The capital’s sporting engine motors along…

Abu Dhabi, and the UAE, welcome a galaxy of stars from some of the biggest sports in the world every year. Whether it is motorsport action you’re after, racquet sports, bat-and-ball excitement or ground-and-pound drama, the capital packs it all.

Here’s our updated list of sporting events coming to Abu Dhabi this year.


UFC Fight Night

Abu Dhabi’s first-ever UFC Fight Night will be the 18th UFC event to take place in the UAE capital, and we know it is confirmed for August 3 at the Etihad Arena. On the back of a highly-exciting UFC 294 bout that had fans on their feet back in October, we’re ready to witness more iconic moments, grapples and takedowns in the octagon this summer.

In convesation with What’s On, Cory Sandhagen, who will be headlining the fight card with Umar Nurmagomedov, said: “The crowds in Abu Dhabi are great, they’re sporting and love their fighting. The UFC is doing a great job of bringing people together.” “There’s definitely some very good, intriguing fights planned for Abu Dhabi”. For the full interview, read the August 2024 issue of What’s On Abu Dhabi.

UFC Fight Night, Etihad Arena, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, August 3, from Dhs195.


World League of Fighters


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Fight fans can keep the enthusiasm going, as World League of Fighters (WLF) is expected to descend on the capital this September. The first-of-its-kind, franchise-based, league-styled Muay Thai tournament. The tournament partnered with World Boxing Council (WBC) Muay Thai last year to revolutionise the sport and will feature 20 of the world’s best male and female Muay Thai fighters across 4 franchises that will compete in a round-robin format. Watch this space for more.

World League of Fighters, Abu Dhabi, September 2024 (expected). @worldleagueoffighters


NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2024

A brand-new duo arrives in the capital this October, as 17-time NBA champs Boston Celtics will take on defending champions Denver Nuggets in two pre-season games on October 4 and October 6 at the Etihad Arena, as part of the NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2024 presented by ADQ. Star-studded rosters on either side will guarantee electrifying, slam-dunk action in the capital, with plenty of thrilling fan-centric activations also expected courtside.

NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2024 presented by ADQ, Etihad Arena, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, October 4 and 6.

UFC 308

UFC action is back again, and this year, UFC 308 is scheduled for October 26 at the Etihad Arena. Accompanying all the high-octane action in the octagon will be the capital’s own fan favourite, Abu Dhabi Showdown Week, which will include a week-long series of city-wide events, dedicated fan activations, hotel promotions, F&B offerings, star appearances, electrifying concerts and a whole lot more. Stay tuned as we hear more in the lead-up to the big week.

UFC 308, Etihad Arena, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, October 26.


Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

The 19th edition of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship returns to Yas Links this November, and the top 70 players on the Race to Dubai rankings will battle it out for a place in the final event of the season. In addition to all the action on the green, there will also be unmissable entertainment to be enjoyed throughout the day in the championship village. Star players will include golfing legend Rory McIlroy.  General admission tickets are free and offer access to the golf course to watch all the action.

Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, Yas Links, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, November 7 to 10. @adgolfchamps

Abu Dhabi T10 League


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The UAE capital’s seen close to two weeks of bat-wielding slam-bang action for several years, and we’re sure this year will be no different. Stay tuned for more updates and in only a few months, you’ll be able to head over and watch some of the biggest names in world cricket battle it out for the T10 League title, before they resume their international seasons.

Abu Dhabi T10, Zayed Cricket Stadium, Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, November 2024 (anticipated). @t10league


Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix


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Yes, we’re talking about that weekend. The one that has Abu Dhabi on its feet every winter, as the world watches in awe. This year, the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will take place in December, and if its track record is something to go by, the capital shall shimmer with global stars once again. Roaring engines. Screaming fans. Electricity in the air. Oh, and the Yasalaam after-race concerts, for which British rockers Muse have already been confirmed. It’s all about to go down, Abu Dhabi – get your tickets here.

Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2024, Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, December 6 to 8, from Dhs750. @ymcofficial

World Tennis League


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Some of the world’s top tennis players will be putting their off season to great use, getting in some valuable practice while putting on a show for the people of Abu Dhabi. Last December, the Etihad Arena welcomed leading names such as Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev and Aryna Sabalenka. Looking for more entertainment? The first confirmed post-game concert will be by rock legend Bryan Adams, who will be bringing some of his most iconic hits to town. Watch this space for further updates…

World Tennis League, Etihad Arena, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, December 19 to 24 (anticipated). @worldtennisleague


DP World ILT20

2025 will get off to a smashing start with Season 3 of the DP World ILT20, and the blockbuster tournament promises even more electrifying action from some of the biggest names in the sport. It will be held across Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah again, and in addition to all the action on the pitch, could also includes unique opportunities for fans. With a total of 69 players retained for the thrilling contest, this one’s about to be a cracker for the third time.

DP World ILT20, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, January 11 to February 9, 2025. @ilt20official

Media: Instagram, What’s On archive, Unsplash