In terms of rugby league development, the United Arab Emirates are still an emerging nation and have room to develop and grow but their ambitions are set very high.

That ambition is what has them pushing hard to launch an audacious bid to host the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.

In their favour is the fact that their Government is keen to make rugby league a stronghold in the country and Sol Mokdad, the UAE Rugby League President, believes they are in a great position to host the tournament.

“This is an ideal location for a World Cup,” he said.

“It is exactly between Australia and the UK, there is always talk in the media about the big events being hosted in Dubai.

“With Expo 2020 being here, with all the infrastructure being created, it will be the perfect time.

Mokdad knows that the key to enable it to come together is accruing the sponsors and partners to help them achieve their ambition.

“It would also be the UAE’s 50th birthday, so it all aligns – it will just come down to us getting partners who can help us get that bid together,” Mokdad said.

The World Cup itself has never been hosted outside one of the major rugby league nations and the UAE bid is not the first from a minnow nation. South Africa also made a bid for the 2017 World Cup but lost out to the joint bid for Australia and New Zealand.

The RLIF welcome all bids and know that come the 2021 tournament bidding process, more nations will put their submissions forward.

“I fully anticipate that for 2021 more nations than ever before will be submitting bids to stage the tournament and, with the decision being made in advance of the 2017 competition, there will be excellent opportunities to shadow organisers and learn from that event,” said RLIF Chairman, Nigel Wood.

The hosts for the 2021 tournament is expected to be announced in October 2016.

By ricky

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