For the first time in AFC Asian Cup history, eight stadiums will welcome teams from across the continent, in what will be the competition’s biggest ever tournament.
In just five days time, hosts United Arab Emirates will face Bahrain at Zayed Sports City stadium on Saturday 5 January, 8.00pm kick-off.
The capital city will be the backdrop for both the opening game and the highly anticipated final, with 20 games throughout the four-week tournament taking place across three stadiums in Abu Dhabi.
The historic and iconic Zayed Sports City stadium is the showpiece of the tournament, with a capacity of 43,000 meaning it is the largest venue for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019. Situated just 20km from Abu Dhabi International airport, the easily accessible stadium has played host to a number of international events from prestigious football and sporting finals, to concerts from some of the world’s biggest music stars.
Also welcoming eight nations to the capital city for group stage games, Mohammad Bin Zayed stadium has seen numerous enhancements and capacity increases in recent years, now allowing attendances of over 40,000 for games at the stadium which plays host to football and cricket games.
Completing the makeup of venues in Abu Dhabi is Al Nahyan stadium, a multi-purpose sporting stadium which has undergone significant enhancements ahead of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, as it gears up to host five games during the tournament.
Speaking of the stadiums across the UAE, Tournament Director for the Local Organizing Committee, His Excellency Aref Hamad Al Awani, commented:
“Significant enhancements have taken place across venues in each host city to ensure that teams and supporters have the best facilities throughout this tournament with the eyes of Asia and beyond watching with excitement.
“With 51 games taking place in the biggest ever AFC Asian Cup, venues have the latest technology to ensure perfect playing conditions, as we bring the latest in grass and pitch technology to the region for the first time.
“Each stadium has its own character and qualities, from being up close to the action in compact venues, to excellent elevated views of games in some of the biggest stadiums in the region.”
Another stadium with impressive enhancement is Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai. Now boasting state-of-the-art facilities, the all-seater stadium is located close to Dubai airport and the city’s metro line, allowing supporters easy access to the 15,000 capacity stadium which will host six games during the tournament.
Also hosting games in Dubai, Rashid Stadium is situated across the water of Dubai Creek and will host five games throughout the tournament.
Close to the two stadiums in Dubai, host city Sharjah will see seven Arabic nations compete in the five group stage games which will be held in the 11,000 capacity Sharjah Stadium.
Into Al Ain, just over an hour’s drive from both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, fans of ten different nations can enjoy group stage games at the impressive Hazza Bin Zayed stadium, which will also host a three of the knock-out stage games, including one of the semi-finals. Home to Al Ain FC, the 25,000 all seater stadium has won numerous awards for its architecture and facilities, impressing with its white paneled design, which is representative of a palm tree, with the ability to light up in many different colours.
Also in Al Ain, Khalifa Bin Zayed stadium has undergone restructuring, allowing capacities of 16,000 fans to enjoy the six games which will be hosted in the multi-purpose stadium.
A limited number of tickets are still available for games at each of the eight prestigious stadiums, with supporters encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. Tickets can be easily purchased online via www.asiancup2019.com where fans can also find out more information on each of the eight stadiums.