Two of the Premier League's top clubs are sponsored by airlines based in the UAE. Arsenal are sponsored by 'Emirates air line', based in Dubai, whilst Manchester City are sponsored by 'Etihad airways' based in Abu Dhabi.
Both airlines are owned by the state/ruling family and exist for largely geopolitical reasons. It is debatable whether either airline makes a genuine profit and each serves to promote the UAE state and their own principality on the world stage. The airlines promote a image of luxury and sophistication and operate as a lavish PR vehicle for their state.
It is interesting to ponder, for example, whether Saudi air would be an appropriate Premier League sponsor? What about Iranair or Myanmar airlines? What about Barcelona's new shirt sponsors Qatar airways? Although Qatar are set to host the World Cup, homosexuality is illegal (although that hasn't stopped PSG becoming owned and sponsored by the Qatar sovereign wealth fund).
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