Dons boss Derek McInnes has explained why the squad will jet to Dubai for a training camp despite recently opening a £13 million training complex.
Aberdeen will tomorrow fly to the United Arab Emirates for a week of warm-weather training.
The state-of-the-art Cormack Park opened on October 31 and boasts all-weather surfaces. It is part one of a two-phase project that will also deliver a stadium at the Kingsford location.
However, despite having their own impressive facilities, the Reds will still train in Dubai for a fourth successive year.
McInnes insists the benefit of time in the sun away from a Scottish winter and a week of team bonding at their Jebel Ali base will pay off in the second half of the season.
However, McInnes ultimately accepts strengthening the squad with signings in January is more important than recharging batteries in the sun.
He said: “The benefits are clear to us from a week in Dubai.
“When the board said there was still scope for having a training week we got that agreed a couple of months ago.
“We get the benefits as it gives us a wee break from the training pitches here and also the temperatures.
“We are only really using one training pitch at the moment (at Cormack Park) until we allow the other ones to get ready.
“There are clear benefits from going out and training in the warm weather in good facilities out in Dubai.
“I cannot think of a year when we have not had the benefit of the break in Dubai. Hopefully we can have something similar again this season.”
This is the fourth consecutive winter the Dons have flown out to Dubai to work in the heat in preparation for the second half of the campaign.
McInnes believes it is a pivotal period in the team’s season. As well as refocusing and rejuvenating in the 80 degree, heat McInnes aims to make a number of signings to combat an injury crisis before the window closes at the end of the month.
Greg Leigh and Craig Bryson are both out for two months. Leigh has a stress fracture to a tibia and Bryson needed surgery on an ankle injury. Both will remain in Scotland and not fly to Dubai.
On-loan defender Zak Vyner will also remain in Scotland having suffered a shoulder injury in the 1-1 draw with Hearts before the winter shutdown.
Attacker Scott Wright is out until the end of the season with a knee injury but will fly to Dubai as he has resumed running.
McInnes said: “More important than going away to the winter camp in Dubai is getting additions into the squad for the key injuries and players we have lost.
“If we can get those in hopefully that can help us as much as the winter break.”
During the week in Dubai, Aberdeen youth coaches including Gothenburg Great Neil Simpson will take a three-day training session with Dubai City Football Club. McInnes said: “There is also the benefit of the off-field relationship with Dubai City Football Club. Our coaches have come out as well and there will be a lot of benefits we can get from that.”
Aberdeen are training in the isolation of the secluded centre of excellence on the outskirts of Dubai. Their luxury beach- fronting hotel is only a five- minute drive away.
McInnes insists the warm-weather break is vital for a team who were clearly showing signs of fatigue before the shutdown.
He said: “There were a few players running on empty against Hearts. A few boys had also just come back from injury, such as Funso Ojo.
“There were a few tired bodies out there at Tynecastle.
“In January we will hopefully add to the squad, re-energise and go for the second half of the season.”