Construction has started on the playing surfaces at Abu Dhabi's two biggest stadiums, which will play host to the FIFA Club World Cup in December, officials said on Sunday.
Once completed, the new pitches at Zayed Sports City Stadium and Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium will stage all eight matches of the world-class competition, and provide the UAE national side and club teams with permanent world-class playing facilities.
Seven other pitches across Abu Dhabi are being reconstructed or renovated to accommodate the competing clubs - some of the world's best clubs - as exclusive training sites.
Mohammed Khalfan Al-Rumaithi, president of the UAE FA, said: "These pitches are an important part of the legacy the FIFA Club World Cup will leave behind for the Emirates.
"Not only will the standard of playing facilities available for UAE professional clubs be raised, but academies, like the one run by Al-Wahda, will have the opportunity to train and develop young players on world-class surfaces for many years to come."
Using the most advanced technology available, the playing surfaces are being constructed to world-class standards, with the overall goal to deliver top quality grass colour, consistent ball bounce and turf that remains firm under foot for December's competition which is the biggest club competition in the world.
Laser equipment is being used to produce an even pitch gradient, and a specially-designed grass seed variant known as Sea Dwarf Paspalum has been carefully selected to reduce water consumption by more than 50 percent.
Mohammed Ebrahim Al Mahmood, general secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC), added: "It's taken months of meticulous planning and preparation to get us to this stage, but with construction now underway, we are on course to produce a set of playing surfaces which everyone in the UAE can be extremely proud of."
The pitches are being developed in two phases: the construction phase, which lasts approximately 15 weeks, then the maintenance phase, which involves intense daily care in response to the surroundings in which each pitch is growing.
The FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2009 will take place from 9-19 December in Abu Dhabi.For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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