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Business of Sport

Sports business news from the Middle East. All the important stories, exclusive interviews, plus authoritative opinion and analysis

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen wins Abu Dhabi GP

Red Bull’s triple world champion Max Verstappen wrapped up Formula One’s most dominant season with a record-extending 19th win in 22 races at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday. The pole-to-flag victory, for the fourth year in a row under the Yas Marina floodlights, left the 26-year-old alone in third place in Formula […]

Gary Neville

UAE buyers help ex-England footballer hit property goals

The former Manchester United and England footballer Gary Neville has revealed that one in five properties in his luxury residential development have been snapped up by UAE investors. Neville, a Champions League-winning defender turned entrepreneur, visited the Emirates this week to gauge Middle Eastern interest in his £400 million ($501 million) hotel and apartment project […]

Qataris perform Eid al-Fitr prayers this year at one of the stadiums built for the 2022 Fifa World Cup, Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan

Tourism up, growth down: a year on from the Qatar World Cup

A year ago, the Al Bayt stadium, 35 kilometres outside Doha, hosted the opening game of the first World Cup ever held in the Middle East. More than 67,000 supporters thronged the giant complex to watch Qatar’s first game against Ecuador. The stadium will come into its own again in January when it hosts the […]

Real Madrid World will include family-friendly attractions, themed food and dining and retail stores

Real Madrid World theme park set to open in Dubai

Real Madrid World – the first-ever football theme park – will open in Dubai. The amusement park will have “adrenaline-pumping themed attractions, immersive experiences and fan engagement opportunities, celebrating football and basketball the Real Madrid way,” Dubai Parks and Resorts and Real Madrid said in a joint statement. Real Madrid World will host new experiences, including family-friendly attractions, […]

Max Verstappen celebrates victory at the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

F1 promoter predicts strong turnout for Abu Dhabi GP

The promoter of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is predicting strong attendance for this month’s race despite the continuing conflict in Israel and Gaza. Several events in the UAE and across the Middle East have been cancelled or postponed because of the war, but Formula One’s governing body has dismissed speculation that the final race […]

Saudi Arabia seeks a stake in $30bn Indian cricket league

Saudi Arabia has shown interest in buying a multi-billion-dollar stake in the Indian Premier League (IPL) following various investments in professional sports such as football and golf. Advisors of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman spoke to Indian government officials on moving the IPL into a holding company worth $30 billion, Bloomberg reported. The […]

Saudi Arabia produced one of the great World Cup shocks when they defeated Argentina at Qatar 2022. Lionel Messi's team recovered to eventually win the tournament

Saudi Arabia to host 2034 World Cup

Saudi Arabia is to be formally declared as the host of the 2034 Fifa World Cup after Australia said on Tuesday – the final day for bids – that it would not submit an application.  Football Australia said in a statement that it had decided to focus instead on bids for the 2026 Women’s Asian […]

Esports gamer

Saudi Arabia launches e-sports world cup

Saudi Arabia has announced the launch of the E-sports World Cup, to be held annually in Riyadh from 2024.  The world cup is part of the kingdom’s National Gaming and E-sports Strategy, designed to increase the sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP by more than SAR50 billion ($13.3 billion) by 2030, establish 250 game developers […]

Manchester United tumbles on Ratcliffe’s stake bid

Shares of Manchester United fell as much as 23 percent on Monday after reports that British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe is looking to acquire only a 25 percent stake in the football club raised concerns that a buyout by Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al Thani could be off the table. The shares were last down […]

Qatar Manchester United

Qatari sheikh withdraws bid to buy Manchester United

Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani has withdrawn his interest in buying UK football club Manchester United, according to media reports. Sheikh Jassim, the son of a former prime minister of Qatar, had bid £5 billion ($6.06 billion) for the club, but further talks this week have broken down, BBC Sport reported. Reuters sources said that […]

Turkey's bid to co-host Euro 2032 is likely to involve Ataturk Olypmic Stadium

Turkey chosen as co-host for football’s Euro 2032

Turkey on Tuesday was awarded co-hosting rights for the Euro 2032 men’s soccer tournament in a decision that will provide a further boost to the country’s resurgent tourist industry and bring in much-needed additional foreign currency. Turkey had sought to host Euro 2028 or Euro 2032 in their entirety but in July launched a joint […]

Morocco reached the semi-finals of the Qatar World Cup last year, their best finish in the tournament

Morocco must now tackle cost of World Cup win

Winning the right to co-host the World Cup in 2030 will have Morocco walking an economic tightrope, experts say. Morocco will become only the second African nation to host the event, albeit alongside five other countries spread across three continents. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the World Cup, the 2030 edition will be […]

Fans at the Al Nassr vs Al Ahli Pro League match in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom was expected to bid for the 2030 Fifa World Cup but has switched its focus to 2034

Saudi Arabia reveals 2034 football World Cup bid

Saudi Arabia has officially thrown its hat into the ring to become the host nation of the 2034 Fifa World Cup. It had been thought the kingdom was going to launch a joint bid with Greece and Egypt to co-host the 2030 tournament, but these rumours proved to be unfounded. The 2030 event, a celebration […]

Official World Golf Ranking rejected LIV Golf's application for ranking points, citing concerns about the circuit’s format

Talks with PIF and DP World progressing says PGA Tour

PGA Tour said its planned merger with Saudi-backed LIV Golf and DP World Tour has garnered unsolicited interest from investors as it continues to finalise an agreement with the Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and the DP World Tour. The PGA said that while it did not solicit additional investment interest, it has a […]

Former MLB star Hanley Ramirez is one of the investors in Baseball United

Baseball stars line up to invest in Dubai league

Baseball United, the first professional baseball league focused on the Middle East and Indian subcontinent, has amassed a roster of investors before the Dubai league’s launch in November. Between them the investors boast a combined 222 Major League Baseball (MLB) seasons, 70 All-Star games and 14 World Series Championships. The line-up of former MLB stars […]

PFL fighters in action in New York. PFL Middle East organisers hope to attract more investment from the region

Saudi-backed martial arts league aims for $1bn business

The Middle East arm of the Professional Fighters League will be a billion-dollar entity within the next decade, according to its founder. Mixed martial arts (MMA) organisation PFL Middle East is set to launch in the second quarter of 2024, spurred by a reported $100 million cash injection from Saudi Arabia’s SRJ Sports Investments. It […]

Moshiri Everton

British-Iranian businessman sells stake in Everton FC

British-Iranian businessman Farhad Moshiri has sold his stake in English Premier League club Everton to Miami investment fund 777 Partners. It has signed a deal to acquire the former accountant’s 94 percent of the club’s shares. Monaco-based Moshiri invested in Everton in 2016 before taking a majority stake two years later. However, his time in […]