Plans are in place for a “scaled-down” Emirates Airline Dubai 7s 2020 this December.
Last month it was announced that the HSBC World Sevens Series would not be running in Dubai due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and the effect on global team logistics.
The tournament must gain approval from government stakeholders and governing bodies, and full confirmation of the event will be announced by October 15.
It aims to feature rugby, netball and cricket, with team entries for 2020 opening on Monday August 10.
Team entries for all three sports will be at discounted rate due to the World Series not taking place and will close on September 30. Full refunds will be issued if the event is not able to go ahead.
“We are disappointed that the HSBC World Sevens Series is unable to take place in Dubai in 2020 but this is also an opportunity to deliver something unique for players and local fans at the end of what has been a very tough year,” said tournament director Tom Burwell.
“Pitch Two will become the main field and will have a unique feel to it. Tournament goers will still enjoy marquee experiences including the hops tavern, fantastic family fun and brilliant local sport. Our intention is to build an experience that truly encapsulates 51 years of the Dubai 7s.
“We are going to celebrate all levels of participation. Crowds will be wowed by the skills of the teams from across the region set to backdrop that will still inspire memories from years past and set a tone for the future as we look forward to 2021.”
There will be health and safety measures in place, and the setup will be amended from previous years to adapt to that.
“We are faced with some huge challenges in delivery but the team behind the tournament have been working tirelessly to come up with ways to deliver in 2020,” added Burwell. “This might mean some extra patience is required from visitors and a personal responsibility taken but this will be no different to the ‘new normal’ that we face in everyday life. We are excited to deliver a brilliantly unique Emirates Airline Dubai 7s in December despite these challenges.”
Watch this space.
For all the photos from the 2019 Dubai Rugby 7s, click here.