The final itself was eagerly awaited by all Emirati’s who now had confidence in their own team. It was a tense affair and Ismail Mattar scored the only goal after 71 minutes to ensure that the hosts won the tournament and avenged the defeat suffered in the opening game of the tournament.
After almost two weeks in the U.AE. I was left to reflect on my time and the impression the country had made on me.
Certainly if it wasn’t for the football competition I wouldn’t have dreamed of coming here. But now I am left feeling that I will be back. The Emirati’s have a thirst (a non alcoholic one) for have the best of everything. In Dubai they were in the middle of constructing the world’s tallest building, the height of which they were not willing to reveal although I found out they were all set to add another level to it when a building was built to rival it. As well as creating the footballer’s paradise the Palm Island they are in the middle of constructing another man made island “The World”.
They already have the world’s largest indoor ski resort, and are also currently building the worlds first underwater hotel Hydropolis. Whilst I was there it was announced that Abu Dhabi would host a Formula 1 Grand Prix in 2009. Not bad for a country that currently does not even have a race track!
It is this ability to attract major sporting events that leads to me to think that I will be back.
All these are simply rich people’s play things and an obvious attempt to attract income to the country as it prepares for the oil that originally made it rich runs out. They have taken the view that it is easier to make money from those that have it as opposed to attracting the masses that don’t, and have invested (gambled!) heavily in providing the very best of everything in order to attract the right clientele.
The inspiration for all that is happening in the United Arab Emirates probably come from watching the latest Carling adverts. But no, they surely couldn’t have been influenced by alcohol.