(Photo: © FIH / Dubai Sports City)

Pakistani hockey star Rehan Butt – the current Asian Hockey Player of the Year and member of the WorldHockey All Stars Team in 2008 – declared the Dubai International Hockey Stadium at Dubai Sports City to be amongst the very best in the world during a recent visit to the facility. The stadium, which is within the Academies Campus, will be home to the WorldHockey Academy.

“The facilities for hockey at Dubai Sports City are as good as anything I have ever seen before” said Butt, who is currently in the UAE awaiting a visa to travel to the Netherlands where he will play professionally in the world’s strongest domestic club league.

Two FIH certified (international standard) water-based pitches have been installed at the Dubai International Hockey Stadium, both unique to the UAE, and surrounded by floodlights, with the main pitch having broadcast standard floodlighting.

“My trip to Dubai has given me the chance to see the development for myself and I am hugely impressed by everything that has been achieved. It is only a matter of time before we see international matches here, and I would love to play for Pakistan in Dubai, where I know we would get tremendous support from our expatriate population,” says Butt.

The WorldHockey Academy is set to bring one of the most popular global sports to the Gulf. It will become the centre of excellence for hockey through a partnership between the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and Dubai Sports City.

The Academy will soon be a hive of activity with junior coaching programs, winter leagues for local clubs and FIH accredited coaching and umpiring education programs. Every junior coaching program participant will benefit from the expertise of accredited coaching staff and the latest equipment to support their development.

“It’s a real thrill to hear one of the best hockey players in the world speak so highly of the Dubai International Hockey Stadium and the facilities we have developed. Hopefully Rehan and his Pakistan team will have the chance to play here in the near future.” said Adam Barnes, WorldHockey Academy & Stadium Manager, Dubai Sports City.

Source: WorldHockey Academy / Dubai Sports City