3 min read

UFC extends partnership with Abu Dhabi’s tourism board


The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, has officially extended its partnership with Abu Dhabi’s tourism board. This renewed collaboration, facilitated by the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT), reaffirms UFC’s commitment to bringing a numbered event featuring a championship bout to the United Arab Emirates every year.

The extended partnership goes beyond championship events, now encompassing more UFC Fight Night events to be held across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The collaboration solidifies the UAE’s status as a prominent hub for the sport, further enhancing its global appeal.

Abu Dhabi has hosted a total of 18 UFC events since 2010. The initial partnership between UFC and the Abu Dhabi Tourism Board was established four years ago. During this period, the UAE has witnessed some of the most iconic UFC bouts, featuring fighters like Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor. The Emirates played a pivotal role during the Covid-19 pandemic by hosting three separate series of Fight Island events, which garnered international acclaim.

This announcement precedes the highly anticipated UFC 294 fight – ‘Makhachev vs Volkanovski 2’ – scheduled to take place on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island on Saturday, October 21.

UFC disclosed plans to host its first-ever event in Saudi Arabia, scheduled for March 2, 2024. The event will be named UFC Fight Night 236, part of the promotion’s ongoing series, underscoring UFC’s intent to expand its footprint in the MENA region.

“Abu Dhabi is one of my favorite places in the world; the people, the restaurants, the hotels, it’s incredible,” UFC CEO Dana White enthused.

“I have been so excited to be able to put on some of the biggest fights in the history of UFC in Abu Dhabi and it’s only going to get even bigger from here with additional Fight Nights coming to the region next year.”

Saood Abdulaziz Al Hosani, undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi DCT, echoed this sentiment.

“Over a 15-year relationship, UFC has extended its global reach and Abu Dhabi has established itself as a world capital for combat sports,” he said.

“Renewing our partnership with UFC allows us to continue to stage major events that thrill visitors and residents. We are excited to extend the relationship and innovate together to grow this sport in the UAE and wider region.”

In addition to its commitment to Abu Dhabi, UFC recently announced a marketing partnership with Origin, a US-based clothing company. This collaboration will provide Origin with exposure across various UFC platforms, including live events, further strengthening UFC’s connection with its global audience.

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