Commencing from April 26 at India Club, Dubai, a total of 28 categories [singles and doubles] for adults and juniors are on the schedule with attractive prizes of up to Dh60,000 to be won in the competition, which is presented by Henna Speedy.
As one of the oldest competitions in the UAE, the event has gone from strength to strength. In 2016, it was given a four-star rating in the Sports Events Ranking System by Dubai Sports Council.
That saw more than 600 contestants took to the courts last year and organisers are predicting an even bigger turn-out with registration closing on Saturday.
“We had a record number of entries last year with 603 and I’m confident we’ll beat that this year,” said Sunil Singh, tournament organiser.
“The India Club UAE Open Badminton tournament has come a long way since it first began. It started as the UAE Open as the sport wasn’t that big at the time. In 2001, we realised there were a lot of people playing badminton and slowly it started growing.
“In the past, we have had players from Iran, Pakistan, Singapore, Malaysia and India as well as other countries and now it’s a case we don’t have to invite players because the sport is now quite established here in the UAE.”
Matches will be played at 19:00 on weekdays and from 10:00 on Fridays. Entries to categories are restricted to three per person in order to allow more people to compete.
“Our focus is on the youths in order for them to play competitive badminton,” said Singh.
“Each player is only allowed to enter in three categories as we want more people to be part of our annual event.
“We want people to have a passion for the game and a lot of them have that. This is a place where you can showcase your talent. A lot will have given up the sport at one stage but this tournament gives you the platform to play and enjoy it again.”
Sport360 looks back at last year’s Super Series action and picks out six star shuttlers.
What do you make of our picks?
LEE CHONG WEI (MALAYSIA)
World No1 Lee Chong Wei is one of the greatest badminton players of all time and continues to capture the imagination of the millions of fans who follow the sport worldwide.
The 34-year-old had another solid year in 2016, sealing victories in Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan.
The Malaysian would have liked to have finished his year on a winning note but he was beaten by Viktor Axelsen in the semi-finals in Dubai.
JAN JORGENSEN (DENMARK)
Despite securing only one winner’s trophy this year, Jorgensen finished top of the Destination Dubai Rankings for his consistent displays throughout the campaign.
The Dane’s win over Chen Long in the China Open final brought plenty of confidence as it was only his second victory over the former world number one at the 11th time of asking.
He also reached finals in Indonesia and Japan but suffered defeats to Chong Wei on both occasions – a player he is only beaten once in 18 matches.
VIKTOR AXELSEN (DENMARK)
Considered by many as the next generation of badminton superstars, Axelsen finished the season on a positive note after winning the Dubai World Superseries Finals – his first Superseries crown in seven attempts.
The 23-year-old sensationally knocked out Chong Wei in the semis before beating Tian Houwei in the decider.
He reached the final in India in April but lost in straight sets to Kento Momota.
With the new season commencing in just two months, this will prove to be a seminal year for the big Dane.
TAI TZU-YING (CHINA TAIPEI)
The best player on the women’s circuit, Tai Tzu Ying, had a phenomenal year with successes in India, Hong Kong and Dubai.
She also reached finals at Malaysia and Denmark but was beaten by Ratchanok Intanon and Akane Yamaguchi respectively.
The Chinese Taipea shuttler plays with a consistency and pace which is frightening and will be bidding to continue her sparkling form when the new season resumes.
PV SINDHU (INDIA)
An impressive year for the rising star. Sindhu cruised to the China Open title and finished second in Hong Kong, where she lost to Tzu-Ying.
Her performances in Dubai were outstanding, and although she was beaten in the semi-finals against Sung Ji-hyun, the Indian sensation can take major confidence from her sheer class and determination.
With a large Indian population living in the UAE, the court at Hamdan Sports Complex is like a home away from home for the 21-year-old Hyderabad native.
RATCHANOK INTANON (THAILAND)
The former world number one had a sensational start to the season, winning three out of the opening four tournaments, but then injury curtailed virtually the entire second-half of her year.
The Thai star was forced to pull out of Japan, Korea, France and Hong Kong due to a knee tendon issue.
In Dubai, the 21-year-old failed to reach the knock-out stages after losing her three group games, but warrants a place on the list due to her majestic first half of the season.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) announced on Wednesday that it has taken up the offer from Dubai Sports Council to all Summer Olympic International Federations to set up a regional office within its headquarters at Dubai Design District.
The announcement of the opening of the BWF and Badminton Asia Regional Office followed the official admission of the UAE Table Tennis and Badminton Association as the 187th member of the BWF.
Dawood Al Hajri, President of the UAE Table Tennis and Badminton Association said: “The BWF’s decision to officially recognise the UAE Table Tennis and Badminton Association as a member of the Federation is hugely significant.
“This move indicates the growing profile of the Dubai World Superseries Finals and the emirate’s badminton offering as a whole.”
Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of the Dubai Sports Council, added: “Dubai’s geographical location, global connectivity, state-of-the-art infrastructure and tradition of hospitality make it the ideal setting to convene the world of sport.
“As such, we are delighted to see BWF and Badminton Asia use the emirate as a gateway to Asia and look forward to working alongside them both to extend the benefits of badminton to the continent and right across the world.”
Poul-Erik Hoyer, President of the Badminton World Federation said: “We thank Dubai Sports Council for their generosity and look forward to building on the fantastic relationship badminton already enjoys with the emirate.”