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Too Much Good Stuff!

November 16th, 2014 · No Comments · Abu Dhabi, Arabian Gulf League, Dubai, English Premier League, Football, Motor racing, soccer, Sports Journalism, The National, UAE, Volvo Ocean Race

It often turns out this way, in the news biz. Weeks of making something out of nothing. And then a stretch of time where you have big events colliding on the calendar.

This is one of those “colliding big events” weeks, here in the UAE.

Four events that pretty safely fall into our top 10 for the year are going on right this minute, or abiout to go on. Which is fun and exciting for the sports staff of The National … but couldn’t we have spread these out a little better?

Here is what we have:

1. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This is Formula One. The glamor guys of the automotive world. And they are at Yas Marina Circuit, here in Abu Dhabi, Thursday through Sunday when (oh yeah) a season champion (Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg) will be decided.

(This is probably the single-biggest global attraction, in sports, that happens annually in the UAE.)

2. The DP World Tour Championship, in Dubai. The final event of the European Tour season. The top 60 Euro money winners on the tour are here, led by Rory McIlroy, the world No. 1. And they compete for $8 million. Competition at Jumeirah Golf Estates begins Thursday. Ends Sunday.

Or the exact, four-day footprint the F1 circus has.

(I blame F1. Bernie Ecclestone kept screwing around with the 2014 season calendar, and when all the dust settled he had Abu Dhabi for the final event, which is fine, but he had it the same week as the big golf event, which is unfortunate.)

3. The start of Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race. Not as well known in the Americas as it is in Eurasia, this is a very big deal in the sailing world. Nine months, 38,000 miles, circling the globe, and the Abu Dhabi boat leading the fleet so far. And Leg 2 departs Cape Town on Wednesday for … you got it: Abu Dhabi.

4. The Gulf Cup of Nations. Mentioned at length here the other day. The UAE’s final group match is Thursday … already more than a bit congested. And if they get out of the group, they play in the semifinals on (of course) on Sunday — which is also the day of the F1 race and the final round of the DP World golf.

And among Emiratis, the biggest event Sunday would be the Gulf Cup semifinals. The other stuff? Interesting, but the Gulf Cup is what they will watch.

We will watch all of it. Including the domestic soccer league playing league cup, including the English Premier League returning on the weekend, and several other concepts that, in July might make our cover.

Not this week.


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