Fina
21 December 2021

Etihad Arena Is The Ideal Location For International Events Say Elite Athletes And Sporting Experts

As the celebration of aquatics continues at the FINA World Swimming Championship (25m) at Etihad Arena, the iconic Yas Island venue has successfully played host to over 1,100 athletes, from over 180 National Federations, over 160 international sports media specialists and more than 800 volunteers over the seven-day championships, with many describing their experience in the nation’s capital as “a world class event in a state-of-the-art facility”.

Media delegates praised the modern facilities and high levels of organization, and the advanced technologies made available to them in the media center, at Etihad Arena, where more than 160 media professionals from around the world, set the international stage to cover the FINA World Swimming Championship (25m).

The modern facilities featured some of the latest technologies, large screens, timing systems and fast connections, allowing media professionals to cover the international event for a global audience of swimming fans, with the highest levels of professionalism, accuracy, and speed.

The 18,000-capacity arena located along the stunning Yas Bay has held major sporting competitions throughout 2021, including UFC and a host of several international events. The FINA World Swimming Championships represents one of the biggest events of this year on Yas Island, establishing itself as the leading entertainment venue in the region. Competing athletes and attending international sporting experts expressed their appreciation for the impressive Etihad Arena, its world-class facilities, and Abu Dhabi’s ability to host international sporting competitions and international milestone events.

Francois Nel, Sport Photography Specialist at Getty Images said, “It’s truly a fantastic venue to work at, there is no shortage of workspace or opportunities to capture the best pictures we can. Covering this year’s FINA World Swimming Championships at Etihad Arena has been creatively fulfilling, as you do have the ability to explore your ideas inside the arena. There is also so much to see on the Market Street along Yas Bay.’’

Geoff Berkeley of Inside the Games added, “It’s the first time I’ve been to the region but prior to coming here, I was certainly aware of all the sporting events that take place in Abu Dhabi, and the UAE. It’s undoubtedly becoming the place to be for sport. I’ve been really impressed with how everything has been run, which suggests that the city is prepared to host any type of event.

“The fact that this venue hasn’t staged a swimming competition previously and to then swiftly transform Etihad Arena into this wonderful competition-specific facility is quite amazing. It’s a great location, with great weather and the arena is amazing, so I’m sure we’re all keen to come back for more world-class sport here in Abu Dhabi.”

As the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi has led by example, from a local and global perspective, ensuring major events, both sporting and otherwise, have been able to continue, despite the recent challenges. Visitors feel the city is well equipped to consistently host large crowds in a safe and hospitable manner. 

Broadcast Sports Specialist, Veronika Gibadieva commented, “The Media Centre at Etihad Arena was well-organised, and allowed us to complete our jobs with little stress – which often can happen at global sporting events like this one. All events including the open water, high diving and competition pool were all situated closely together, and the Media Mix Zone was only a short journey which made our days a lot easier.

‘’To cover aquatic sports is intensive work, but the organisation of the Etihad Arena facility really allowed us to do our job well. The Al Hosn app enabled us to move freely and not in a bubble which was a lovely surprise. It felt like we were on our way back to normal life, so that was a great experience.’’

Geoff Berkeley added “The venue has been brilliant; everything is easily accessible and reliable which is perfect. The Al Hosn app has been good for this - it’s quite a well-run system to make sure everyone is safe. The testing situation was also very good and hassle free, which has definitely helped us to focus on our work. Overall, we all feel that there is a strong hold on the situation here in the UAE.”

Over the course of an action-packed six days, Etihad Arena has welcomed over 1,100 athletes, and hosted over 160 international sports media specialists resulting in a record-breaking week for the world-class venue. Sports fans can purchase tickets for the final session of the Championships which also includes the prestigious closing ceremony. Tickets are available across several categories including individual race heats (starting from AED 10), individual race finals (starting from AED 25) and exclusive packages for all races (starting from AED 150). Family packages are also available for two adults and two children under the age of sixteen, and start from AED 50, for individual races and AED 500 for all races.

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