Abu Dhabi is set to host the 2019 Leaders Sport Business Summit after Abu Dhabi Sports Council General Secretary Aref Al Awani signed an agreement to hold the event in the UAE capital.

Al Awani put pen to paper with Simon Lau, Chief Commercial Officer, Leaders Sport Business Summit. He confirmed that the event will be held on January 29 and 30, 2019 – which coincides with the UAE’s hosting of the AFC Asian Cup.

“The schedule is between the AFC Asian Cup semi-final and final, and as such we will be already having a big audience in the country,” Al Awani said.

“This summit represents the sports industry and the efforts of Abu Dhabi to be the sporting capital in the world.

“The summit is a global event and it will benefit us and help us in our development march of the sports industry. So obviously it will create a lot of media attention including the social media.”

The Leaders Sport Business Summit is one of the biggest industry events in the world, with more than 500 delegates expected to descend on Abu Dhabi next January.

Al Awani said the success of previous incarnations of the summit had convinced him that hosting the 2019 edition would be beneficial for Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE.

“We have followed the three major summits in London, New York and Beijing before we signed an agreement between the Leaders and ADSC to have it staged in Abu Dhabi for the next three years,” he revealed.

“Our discussion to host the summit in Abu Dhabi started a year ago and now we have reached an agreement to stage this global platform for the sports industry.”

Leaders Summit chief Lau added: “We are aware of Abu Dhabi’s transformation as an international sporting hub for the last 10 years. Why we chose Abu Dhabi is for a combination of several reasons. There are major events like the Formula 1, the AFC Asian Cup and UAE Cycling Tour during this time next year.

“We feel the infrastructure and, in terms of transport, the venues and their capabilities in organising international events, all this make Abu Dhabi as one of the best hosts for a summit of this stature.”