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Spurs visit big for Ben

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Ben McDonald, recreation manager at Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Hotel in Dubai, believes our use of the hotel's facilties could kick-start other Premiership and European clubs using the desert base for winter training.

We trained on the excellent pitch at Ben's hotel in our four days in Dubai - the only hotel in the area with a football pitch on site.

With a perfectly-grassed pitch, watered daily, next to the tranquil setting of the sea, it is a perfect setting for training in the sun.

Ben said: "It's a great PR exercise for us and we're the only hotel here in Dubai that has the full facilties on site.

"Obviously Spurs are a Premier League team, steeped in history with world-class players and the fact they have come here is great for us.

"A few teams have been over to Dubai including Bolton and Aston Villa but not just to train. I know a couple of hotels have grass areas, but not facilities like this."

So how is a perfect pitch maintained in the desert? "It's all about irrigation," explained Ben. "When we first designed the facilties, the first thing we took away was the pop-up (sprinkler) system.

"Instead, we have a rain gun system that delivers thousands of gallons of water an hour when it's turned on.

"It's part and parcel of Dubai. The pitch is watered every day, maintained every day, mowed away day and it's a full-time job to keep it up to scratch."

It would seem the perfect destination for a pre-season training camp but there's one problem - temperatures in Dubai in our pre-season, in June or July, reached a whopping 45C.

"Unfortunately, it's a bit hot for your pre-season," added Ben. "From October through to April, if teams do get breaks, then it's something we can look at.

"To get a team like Spurs training here first is fantastic for us and hopefully a few more will follow."