Al Shaiba it was an easy decision for UFC to make Abu Dhabi a premier destination.
The biggest stars in UFC, the famous mixed martial arts organization, will fight for glory in Abu Dhabi as the UAE signed a deal to stage the next five premier UFC events.
The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) – left no stone unturned in their year-long effort to bring the popular show to the UAE shores.
Their tireless efforts resulted in the UFC decision of awarding Abu Dhabi the right to stage the next five events.
And the first championship – the UFC 242 – will be staged on September 7.
“It was a very busy week finalizing everything. Now we are very happy to announce it finally. So we will have the UFC next five years and the title fight will be in Abu Dhabi. That’s what makes it different than any other UFC competitions,” said Ali Al Shaiba, Acting Executive Director of Marketing & Communications, DCT Abu Dhabi.
“It was a long process. It took almost a year to finalize with UFC and different parties,” he said.
“I don’t know really. It’s all with the organizers,” Al Shaiba said.
“I know there have been a lot of rumors, We are still waiting to finalize this. I can assure you that you will know the names of the fighters before July.”
Al Shaiba says the organizers have yet to decide on a venue for the mega event.
“We will have a lot of things happening – exhibitions, seminars. We will also have a concert. So it will be a big festival, not just the fight. So we haven’t decided on a location yet. We want a space that can host everything,” he said.
“It will definitely be an indoor venue. For us, it’s not a small event. The audience will be between 12,000 to 15,000. So we have to make sure that we have a unique space.”
Al Shaiba then revealed why it was an easy decision for UFC to make Abu Dhabi a premier destination.
“It was not that difficult, considering the success we have had with Formula One,” he said.
“For them, it was an easy choice to select Abu Dhabi because we have all the facilities. Also, Abu Dhabi has been named the safest city in the world for two years in a row. So that made it an easy choice for UFC.
“Also we got inspired by the success of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and how it brings people to Abu Dhabi. Now the UFC events will bring more tourists to Abu Dhabi.”