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St. Patricks day is always a big day in the GAA calendar where the best football & hurling clubs in Ireland battle it out in Croke Park for the honour of being crowned All-Ireland club champions.
Over the last 22 years, Dubai Celts have evolved into a well recognised global GAA entity, where the GAA All-stars have visited on two separate occasions. For many expats seeking to emigrate to the Arab Gulf, the GAA club has always been the first port of call, for advice and general low down of the territory. It's great to say that this mentality is alive and well in Dubai & long may it continue.
In total, we've welcomed 68 new members to our club across all grades this year, where teams typically train on a Sunday & Tuesday evening & Friday morning in the state of the art facility at Dubai Sports City
This year was a very successful year for the Celts. We were recognised by Croke Park as having the youngest committee in the GAA Global Units and consequently selected by Croke Park as the venue to host the 2016 GAA All-Stars to correspond with their theme of “youth & innovation”. Furthermore, we were selected to host the opening round of the Middle East Leagues as part of the Dubai Duty-Free GAA Irish Festival as a result of the success of last year’s event in Dubai Sports City, in what was a truly memorable night.
The games were opened on Thursday the 22nd of September with "Thursday night Timber" where teams from across the GCC descended into Dubai for the first round of the Middle-East League. Games were contested in a fiery affair and concluded at 1:30 am on the Friday morning.
Roll on the main event on Friday the 23rd of September...
72 football teams from across the Gulf assembled in Sports City at 8 am for the start of the football tournament 2016/17 season. Over 342 fixtures were played across 5 pitches, 16 trophies and 192 winner’s medals were presented by Ambassador Patrick Hennessy and Sean Staunton of Dubai Duty-Free.
A super after party was held in the Dome in Sports City for 984 guests that partied into the early hours of Saturday morning with the guest band "Corner Boy" entertaining the masses.
I'd like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere appreciation to our sponsors who make these events possible and help "generation emigration" continue to play our national games so far from home.
Finally, special mention to the Dubai Celts committee & players, who worked tirelessly over the last nine months, to grow the club and contribute in a positive manner. I'd like to wish the Dubai Irish Society every success for what should be a very enjoyable night.
Is mise le mais,
Dubai Celts GAA