Asian Cup teams set for continental showpiece in UAE - in pictures
Japan arrive in the Emirates even as Arabian Gulf sides Yemen and Oman take part in training sessions
The Samurai Blue, as Japan's football team have been nicknamed, have been drawn together with Oman, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. AFP
This is the second time the UAE is hosting the Asian Cup. The last time was in 1996.
The Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi is being readied for the 2019 Asian Cup, which kicks off on Saturday. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Abu Dhabi will host the tournament's opener - the Group A match between hosts UAE and regional rivals Bahrain at 8pm. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Japan's national football team arrive at the Dubai airport ahead of their Asian Cup participation. Japan have been drawn in Group F. AFP
The Japanese have been crowned Asian champions four times, with their last title coming in 2011. AFP
The Oman national football team take part in a training session in Abu Dhabi. AFP
Oman have not made it past the group stage of the continental competition when they played in the 2004, 2007 and 2015 finals. AFP
The Yemen football team take part in a training session in Abu Dhabi. AFP
The Yemen side are playing in their first Asian Cup finals. AFP
Yemen qualified as runners-up from a group won by the Philippines and also featuring Tajikistan and Nepal. AFP
Striker Ahmed Khalil and his UAE teammates checked into their hotel in Abu Dhabi ahead of their Asian Cup opener.
The UAE finished as the third-best team during the 2015 finals when the competition was held in Australia.
They beat Iraq in their third-place play-off after being beaten by eventual champions Australia in the semi-finals.
The hosts are expected to field a strong side despite the absence of star playmaker Omar Abdulrahman.
The UAE is buzzing with Asian Cup activity as the teams arrive to play in the continental competition, which kicks off on Saturday.
The tournament, being held in the Emirates for the second time, is nearly a month long with the final scheduled for February 1. It gets under way with the Group A match between the hosts and their regional rivals Bahrain at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
You can check out pictures of teams arriving in the country and training by browsing the photo gallery above. To move on to the next photo, click on the arrows, or if using a mobile device, simply swipe.
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GROUP A: UAE, Bahrain, India, Thailand
GROUP B: Australia, Syria, Jordan, Palestine
GROUP C: South Korea, China, Kyrgyzstan, Philippines
GROUP D: Iran, Iraq, Vietnam, Yemen
GROUP E: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Lebanon, North Korea
GROUP F: Japan, Uzbekistan, Oman, Turkmenistan
Updated: January 3, 2019 04:52 PM