When to get there
It’s socially acceptable to arrive early at the Sevens. Gates open at 7:00am.
When to leave
The last game ends at around 9pm every day, but people typically hang out at the rugby village before heading off. Gates close at midnight.
Festivities wouldn’t be complete without the whirling pom-poms of visiting Australian cheerleading troupe, Aggreko Dynamos. The Tom Jones Experience, in the shape of Welsh singer Jacques Renay, will then see off the weekend, during the traditional Saturday night ‘rock out’. He’s played with the real fuzzy-haired crooner, don’t you know.
A festival atmosphere takes hold of the city over the sevens, guaranting parties everywhere you look. Traditional post-Sevens pit stops include the Irish Village (04 282 4750, where local band The Maplejacks are doing gigs on Thursday and Friday), Barasti (04 399 3333) and Double Decker (04 321 1111). We predict InterContinental Dubai Festival City (04 701 1111) will now be added to the list. A giant igloo tent by the Creek will host a mighty after party on both Friday and Saturday, and it’s also a bus drop-off point. Several special club events have also been arranged, including the city’s second silent Ssssh! Party and Chi @ The Lodge’s ‘The Biggest After 7s Party In The World’, (04 337 9470) on Friday (and maybe Saturday), which shall be no small affair, obviously.
At time of going to press, the forecast for Thursday November 27 was sunny, with a high of 30C (lows of 21C) so it looks like we’re safe from 2006’s downpour. To double-check nearer the time, see www.weather.com or call Dubai’s meteological department on 04 216 2218 (if only to listen to the soothing recorded voice).
For the kids
The Sevens are certainly not adult-only. As well as allowing kids under 12 in free with an adult, there’s also a 2,000 seat, alcohol-free family stand close to rugby village and plenty of activities, including face painting, bouncy castles, a crèche, inflatable games, Playstation, a rugby passing challenge and, lest we forget, tournament mascots Saba’a and Scrummy (does anyone else find them creepy?).
Not got a ticket? Watch the main event from 9:30am on Friday until 8:30pm on Showsports 4, and on Saturday from 9:30am until 9:30pm on Showsports 4.
‘Save your Sunday best for the races, the Sevens is all about comfort; battered flip flops that you wouldn’t mind losing in a scrap at the burger van, rugby shirts to show allegiance to your team (Emirates usually sell them there) and anything loose and cotton – denim is the root of all evil in plus-30 degrees,’ says our Consume editor, Anna Whitehouse.
Forget about calories today: expect several Hamburger Nations and Costa Coffees, London Fish & Chips, noodles, burgers and sausages, Shawarma and Grill, Stone Grill and lots and lots of pies.
What to bring
• Suntan lotion, as well as…
• A brolly and a bin bag (the perfect makeshift cagoule). The games of 2006 were totally drowned by a freak monsoon.
• Money – you’ll need to stock up on tokens for food and drink.
• Camera – to snap the players’ thighs.
• A driving licence or passport. Bouncers are notoriously kind when it comes to accusing people of being under 21.
• Time Out magazine (To follow the fixtures and any details you may need later on).