UEFA has signed a licensing agreement with retail and hospitality, UAE based firm Marka, which will see the launch of the first Champions League-themed stores across the Middle East.
The first, due to open in May, will be at Yas Marina, the man-made island which hosts Abu Dhabi’s annual Formula One race and the Ferrari World theme park.
As well as retail opportunities, the Uefa Champions League Experience will feature a museum and restaurant.
Visitors will also have the chance to watch games from the competition ‘in a stadium-inspired setting designed to replicate the atmosphere of the Uefa Champions League’.
Inspired by the atmosphere, energy and passion of the UEFA Champions League, the 1,600m² destination retail concept will feature a unique combined retail and restaurant offering. Fans will be able to purchase merchandise from Europe’s top teams from dedicated shop-in-shops. Memorabilia signed by football legends will also be on display and available for purchase.
The UEFA Champions League Experience will have a museum included where supporters can learn more about their favourite sides and players. A wide range of official UEFA Champions League licensed products will also be available.
Guy-Laurent Epstein, marketing director of Uefa Events, said: “We are very pleased to announce this exciting new concept, where for the first time in the Middle East, fans will be able to gather and enjoy the best of what the Uefa Champions League represents.
“We are glad to offer our fans this exciting, innovative concept and look forward to launching the first of many stores in association with Marka.”
Marka’s vice-chairman Khaled Almheiri added: “The Uefa Champions League is the most popular club competition in the world and enjoys a cult following across the Middle East.
“The Uefa Champions League Experience will be the ideal destination for all football fans to come and enjoy the best of European football and their favourite teams under one roof.
“Marka is delighted to be partnering with Uefa to bring the Uefa Champions League Experience, first to the UAE and then to the wider region.” [Source: Soccerex & UEFA]