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Emirates' New Purpose-Built Venue ready to Host Rugby Sevens November 27-29, 2008

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With less than two weeks to go to the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens, organisers are putting the finishing touches to the new home of rugby in the Middle East, 'The Sevens'. Emirates' new purpose-built venue will welcome around 130,000 visitors for the thrilling event between November 27-29, 2008.

"One of our overriding priorities when constructing The Sevens was to preserve the special character that has made the Dubai Sevens such a success over the years. And a lot of that was based on the fact that people could easily move around the venue to watch matches on the other pitches and meet up with their friends," said Gary Chapman, President Group Services and Dnata, Emirates Group. "We are very pleased that we have been able to retain that element and are certain that it, along with the increased numbers and size, will contribute to the most exciting Sevens we have seen in Dubai."

The Sevens will be able to hold around 50,000 people including spectators, players and officials for what promises to be a phenomenal sporting weekend. The main pitch at The Sevens features a permanent grandstand with 4,000 seats, augmented by temporary stands lifting the number of tickets to 42,500 which enables over 10,000 more fans than in previous years to enjoy the thrills and spills that make the Sevens one of the most eagerly awaited events on the Dubai sporting calendar.

The second pitch, in a bowl and enclosed on three sides by grass embankments, can accommodate 15,000 spectators while four further sports pitches are located close to the two-storey 80-metre long clubhouse that will eventually become home to the Arabian Gulf Rugby Football Union, which is the regional governing body for rugby.

Other important features of the complex, built and operated by Emirates Airline, include broadcast and medical facilities, hospitality areas, a 30-metre wide promenade featuring food outlets and cafes, and parking for some 15,000 vehicles.

There will be over 170 buses providing free transport from the venue back into five convenient locations around the city. From 5pm each day, these buses will transport fans from The Sevens to: Festival City, Media City (Family drop off point), Barasti, Al Marooj Rotana's Double Decker, The Irish Village.

The Sevens will eventually cater for most sports played in the region, including rugby, cricket, football, basketball, netball, hurling, gaelic football and rugby league.

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