Going Out: UAE Open Badminton Tournament

Jay Asser 08:10 12/05/2016
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  • Local players have a chance to shine.

    Check out some of the best badminton players not only in the UAE, but across the Middle East and Asia at India Club’s UAE Open Badminton Tournament.

    After kicking off on Monday, May 9, the 39th edition of the popular tournament continues to run this weekend as players fight their way to the final on Friday, June 3.

    This year’s event has returned better than ever, featuring a record number of more than 600 participants competing across 28 categories, including former nationally-ranked players from Indonesia who are now based in the UAE.

    Two new categories have also been added to give more players a chance to showcase their skills: boys doubles – under 16 years and girls doubles – under 18 years.

    The tournament used to invite ranked badminton players from the Indian subcontinent and East Asia to take part in the elite category in previous editions, but organisers chose to keep the player pool more regional this time around to give local competitors a platform to shine.

    Sunil Singh, head of the badminton organising committee, said: “We have taken this step to encourage youngsters and local players. In the past, we invited ranked players so that the fans could watch some of the better players in action in Dubai.

    “Now, we have the World Badminton Finals and you get to see the finest in the game. We want to have fair competition for our regional players. Otherwise, only the ranked players won the tournament.”

    Despite the change, the tournament still has players from abroad, with no restriction on competitors from outside of the UAE.

    As in previous years, there will also be exhibition matches for special needs children from SNF Development Center, Dubai Autism Center and more, along with participation from labour camps as part of India Club’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiative.

    Prizes, trophies and gift hampers valued at more than Dh60,000 will be awarded to the winners of the finals, set to take place on June 3.

    “Everyone knows about this tournament since it’s been happening for so many years,” said Dinesh Nair, badminton tournament organising committee member. “Since it is an open tournament and players are coming from all over, the quality is of course really high.

    “I really recommend anyone who’s got a passion for this sport to come and watch the matches. There are restaurants and food courts there, as well a children’s play area, so people who come can really watch some good matches, have good food and enjoy the evening.”

    Matches this weekend will be held from 19:00 on Thursday and from 10:00 Friday. For more information and a full list of fixtures, visit www.indaclubdubai.com.

    WHAT: UAE Open Badminton Tournament
    WHEN: Running until June 3, with matches beginning from 19:00 on weekdays and from 10:00 on Fridays
    WHERE: India Club, Dubai
    VERDICT: There’s a ton of thrilling badminton action to watch, with players ranging from all ages and skill abilities taking to the courts in what should be a competitive tournament.
    CONTACT: Visit www.indiaclubdubai.com for more information and a full list of fixtures