The first book to examine the burgeoning growth of sport management in the Middle East, co-authored by a University of Ulster academic, has been launched by a Government minister in the United Arab Emirates.
The UAE’s Minister for Culture, Youth and Community Development, His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Bin Mubarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development launched in Abu Dhabi the book co-authored by Dr David Hassan, a senior lecturer in sport and exercise in the Ulster Sports Academy, and colleagues from the host country.
Dr Hassan worked alongside Arab sporting legend Dr Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Ulster in July 2012, and Ulster graduate Dr Sean O Connor on ‘Sport Management in the Middle East: A Case Study Analysis’.
The University of Ulster academic explained: “The book reflects the broadly accepted pre-eminence of the Middle East region in the global sports industry.
“The importance of sport in profiling the Middle East globally is now widely acknowledged.
“World leading events in the UAE, including the Dubai World Cup, Etihad Airways Formula 1 Grand Prix and a host of major golf and tennis events, as well as the forthcoming FIFA World Cup to be staged in Qatar in 2022, have placed the region at the forefront of the sport, event and tourism sectors worldwide.”
Dr Hassan, who is also based at the Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Institute on the Jordanstown campus, added: “The University of Ulster’s ties in the UAE continue to grow with the launch of a BSc (Hons) Applied Sport Management, to be delivered at the Higher Colleges of Technology Men’s College in Abu Dhabi later this year.
“Interestingly the home of the F1 Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi, the famed Yas Marina Circuit, is managed by Ulster Visiting Professor Richard Cregan.”
Also speaking at the launch Dr Ben Sulayem said the book should be understood as part of a broader contribution sporting federations could make to society.
He said: “We hope that this book will encourage the next generation of Arabs to demonstrate an evidence-based approach to their work and ensure the region’s position internationally in the vanguard of sporting excellence.”
The new book was published by the leading academic publishers, Routledge.