Organizers of the Dubai Rugby Sevens have announced the dates for the 2021 tournament after the event was canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The long-running sporting event will be held from December 2 to 4 and will feature a Cricket 7s tournament for the first time.
It will be the 51st anniversary of the Sevens, which has been a mainstay for United Arab Emirates sports fans since its inception in 1970.
More than 350 teams from around the world will flock to the purpose-built Sevens ground on the outskirts of Dubai to compete in the rugby, netball, and the newly-added cricket tournaments.
Entries for all three sports will open to local, regional, and international teams on March 1.
Tournament director Thomas Burwell said organizers were “very happy to be returning to our traditional dates on the opening weekend of December.”
7s will return this December! pic.twitter.com/Vs5LSHW2XG— Dubai Rugby Sevens (@Dubai7s) January 20, 2021
The Rugby Sevens was first organized by expatriate club the Dubai Exiles in 1970.
Early matches were played on sand pitches between British Army clubs and expatriate residents.
The first ever Rugby Sevens champions are believed to be a team made up of British Army personnel from the Staffordshire Regiment stationed in Sharjah.
Over the years, the popularity of the tournament has ballooned along with the growth of the UAE. It relocated to purpose-built grounds with a 50,000-seat capacity stadium in 2008.
More than 100,000 fans are estimated to have attended the previous event in 2019.