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Why Dubai?

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Does international expansion have to come at the cost of bad publicity? The team has decided to travel to Dubai, a place known for its disregard for human rights, and have received backlash with their decision.

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For those that don’t know, Dortmund has been training in Dubai during the off-season to launch a successful second half of the season. We like that. We like when our club is successful, right? But why then was the decision to go to Dubai such a controversy?

Interestingly, the year that Schalke decides to end their 5-year streak of training in the middle east, Dortmund decides to go. Now, Dortmund is not the only Bundesliga team currently battling the desert heat, our league rivals Bayern Munich are in Qatar gearing up for their second leg of the journey. Other teams from the premier league and Spanish leagues have trained in similar training camps in similar areas last summer. To be fair, we aren’t the only ones that have received backlash for this, Bayern has been receiving this for years and their strategy of answering the question without answering the question has seemed to work so far.

Our departure for Dubai was not well received by many loyal Dortmund supporters. The club quite obviously knew this as when they first announced the fact that they are leaving for Dubai, they clearly stated that they had turned down several lucrative offers from clubs that wanted a test match against them, as they did not align with the club’s views and. People took this as a sign that therefore a city like Dubai, known for its blatant disregard for human rights, does align with the clubs ideals. I believe this to be wrong.

A questionnaire done on an article published by westline.de talking about the lads in Dubai, a showed that only 15.88% thought it was a good idea and a whopping 68% thought it was a bad one. Now incase it wasn’t clear yet, I believe that it is a good idea.

Putting all of Dubai’s bad press aside, what are we left with? A country in which football is a growing sport, many citizens haven’t found a Bundesliga team to support, and citizens that are able to spend money on club attire. Basically, we get a chance to gain higher international reputation, higher international awareness and generally a much further reach with our name. All those are good things. We also get higher revenues as it allows us to enter a market that was previously unattainable. This has a direct effect on our ability to stay relevant in the transfer window. It is very hard for non premier league clubs to keep up with their truckload of TV money, forcing us to find other forms of revenue.

Though this might be far fetched, it also allows players to get a taste of the sweltering heat they could face in the 2022 World Cup. Nay-Sayers will claim that the world cup was bought, but then again so was Germanys (apparently). So where does this leave us? In regards to the club, we stand a chance to gain larger international recognition and higher revenues. The negative is that we knowingly do business, so to speak, with a nation known for their use of slave labor to build their glamorous city.

Though it might be hypocritical for the club to go, I do not think it was the wrong decision. I believe that by going they’ve created awareness that in turn starts a dialogue that could lead to change for the oppressed people of the region. Hopefully watching our lads train, will give them a bit of happiness.

Article has been edited after posting to correct a mistake.