The weather may have been more like Manchester than the desert, but that did not dampen the spirits as hundreds of players turned out for the inaugural Manchester City FC Abu Dhabi Cup.
Al Jazira Football Club walked away with the silverware in the Under-14 and Under-16 categories, whilst fellow home favourites Abu Dhabi Thistle Football Club took the Under-12 title.
Biggest winners of the day were Dubai-based Kinder Garten Starters, who bagged themselves a VIP trip to train at the Etihad Campus in Manchester by topping the Under-10 division.
Kinder Garten Starters team coach Arun Parthap said:
“The team have been training very hard for this competition. They played very well throughout the weekend and I am delighted they have won the trip to the home of Manchester City – they really deserve it. We are all thankful for the opportunity and are really excited to being going to the Etihad Campus.”
They will now travel to the Etihad Campus in Manchester where they will get to play and train at the same facilities as Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne.
Commenting on the tournament City Football’s Project Manager Simon Hewitt said:
“We have had around two thousand young players and spectators enjoying an absolutely fantastic weekend of football in Abu Dhabi. The response has been excellent and the atmosphere around the pitches was great. We thank everyone who played a part in making the tournament such a success and we plan to host the Manchester City Abu Dhabi Cup for many years to come now.”
Teams from across the GCC including Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman took part in the event. Darren Peisley, Managing Director of Hala Group, the destination management experts of the Etihad Aviation Group, said:
“We have a long-term partnership supporting Manchester City Football Club and that continues with the Manchester City Abu Dhabi Cup. Hala Abu Dhabi are the official travel partner for the event and we have flown in several teams from across the GCC including countries such as Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman.
“The city is growing as a sporting destination in the Middle East and the Manchester City Abu Dhabi Cup provides another opportunity to demonstrate what we can offer to teams and fans of the sport.”
In addition to hosting world-class events and developing world-class infrastructure the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority wants to showcase the Emirate as a tourist destination in its own right and position the Emirate as a leading International sporting destination along with Abu Dhabi Sports Council and our valued stakeholders.
A spokesperson from Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority said:
“The Abu Dhabi Cup is a great example of tourism and sport going hand in hand. Going forward we will focus on building Abu Dhabi’s reputation as a world-class destination for winter training and off-season competition; attracting spectators and encourage participation to welcome record numbers of guest arrivals into Abu Dhabi.”
For further information on the Manchester City Abu Dhabi Cup 2017 please visit: www.citycupabudhabi.com