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Mon 18 May 2009 12:40 PM

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Maradona to launch first sports café in Dubai

EXCLUSIVE: 'Maradona Sports Cafe' will feature memorabilia from the Argentinean's career.

Maradona to launch first sports café in Dubai
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)

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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salem mohamed 10 years ago

If there is anybody who has been hated the most by the Brits, it would be him. Maradona should be careful the Brits are more than capable of scuttling his enterprise. Hey Brits! Get over it, hand of god or not, get on with it it has been ages since he did it, can't you forget and forgive?

Tim 10 years ago

Speaking as a Brit, I would say that Maradonna is not hated by the Brits and most of us would rate him in the top 2-3 players ever. Furthermore, only we English were upset by his 'Hand of God' moment (the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish were delighted!). Most of us respect that, after providing the best piece of cheating in the long hsitory of the world cup, he scored probably the best legitimate goal ever. And all before half time. What a pro!

Mart 10 years ago

What's he going to do - skip lunch?

Don Ho 10 years ago

Yes, what a great idea - open a flash cafe for rich, spoilt people to eat the best of everything (and leave more food on their plate than many in the third world eat in a week) all in the name of malnutrition. Obviously good old Diego does not have a very well developed sense of irony.

ST 10 years ago

It should not be considered as the first sports cafe in Dubai. Inside Al Rais Shopping Centre in Bur Dubai there is themed Soccer Cafe where the ambience is nice and cosy where you can watch live soccer matches on weekends. The food is also good and price reasonable. One can simply enjoy a casual drink and watch soccer all day on the TV. Opens 9.00am - 11.00pm. Check it out. Maradona Sports Cafe?...no big deal!...

Khaled 10 years ago

It should be considered as the first sports cafe in Dubai since several themed Soccer Cafes especially the one in Al Rais Shopping things are incredibly dodgy. You cannot watch live soccer matches on weekends without having the waiters harassing you to order ten cups of weird smiling coffee. The food is also horrendous and price is criminal. One cannot simply enjoy a mere drink and watch soccer for few minutes on their painfully old TV. Maradona Sports Cafe?...about time!