Dubai Rugby Sevens

Dubai Rugby Sevens

More than an annual event, the Dubai Rugby Sevens is now considered an institution. Not for the faint of heart, the three-day sporting experience attracts thousands of locals and tourists every year, in addition to a considerable amount of global television coverage.

When it was launched in 1970, Dubai Rugby Sevens drew few players and welcomed only a handful of fans scattered along the touchline. Throughout the 1970s, new innovations made the tournament bigger and more popular year after year.

In 1987, Emirates Airline started its association with the Dubai Rugby Sevens, and by 1996, Dubai was hosting a qualifying round of the World Cup Sevens. Three years later, the event upped the ante by hosting a leg of the International Rugby Board’s Sevens World Series, now called the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

The tournament would continue to boom, and by 2006 its seating capacity at the Al Awir venue was 32,000, reflecting a 300 percent increase in the number of visitors from that of 2001. In 2008, the event moved to its Emirates Group-owned venue, The Sevens Stadium, which hosts over 50,000 fans from around the globe every year.

Throughout its expansion, the Dubai Rugby Sevens has been responsible for a number of firsts, including the first HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series in 2012, which was won by New Zealand. With tickets regularly selling out just days after going on sale, it’s safe to say that the Dubai Rugby Sevens is here to stay.