x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

1979: Launch of complex that will host sporting greats

Zayed Sports City is now one of the foremost sporting destinations in the Gulf.

Zayed Sports City, one of the foremost sporting destinations in the Gulf region, was inaugurated on November 16, 1979, by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, and the complex has seen continuous development in the three decades since.

With the 50,000-seat Zayed Sports City Stadium - the largest multipurpose ground in the region - at its heart, the sprawling 100 hectare complex also includes a tennis stadium, ice rink, a 10-pin bowling alley, fitness centre, and pitches for football, rugby and softball. There are plans to build an Olympic-size swimming pool.

The head offices of the UAE Football Association and the General Authority for Youth and Sports are within the complex, while the stadium has hosted the finals of the 2009 and 2010 Fifa Club World Cup, and many tops teams, including Brazil last year.

The Khalifa International Bowling Centre opened in 1998 and hosted the 1999 World Championship. The ice rink was opened in 1987 while the tennis complex was added in 2005. The complex has hosted the World Tennis Championship every year since 2008, attracting some of the game's biggest stars including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic.