The Coolest Sport in the Desert: Playing Ice Hockey in Dubai

The Coolest Sport in the Desert: Playing Ice Hockey in Dubai


(upbeat synthesizer music) – [Mike] A lot of people
may think it’s surprising that somewhere such as Dubai in the middle of the Middle
East would offer hockey, but people wanna come and play with us. They’re playing for the love of the game. (techno music) My name is Mike Freeson, and the team I play on is
the Dubai Mighty Camels. To come to a place where
you only can play indoors, and even then it sometimes is too hot, the air conditioning can’t keep up, it’s quite a bit different
than my experience back home, that’s for sure. Grew up in rural Alberta, Canada, so it was basically in
your blood to play hockey. Like every kid in Canada, we
all dream to play pro someday, and now in Dubai, I’m able to do that. (horn blows) (synthesizer music) EHL stands for Emirates Hockey
League, and it was created just to get the best
hockey players in the UAE into a competitive league to build and develop their local players. (whistle blows) We have six teams in the league this year. We’ve had players that have played pro, they’ve played high college
level in the States, high college level,
university level, in Canada. We have players that played pro in Europe. All different levels. (synthesizer music) In Dubai, we don’t have
a local team of Emiratis, but we play against the locals
in Abu Dhabi and in Al Ain. Playing in Dubai Mall exposes
it to a lot more people. It really brings more people to the game. You know, when you’re in Dubai
Mall and you’re playing and you’re surrounded by a thousand people, who 60% of them probably
have never seen it before, it’s a special feeling. It’s an honor to be able to do that. Obviously, I think it’s the
best sport in the world. It’s great to see that you’re making some sort of contribution
to expanding the sport and promoting it in parts of the world where it’s not natural to be played.

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