Al Masaood Group signed an agreement with the UAE Winter Sports Federation to support the National Women’s Ice Hockey Team as its ‘Gold Sponsor.’ Al Masaood's move aligns with its approach to supporting the sports industry in the UAE, as part of its social and national responsibilities, in light of the accelerating growth of ice sports within the country.
Recently, ice sporting events in the UAE become increasingly popular, as the UAE boasts over five ice rinks, a championship-winning national team, and more than 800 registered players around the country, including 80 women players. As the sport has grown in the Gulf region, the UAE national team has become a prime regional player; winning the Arab Cup, the IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia, and the Gulf Ice Hockey Championships.
Ahmed Salmeen, Chief Executive, Government Affairs at Al Masaood Group, said: “Our collaboration with the UAE Winter Sports Federation is a part of our drive to support community-focused initiatives and events. We are fascinated by the growth of ice sporting events in the UAE and pleased to see a significant advancement in the role of UAE women in sports. This certainly reinforces our overarching goal of consolidating Abu Dhabi’s status as a vibrant, global hub for international sporting activities for people from all walks of life.”
Ice Hockey in the United Arab Emirates is governed by the U.A.E. Ice Sports Federation, and the UAE has been a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation since 2001. In 2017, the UAE proudly debuted the National Women's Ice Hockey Team.
Additionally, the UAE National Women's Ice Hockey Team has set many standards in their career and received numerous accolades, keeping the country's reputation high. The UAE National Women's Ice Hockey Team was guests of honour at the game between the Washington Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets held at the Capital One Arena. Fatima Al Ali, the renowned player, was invited by the Capitals to the same arena, one year prior to the ceremony.
“It is an honour for us to support the National Women's Ice Hockey Team as we continue to advocate for Emirati women's potential, revealing their creativity, and giving them the opportunity to prove themselves and move forward towards a promising sporting future. Through our joint efforts, we look forward to making a tangible, and positive impact on Abu Dhabi’s women’s sporting community,” Salmeen added.
Hamel Al Qubaisi, Vice President of the UAE Winter Sports Federation, said: “we highly value this partnership with Al Masaood Group to sponsor the UAE’s women's national ice hockey team, for the season 2022 – 2023. This sponsorship is part of the private sector’s strategy to promote national athletic teams, with Al Masaood taking the lead in the field. Ice Hockey is part of the many winter sports that attracts the interest of a significant category of the community, acquiring a wide fan base from all nationalities. We are thus delighted to collaborate with Al Masaood, which has become a key partner in promoting women’s accomplishments in this sport, both locally and internationally.
The UAE has long supported hockey, as seen by the formation of the UAE National Women's Ice Hockey Team. The team have participated in the Asian Women's Ice Hockey Cup in 2013, 2017, 2018, and 2019, where they placed second in the last two editions, becoming the first Arab team to ever participate in the Asian Ice Hockey Cup. In its role as a Gold Sponsor, Al Masaood looks
forward to supporting the team and reflecting upon the pillars of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, which include the development of sports and youth.