Roberts, Adrian lead Dodgers' Dubai initiative

Roberts, Adrian lead Dodgers' Dubai initiative

LOS ANGELES -- Manager Dave Roberts and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez are in Dubai this week for the Dodgers' latest effort to grow baseball internationally.

The Dodgers are sponsoring the Dubai Little League divisional teams, and on Friday, Roberts and Gonzalez will help inaugurate the Emirates Airlines Dubai Little League Park with a kids clinic and autograph signing.

The Dubai Little League initiative extends the commitment to grassroots development of baseball in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. The Dodgers and the airline will support the Little League financially, and with equipment and uniforms for the 500 players in the league.

"We see our partnership with the L.A. Dodgers and today's announcement as an opportunity to connect with baseball fans in our home, the UAE," said Sheikh Majid Al Mualia, divisional senior vice president of commercial operations for Emirates.

"Through our focused collaboration with the legendary Los Angeles Dodgers team, we are now able to develop baseball at the grassroots level through the Dubai Little League baseball teams. We are committed to supporting sports amongst youth in Dubai. We hope that young players enjoy the positive experience that the sport has, including the appreciation for the values of hard work, teamwork, discipline and fair play. We also hope to capitalize on the Los Angeles Dodgers' experience in extending player mentoring through clinics and other activities."

Emirates Airlines entered into a five-year sponsorship arrangement earlier in the year to become the Dodgers' official airline, receiving home-plate and foul-pole signage.

"The Dodgers have always been at the forefront of pioneering the great game of baseball internationally, and it's great to do so with our partner, Emirates Airline," said Michael Young, the Dodgers' senior vice president of corporate partnerships.

"We are thrilled that our youth will have the opportunity to enhance their skills through the mentorship of some of the most respected players in Major League Baseball, and we are looking forward to more visits from the Los Angeles Dodgers," said John Fekete, president of the Dubai Little League.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.