It was in 1993 that the championships started with the title of Dubai Men’s Open. Karel Novacek won the singles and Anders Jarryd/John Fitzgerald were winners of the double’s championship. Since then the event has grown tremendously and now the roll call of players includes some of the world's best. Rafael Nadal, Martina Hingis, Amelie Mauresmo and Roger Federer are just a few of those names.
February 2009 saw a major controversy when Shahar Pe’er, an Israeli player, was denied visa to the UAE and could not compete in the tournament. UAE and Israel have political diputes and the tournament’s director cited potential resentment and anger in the country if the visa was granted. This led to a lot of players calling of their participation and amongst them Andy Roddick was at the fore front.
Rogerer Federer and Rafay Nadal also expressed their inability to play, blaming injuries. This was coupled by a fine amounting to US$300,000 that was imposed on Dubai Tennis Championship. Not only was the appeal rejected by WTA Tour Board but it was also stated that Dubai organizers should make sure that qualified Israeli players should get visas 8 weeks before the championship starts.
The Aviation Club Tennis Centre has been playing host to the Championship ever since it was started in 1993. The tournaments are held in the Dubai Tennis Stadium and the audience can not only enjoy many facilities that the venue provides but also spectacular views and surroundings, including an Irish pub.
Dubai Tennis Stadium was inaugurated in February 2012 and ATP Tour players voted it as the ‘Best Venue’. It has a seating capacity of 5,000, Royal Enclosure, VIP area and changing rooms among other facilities.
The gym is situated inside the club and has latest equipment that provide cross and cardio-vascular training. Qualified personal trainers are also present to provide the best training programs that cater to individual requirements.
The Akaru Spa provides different treatments to individuals. These include facials, massages, slimming and face lifting procedures, among others.
Dinning options in the club are many – 15 in total. The dishes on offer have people licking their fingers and an ambiance that is comfortable and grand has many people visiting the dinning and entertainment venues inside the club.
There are different ways to get tickets. They can either be bought from the box office directly or booked online. In the 2012 championships, the ticket price for Prime A (first two seating rows) was Dhs. 1900 for women’s and men’s championship respectively. Prime B had its ticket for Dhs 1350.
In the 20 year long history, many champions have seen their highs and lows at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
The first singles champion after the event started in 1993 was Karel Novacek. Doubles saw Anders Jarryd/John Fitzgerald taking the title. 1994 was an year that proved lucky for Magnus Gustafsson in singles and Mark Woodforde/Todd Woodbridge in doubles.
The women’s single and double championship were started in 2001 and Martina Hingis took the first single title while Barbara Rittner/Marlene Weigartner took the double’s championship title.
In its latest event held in February 2012, the singles champion for men was Roger Federer and doubles saw Mahesh Bhupathi/Rohan Bopanna. Women singles was won by Agnieszka Radwanska and Liezel Huber/Lisa Raymond were seen taking the doubles title.
The schedule for the championship keeps changing every year. However it is typically held between February and March.
The duration of the championship is 2 weeks.
31 A St, Near Aviation College, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
How to Get to Aviation Club Tennis Centre
The nearest Metro Station to Aviation Club Tennis Centre is GGICO Metro Station 1 and is at a walking distance of 1 km and a walk of 12 minutes. After getting off there, just head south and then turn right into the 2nd street. Now turn left and then continue onto 31 A street. Click here for an exact route map.
If you’re coming on the bus, the nearest stop to be dropped at is Dubai Tennis Club and bus number 42 runs on it. It is only 110 m away and at a distance of 1 minute. Just head west on 31 A Street towards the 2nd street and you’ll get to your destination after 110 m.