Abu Dhabi starts work at football stadiums
Abu Dhabi, June 21, 2009
Construction has begun on new playing surfaces at Abu Dhabi’s two biggest stadiums - Zayed Sports City Stadium and Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium - which will play host to the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2009 in December.
Once completed, the new pitches at the two stadiums will stage all eight matches of the competition, and provide the UAE national side and club teams with permanent world-class playing facilities, said officials.
In addition to the two stadiums, seven other pitches across Abu Dhabi are being reconstructed or renovated to accommodate the competing clubs as exclusive training sites.
Reflecting on the long-term benefits the pitch development will bring, Mohammed Khalfan Al-Rumaithi, president of the UAE FA, said these pitches were an important part of the legacy the FIFA Club World Cup would leave behind for the Emirates.
"Not only will the standard of playing facilities available for UAE professional clubs be raised, but academies, like the one run by Al-Wahda, will have the opportunity to train and develop young players on world-class surfaces for many years to come," he noted.
Using the most advanced technology available, the playing surfaces are being constructed to world-class standards, with the overall goal to deliver top quality grass colour, consistent ball bounce across the entire pitch and turf that remains firm under foot.
Laser equipment is being used to produce an even pitch gradient, and a specially-designed grass seed variant known as Sea Dwarf Paspalum has been carefully selected to reduce water consumption by more than 50 per cent.
Commenting on the design of the pitches, Mohammed Ebrahim Al Mahmood, general secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said: “It’s taken months of meticulous planning and preparation to get us to this stage, but with construction now underway, we are on course to produce a set of playing surfaces which everyone in the UAE can be extremely proud of.”
The pitches are being developed in two phases: the construction phase, which lasts approximately 15 weeks, then the maintenance phase, which involves intense daily care in response to the surroundings in which each pitch is growing, he added.
The FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2009 presented by Toyota will take place from December 9 to 19 in Abu Dhabi.-TradeArabia News Service