Join Al Ain's Ramadan Cup to get in the Garden City swing

Denzil Pinto 16/05/2017
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Strike first: Winners will earn Dh3,000, while runners-up get Dh2,000.

For cricketers in the UAE, here’s your chance to test yourself at Al Ain Cricket Club’s (AACC) Ramadan Cup and grab a slice of the Dh5,000 prize money.

To be held from June 8 to 16 at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club, the 10-over tournament has already attracted a lot of interest and with registration closing on Saturday, May 27, there’s still time to sign up.

Since opening in 2016, the only way has been up for AACC and although the weather might well be getting warmer, organisers insist that shouldn’t pose a problem in making the competition a success.

“Cricket is a very famous sport that is widely played in the UAE,” said Afzal Pasha, cricket operations manager. “It’s the same in Al Ain but it’s just that the teams do not have enough facilities to play which means they would have to travel to other emirates to play in different venues and competitions.

“For example, we held a tournament, which was played with a tennis ball at the beginning of the month and we were amazed to have 15 teams from Al Ain and one from Dubai competing, so it shows that there’s interest. That’s why we are really excited about our Ramadan Cup.

“We’ve already started receiving registrations and hope we have 16 teams altogether.”

The tournament’s matches will be played on an astro-synthetic pitch.

The tournament’s matches will be played on an astro-synthetic pitch.

Matches will be played on an astro-synthetic pitch with a knock-out format. Players must be aged 16 and over with no more than 15 in a squad. Entry costs Dh1,000 per team with the champions winning Dh3,000, while the runners-up go home with Dh2,000.

Pasha is confident the Ramadan Cup will be a big success. “We at Al Ain Cricket Club want to promote and increase the popularity of the sport. We have the best facilities to all the cricket lovers and it’s a chance to experience our lush greens.

“We want to have more tournaments in this form as this is will help us to bring the community together and have fun with the game we love.”

He added: “Although it’s hot, the humidity is less and our club facilities are wonderful so families and friends can relax and enjoy the match as all the games are played under floodlights.”

WHAT: Ramadan Cup
WHERE: Al Ain Cricket Club at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club
WHEN: June 8 to 16
CONTACT: For more information, or to register, phone 03 702 6469 or visit www.aesgc.ae

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2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Take advantage of earlybird ticket offer

Denzil Pinto 14/05/2017
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An unforgettable experience in the UAE capital.

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix might seem a long way off but now’s the time to take advantage of the early bird discount for tickets for the Formula One season-ending showpiece.

The glamourous and exhilarating motorsport spectacle returns to the capital from November 24 to 26, as Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and the rest of the elite battle for top honours at the iconic Yas Marina Circuit.

Since it was introduced to the F1 calendar, Abu Dhabi has not failed to disappoint with each year raising the bar and if you want to see for yourself why it’s one of the most popular events in the country, then now’s the time to purchase tickets with up to 30 per cent off until May 31.

“Our ticket pricing structure allows our most loyal fans and those buying their tickets early to get the best discounts available,” said Nick McElwee, sales and marketing director at Yas Marina Circuit.

“With limited capacity, we know we are going to sell out, and what we try and do is increase the number of ticket purchases early on, this helps our event planning. “Part of the attraction of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is the number of international fans, and this is also something that happens as a result of our early bird offers.”

Ticket prices start from Dh995 for a three-day Abu Dhabi Hill pass while Yas suites and Club lounge admission is also available. As the last race of the 2017 season, there could be all to play for.

IMPORTANT DETAILS

  • WHAT: Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
  • WHERE: Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi
  • WHEN: November 24 to 26
  • CONTACT: For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.yasmarinacircuit.com

Four-time champion Vettel seems to have rediscovered his best form with two victories at Ferrari, while Hamilton and his new Mercedes team mate Valterri Bottas have also topped the podium.

And there could be plenty of twists and turns by the time we reach Abu Dhabi.

Besides the action on the track, you will not be short of options for entertainment with after-race concerts also lined up.

“Of course, whatever happens with the F1 championship, it will always be high drama at the Abu Dhabi GP,” added McElwee.

“Not only do our fans get all the on-track action, but off-track they will get to experience A-list afterrace concerts, fantastic entertainment in our Oasis Areas, a ‘Kids Go Free’ offer this year on the Friday for the first time and finally, easy access to Yas Island entertainment including Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas WaterWorld!”

He added: “We now have thousands of people attending the Abu Dhabi GP each year and this year we are on track to see 65 per cent of attendees being non-UAE residents. That is because we not only provide world-class motorsport action on track but great value entertainment off the track too.”

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Going Out: Ball Above All's new season lets you be King of the Court

Jay Asser 8/05/2017
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Points win prizes: Several trophies will be on the line at Ball Above All. Picture: Edmir Capuno.

Basketball never stops and here’s your chance to reign supreme with the return of Ball Above All’s new season.

The popular recreation league offers four different divisions of play for the summer, with Men’s Elite, Men’s Semi Elite-Corporate, Women’s Elite-Corporate and Mixed.

Monday is the final day to register a team, so if you’re ready to assemble your squad, or are an individual player looking for a side, make sure to sign up immediately.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a former pro or just someone who likes to hit the blacktop from time to time, Ball Above All caters to players of all skill levels and abilities.

IMPORTANT DETAILS

  • WHAT: Ball Above All’s Men’s Elite, Men’s Semi Elite-Corporate, Women’s Elite-Corporate and Mixed League
  • WHERE: GEMS Nations Academy, Barsha, Dubai
  • WHEN: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from May 15 to July 20
  • CONTACT: Visit www.ballaboveall.ae to sign up your team and for more information

All games are five-on-five, have four 10-minute quarters and will be played at GEMS Nations Academy, Barsha, with stats recorded throughout the four leagues.

Not only will players vie for the ultimate bragging rights, but also for prize money, a championship trophy, medals, a Most Valuable Player award and a Top Scorer award.

Since arriving in the UAE, Ball Above All has grown to become the premiere recreational league in the region, featuring some of the best talent in the basketball community.

The Men’s Elite League has even had former NBA players and if you think you can hang with the best of the best, form your team and sign up for the Division 1 challenge Games will be played every Monday, May 15 to July 17, from 19:00 to 23:00.

The entry fee is Dh5,500 per team and the prize money is Dh8,000. If the Men’s Elite League sounds too intense for you, the Men’s Semi Elite-Corporate League is a more social way to play the game, allowing players to meet and network with other people.

In the intermediate Division 2, games run every Wednesday, May 17 to July 19, from 19:00 to 23:00. The entry fee is Dh4,500 per team and the prize money is Dh5,000.

Whether you’re in game shape or need a run to find your legs, Ball Above All also offer pick-up games every week at GEMS Nations Academy from 20:30 to 22:00.

Up to 15 players can join at Dh50 per person, with games consisting of five-on-five scrimmages.

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