How the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation is promoting the nation as a sporting hub How the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation is promoting the nation as a sporting hub
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How the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation is promoting the nation as a sporting hub

How the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation is promoting the nation as a sporting hub

Mohamed Salem Al Dhaheri, VP – UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, tells us why sport is key to country’s tourism sector and economy

Neesha Salian

Tell us how the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation has been raising the profile of the sport in the country and overseas.
The UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) has been hosting multiple international jiu-jitsu competitions in Abu Dhabi for more than a decade, drawing thousands of athletes, fans, and visitors to the UAE capital from around the world. These recurring events have not only established and solidified Abu Dhabi’s status as the global jiu-jitsu capital, but also popularised the sport in the region.

We have seen the Asian Championship and other AJP Tour competitions taking place at the Jiu-Jitsu Arena in Zayed Sports City. We’ve also just wrapped up the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship and Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship in October and November.

These events have attracted international athletes and visitors to the city, which obviously has a substantial impact on both the tourism industry and the overall economy of the emirate. For instance, more than 6,000 male and female competitors competed in the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship and Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship last November hosted in Abu Dhabi.

Mohamed Salem Al Dhaheri, vice president of the UAEJJF
Mohamed Salem Al Dhaheri, vice president of the UAEJJF

Do you see sports tourism growing in Abu Dhabi?
Abu Dhabi has undoubtedly established itself as a premier sporting destination and has been the host of numerous important international competitions. The city has hosted Formula 1, the FIFA Club World Cup, three consecutive editions of the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship, and the NBA for the first time. It is one thing to host an event, but for these sporting events to keep coming back to the UAE, it shows not only that we are doing a commendable job, but also that the organisations and fans are happy to return here.

The public’s excitement for these events is also surging in a way we have not seen before.  We are certainly experiencing somewhat of a sporting boom and among the several factors that contribute to it are the support of the leadership, the ideal infrastructure, connectivity, and most significantly, a sports-loving audience.

 Do you think sports can create job opportunities?
Absolutely. Any large international event held in Abu Dhabi will result in an increase in employment and sporting events are no different. A lot of people’s hard work goes into the entire process of hosting an event: from planning the activities, creating the infrastructure, the actual carrying out of the events, and reviewing them afterward.

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