• Organised by Dubai-based squash academy, the world’s best players – including No1 female and No2 male – attend two six-day camps at Jumeirah Beach Hotel
  • Backed by UAE Squash Association and Dubai Sports Council, Flying DAF initiative seeks to establish the emirate as the ultimate centre for squash

Dubai – Some of the world’s best squash players descended on Dubai this month for the inaugural Flipper Devices Camp of Champions, a high-performance training camp designed to attract the top professionals from across the globe to the emirate.

The camp, organised by The Flying DAF Squash Academy with the support of Dubai Sports Council and the UAE Squash Association, was divided into two phases at the J-Club, at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, with the objective of positioning Dubai as a global base for the sport.

The first phase was led by former Men’s World No2 Rodney Martin and included an impressive line-up consisting of current Women’s World No1 Nouran Goharl, World No5 Amanda Sobhy, and Men’s World No6 Marwan El Shorbagy. Phase two, meanwhile, hosted reigning world champion and No4-ranked Mostafa Assal, as well as No11 Karim Gawad and World No12 Youssef Soliman.

“Since we launched the academy year, the response has been phenomenal,” said Kanzy El Dafrawy, CEO and Founder of The Flying DAF, and a former World No21. “Our vision is not just to make an impact and grow locally, but also globally. The Flipper Devices camp in Dubai is the first step towards making the city the world’s ultimate squash hub; a home for top-level professional squash players from around the globe.

“Dubai is the perfect place for athletes to be based, considering they have access to the best equipment, sources, and training programmes – complemented by the emirate’s geographical location, which makes it very easy to travel to tournaments worldwide.”

Al Dafrawy added: “Jumeirah Beach Hotel and the J-Club have been extremely supportive to us throughout this camp, giving us a space where we can run local and global events, and ultimately leverage this camp by offering a high-end and luxurious stay to our professional athletes.”

H. E. Mohammed Mubarak Al Mutaiwei, President of UAE Squash Association, commented: “I express my appreciation for the distinguished presence of Champions of the game within the UAE, particularly in the emirate of Dubai.

“My sincere gratitude to DAF Academy for their exceptional initiative in hosting one of the most formidable international camps in the sport of squash. This gathering, showcasing the pinnacle of talent within the sport, underscores their firm commitment to improve the sport.

“We recognise the endorsement of all clubs and academies throughout the UAE that are dedicated to furthering the Federation's mission and elevating the country's standing at both regional and global levels.”

Squash is one of the world’s fastest growing sports, played in more than 185 countries. There are more than 1,500 courts accessible in the UAE.

About The Flying DAF

The Flying DAF Squash Academy is a high-performance centre dedicated to training individuals across all levels, ages and backgrounds. The academy, launched in May 2021, is based in Dubai and aims to build the UAE’s first generation of squash champions. Headed by Kanzy El Dafraway, a former world #21, and 12 other elite-level coaches, the Academy provides a customized, efficient and high-energy approach to sessions and clinics. The Flying DAF is Dubai’s pre-eminent provider of elite-level squash coaching in the UAE and leverages 14 professional-standard courts nestled in a complex of hotels along Jumeirah’s beachfront, including Jumeirah Mina A’Salam and Jumeirah Beach Hotel. Designed with development in mind for all players, be they youngsters hoping to forge a career in the professional game or the newcomer keen to enhance their fitness, the vision is one of continuous improvements in the physical and mental side of sport.

About Kanzy El Dafrawy

Kanzy EI Dafrawy, better known as The Flying DAF, is one of the Arab world’s most established and recognisable squash extraordinaries, boasting 220 professional accolades stretching across a 15-year career and culminating in a world ranking high of 22. Egypt-born, USA-educated and UAE-affiliated, Kanzy began her squash journey aged seven. She quickly gained notoriety for her agility and dedication, epitomised by incredible leaps around the court which earned her the moniker under which she now trades. Securing youth titles all over the world, most significantly in Zimbabwe (African Cup), France (French Open), the Netherlands (Dutch Championships) and the UK (British Junior Open, runner-up), Kanzy’s professional career took off Stateside when she won the USA National Squash Championships in 2016, securing the country’s top ranking. 

Nine Professional Squash Association titles duly followed, and by her early-20s Kanzy’s development into a coach was taking shape, nurturing upcoming talent in the US colleague system. Latterly, would-be squash stars in France, Germany, South Africa, Jordan, Netherlands, Canada, Egypt, United States and Switzerland have all benefited from her expertise. Away from the court, Kanzy earned an Economics degree from Egypt’s Lycée Francais Du Caire, and a Bachelor of Liberal Arts from Trinity College, Connecticut, United States, where she double majored in International Studies and French, while minoring in Urban Studies. In 2020, EIDafrawy ‘s Digital Marketing agency was launched and, in the same year, Kanzy was appointed to the Guinness World Record Official Adjudication panel. With a wealth of coaching, mentorship experience and business acumen, Kanzy has launched ‘The Flying DAF Academy’ - the first of its kind in the UAE – to drive her ambitions for national and global development of the game.