Turf wars at the Dubai Corporate Sports Tournament

Rivals firms go head to head at new Corporate Games spin-off tournament

A non-stop business hub, Dubai is known as one of the most competitive cities in the world, so it’s no surprise that the Dubai Corporate Sports Tournament. This year, the Dubai Sports Council has joined up with Corporate Games and launched a six-week league for private companies, currently underway at sporting venues across the emirate. The league gives employees, managers and directors of all abilities a chance to compete against other companies while enhancing their own fitness and team spirit, while the one-day finale on Friday March 21 will be a family day out with lots of sporty activities to get involved with. The event is not to be confused with High 5 Events’ annual Dubai Corporate Games, which takes place Friday March 14-15 at the American University in Dubai Media City.

The Corporate Sports Tournament combines a sporting league with a one-day event, a structure that is new for the organisers but it seems to be paying off. After all, not all companies can commit to a six-week league but still want to participate. The tournament offers companies a chance to compete in six sports – cricket, athletics, tenpin bowling, football, basketball and touch rugby – fielding a team in as many sports as they like. The leagues are already underway, and so far more than 1,000 athletes from 44 different companies are taking part.

DSC has organised events like this previously but only for government departments, so what prompted this new development? Fanny Marcout CEO of Corporate Games explains: ‘It was a request from His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, who wanted to organise a tournament for the private and semi-private companies to show to all the businesses coming from abroad that they are welcome in the UAE and to reflect that community spirit through sport and fair competition.’

‘We’ve had such great enthusiasm from the teams,’ says Marcout. ‘We didn’t give ourselves much time to promote it but we didn’t need it, there was such a demand.’ Companies like Etisalat, Du, Landmark, Dubai Holding, have all signed up and there are companies from all sectors that want to get involved. Working people are often time-strapped, which is why the organisers have included the one-day grand finale on Friday March 21. ‘This is such a dynamic city and you have to perform all the time to stay at the top, but you also need time for yourself. It’s a good thing that companies start to get aware of this, and implement sports participation programmes for their employees to help maintain that balance.

Also people come from so many different backgrounds and cultures – there’s nothing better than sport to unite people.’

There will be trophies on the day of the final, acknowledging the company with the most participants, the most consistent team and the best performing. As such the games have garnered great fun and community, so much so, teams are even warming up together and sharing tips.

According to Marcout, Dubai’s business bods are football crazy as this is the most oversubscribed activity in the league. Even for the grand final day there’s only one spot left for an additional team, and Marcout says it’s first come, first served. The organisers are now focussing on the ‘Grand Final’ event on Friday March 21. ‘All family and friends of the athletes are welcome to enjoy the day. We have a lot of activities for kids, too. It really is a community event.’ Dubai Corporate Sports Tournament.
Feb4-March 21. Various venues around Dubai, www.dcsportstour.com (04 425 3553).

Get your team sorted

It’s not too late for you to rally your colleagues together and join the Dubai Corporate Sports Tournament Grand Final. Wednesday March 12 is the last day for registration for the grand final one-day competition, which will be held on Friday March 21. Register online to participate.
Dhs1,500 per team. 8am-8pm. Dubai Sports City; ten-pin bowling will be held in Dubai Bowling Centre, Al Quoz. Register your teams online at www.dcsportstour.com (04 425 3553).

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