FINA Executive Director hails venue in Dubai as “one of the best swimming facilities in the world”

FINA World Swimming Championships (25m)

FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu has hailed the venue for next month’s 10th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Dubai as “one of the best swimming facilities in the world.”

Mr Marculescu headed a delegation of FINA officials who were given a tour of the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Sports Complex by Championships Director Mr Obaid Al Shamsi.

And afterwards he expressed his delight at what he and his team had seen ahead of the Championships which will take place at the venue from 15 – 19 December.

“Three months ago when I was here I didn’t believe this was possible. I was very skeptical.  Now I find this jewel here – it is the pearl of the desert, and I believe it is one of the best swimming facilities in the world,” said Mr Marculescu.

“Now it is finalised, with all the stands and the ceramics, it really does give you the feeling of being in the water and that is great because at FINA the water is our world.

“I’m sure the athletes will love swimming at this wonderful venue and I believe next month will be the best-ever short course world championships.”


From left, Dubai Municipality’s (DM) Principal Architect Dr Abdel Hadi Siddig Pasha, Championship Director Obaid Al Shamsi, FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu and Mohammed Hassan Al Ali, Head of the Projects Design Section for DM

Mr Marculescu said he was impressed by the attention to detail and the giant octagonal scoreboard and video screen that stands above the competition pool, something that will help to give spectators a fantastic experience.

“There is grandiosity to this scoreboard that is incredible,” he said. “The only scoreboard I have seen like that was at the world short course championships in Indianapolis in 2004, but that was only 40 per cent of the size of this one.”

He also expressed his gratitude to the local organisers: “To the Dubai Sports Council, Dubai Municipality, the UAE Swimming Federation and the local organising committee we must say thank you for your hard work and support.

“We are grateful for the assistance of Princess Haya (Bint Al Hussein, wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai) who has been very supportive of this project. Congratulations to her for her re-election as President of the International Equestrian Federation.

“In the future we will be working closely with the Dubai Sports Council and the Dubai authorities to give life to this venue beyond the Championships because it deserves it.”

Mr Obaid Al Shamsi, the Championships Director, said: “We are extremely proud of the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Sports Complex and we are delighted that leading representatives from FINA, swimming’s global governing body, is so pleased and impressed with it.

“We now look forward to welcoming the world to Dubai next month when we will host a wonderful occasion, the 10th FINA World Swimming Championships, and we hope the people of Dubai will join us in watching some superb racing at this wonderful venue.”