Venue Guide: Dubai
Kuala Lumpur: Having brought you the lowdown on the capital Abu Dhabi, we continue our series of venue guides, exploring the four 2019 AFC Asian Cup host cities, this time with Dubai.
One of the world's top holiday destinations, Dubai is famous for its serene beaches, luxurious attractions and being home to the World's tallest building, Burj Khalifa. The UAE's most populous city hosts eight group-stage matches and three more in the knock-out stages.
Population: 3.1 million
Local Clubs: Al Nasr, Al Wasl, Shabab Al Ahli Dubai, Hatta
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Al Maktoum Stadium
Located at the heart of the old downtown district of Bur Dubai, Al Maktoum Stadium is home to the UAE's oldest football club, Al Nasr, who were founded in 1945, nearly three decades before the country's unification.
Al Maktoum Stadium hosted seven matches in the 1996 AFC Asian Cup, including the memorable quarter-final which saw Ali Daei net four past Korea Republic in a 6-2 victory for IR Iran. The stadium has been renovated, increasing its capacity to 15,000 fans.
Standout matches to watch here
Korea Republic v Philippines
January 7, 17:30 UTC+4
Saudi Arabia vs Lebanon
January 12, 20:00 UTC+4
IR Iran vs Iraq
January 16, 20:00 UTC+4
January 24, 17:00 UTC+4
Home of Shabab Al Ahli Dubai (Previously Al Ahli), Rashid Stadium is located in Al Qusais district in the border with the neighbouring Emirate of Sharjah. The Stadium is accessible by Dubai Metro Red Line through "Stadium" metro station.
This 15,000-seater capacity stadium hosted FIFA World Cup matches at U17 and U20 levels and most recently, played host to the 2015 AFC Champions League final first leg between Al Ahli and Guangzhou Evergrande.
Standout matches to watch here
Saudi Arabia vs DPR Korea
January 8, 20:00 UTC+4
Palestine v Australia
January 11, 15:00 UTC+4
Kyrgyz Republic vs Philippines
January 16, 17:30 UTC+4
The Palm Jumeirah is one of Dubai's prime tourist attractions, the famous palm-tree-shaped island is home to some of the city's top hotels. If the Palm is part of your itinerary, we recommend taking the monorail rather than a taxi or a private car.
The monorail ride to the Atlantis hotel offers some of the best views of Dubai's skyline and beaches, which you cannot see from the road. The Palm Monorail has recently been integrated with the rest of the Dubai train system, meaning you could easily access it from the Dubai Tram.
Being one of the world's most cosmopolitan cities (200 nationalities live in Dubai), it can be easy to miss out on experiencing the native culture, but one aspect of it that is not to be missed is the food. Try Logma restaurant at Boxpark or Al Fanar (branches at Dubai Festival City and Al Seef) for some of the best authentic Emirati food.
Mountains, lakes and sleepy villages? This might not be everyone's idea of Dubai, but just an hour from the city centre is the often ignored Hatta. A serene town of 5,000 people is nestled between the Hajar mountains. When you are not enjoying AFC Asian Cup action, catch a picturesque sunrise, take a dip in the lake, camp, hike or bike up the mountains.
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