DUBAI: Abu Dhabi is to be the newest destination for the world’s professional women’s tennis tour, the Women’s Tennis Association and IMG announced on Monday.
The ‘Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open’ will be held at the International Tennis Centre in Zayed Sports City from Feb. 5 to Feb. 12. It is the first ongoing WTA-sanctioned event to take place in the emirate.
Hosted in partnership with Abu Dhabi Sports Council and investment group Mubadala, the WTA 500 event will bring together the world’s top female players at Zayed Sports City’s International Tennis Centre, including World No. 2 Ons Jabeur.
“I’m really excited to once again be playing in Abu Dhabi. The atmosphere and support from the fans is always incredible and I hope to continue my winning run in an amazing venue,” said Jabeur, who won the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition in Abu Dhabi in 2021 and last year.
Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and CEO, said: “Abu Dhabi’s position in the calendar will create a unique three-week Hologic WTA Tour swing in the region, promising best-in-class player fields competing for valuable WTA points. This tournament will build on the commitment Mubadala has made in introducing professional women’s tennis to Abu Dhabi in recent years.”
Aside from more than 60 singles and doubles matches across eight days, the tournament will feature a variety of activities including tennis-themed games and player question and answer sessions.
Robbie Henchman, President of Global Partnerships – IMG Events, IMG Media & On Location, commented: “We are proud to bring the first-ever permanent official Women’s Tour event to Abu Dhabi.
“Mubadala and Abu Dhabi Sports Council are the perfect partners to help us deliver a world class, action-packed event, with thrilling action on and off the court for fans, families and friends to enjoy.”
Mubadala has supported international tennis for more than a decade and supports the Mubadala Community Cup and Mubadala Tennis in Schools Programs locally.
Homaid Al-Shimmari, Deputy Group CEO, said: “We are thrilled to be part of bringing this inaugural WTA 500 tour event to Abu Dhabi, continuing our global support of tennis and attracting world-class events to the emirate.
“This partnership complements our efforts to promote an active and healthy lifestyle in the community, and builds on the legacy of Mubadala supporting professional women’s tennis in the region.”
Abu Dhabi Sports Council General Secretary Aref Hamad Al-Awani said: “The tournament underpins our commitment to bring sporting events to the region and to inspire youngsters. This tournament is a testament to Abu Dhabi’s abilities as hosts and organizers. You can expect the inaugural edition to be nothing short of amazing.”
The event will continue the WTA’s 50-year anniversary celebrations, with tickets starting at AED 50 ($13.61) for adults, while full tournament packages are available at a 15 percent discount. Children under 12 accompanied by ticket-holders can enter free for the first four days. Visit ticketmaster.ae for more details.
The Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open is being produced by IMG, the company behind the Miami Open and Madrid Open, and globally renowned cultural events such as New York Fashion Week: The Shows, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland and Frieze art fairs.