Abu Dhabi in the race to be the world capital of sport
The emirate is vying for the prestigious global crown with Taipei in Taiwan
Abu Dhabi is gearing up for glory in its bid to be crowned the World Capital of Sports.
The emirate - which has played host to some of the world's biggest global stars from Lewis Hamilton to Cristiano Ronaldo in recent months - will face off against Taipei in Taiwan for the prestigious 2019 title.
The coveted sporting seal of approval will be handed out by the European Capitals and Cities of Sport Federation.
A delegation from the federation, comprised of sporting experts from nations including Spain, Italy, China and Portugal, toured facilities such as Zayed Sports City, Yas Arena, Al Forsan Sports Resort and Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
The UAE is in prime position for the international accolade as the annual host of the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November, the star-studded Mubadala World Tennis Championship and the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.
In addition to those events - which have attracted superstars such as Rafael Nadal and Tiger Woods to the UAE in past years - Abu Dhabi will be the host of the Fifa Club World Cup for the second straight year in December, with Real Madrid hot favourites to be on top of the world once more.
The city will also stage games during next year's AFC Asian Cup football tournament and welcomed teams for the recent Asia Cup cricket event.
The award criteria includes the volume and quality of sport events, as well as the sporting activities of residents and visitors alike.
Ahmed Al Qubaisi, director of marketing at Abu Dhabi Sports Council, expressed delight with Abu Dhabi qualifying for the final stages of the competition, which is recognised by the European Parliament and the UN, as well as by different European sports agencies.
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Updated: October 12, 2018 05:18 PM