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Abu Dhabi clinches deal to host UFC Fight Island events

The agreement to bring UFC Fight Island to Abu Dhabi is an expansion of the original five-year partnership between UFC and DCT Abu Dhabi

Getting ready for the arena: UFC sees Abu Dhabi as the perfect place for mixed martial arts events.
Getting ready for the arena: UFC sees Abu Dhabi as the perfect place for mixed martial arts events. Photo Credit:DCT Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI – Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island will host the UFC Fight Island events from 11-25 July 2020. The four events featured by the world’s premier mixed martial arts organisation, UFC, in the UAE capital is a much welcome coup for the Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT) Abu Dhabi.

In 2019, UFC and DCT Abu Dhabi entered into a five-year partnership to bring UFC events to the emirate. UFC® 242: KHABIB VS. POIRIER, the first event held under the new agreement, attracted more than 14,000 fans to Yas Island last September.

The latest agreement to bring UFC Fight Island to Abu Dhabi is an expansion of the original five-year partnership between UFC and DCT Abu Dhabi.

To accommodate existing public health guidelines, DCT Abu Dhabi will create a safety zone within the nearly 25 square km on Yas Island that will include an arena, hotel, training facilities, and dining establishments. This safety zone will only be open to UFC athletes and their coaches; UFC staff and other event personnel; and Yas Island employees who are necessary to ensure the operation of the facilities.

HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “Our partnership with the UFC, now in its second year, has proved to be one of our most successful ventures in recent years. Thanks to their commitment and cooperation, we are proud to announce that Abu Dhabi will host the first ever “Fight Island” event, marking the long-awaited return of UFC fights to the global stage.”

He added: “We have worked closely with all government entities in Abu Dhabi to ensure that the staging of this historic event complies with the highest standards of safety for the athletes, coaches, and all UFC personnel as well as the safety of our community.

“This year, Abu Dhabi has successfully proven its ability to handle all challenges and promote the well-being of its visitors and residents; and today, we are here to showcase the best that our capital has to offer, as we look forward to opening our doors once again to the world.”

UFC president, Mr Dana White, said: “We came up with the idea of having fights on ‘Fight Island’ because we needed a destination to hold international events during the global pandemic.

“Abu Dhabi has been an amazing location to hold fights over the past ten years and it is the perfect place for these events. The infrastructure we are building will be such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the fighters that’s never been done before - from the arena, the private training facility and the Octagon on the island - it’s going to be an experience that none of us will ever forget. I can’t wait to deliver amazing fights from Yas Island.”