Maradona to launch first sports café in Dubai

EXCLUSIVE: 'Maradona Sports Cafe' will feature memorabilia from the Argentinean's career.
CAFE CULTURE: Diego Maradona became infamous with English fans for his hand of God goal in the 1986 World Cup. He will work with UAE property tycoon Sulaiman Al Fahim to set up his first-ever cafe. (Getty Images)
By Anil Bhoyrul
Mon 18 May 2009 12:40 PM

Soccer legend Diego Maradona is to open the world’s first “Maradona Sports Cafe” in Dubai within the next year, Arabian Business can reveal.

The café – modelled on the Planet Hollywood concept – will feature memorabilia from the Argentinean footballer’s career, and also include items from other soccer stars such as Brazilian heroes Pele, Zico and Dunga.

It will be developed by UAE property tycoon Sulaiman Al Fahim, architect of last year’s Manchester City takeover.

Maradona’s cousin Remigio Martin Maradona told Arabian Business: “It will be a football café featuring themes from many football greats, not just Maradona."

"It will be dedicated to soccer, with screens showing World Cup goals, and shirts, balls, gloves and other items donated by people like Pele,” he added.

Remigio Maradona – who is also the Permanent Observer to the UN Economic and Social Council – added that a proportion of revenues from the café would be donated to the battle against malnutrition around the globe.

Maradona also works as a Goodwill Ambassador of the Intergovernmental Institution for the use of Micro-algae Spirulina against Malnutrition (IIMSAM).

“This is a very important cause and I am very passionate about doing everything possible to reduce malnutrition, which is killing millions of people a year," Maradona said.

"This café will be a good way to use the Maradona name, and the support of many of the world’s greatest footballers, to attract attention to our cause and also help support it financially."

Maradona added: “We’ve been working very closely with Dr Al Fahim on humanitarian issues, and this project is also something we are very excited to do with him.”

No date has been set for the launch, although it is expected that Diego Maradona himself will attend the opening in Dubai.

“This cafe will be a celebration of football and football stars, and we will use it as a platform in our battle against malnutrition,” Al Fahim added.

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