Six Premier League clubs descend on the UAE

If you are walking around Dubai this week, there is a strong chance that you will come face to face with a footballer from the Barclays Premier League.No fewer than six teams from England's top league have planned a mid-season getaway, which is nearly one-third of the entire division.Reading were the first club to head to Dubai the morning after their defeat to Stoke City at the weekend (February 9th), but it has now emerged that Queens Park Rangers (QPR), Sunderland, West Ham United, Norwich City and Swansea City have also made the trip.The weather in the UK has been appalling of late and some clubs have found it difficult to train.QPR manager Harry Redknapp conceded that the west London side's training ground is "not the best"."When it rains, it floods; when it snows, we can't get on it. And we've no undersoil heating and no gymnasium, so at least we can train properly for a few days," he remarked.Five of the six teams are still involved in a relegation battle and they will be hoping their short break in the sunshine of Dubai will give them the impetus to survive.However, Swansea are in a very different situation, as they are sitting very comfortably in the top half of the Premier League table and have the Capital One Cup final against Bradford City to look forward to later this month.Like Redknapp, Swansea manager Michael Laudrup highlighted the UAE's favourable climate as a major reason for staging a training camp in the Middle East."The players need to be in different surroundings and train in shorts in 22 or 23 degrees, instead of two or three degrees," he commented.Of course, there is far more to Dubai than warm weather and the pampered Premier League stars will no doubt feel right at home in the city's plethora of luxury five-star hotels.They will also come across a multitude of designer boutiques and some of the finest restaurants on the planet.

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