By Muhammad Rafiq
KUALA LUMPUR: Work is well in hand for the annual Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships which will be hosted at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium in a week’s time.
It will be the 21st staging of the WTA event and the 29th time the star-studded ATP tournament has been hosted in Dubai.
“The tournament has grown to become one of the major highlights of Dubai’s sporting calendar and we are looking forward to welcoming back the world’s best players once again,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free.
Owners and organisers Dubai Duty Free have left no stone unturned to ensure the health and safety of all who participate in the two-week event, which this year will be hosted in line with Covid-19 guidelines and will be spectator free.
The tournament organising committee, headed up by Ramesh Cidambi, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Dubai Duty Free, has been working along with the Dubai Sports Council and Dubai Health Authority and adhering to the protocols put in place by the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management.
“We have been in constant communication with the Dubai Sports Council and the Dubai Health Authority on the protocols required for staging this world-class event in Dubai,” said Ramesh Cidambi. “We would like to thank the UAE authorities for their ongoing support and we are looking forward to staging a great tournament.”
Frequent consultations have also been ongoing with officials from both the ATP and WTA Tours to ensure the well-being of all players and officials who will be attending the event.
“We are putting all the precautions in place to ensure the safest of environments for everyone involved,” said Tournament Director Salah Tahlak. “Although tennis fans will not be able to be present at the tournament, the good news is that Dubai Sports Channel will carry each and every match played on Centre Court live from first ball to last, so everyone will be able to watch their favourite players in Dubai. The global media coverage of the tournament last year was estimated at US$1 billion, so the eyes of the world will be on Dubai over the two weeks of the tournament.”
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is owned and organised by Dubai Duty Free and held under the patronage of H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.