Abu Dhabi has emerged as a front-runner to be crowned as the World Capital of Sports in a two-race tie over Taipei.
The UAE capital has played host to some of the world's biggest sporting icons such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and Lewis Hamilton but they face stiff competition in Taipei for the prestigious 2019 title.
The coveted sporting award will be handed out by the European Capitals and Cities of Sport Federation.
A delegation from the federation, comprised of sporting experts from nations including as Spain, Italy, China and Portugal, toured facilities at the Zayed Sports City, Yas Arena, Al Forsan Sports Resort and Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
The UAE is in prime position for the award as the annual host of the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November, the star-studded Mubadala World Tennis Championship and the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.
Abu Dhabi will host the FIFA Club World Cup for the second year running in December and the AFC Asian Cup in January.
The award criteria include the volume and quality of sport events, as well as the sporting activities of residents and visitors alike.
Ahmed Al Qubaisi, Director of Marketing at Abu Dhabi Sports Council, expressed delight at Abu Dhabi qualifying for the final stages of the competition, which is recognised by the European Parliament and the UN, as well as by different European sports agencies.