recent Gagarin Cup winner “Avangard” Omsk and the only three-time champion of our League “Ak Bars” will go to Dubai. The match-up of these two teams during the latest playoffs resulted in one of the best series in the entire KHL history. The upcoming game is bound to be hard fought and spectacular.
“We appreciate the cooperation with Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Dubai Sports Council, and “Avangard” hockey club enabling the game to be played in such a remarkable location.
Krylov, Chairman of Avangard Omsk’s HC Board of Directors, added: “Having received an offer from the league to hold a game in the UAE, Avangard was pleased to support this initiative. Significantly, the event will take place on the Day of Russia at Expo 2020 Dubai.
“It is an honor and a big responsibility for us. We are current champions not only on ice, but off ice as well - in marketing, interacting with mass media, social media, so I have no doubt that our expertise and experience will help us to organise Dubai Ice Show perfectly well”.
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