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Emirates Airlines Dubai Rugby Sevens

Thursday 21 March 2019 (UAE)   

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)
  • Dates for the Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens are 28-30 November 2013.
  • Tickets for the 2013 Dubai Rugby 7s go on sale from 30 September 2013.
  • The Dubai competition is the second of nine rounds of the 2013-2014 HSBC Sevens World Series.
  • Ticket prices for General Admission:
    • Thursday 28 Nov 2013: Free entry all day.
    • Friday 29 Nov 2013: AED 250 for pre-purchase, AED 300 on the day.
    • Saturday 30 Nov 2013: AED 250 for pre-purchase, AED 300 on the day.
    • Season ticket (Fri and Sat): AED 400 for pre-purchase, AED 500 gate sales on Friday.
Dubai Rugby 7s 2012 (2012 Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens)
  • The UAE was not included in the top 16 rugby sevens sides competing in the International Rugby Board’s (IRB) HSBC Sevens World Series at the Dubai Rugby 7s, but Mark Egan, Head of Development and Performance at the IRB, reportedly said "... the future for rugby in the UAE is bright" (Gulf News 30 Aug 2012). Whatever that means.
  • Winner was Samoa in the final against New Zealand, with a score of 26-15.
Dubai Rugby 7s 2011
  • Tickets on sale from 03 October 2011?
  • Dates of the Dubai Rugby Sevens 2011 are 01-03 December 2011.
  • Rugby Rock concerts to be held on Friday and Saturday nights.
  • Ticket prices are:
    • Thursday 01 December 2011: Free entry
    • Friday 02 December 2011: AED 230
    • Saturday 03 December 2011: AED 230
    • Season Ticket (Friday and Saturday): AED 350
    • Children under 12 can enter free if accompanied by parent or guardian.
  • Tickets sold online at the Rugby Sevens website, or the following locations:
    • Costa Coffee: Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Mall, Mirdiff City Centre, Arabian Ranches, JBR, Festival City, Al Wadha Mall in Abu Dhabi
    • MMI outlets: Mall of the Emirates, Ibn Battuta Mall, Al Wasl Road, Sheikh Zayed Road, Motor City, Al Hamra Cellar in Ras Al Khaimah
    • Virgin Megastores: JBR, Mall of the Emirates, Mercato, Burjuman, Mirdiff City Centre, Deira City Centre, Dubai Mall, Abu Dhabi Mall
    • DNATA Travel Centres: Sheikh Zayed Road, JBR, Palm Jumeirah, Motor City
    • Emirates Airline Headquarters
    • 7he Sevens
    • ITP Box Office (Dubai Media City)
Dubai Rugby 7s 2010
Dubai Rugby 7s 2009
  • Dates of the 2009 Rugby Sevens are 03-05 December 2009
  • The 2009 event is the 40th anniversary of the Dubai Rugby Sevens which first kicked off (literally) in 1969
  • Tickets for the Dubai Rugby 7s 2009 on sale from Monday 07 September 2009. As in previous years, they'll probably sell out fast (unless everyone really has left Dubai after the bust of the boom). Get in quick. Ticket available at:
    • 7he Sevens stadium on the Al Ain Rd
    • Costa Coffee outlets: Al Wahda Mall Abu Dhabi, Mall of the Emirates Dubai, The Dubai Mall
    • DNATA travel center Sheikh Zayed Rd (opposite Safa Park)
    • Emirates Airlines headquarters, Garhoud
    • MMI outlets: Al Wasl Rd Umm Suqeim Center, Dubai Festival City, Ibn Battuta Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Sheikh Zayed Road
    • Online at the DR7 website (from 07 September 2009)
    • Ticketline tel 800-4669
  • Ticket prices are:
    • Thursday free
    • Friday AED 170
    • Saturday AED 230
    • Season Ticket (both Fri and Sat) AED 300
    • Reserved seating (minimum group size of 40) AED 500 per person for both days
    • Corporate hospitality (minimum 10 people) AED 3,000 per person
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
  • Dates 29 November to 01 December 2007 at Dubai Exiles Rugby Club, the last time the Rugby7s is hosted there as the club is scheduled to be knocked down to make way for the new Meydan racecourse and sports development.
  • Ticket prices Dh125 for Friday, Dh175 for Saturday and Dh225 for a season pass. Tickets sold out several weeks before the tournament started.
  • Free entry on Thursday 29 November 2007, gates open at 7 am.
  • Tickets on sale from 07 October 2007, available at Dubai Exilesm, DNATA Travel Centres, Emirates Souvenir Retail Outlets (Deira City Centre and Mall of the Emirates MOE), HSBC Jumeirah, Jumbo Electronics (MOE), Madinat Jumeirah - at Left Bank, MMI outlets, Sharjah Wanderers, Spinneys (Umm Suqueim).
