The mid eighties saw a rapid rise in the international standing of several African and Middle Eastern nations. Egypt was a particular example, especially in the team games, winning the 1988 eight player event in Maine, USA, and achieving numerous top five placings in every four player tournament since 1984. Aware of the potential of its teams, the Egyptian Mornington Crescent Federation (FCE) successfully lobbied the government for funding to produce the definitive Mornington Crescent arena.
The result was stunning. In 1988 work started on the Cairo Arena, and it was finally completed late in 1989. The all-seater arena holds up to 16,000 people, and features the largest playing board in the world. It was the deserving venue for the 2004 world championships, won (as usual) by England. However, it is more commonly occupied by the devoted supporters of the Egyptian champions Cairo Storm MCC, ranked no. 11 in the world by the IMCS.
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