Emirates official partner of 2006 soccer World Cup


Emirates signed an agreement making the airline an official partner for the 2006 Fifa World Cup in Germany.

The agreement, signed in Dubai by airline chairman Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum and Fifa vice-president Jack Warner, makes Emirates the first-ever airline to become an official partner of the Fifa World Cup.

The airline will be featured in all 2006 Fifa World Cup publicity, including branding on perimeter boards at 12 venues throughout Germany.

The airline will also enjoy ticket and hospitality facilities for all matches in the tournament, as well as similar arrangements at the other Fifa events.

"Becoming an Official Partner will be good for Emirates, good for Dubai and good for the UAE," said Shaikh Ahmed.

As an official partner, Emirates will take part in all 64 matches in Germany in 2006.

It will also be involved in sponsoring the Fifa Women's World Cup, coinciding with the launch of our new Shanghai service in 2003, and the Fifa Confederation's Cup in France in 2003 and in Germany in 2005.

Fifa vice-president Jack Warner welcomed the involvement of the "high-flying company" in the major sports event. "Just like Fifa, Emirates offers a five-star product."

Franz Beckenbauer, president of the local organising committee, said: "It is a great pleasure to welcome a company as prominent as Emirates on board at this early stage."

Besides Emirates, 12 other companies have officially confirmed their involvement as official partners -- adidas, Avaya, Budweiser, Coca-Cola, Continental, Deutsche Telekom, Gillette, Hyundai, McDonald's, Philips, Toshiba and Yahoo!

The airline serves 64 cities in 45 countries in Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, Africa, Asia and Australia. It has 58 aircraft on order bring its fleet to more than 100 by the end of the decade.