  • Online orders and ticket information from www.timeoutdubai.com or telephone Ticketline 800-4669 for bookings and more information
  • Car parking is available
  • Taxis are also available - an especially good idea after consuming buckets of Heineken.
  • Free buses will be provided to take people home from 7pm until midnight (or later), every 10 minutes allegedly.
  • Dubai Rugby 7s 2007 is the 38th annual rugby sevens event in Dubai, and is the opening leg of the 2007-2008 IRB World Sevens Series.
  • About 70,000 people expected to attend, including 1750 participants. Over 12,000 overseas vistors will be joining in.
  • Countries competing for the Emirates International Trophy are Arabian Gulf, Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, Fiji, France, Kenya, New Zealand, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, Tunisia, USA, Wales, Zimbabwe.
  • ZU2, the U2 tribute band, are scheduled to hit the stage for 'Rugby Rock 2007' at the Rugby Village after the IRB final match (they were booked for 2006 but rain stopped play, so to speak).
  • Family Zone - parents and children under 12 can escape the alcohol-fueled madness of the main public area and relax in a separate alcohol-free Family Area.
  • Saba'a (Arabic for '7') and Scrummy are fluffy mascots who run up and down the sidelines and appear in your photos when you don't want them to.
  • Aggreko Dynamos (not Agrekko) are the Australian cheerleaders in orange suits who wobble their pom-poms and never appear in your photos when you want them to.
  • The Emirates Passing Challenge is a competition anyone can have a go at, try it at shopping malls or the Rugby Village at the Dubai Rugby Sevens.
  • The Dubai Rugby Sevens Long Lunch is where you can be entertained by well-known rugby personalities talking sh... er, about highlights of their careers. Good entertainment to start off the tournament with.
Alcohol and Drink Tokens for 2007 Dubai Rugby Sevens
  • You're not allowed to bring your own alcohol, nor are you supposed to drink alcohol if you're under 21 years old.
  • To buy drinks at the Rugby 7s in Dubai, you have to first buy 'Drink Tokens' for 20 dhs or 5 dhs each from Drink Token Stations. No refunds are given.
  • Beer is 20-25 dhs a can, wine 20 dhs a glass, soft drinks 5 dhs a can. There are kegs, cooler bags, bottles available also.
Dubai Rugby Sevens 2006 information
  • 30 November - 02 December 2006 (coincides with the UAE National Day weekend).
  • Properly called the "Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens 2006".
  • Is the opening round of the 2006/2007 IRB World Series Rugby 7s.
  • Tickets available from Dubai Exiles Club, MMI in Mall of the Emirates, DNATA Travel Centres, HSBC Jumeirah, Sharjah Wanderers Club, Après Bar in MotE, some Virgin Megastores and Hallmark shops, online from Box Office ME. Or tel Ticketline +971-4-3676520.
  • Friday 01 December 2006 is 125 dhs per ticket and Saturday 02 December 2006 is 175 dhs. Both days together for 225 dhs. Free for children under 12.
  • Free entry on opening day - Thursday 30 November 2006, with local, regional, and invitation competitions.
  • Location is at the Dubai Exiles Club in Al Aweer / Al Awir on the Dubai Hatta Road, near the Dubai Country Club in Nadd/Nad Al Sheba. Find the Al Khail Rd (parallel to Sheikh Zayed Road) and head towards Hatta, there'll be signs telling you where to turn off. If you get to Emirates Road (or Hatta), you've gone too far. Turn around.
  • Gulf News reported on 21 November 2006 that all season tickets were sold out, and only 2000 tickets for the opening day (meaning Friday, not Thursday, presumably) were still available.
  • Free shuttle bus service is being organised (using double decker buses) from 7pm to midnight, running every 10 minutes from Dubai Exiles ground into Dubai (no, we don't know exactly where either). Note that the word "organised" often has quite a broad definition in Dubai, with synonyms including "disorganised", "delayed", and "failed to materialise".
  • Up to 30,000 people attended in 2005. As the main stadium only holds 25,000 people, that explains why there's always 5000 people in front of you in the queue at the bar.
  • The final day sees one of the biggest parties in Dubai kicking off after the games have finished - the 'Rugby Rock', usually with a decent enough band getting the punters hopping about. Performers in previous years have included Suzi Quatro (Suzy Quattro) and Madness. ZU2 (a U2 tribute band) got trumped by the rain for 2006.
  • The Rugby Sevens Long Lunch in the Grand Hyatt Ballroom had Bob Dwyer (Australian coach) and Brian 'Pit Bull' Moore (England) telling you to eat your vegetables. And no one argued.
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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