Friday 20 September 2019 (UAE)

Emirates Airlines Dubai Rugby Sevens

Emirates Airlines Dubai Rugby 7s (Dubai RugbySevens)

The Dubai Rugby 7s is the sports and social event of the year in Dubai. Allegedly. Apart from the Dubai World Cup, the Dubai Tennis Open, and Friday afternoons at Waxy O'Connors or Thursday nights at Double Deckers. A very popular event, tickets were sold out in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2006, 2007, 2008. Sarcasm aside, the Dubai Rugby 7s is actually a big deal with international rugby 7 teams flying in from all over the globe to play rugby and drink beer. The Hong Kong Rugby 7s is supposedly the top tournament of the year but the Dubai Sevens can't rate too far behind. What's On (a UAE magazine) has voted the Dubai Rugby Sevens as the Social Event of the Year every year from 2002-2005. Dubai's bars and nightclubs are packed out with residents and visitors. It's not a weekend for the timid drinker.

The first Dubai Rugby 7s tournament was in 1970 with Emirates sponsorship starting in 1988. In 1996 the Dubai Rugby 7s hosted the qualifying round of the Rugby Sevens World Cup and in 1999 Dubai became the first location for the annual IRB Sevens World Series. In 2005 over 150 teams took part with a large number of social teams from countries around the Gulf and Middle East. Main sponsor is Emirates Airlines which explains the name of the event - and the Emirates International Trophy for the winners of the Dubai Rugby Sevens.

New Zealand and Fiji are usually in the Dubai Sevens spotlight with at least one of the two teams in the final every year from 1996-2007. However, that run was broken in 2008 when England beat NZ in the first semi-final 21-19, and South Africa stunned Fiji, and the crowd, with a dramatic drop goal in extra time to win the second semi-final with a score of 10-7. In 2007, both teams made it into the final with NZ beating Fiji in a hard fought match, the first time one of the two teams had won since 2002. In 2006, NZ lost against South Africa in the final, at the end of a day of torrential rain which turned the grounds and carpark into a mudbath. In 2005 Fiji knocked the Kiwis out in the semi-finals and then went on to lose by only 2 points to England in the final.

Dubai Rugby Sevens (7evens) 2013 (2013 Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens)
Dubai Rugby 7s 2012 (2012 Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens)
Dubai Rugby 7s 2011
Dubai Rugby 7s 2010
Dubai Rugby 7s 2009
World Sevens Series

The Dubai Rugby Sevens tournament is the opening round of the IRB (International Rugby Board) World Series (now called the World Sevens Series) competition, an annual rugby 7s event held in various locations around the world starting in December and finishing in Murrayfield, Scotland in June of the following year. The top 16 rugby 7s teams compete in this championship, usually including New Zealand, England, Australia, France, Ireland, South Africa, Fiji, Samoa, Argentina. NZ have won the World 7s Series every year since it started in 1999-2000, except for 2005-2006 when Fiji won.

Rugby World Cup Sevens (RWC 7s)

The Rugby World Cup Sevens is a tournament held once every 4 years since 1993 and is a different competition from the Sevens World Series. First one was held in Murrayfield, Scotland. Subsequent events were held in Hong Kong (twice) and Argentina. Fiji have won twice, England and New Zealand once each.

The Arabian Gulf Rugby Football Union will host the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens in Dubai (announced by the IRB 01 August 2007) from 05-07 March 2009, and for the first time there will be a women's RWC 7s tournament also. Participating teams will include the the Arabian Gulf (as the host union), Argentina, Australia, England, Fiji, France, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa.

Dubai Rugby 7s 2008

Dates and times: are Thursday 27 November to Saturday 29 November 2008. Gates open 0700, rugby games start about 0800 and finish about 2100, gates close about midnight.

Tickets: are sold out. Thursday when the club and social games are on is free entry, no ticket required. Standard ticket prices Dh170 Friday, Dh230 Saturday, or Dh300 for both days. Children under the age of 12 are allowed in free.

Location: (see location map) The 2008 Dubai Rugby Sevens is held at the new Emirates Stadium on the Dubai-Al Ain Road (Route 66), about 20-25 km from the Al Khail Road or Sheikh Zayed Road. Look for signs to Al Ain and follow them, after Dubai Outlet Mall it's another 5km and clearly signposted with an entrance directly off the Al Ain highway just after the Lahbab-Jebel Ali road (I/C 29). When leaving the rugby 7s, if returning to Dubai, take the Labhab Rd exit from the car park (opposite direction to the Al Ain Rd), turn right, and then join the Dubai Al Ain Rd at the main intersection. Otherwise you have to drive up the Al Ain highway towards Al Ain about 5km before you get to an intersection where a U-turn is possible (and it's an awkward intersection). If you live near Jebel Ali then the Jebel Ali Lahbab Rd (Route 77) is a better option than the Al Ain Road, entrance to the Emirates Stadium is clearly signposted just before you get to the Al Ain Road interchange.

Transport: Taxis should be available but there's likely to be a long queue for the return trip, allow 100 dhs each way from Dubai. Bus transport (free) to several destinations in Dubai is available for departures from the Emirates Stadium, but not to get there, however the organisers say you can leave your car there overnight (all car parking is free). Buses start operating from about 1700 and go to Dubai Festival City, Dubai Media City, Barasti Bar, Chi at The Lodge, Double Decker at the Al Murooj Rotana, and the Irish Village in Garhood.

Families: There is an alcohol-free Family Stand where you can install children if they have a drinking problem. There's a kiddies play area with a bouncy castle or house or horse or something else inflatable.

Facilities: Six floodlit playing fields with one surrounded by grandstands which can hold up to 40,000 people. A few large TV screens / electronic scoreboards. A purpose built players club house with loud music to stop them from falling asleep. A large Heineken tent with, you guessed it, lots of Heineken. A Jacob's Creek tent with less Heineken. Drink prices are 25 dhs for a can of Heineken or glass of wine, 5 dhs for soft drinks or water. A car park for up to 15,000 cars. A few booths selling rugby memorabilia, inflatable suits, car raffle tickets. And that's about it. You'll have a blast if you like rugby, and/or rugby players, and/or drinking.

Entertainment: The Aggreko Dynamos cheerleading team that provide a pleasant distraction from watching the the heaving sweaty bodies pounding away during the rugby games. "Rugby Rock" on Saturday night presents The Tom Jones Experience - a genuine copy as they say in Karama.

Dubai Rugby 7s 2007 - tickets, transport, and other information
Alcohol and Drink Tokens for 2007 Dubai Rugby Sevens
Dubai Rugby Sevens 2006 information
IRB Dubai Rugby 7s & Emirates International Trophy
  • 2008 South Africa won vs England, score 19-12
  • 2007 NZ (Fiji runners up), final score 31-21
  • 2006 South Africa (NZ runners up)
  • 2005 England (Fiji runners up)
  • 2004 England (Fiji runners up)
  • 2003 South Africa (NZ runners up)
  • 2002 New Zealand
  • 2001 New Zealand
  • 2000 New Zealand
  • 1999 New Zealand
  • 1998 Fiji
  • 1997 New Zealand
  • 1996 Fiji
Emirates International Trophy winners
  • 1995 Kiwi Nomads
  • 1994 Korea
  • 1993 White Heart Marauders
  • 1992 Scotland
  • 1991 Queensland
  • 1990 Toulouse
  • 1989 Crawshays
  • 1988 London Scottish
Last update Thursday 26-Sep-2013
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www.dubaifaqs.com/rugby-sevens-dubai.php (PDF and print version).

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