Work is going in full swing across the UAE sports scene, as the country is gearing up for the 17th AFC Asian Cup 2019,which will be the largest ever edition of the tournament.

The eyes of the football world now turn towards the UAE from January 5th through February 1st, 2019 for the thrill of top-class, live international football, according to UAE News Agency (WAM).

The Asian Cup final tournament will be contested by 24 teams, having been expanded from the 16-team format that was used from 2004 to 2015 for the first time.

The expanded competition will take place across eight world-class stadiums in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Dubai and Sharjah.

The Local Organising Committee (LOC) promises to deliver not just the biggest tournament in the region’s history, but the best. And this will begin with the Asian communities already living in the UAE that are prepared to rally and support their national teams at this exciting, once-in-a-lifetime event.

“There is no better place to embody the tournament motto of “Bringing Asia Together” than right here in the UAE. Under the slogan, “Bringing Asia Together,” the UAE aims to promote the values of tolerance and peace between the peoples of the Yellow Continent and show the world that football unifies humanity, ” Director of the Tournament Aref Al Awani said.

He added that football fans will converge on the UAE to see the 24 national teams from the Yellow Continent play 51 matches over four weeks.

“LOC is constantly communicating with Asian communities living in the UAE as well as the embassies of participating nations, to ensure impressive turnout,” he said, noting that the target is to sell around one million tickets to the public, with prices starting from as low as AED25.

AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa said, “The launch of ticket sales is an important milestone and the UAE is the perfect host nation to unite the Asian football family. I am confident that the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 will provide the ultimate stage to showcase Asia’s remarkable talent and engage and excite more fans than ever before.”

The AFC decided to commission a dazzling new trophy, one that captures the excitement and drama of the tournament ahead. The new trophy is revolutionary in design and stands at an impressive 78cm high and 42cm wide and is crafted from 15 kilogram of Hallmarked Sterling Silver bullion.