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Thursday, December 18 2014 @ 08:54 PM ACDT

Dubai 9s preview

Middle East

Over the past few months, WFN has run two stories on the promising possibilities for Aussie Rules in Dubai. The first article, Dubai tries to get footy moving in the Middle East was about the city's newly formed football club, the Dingoes. The second, AFL match on the go for Dubai, spoke about an upcoming football match in Dubai, between AFL clubs Collingwood and Adelaide (scheduled for early 2008).  Football in Dubai even made their local news, with Gulf News publishing an article on the Dingoes' story, although disappointingly, it was placed under the heading of rugby.  Now the Dubai 9s tournament is on its way, with teams from Dubai, Oman and Qatar among those hoping to attend.

WFN also made a brief mention of an upcoming football tournament in Dubai, which they are pleased to be able to go into greater detail about now. The information below is courtesy of the Dubai 9s website and Nigel Koch, of the Dubai Dingoes.

As the name would suggest, the Dubai 9s are a 9-a-side football competition to be held on March 30, at the Dubai Exiles Ground (this reduced player format being suitable for the development of the sport and at the same time reducing travel issues of other clubs). The event is being co-hosted between Aussie Rules International (ARI) and the Dubai Dingoes ARFC. Teams will be competing for the Dubai Cup.

In addition to the Dingoes, four other clubs have committed to play, the Dubai Celts, Dubai Swans, Oman and Doha. It is also hoped that there will be some European participation.

The Dubai Celts are a GAA club in Dubai and the regular competition of the Dingoes. Somewhat surprisingly, the majority of the matches that are played between the clubs are actually in the form of Australian Rules. The Dubai Swans are the Dingoes’ second squad. Oman is a country in the Middle East bordering the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Many would be familiar with its capital, Muscat. Oman is sending a side made up of expatriate Aussies and members of the local GAA club. Doha is the capital of Qatar, (another Middle Eastern county bordering Saudi Arabia) and will be represented by an Australian social team.

Other than the senior matches, there will be an exhibition match from junior teams and a goal-kicking competition for spectators. Sponsors have been secured in Multiplex (also the Dubai Dingoes major sponsor), Gulf Leighton and Sigma Enterprises. The match has AFL support and the organisers are hoping to have a similar competition planned in conjunction with next year’s exhibition match between the Magpies and the Crows.

For anyone interested, there is still time to register your club in the competition. For more information either email the Dingoes (dubaidingoes@yahoo.com.au) or call them on 050 8487575. For spectators wanting to see what the hype is about, the Exiles Ground is off Al Awir road, entry is free and matches start at 10 am.
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