UAE Rugby Federation flying high with Emirates Airline sponsorship renewal
Emirates Airline has reinforced its commitment to rugby in the Emirates by renewing its sponsorship of the UAE Rugby Federation for a further five years.
by Sport360 staff
18th July 2016
Soaring: Emirates has extended its sponsorship of the UAE’s rugby teams.
Emirates will continue to sponsor the men’s, women’s and Under-20’s national 7’s and 15’s teams, and also continue as the UAE RF’s official airline sponsor.
Qais Al Dhalai, UAE Rugby secretary general, said: “We are very proud to have the commitment from Emirates for another five years, which will assist us in our goal of bettering our standing in Asia Rugby rankings, and to bring to UAE residents the enjoyment of watching more competitive games.”
Apollo Perelini’s senior men’s 15s team won Division II of the Asia Rugby Championship in May, earning promotion to Division I as well as making them eligible to compete in the 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifying rounds.
Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Emirates’ vice president of commercial operations, added: “Emirates has been the official airline of the UAE RF since 2011 and we are proud to see the men’s 15s potentially qualifying for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.”
While remaining popular with the UAE western expatriate community, rugby has also made gains in promoting the game to the Emirati population, evidenced by the Community League’s debut last season and the historic fielding of the first all-Emirati 15s side.
Al Dhalai added: “It is one of our strategic goals to have an all-Emirati UAE national test side by 2021. Emirates’ renewed sponsorship will assist with realising this goal.”
Emirates has also been the title sponsor of the Dubai Rugby Sevens for over 20 years which has established itself as one of the best on the HSBC Sevens World Series circuit.