Feb 17 2012
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20 YEARS OF TENNIS IN DUBAI - The Recipe for Success
February 17 2012: - DUBAI, UAE
It's been 20 years since the first ever ball was served in the Dubai Tennis Championships, and over the years the tournament has grown to be one of the most popular on the world tennis tour, now regularly attracting the very best players in the world. It was in 1992 that Colm McLoughlin, now Executive Vice Chairman of Dubai Duty Free , and his team had the idea to bring a world class tennis tournament to Dubai. With the support of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Patron of the Tournament, and H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Dubai Duty Free , this vision became reality and the ATP tour came to life in Dubai.
"I remember the first year, when our top player was Karel Novacek who was number 23 in the world. We built a temporary stadium and tennis village on the grounds of the Aviation Club" remembers Colm McLoughlin. "Now of course we have the 5,000 seat Tennis Stadium and The Irish Village and Century Village, and we added the women's tournament in 2001. This year we have 8 of the top ten men and 7 of the top ten women here, so the tournament has certainly grown."
Of course a tournament of this stature doesn't just come together, it takes a hard working and dedicated team to pull it together. Interestingly, particularly for a city with as transient a population as Dubai, many of the original committee members are still working on the tournament 20 years after the first event.
'This was one of the first big events in Dubai, and we were fortunate to have some reasonable players enter that first year. One thing we really focused on was the hospitality and giving the players a great experience and warm welcome" said Salah. History would suggest that this decision was a good one, with the player line up getting more impressive every year.
But they aren't the only 20 year veterans, Bharat Godkhindi who at that time was Senior Manager Advertising, Dubai Duty Free was also involved in bringing the first tournament to fruition and is now the Tennis Representative and Advisor to the tournament, Clark Francis has been training the ball kids since 1993, and Captain Essa from Dubai Police has been a great support and an asset to the tournament committee. H.H. Sheikh Hasher bin Maktoum al Maktoum and Abdul Rahman Falaknaz, President and Vice President of Tennis Emirates have also given incredibly valuable support from the outset, as has Jaidev Dani who is responsible for branding and Sinead El Sibai, now Vice President Marketing of Dubai Duty Free who promotes the event both here and around the world. A valued partnership with Rashed Amiri and his team at Dubai Sports Channel has guaranteed great coverage of the event both locally and internationally.
Salah describes the committee as "like a family" and after 20 years this family works very well together. They are supported by a very dedicated team from Dubai Duty Free , something that both Colm and Salah are justifiably proud of.
"The commitment and dedication of all the staff is the secret to our success" said Salah. "That feeling comes through in everything we do and the players feel welcome and respected here, they know we will look after them and that they will really enjoy their time in Dubai both on and off the court" he said. "And of course the fans have a wonderful time enjoying the buzz, entertainment and fun in the Village".
Colm added "When I am walking around the venue during the tennis, I am always happy to stop and talk to people and am especially proud when they tell me how much they love the tournament and the friendly and warm atmosphere".
With this year's tournament featuring both world number ones, both defending champions and 6 current Grand Slam title holders (Djokovic has 3), it's clear this tournament family has worked out the recipe for a successful event.
All the action gets underway at the Dubai Tennis Stadium on Monday, February 20 with the WTA Tour event featuring World number 1 and Australian open winner Victoria Azarenka, Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitova, and US Open Winner Sam Stosur. The ATP tournament kicks off on February 27 with Australian Open and reigning Dubai champion Novak Djokovic, four-time Dubai winner Roger Federer and Australian Open semi- finalist Andy Murray.
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.
Tickets for the event are available from the Box Office at the Dubai Tennis Stadium, Garhoud which opens from 9am to 9pm daily. Grandstand tickets can also be bought online at http://www.timeouttickets.com/. For further information about tickets, prices and tournaments visit http://www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com/ or phone the call centre on +971 4 358 9797.
For further information contact Sarah Marks, Promoseven Sports Marketing
Tel: +971 4 3210 008 mob 055 45 21968
© Press Release 2012
© Copyright Zawya. All Rights Reserved.
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