Abu Dhabi, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Five rising international football stars from New York City FC’s first team squad have teamed up with Etihad Airways to complete a whirlwind 24 hours in Abu Dhabi challenge.
first visit to the UAE, captured in a new video, NYCFC players Ronald
Matarrita, Rodney Wallace, Sean Johnson, Ben Sweat and Jonathan Lewis took in
the sights and sounds of the vibrant capital city during a jam-packed itinerary
which they completed in just 24 hours.
itinerary included speeding along the race track at Yas Marina Circuit, home of
the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, visiting the newly opened
Louvre Abu Dhabi and the iconic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, kicking the ball around on the sand at Saadiyat
Beach Club, teeing off at Yas Links Golf Club, and enjoying a gourmet meal at
the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers. They also experienced a traditional safari under
the stars in the Liwa Desert.
Rodney Wallace, who successfully helped Costa Rica earn a bid to the 2018 FIFA
World Cup, said: “It was my first time in Abu Dhabi and it's a spectacular
place. We managed to see a lot of sights in the short time we were there, and
it was exciting to see how many activities you can do on a short trip, whether
that be chilling out on the beach, getting behind the wheel of a race car and
enjoying a cultural experience. There were even more places we didn’t visit
this time around that are on the list for when we return!”
Airways Senior Vice President Sales (UAE, GCC, Levant and Africa) Hareb Al
Muhairy, said: “It was our honour as the national airline of the UAE to host
NYCFC in Abu Dhabi for the first time. The players were able to experience many
of our capital city’s exciting attractions and see first-hand why it has become
such a popular destination with all types of travellers.
NYCFC undertook the 24 hours in Abu Dhabi challenge as part of our global
partnerships. Sports, and football in particular, are a unifying
language that bonds diverse communities around the world in much the same way