Ghana's African Cup of Nations squad will camp in the United Arab Emirates to prepare for next year's tournament in South Africa.

The Ghana Football Association says the squad will be in Abu Dhabi from Jan. 7-16 before its first game at the African championship on Jan. 20. Ghana striker and captain Asamoah Gyan plays for UAE club Al Ain.

GFA president Kwesi Nyantakyi says the UAE is ''a good place for us to host friendly matches before the competition, which is also key for our preparation.''

Ghana has lined up a friendly against fellow African Cup qualifier Cape Verde in Portugal next week to kick off its buildup.

Ghana lost to eventual champion Zambia in the semifinals at the last Cup of Nations. It is grouped with Mali, Congo and Niger this time.