THE GOLD Coast will play host to the United Arab Emirates football team for the next fortnight as it prepares for the Asian Cup.
Mayor Tom Tate today welcomed the UAE team to the city ahead of their arrival on 24 December.
“The City of Gold Coast has supported the UAE visit by initiating and facilitating all the arrangements for the training camp,” he said.
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“Not only does this visit build on the strong partnership being formed between the City of Gold Coast and the Middle East, it gives the city increased recognition internationally as an excellent base for international sports training.
“And with the UAE team’s local media contingent travelling with them to the Gold Coast, it also showcases the Gold Coast to one of our most important tourism markets.
“This visit represents the 28th high performance training camp we have attracted to the city in 2014, which in total, have generated $4.5 million for the local economy.”
The UAE team and its support crew will be based at RACV Royal Pines Resort and train at CBus Super Stadium, Robina.
The Jordan, Kuwait and China National Football Teams will also be visiting the Gold Coast for short visits in the coming weeks.
The AFC Asian Cup is Asia’s biggest football competition and was established in 1956.
The 16 nations to qualify for AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 are Australia as hosts, defending champions Japan, Korea Republic and 2012 AFC Challenge Cup winners DPR Korea, along with Bahrain, China, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Palestine.
The 16 finalists will take part in a 23-day festival of football in five cities which the Socceroos will kick off against Kuwait on January 9, 2015, in Melbourne, with the final set for Sydney’s Stadium Australia on January 31, 2015.