Big name stars and triumphs of the human body made the Dubai sport scene flourish this year
What: IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens
When: March 5-7
Why we loved it: In addition to the annual sporting spectacular we had an extra weekend of rugby this year. While Wales picked up the trophy the sport itself was the big winner – thanks to the success of the Dubai tournament it is now an Olympic sport.
What: Pakistan v Australia
Why we loved it: The clash between Pakistan and Australia was a significant for what it means about the future as it was this match in particular. When the two teams walked onto the pitch for the first ever match at Dubai Sport City’s cricket stadium it was a sign of great things to come.
What: Dubai World Cup
Why we loved it: Aaron Gryder patting the neck of winning horse Well Armed 10 strides before the finish line was pure confidence and a great gesture between man and beast. Made all the sweeter by the fact that they were such outsiders at the start.
What: Dubai Marathon
Why we loved it: Rain can’t be a factor in many Dubai sporting occasions. But an unexpected downpour in the second half of the Dubai Marathon was all that stopped race winner breaking a World Record in the UAE. But Haille Gebrselassie’s jog through the drizzle was a chance to see a master at work.
What: Dubai World Championship (Golf)
When: November 19-22
Why we loved it: The climax of the European Tour Race to Dubai saw one of the most competitive line-ups to have appeared on a UAE golf course. But it was Lee Westwood’s stunning run of 46 holes without a bogey that clinched the inaugural tournament success.
What: AC Milan v Hamburg
Why we loved it: As a sporting spectacle there wasn’t much to remember. But that didn’t stop Dubai (and the world’s media) turning out for a mid-season friendly. The reason? Mr David Beckham of course. This was his first game in AC Milan colours and we all turned up hoping for a glimpse of magic. And Posh.
What: Beach Soccer World Cup
When: November Why we loved it: Brazil won it and we don’t think anybody would have had it any other way. Even the most nationalist of supporters delighted at the sight of the samba boys smashing in a superb overhead kick from the bare foot of Andre.
What: Dubai Tennis Championship
When: February 15 – 28 Why we loved it: The sporting spectacle was mildly overshadowed by political controversy this year. When Sania Mirza stepped onto court the only thing that mattered was supporting a fan favourite. That she lasted little more than an hour before being defeated did little to dampen the hopes of fans.
What: World Body Building Championship
Why we loved it: The world of bodybuilding is filled with great stories. None more so than that of Tariq Rasheed Saeed Al Zaabee. The Emirati athlete overcame personal injury and the pain barrier difficulties to walk away with a gold medal in the lightweight division.
What: Cartier International Dubai Polo Challenge 2009
When: March Why we loved it: This was one sporting occasion when nobody was standing around on the side of the match talking about how money has ruined the game. Because as beautiful as this game is it is all about the socialising and wealth. Nobody cared about the match but the hats were spectacular.