The task

The FIFA Club World Championship was organized in Abu Dhabi in 2009 – this was the first time in the history of the United Arab Emirates that a football tournament on this scale was held in the region. To guarantee efficient organization of the championship, all FIFA criteria had to be met. For this purpose, an event management system and a marketing strategy had to be developed and implemented and the infrastructure of the stadiums and training centres brought up to FIFA standards. For this Tournament Director’s contract, THOMAS GURTNER had just eight months from the concept to implementation.

The solution

To implement the project successfully, THOMAS GURTNER chose an approach in which the persons responsible locally were involved from the outset to enable them to head up their own sectors and personnel as quickly as possible. Development of the strategy and the event management system, together with a carefully thought-through approach to the provision of underlying tournament services, were decisive factors. Main actions taken:
  • Organisation structure:
    • Development of an all-new event management system
    • Recruitment, development and management of an organising committee with 40 members (more than 1000 during the tournament itself)
    • Daily reporting to, and liaison with, the General Manager of the local OC and preparation of a monthly report to the Executive Committee
  • Fit for Managing: Coaching the internal and external management on site
  • FIFA-compatible: Cooperation with FIFA representatives both before and during the tournament to make sure that all the FIFA requirements were met
  • Infrastructure:
    • Management of all the tournament facilities, including refurbishment of two stadiums and seven training centres to comply with FIFA regulations
    • Management and successful provision of underlying tournament services: security, ticketing, accreditation, signage, logistics, reporting, accommodation and transport
  • Communication: Helping to shape and supervise a marketing and communication campaign to achieve the tournament goals

The result

The FIFA Club World Championship in Abu Dhabi went ahead successfully, in compliance with all the regulatory requirements. Both the costs and the FIFA criteria were met and the management on site benefited from coaching by THOMAS GURTNER. Fans and visitors had an unforgettable experience of unique games in the stadiums. Abu Dhabi was fit to hold the championship events.