By Gavin Gibbon
Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens also promised 'something special' for those attending this year's 50th anniversary of the annual event
Ticket sales for the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens are currently 5,000 up on last year.
Gary Chapman, president of Emirates Group Services & Dnata, told Arabian Business that they had definitely received a boost from securing Australian pop sensation Kylie Minogue to sing at the after-party concert in what is the 50th anniversary of the annual event.
The three-day tournament at the Sevens Stadium on the Al Ain Road is due to kick off on December 6.
Chapman is hoping to get even more people through the door to enjoy the first and second legs of the men’s and women’s World Series, respectively. There’s also the Emirates Airline invitation rugby tournament and a netball tournament, with over 250 rugby teams taking part over the three days.
There’s also a dedicated rugby village with games, karaoke, competitions, rugby legend appearances and more, with bouncy castles and entertainment for all the family.
He said: “There’s definitely been a boost from Kylie, so we’re well ahead on sales because of that. Being what I am, is it enough for me? No it’s not.
“We’re pushing it hard. Certainly on the Friday I’d love to see us have 8-10,000 people more. People ideally who wouldn’t have gone to the rugby, but they’re going to go to see Kylie and they’re going to go early and for the first time experience what the Dubai Rugby Sevens is.
“Everyone that goes for the first time, it blows them away. I think, how do I get more people to come for the first time, because I know when they do, word of mouth, they will be back and they will bring others back.”
As well as the draw of Kylie, Chapman has also promised “something special” for those attending to mark the half century landmark for the tournament, although he is keeping the details secret.
“I’d like to think we’ll have something special to recognise the event, not just Kylie, but we’ll be working on something that will elevate it for the people who are there at the event, which will be a bit of a surprise,” he said.