ISLAMABAD (APP) –  British-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan has said that he is planning to build an Amir Khan Boxing Academy in the emirate and has been in meetings with potential partners.

“I love Dubai and the UAE,” Khan, a frequent visitor to the UAE was quoted as saying by Abu Dhabi daily The National on Thursday.

“I’ve been coming back here since the first time I visited Dubai, back in 2007. The support and love I get from the people of Dubai and Abu Dhabi; the fans are simply amazing. That is why I want to give something back to the communities here and show my appreciation. The great thing about the UAE is its diversity. Anyone who comes here automatically feels at home,” he added.

Khan said boxing in the UAE needed a base among young athletes and believed an academy would help move the process forward.

“It is very important to develop the Emirati youth and teach more and more of them the sport of boxing,” he said. “That’s how the sport of boxing will develop here and we think we can help achieve that through the Amir Khan Boxing Academy.”

“As a Muslim, and being in a Muslim country in the UAE, I want to inspire the next generation of Arabs here like I have done in the UK and Pakistan,” he maintained.

Khan is also an admirer of Dubai’s Royal family and their efforts to promote youth sports.

“I really admire what Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum has done in youth sports, horse racing and inspiring the young generation,” Khan said of Dubai’s Crown Prince. “Same goes to Sheikha Maitha, who is also an inspiration for young female Emiratis.

“Sheikh Saeed bin Maktoum is another example; I think he participated in three or four Olympics” in shooting, Khan said.

Another Dubai Royal, Sheikh Ahmed bin Hasher, won a gold in shooting at the 2004 Olympics. “This is enough inspiration for the Emiratis to take,” Khan said.