ABU DHABI 6 January 2019: AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 opened yesterday under the patronage and in the presence of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.
The 17th Edition of the AFC Asian Cup opened in a spectacular style in the UAE capital, at the Zayed Sports City Stadium with an enchanting experience and breathtaking live show that was enjoyed by thousands of fans in the stadium and millions of viewers around the world.
Designed to create and capture the excitement of the biggest ever AFC Asian Cup, the ceremony transformed the stadium with a series of live on-pitch music performances in a unique tribute to the excellence of Asian football and the vibrant spirit, colour and atmosphere of the host nation.
Lying at the heart of the inaugural ceremony, Operetta ‘Zanaha Zayed’ saw the participation of 600 performers displaying three artistic masterpieces and multi-faceted episodes that mirrored the quintessential Emirati values and national identity. Orchestrated to promote the spirit of tolerance that underpins the nature of the UAE society before the entire world, the musical ceremony saw the participation of well-known stars: Hussein Al Jasmi, Eida Al Menhali and Balqis.
Attending the opening ceremony were Sheikh Diab bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State.
Also attending the opening were Major General Mohammed Khalfan Al Rumaithi, Chairman of the General Authority for Sports and Vice President of the Supreme Organising Committee of the AFC Asian Cup, UAE 2019, Humaid Al Qatami, First Vice President of the National Olympic Committee, Fifa President Gianni Infantino, Sheikh Isa bin Rashid, Honorary President of the Bahrain Olympic Committee, Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa, the President of the Asian Football Confederation, and Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, President of the West Asian Football Federation along with a number of dignitaries and officials.