March 18 - A delegation from the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has arrived in the United Arab Emirates for a site inspection as part of Dubai's bid to host next year's Under-17 World Championships.
Ismail Al-Gergawi, President of the United Arab Emirates Basketball Association said: "We are delighted to be welcoming FIBA to Dubai and have prepared a busy schedule to show them our fantastic basketball facilities as well as Dubai's world class hotels and tourism infrastructure.
"We have been working hard to develop our sport in the UAE and the region but we need a driver for development to take it to the next level," he said.
Dubai already boasts quality basketball infrastructure thanks to hosting the annual International Basketball Championship, which features eight of the top teams from the UAE, Jordan, Philippines, Kazakhstan and Lebanon, and the ongoing 3on3 initiative which is taking place across the Emirate.
"We believe that these U17 World Championships would create the platform we need to achieve our aims and increase the number of players and the profile for our great sport," said Al-Gergawi.
"We have strong government support for the event and hope that we will be successful in securing this for Dubai."
Dubai will go head-to-head with Romania in the race to host the Championships, whose bid is being led by FIBA Europe Board member and President of the Romanian Basketball Federation, Carmen Tocala.
Romania also bid for the 2012 FIBA Under-17 World Championships, but lost out to eventual hosts Lithuania.
A decision is expected to be made at the FIBA Central Board Meeting, which will be held in Lausanne on June 19-21 this year, and the tournament itself is due to run from June 26 to July 6 2014.
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