Posted by: englishdubai | December 2, 2008

On a Rugby Field Far Far Away


The time certainly flies in Dubai and last weekend was the third year I visited the Dubai Rugby Sevens. For me, one of the most social and fun events in the calendar. This year the event has a new home from the dearly loved Dubai Exiles ground in Al Awir a new stadium has been built called “The Sevens”. 

The old ground could be reached in 15 minutes from the city (traffic permitting) – the new ground is a haul. Forty Five kilometers out of the city of Dubai on the Al Ain road. I wondered why they put it so far away and the ninty dirham taxi ride was not welcome, however it was clear when I arrived. The facility really is excellent. Plenty of parking, good road access into the grounds and lots of space for buses and taxis to get back home with.

I was a little unsettled that shortly I after arrived I was settling in watching England play Argentina where an almost twilight moment happened. Without warning a large sandstorm swept into the stadium, the temperature dropped ten degrees, a mass of people in the stand at once rushed to the back where the shelter was and the game in progress on the field came to a stand still. It was eery. Like the twilight zone. I had made up my mind. If it started raining I was leaving. I did not want to go through another saga like a couple of years ago. Here is the sandstorm rolling in:

But as quickly as it had come. It was gone and normal rugby sevens was resumed. As usual the cheerleaders were entertaining the crowd. Sadly my usual nice photo was ruined by some cameraman in a baggy shorts and a red t-shirt who insisted on taken extreme close ups on the dancers. But it was my mate Tom – so I let it go.

The carnival atmosphere was evident with a lot of people in fancy dress. Me and my friends chose to indulge in getting up and having a song and a dance at every opportunity:

And I also got to take a good Lebanese friend of mine. The rugby sevens is mostly inhabitated by people from the rugby playing nations and Basil soon got into the swing of things:

It was an excellent day out. My hats off to the organisers – I got there and I got home without any major dramas. There could also be more toilets and a wider choice of food and beverages but I had a great time and I will be back for certain. Roll on the Rugby World Cup Sevens at the same venue in March 2009. I can’t wait.


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