The successful UAE bid strengthens efforts by the Gulf states to position the region as a global sports hub. Qatar and the UAE with Bahrain as a lagging third have emerged as the main competitors in bids to host international sports events.
Qatar secured its lead with its success in winning the right to host the 2022 World Cup, the world’s largest sporting event.
The UAE bid for the U-17 World Cup defeated competing bids by Denmark and Ghana.
UAE Football Association Vice President Saeed Abdul Gaffar said the UAE’s successful bid "was a good achievement to beat such other applicants."
The Gulf states see sports as an opportunity to increase their international leverage and compensate for their relatively small size as states, generate sports-related business and tourism and use their sports involvement as a tool to generate business opportunities beyond sports.
The UAE has already organised and hosted the finals of the 2003 Under-20 World Cup, the Fifa Club World Cup in 2009 and 2010 and the Beach Football World Cup finals in 2009.