Case studies

Economic impact of sport in Dubai

Falcon and Associates/Dubai Sports Council

The Economic impact of Sport in Dubai report prepared by the Sports Business Group details how sport, which has been part of the fabric of Dubai for more than 40 years, leads to $670m of economic impact with an economic footprint of more than $1.7 billion a year.

The Economic impact of Sport in Dubai report details how sport, which has been part of the fabric of Dubai for more than 40 years, leads to $670m of economic impact with an economic footprint of more than $1.7 billion a year. These figures reflect the success of a carefully developed sports industry, with Dubai investing in sustainable facilities that attract elite sports events and contribute to the sports participation agenda of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This strategy is illustrated in a number of sports such as golf, tennis and rugby along with the more recent example of cycling.

The Sports Business Group was engaged to prepare the report by Falcon and Associates, working alongside Dubai Sports Council. The data included in the report was gathered through a combination of qualitative consultations with sport stakeholders, quantitative information supplied by these stakeholders, and additional research and analysis. Deloitte spoke to stakeholders from more than 30 organisations in Dubai’s sports sector across events, facilities and sports associations. The most recent (2014) data has been used wherever possible.

The report notes that, despite the UAE only being in existence since 1971, Dubai’s sport industry is approaching that of leading cities in other economically developed countries in terms of its economic scale and contribution:

  • Total gross expenditure related to sport in Dubai is $1.7bn, including direct and indirect spending from all sources, local and international;
  • Sport accounts for approximately 0.8% of Dubai’s GDP;
  • Sponsorship is a well-developed market, with globally recognised brands from Dubai and overseas sponsoring events. Total value is estimated at c.$100m; and
  • The sport industry in Dubai is estimated to employ c.14,500 people as “Full Time Equivalents” (FTE), 0.6% of the city’s total workforce.
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