EMIRATES AIRLINES PARTNER FOR RUGBY WORLD CUP SEVENS 2009

Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009 will be partnered by Emirates

1 March, 2008:

As Dubai gets ready to host Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009 for the first time in history, international airline major Emirates is readying itself to be the principal partner of the mega event.

The Ruby World Cup Sevens 2009, which includes a 24-team men's tournament and 16-team women's tournament, being hosted by the Arabian Gulf Rugby Football Union, will take place from March 5, 2009 to 7, 2009 at Emirates' new rugby complex. The event will break new ground by being the first ever Rugby World Cup to incorporate both a men's and a women's competition.

With the agreement to become the principal partner at Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009, Emirates Airline will extend its rugby sponsorship portfolio even further, underlining the company's credentials as one of the sport's premier supporters. Says Gary Chapman, President - Group Services and Dnata, Emirates Group, "We are delighted to be supporting Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009 and are eagerly looking forward to next year's kick-off. Emirates has a proud record of sponsoring international sevens rugby which stretches back to 1988, and our involvement with Rugby World Cup Sevens enables us to continue supporting the global development of the sport and the growth of the women's game."

It is expected that TV audiences around the world in excess of 500 million people will tune into the event and a crowd of more than 120,000 will pack the new stadium over the three days of the event.

The Dubai-based airline has already become synonymous with Rugby, thanks to a range of sponsorship agreements. It was the official airline of Rugby World Cup 2007 in France and sponsors the International Rugby Board referees and match officials. The IRB's International Rugby Yearbook is supported by Emirates, while the award-winning airline also backs the IRB's star-studded annual awards ceremony.

The staging of Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009, follows on from the highly successful Emirates Airline-sponsored IRB Under-19 World Championship which was held in Dubai and Sharjah in 2006.

Emirates also sponsors four tournaments in the annual IRB Sevens World Series, namely the traditional opening leg in Dubai, South Africa, London, and series finale in Edinburgh, and is also the shirt sponsors of the England and Samoa sevens teams, as well as of the Australia-based Emirates Western Force Super 14 squad.

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